Sleater-Kinney return with “Bury Our Friends”, the triumphant lead single from their upcoming 2015 album No Cities to Love. Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss’ pick up where they left off nearly a decade ago, not surprising considering Brownstein and Weiss’s involvement in Wild Flag. But more than anything, it’s just awesome to know this type of music still holds a very significant place in the musical landscape, sounding as vital as it ever has before.
No Cities to Love is out January 2015. So, 2015 will be awesome.
“How About Now” is rumored to be included on Drake’s imminent Views from the 6, and found its way onto the internet Sunday afternoon. If this is the first taste of his new album, then “Now” finds Drake completely in control, operating freely in the lane he helped construct. It might not reach the heights of “0 to 100” or “Tuesday”, but the song is progressive enough that it’s obvious Drake is as hungry now as he was in the build up to Take Care.
There’s nothing necessarily new about “Coming Home,” one of two songs Leon Bridges uploaded to Soundcloud recently. The song takes its cues from the likes of Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson, and there’s a hint of current day artists such as Alabama Shakes and Michael Kiwanuka. But it’s the assured quality of “Home” that makes it resonate, with Bridges mending the gap between the past and present. You don’t always have to re-invent the wheel. Sometimes, it’s nice to just remember how it all began.
“Unites” marks the first music from LUH (Life Under Heaven), the new duo formed by one-time WU LYF frontman Ellery James Roberts. The song takes a few cues from Roberts’ own 2013 one-off single “Kerou’s Lament,” featuring his easily-identifiable barbed vocals and a soaring, hopeful instrumental. The two polar opposites work amazingly well together, and the song’s gorgeous melody is powerful enough to shine through all that is going around it.
No word yet on an official EP/LP from LUH., but you can stream “Unites” now through Soundcloud.
Hannah Rodgers’s debut single as Pix, “A Way To Say Goodbye”, is the type of sly, understated pop song that creeps its way into your system, both upon first listen and hours later, long after the song’s last notes have ended. The song skates along with more than an air of confidence, while Rodgers’s delivery recalls Zooey Deschanel’s featherweight vocals on the She & Him records. The surreal video adequately captures the song’s ghostly traits, with Dreamtrak’s production helping give Pix a sound that stands out among the huddled masses. “Shouldn’t it be easy,” Rodgers wonders aloud on the track. From the sound of it, yes, it should. Time will tell how Rodgers reconciles those opposing facts.
New York City’s Friends, fronted by Samantha Urbani, and new act Katie Rush are doing their fair share to bring back 80s glam to current music trends. Prevalent on Friends’ sonic reinvention on “The Way”, the movement is pushed even further on Katie Rush’s wonderful Law of Attraction EP. The whole thing is worth checking out, but it’s Katie Rush’s collaboration with Urbani on “Dangerous Luv” that thrills the most, hinting at the ways bringing back the past can create exciting futures. Lead vocalist Katie Wagner and Urbani trade verses over clattering percussion and a large wall of sound accented by shredding guitar riffs. Much like the song implies, the dangerous is often the most exciting.
Purchase the Law of Attraction EP now, via Gutter TV Records.
DOWNLOAD Katie Rush – “Dangerous Luv” (feat. Samantha Urbani)
A$AP Rocky has been relatively quiet since dropping his major-label debut in early 2013, in many ways leaving A$AP Ferg to carry the A$AP Mob torch. The fire never died in Ferg’s hands, and Rocky takes the baton on the recently released “Multiply”, reasserting himself as one of the 2010’s most promising young rappers.
As Grantland’s Amos Barshad points out, Rocky and fellow recent breakout star Kendrick Lamar both gained notoriety around the same time; “Rocky was supposed to be the Hov of this new era, and Kendrick the Nas, with the former flashier and so forever destined to be a few commercial paces ahead,” wrote Barshad.
When Lamar released “i” a couple weeks back, that narrative was turned on its head, as it found the good kid reaching for the highest level of mainstream appeal. The complete opposite is the case on “Multiply”, as Rocky spits over a grimy, menacing beat. It’s intentionally confrontational and brash, with Rocky laying down the gauntlet; “When all the real niggas die / Fake niggas gonna multiply.” Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky may have taken different paths to get to their current position, and their newest material, while highlighting the artists’ vast differences, is a welcome reminder of the space we’ve allowed for multiple narratives to exist in one world.