Star Tracks compiles the most exciting new music from a wide range of established and emerging artists.
This week’s playlist includes new music from Destroyer, Tyler, the Creator, Phife Dawg, Drug Church, Tate McRae, Soccer Mommy, Unknown T, Chance the Rapper, Belle and Sebastian and more.
Click here to listen to the Spotify playlist, which includes some extra tunes we loved this week.
Destroyer: It’s in your heart now
Dan Bejar, the mastermind behind Vancouver band Destroyer, is known for his incredibly complex and enigmatic lyricism. But on the hypnotic opener from the band’s standout new album, “LABYRINTHITIS” — which arrived Friday — Bejar keeps things remarkably simple.
“It’s in your heart now,” he repeats softly over a single drumbeat, as a rubbery new wave bassline gives way to a frippy, fuzzy guitar riff. And while it’s easy to stray from the shoegaze mainstream, listeners will want to buckle in for the rest of the album – a 10-song roller coaster of vocal acrobatics and other eccentric dispatches from the wit. unique music from Bejar. — Richie Assaly
Tyler the Creator: Come on, let’s go
It’s a prime position to make a mainstream-sounding track and have it considered a rarity, but that’s where Tyler, the creator, is. A hymn to punctuality, “Come On, Let’s Go” features Tyler spitting on his lover’s delay. It’s as silly as it sounds, and yet Tyler is able to pack his verses with memorable temporal patterns by asking “What are you doing?” We gotta dip-dip-dip-dip-dip, Cartier-er-er-er, watch it go tick-tick-tick-tick,” without it ever sounding corny.
“Come On, Let’s Go” also fits Tyler’s musical canon incredibly well, still playing to the lavish, international lifestyle he displayed on his critically acclaimed “Call Me If You Get Lost.” Produced by Pharrell, the last track is close to a mainstream sound. Instead of the raucous extravaganza of his last album, the track has Tyler rapping bars around pulsating, wandering, dark synths and high hats. It’s simpler than anything he’s done in a long time, but with Tyler thriving as a rapper and producer, it’s total fun. — Demar Grant
Phife Dawg: Forever
It’s been six years since Malik Izaak Taylor, aka Phife Dawg, died of diabetes-related complications at the age of 45. The self-proclaimed “Five-Foot Assassin” was a beloved MC and key member of A Tribe Called Quest. Phife’s gruff, full-bodied vocals were a perfect counterbalance to Q-Tip’s nasal, nimble raps — working in tandem, they managed to create mindful rapping that was also fun. But despite ATCQ’s incredible success, Phife and Tip often clashed, causing the band to break up in the late ’90s (only to reunite again in 2006).
This week, hip-hop fans were finally treated to Phife Dawg’s second solo album, titled “Forever.” The project was carefully curated and assembled by longtime Phife friend and business partner Dion Liverpool and includes features from Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Redman and many more. The result is a stellar, albeit imperfect, snapshot, as all posthumous albums are, of a legendary rapper determined to make the most of his final stretch of life.
On the closing track – a dreamy production of strings, sparkling piano and choppy vocal samples from Andre 3000 and Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Phife takes stock of his life, sharing details of his childhood in Queens. and his success with ATCQ. A third of the way through, Phife cuts the music and addresses his bandmates directly, offering conciliation and declaring his love.
You can hear the tension in his voice – the vocals were recorded just three days before Phife died. Liverpool told The New Yorker that Phife had one final request for the song’s ending: “affect my voice like it’s going on into eternity.” — AR
Drug Church: Tedious
This Drug Church track is many things, but “Tiresome” is definitely not one of them.
Well, unless you don’t like being bombarded with overdriven guitars, aggressive screams and heavy progressions, then maybe it could be. But sometimes you just need that punch in the face, that savage headbutt, that anger just to get through the day — and Drug Church delivers just that.
“Tiresome” is the final single from the band’s latest album, Albany, New York Post-hardcore act, “Hygiene”. Blending nostalgic 90s grunge with raw 2000s hardcore punk, Drug Church accurately captures the nerve-wracking dissatisfaction with what is happening right now. However, it’s not all dark and moody, and it’s not often that a hardcore punk band like Drug Church – maybe Turnstile is another example – make you want to dance with but also bang everyone around you at the same time.
Oh, and if you don’t like people eating with their mouths open and full of food, then uh, maybe don’t watch the accompanying music video. — Justin Smilies
Tate McRae: chaotic
Discreet, growing up is brutal. The uncertainty, fear and growing understanding of impermanence that people around you for years will slowly begin to fade away – it’s miserable. Things seem so much easier when you’re young, and Canadian singer Tate McRae’s voice captures that gloom. Over super-simple keys, McRae delivers a ballad that everyone personally simmered in. Growing up, one of the cruelest realizations is when “I can’t stand my friends right now, we have nothing in common” and the pain is captured in McRae’s voice as she laments over his childhood. McRae’s despondent voice also brings an added layer of crochet sadness when “I try my best here to be brutally honest / Nobody said changing would be so exhausting.” To grow old is to understand that life is “chaotic” and McRae’s last track is a bad reminder of that. — CEO
Soccer Mommy: Shotgun
A few years ago, Sophie Allison, who records as Soccer Mommy, released a slowed-down cover of Bruce Springsteen’s classic “I’m On Fire.” It’s a beautiful rendition, but there’s something unsettling about it – a subtle complaint in Allison’s voice that leaves a mark.
Allison’s new single, “Shotgun,” is equally ambiguous. “Fogged up the windows in the back/Coffee and menthol on your breath,” she sings over an eerie, muffled guitar riff. But the track suddenly shifts gears to a playful chorus: “Anytime you want me, I’ll be there / I’m a bullet in a shotgun waiting to ring,” Allison sings fondly.
As the video for the track makes clear, Allison is ready to shed her reputation as a “bedroom” artist – her next album, titled “Sometimes, Forever”, will be produced by suddenly in-demand electronic/experimental artist Oneohtrix Point Ever. . — AR
Unknown T: Often
Unknown T is the new stream master. In his first single since “Adolescence”, T brags about a lot of things – women, drip and, most importantly, his music. Every tool is on display, the constant switching between flows, ad lib kissed teeth, and sticky but elongated hook. There is nothing that T cannot do. And at 22, Unknown T is one of Britain’s finest exercise talents where lyricism reigns, but he’s never let them get overbearing. When he comes up with gritty raps like “My broski’s blacked out on black, I got my city like Gotham, skip the batman, walk with my jewels, I rock ’em” T still dances elegantly between the sampled vocals of 808 and the stress-inducing strings as if he were in a ballroom with a string quartet. — CEO
Chance the Rapper: Child of God
Poor coincidence. After rising to fame with a string of beloved mixtapes, the Chicago rapper’s debut studio album — an ultra-serious ode to marriage — received positive reviews but was absolutely swept along by hip hop fans.
Luckily, Chance is recalibrating nicely on her new single, “Child of God.” Although hardly less serious – Chance almost slips into spoken word poetry as he meditates on his faith – the track is beautifully produced, with steel drums, muted bongos, a dose of chipmunk soul and a brief appearance by (the incredible) Moses Sumney.
Don’t skip the video, which shows Gabonese artist Naïla Opiangah painting a stunning mural. — AR
Belle and Sébastien: if they shoot you
“If they shoot you, you must be doing something right,” Stuart Murdoch gently declares on the latest single from Scottish indie band Belle and Sebastian. With upbeat horns, handclaps and a gospel choir, the Shawn Everett-produced track carries a sense of levity that almost belies the seriousness of the lyrics, which describe the feeling of “being lost, broken and threatened by violence”.
It’s a familiar vanity for fans of Belle and Sebastien, a band that has spent more than a quarter of a century crafting soft yet touching pop music that tackles important themes using wry humor and a literary approach to music. writing songs. The visual for “If They’re Shooting At You”, which brings together images from creatives and photographers covering the conflict in Ukraine, aims to raise funds for the Red Cross while “delivering a message of solidarity and hope “.
Belle and Sebastian’s eleventh studio album, “A Bit Of Previous,” arrives May 6.AR
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