Welcome to the summer edition of Tunesday! For the next two months or so, I strive to be your musical curator, aspired tastemaker and an alliteration-loving advocate of all things aurally awesome. Finding new music is easily one of the best, most underrated feelings in the world, so I hope this column will give us an opportunity to get giddy over the latest releases and explore the work of the undiscovered.
As you check back every week, you can expect to hear anything from Cadillac bumpin’ rap and throwback slow jams to dreamy bedroom pop and quiver-inducing indie gold, as well as everything in between.
Kanye West – New Slaves
This past week, Kanye fans went into near-epileptic shock as he got back on Twitter, used 66 buildings around the world to pull off an insanely brilliant preview of his new album (out June 18), performed two unreleased songs on SNL and released alleged cover artwork. “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead” speak for themselves. As if it couldn’t get any better, Frank Ocean apparently appears on the latter half of “New Slaves” as well. After a comparatively underwhelming Cruel Summer, West is back in full force with a notably tighter rap style and aggressive beats to match. Brace yourselves; Yeezus is coming.
Thundercat – Oh Sheit It’s X
Play this psychedelic jammer by LA-based Thundercat – also known as Stephen Bruner – and co-produced by Flying Lotus, and you’ll suddenly find it very difficult not to get up and get your groove on. Make this velvet facemelter a house party staple this summer and catch Thundercat’s record, Apocalypse, out on June 4.
Glass Candy – Geto Boys
Riding off of some smooth waves and reminded by Pitchfork’s (delayed, but deserved) post on Glass Candy’s “Warm in the Winter,” this track is a breathy, funk-injected electro delight. When composed well and paired with vocals that could narrate an ecstasy trip, synth-pop certainly makes it a good time. For a stellar compilation with more tracks by Glass Candy, Chromatics and the like, check out label Italians Do It Better’s After Dark 2.
Chance the Rapper – Paranoia
Hailing from Chicago, Chance the Rapper is everything a new rapper nowadays should be: experimental, ambitious and refreshingly honest. The talented newcomer recently released his mixtape Acid Rap, and “Paranoia” is his collaboration with Nosaj Thing that appears on the second half of “Pusha Man.” It’s deliciously minimalistic and shows us exactly why “acid rap” as a genre is becoming a game-changer in the best possible ways.
Kelly Rowland – Dirty Laundry
Kelly Rowland thought it would finally be a good time to air her dirty laundry (the literal title, not even a pun), and all I have to say is, “OK girl, I see you.” The song, which was produced by The-Dream, centers around some brutally honest lyrics about an abusive relationship she had in the past and her frustration over Beyonce’s solo success. More notably, its clean production showcases Rowland’s amazing voice and underrated potential.
The National – I Need My Girl
Last, but certainly not least, “I Need My Girl” is a track off of Trouble Will Find Me, the sixth album from The National that was released today. The record thus far is a strong indication of everything we love about the band and then some, so, if anything, I’m looking forward to giving it a thorough listen on the more serene summer nights to come.
As always, comments, feedback and gif-inspired reactions are highly encouraged and always appreciated. Feel free to send me suggestions as well. Enjoy!