CURRENT: Peaking Lights – “Conga Blue”

Peaking Lights return with “Conga Blue,” the first of several singles planned for release by the LA duo in 2016. Following Lucifer and Cosmic Logic, “Blue” finds Peaking Lights amping up their playfulness without losing any sincerity.

(GvB)

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CURRENT: Nicholas Allbrook – “Advance”

On Nicholas Allbrook’s beautifully bonkers “Advance” song and video the former Tame Impala bassist channels his inner David Bowie, cultivating the aesthetic Bowie used in his “Life On Mars” video for a 21st century interpretation. Allbrook makes it feel as though “Advance” could fall through at any time, giving the composition added excitement and danger. You’re never quite sure if you’re watching Rome being built or burning to the ground.

Pure Gardiya is out May 27 via Spinning Top.

CURRENT: Mourn – “Evil Dead”

Before (d)evolving into camp, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy began truly horrific. The same can be said of Mourn’s “Evil Dead,” the first single taken from the band’s upcoming album Ha, Ha, He. The song is filled with nervous energy, from the gravitational pull of Carla Pérez Fas and Jazz Rodríguez Bueno’s guitar riffs to their ghostly vocals. For all the tension bubbling beneath the surface, Mourn expertly contains the “Evil Dead” to 130 seconds of pent-up aggression, keeping the monsters at bay, at least for now.

CURRENT: Ariel Pink & Puro Instinct – “In The Force” [Rexy Cover]

Samantha Urbani’s new imprint URU is overseeing the reissue of the 1981 cult-classic Running Out Of Time by Rexy. Listening to the album, it becomes apparent how in-tune with current music trends Rexy’s only album is – it feels as unrestrained to genre trends as today’s best pop music does. Ariel Pink is a poster child for left-field pop these days, and he teams up with Puro Instinct for a cover of Time cut “In The Force.” The song’s simplicity is its biggest charm, with Pink and Piper and Skylar Kaplan trading lines in a version that channels the same connection between childlike wonderment and militaristic strength conveyed in the original. Ariel Pink and Puro Instinct largely play it straight on their cover of “In The Force” – but in the world of Rexy, playing it straight means throwing a curveball.

The reissue of Running out of Time is out now.

CURRENT: Kamaiyah – “I’m On”

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Oakland rapper Kamaiyah just dropped A Good Night In The Ghetto, the first mixtape for the 21-year old rising star. Kamaiyah immediately makes her presence felt on the opening “I’m On” – “remember when I didn’t have shoestrings, now I pull up, I throw up, the coupe swing” she boasts on the chorus over a perfectly sunny yet authentic beat. It’s a great way to begin things for Kamaiyah, with “I’m On” making it easy to root for the up-and-coming rapper. When you arrive on the scene sounding as good as Kamaiyah does on “I’m On” and throughout A Good Night In The Ghetto, it’s inevitable that people will notice.

Kamaiyah: “I’m On” (prod. by Drew Banga)

BEST OF FEBRUARY 2016

FEBRUARY 2016 – SONGS

10. Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign, “Work from Home”

9. The 1975, “Somebody Else”

8. Gallant ft. Jhene Aiko, “Skipping Stones”

7. Kevin Morby, “I Have Been To The Mountain”

6. DRELLER, “Control”

5. Future, “Fly Shit Only”

4. Azealea Banks, “The Big Big Beat”

3. FKA twigs, “Good To Love”

2. Beyoncé, “Formation”

1. Kanye West, “Ultra Light Beam”

FEBRUARY 2016 – ALBUMS/EPS

5. Porches, Pool

4. The 1975, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

3. Kanye West, The Life Of Pablo

2. Young Thug, I’m Up

1. Future, EVOL

CURRENT: M83 – “Do It, Try It”

“Do It, Try It” – the first single from M83’s upcoming Junk – seems like a dare at first. A house piano riff mixes with pitched vocals, interstellar synths, and a chant-along chorus to create something that boldly shifts expectations for the next chapter in Anthony Gonzalez’s project. While “Do It, Try It” may be hard to wrap your head around, it’s even harder to get out it.