Things may be cooling down in the northern hemisphere, but in Sydney-born future bass producer Wave Racer’s corner of the universe, people are only just beginning to shake off the chill of winter. In other words, it’s nearly summer anthem season, and, this year, Wave Racer — real name Tom Purcell — has a doozy. Today, he’s releasing “Higher,” a sleek, bubbly collaboration with PC Music’s Danny L Harle and British songwriter L Devine that peaks early and proceeds to never really let up across its three-and-a-half minute runtime. Warm and glittering, it’s a classically-written pop track that never grates, despite its relentless optimism.
Written on a two-week writing jaunt in London, “Higher” is something of a reset for Purcell, who was looking for new ways to write and produce his music. “For me, the song functions not only as an ode to the notion of ascension, but it’s also a kind of trophy symbolising my overcoming creative roadblocks,” he tells The FADER via email. “It set in motion a whole series of creative changes in my life.” Listen to “Higher” above.
Megan Thee Stallion and The Weeknd’s respective TIME covers.
TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world was released today and features a number of musicians, with Megan Thee Stallion, The Weeknd, Selena Gomez, J Balvin and Halsey all making the list. Megan and The Weeknd, two of the issue’s cover stars, had blurbs written about them by actress Taraji P. Henson and Elton John, respectively, while the blurbs for Gomez, Balvin, and Halsey were written, respectively, by America Ferrera, Camila Cabello, and BTS.
A handful of musicians also wrote blurbs for other people on the list, including Taylor Swift for Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge; Riz Ahmed for Waad Al-Kateab; Mary J. Blige for Jennifer Hudson; Stevie Wonder for Yo-Yo Ma; Missy Elliott for Dapper Dan; and John Legend for Dwayne Wade. Elsewhere, the list features Tyler Perry, Gabrielle Union, Bong Joon Ho, Kamala Harris, Donald Trump, and Michaela Coel. See the full list here.
After a few teasers and an official announcement on Monday, Fleet Foxes shared their fourth album, Shore. It’s the band’s first release since their 2017 album Crack-Up. A 55-minute short film, directed by Kersti Jan Werdal’s Shore, accompanied the album along with lyric videos for each of the tracks. A physical version of the album is set for a February 5 release.
“I wanted to make an album that celebrated life in the face of death, honoring our lost musical heroes explicitly in the lyrics and carrying them with me musically,” frontman Robin Pecknold said in a statement about the album, which was recorded in multiple cities including Manhattan, Paris, and Los Angeles. “I see ‘shore’ as a place of safety on the edge of something uncertain, staring at Whitman’s waves reciting “death,” tempted by the adventure of the unknown at the same time you are relishing the comfort of the stable ground beneath you.”
Kodak Black is launching a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of prisons and the director and warden of Big Sandy, the high-security prison in Kentucky where the rapper is currently incarcerated, according to a new TMZ report. The rapper was transferred to Big Sandy in 2019 after a violent confrontation with an inmate at a Miami prison.
Since arriving at Big Sandy, Black claims to have suffered routine physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the authorities. The documents purportedly allege that in one instance, Black was restrained for six hours without access to a bathroom, cause him to defecate on himself while guards laughed. On another occasion, Black claims that guards forced him on his hands and knees while soaking wet and wearing only underwear.
In May, Black’s Twitter account was updated with an account of an alleged beating by guards at Big Sandy prison. The posts claimed that Black was beaten in the head with “a metal object,” and that “one of the guards flicked his genitals and said ‘you’re not so gangster now, you’re gonna need bigger balls to survive.'” This incident is reportedly cited in Black’s lawsuit as a “gang beating” initiated by Big Sandy guards.
Black’s religious liberties are also being infringed upon, according to the lawsuit. Black is a practicing Hebrew Israelite, and his attornies claim that Big Sandy is not allowing him to see a rabbi.
Black is reportedly asking to be moved to a lower-security prison as well as damages and legal fees. The FADER has reached out to Kodak Black’s representative for comment.
Artist and producer Knox Fortune announced his sophomore album, Stock Child Wonder, is set for an October 30th release.
The album will boast features from a number of indie acts from Fortune’s hometown of Chicago, including Lala Lala, Will Miller of Whitney & Resavoir, Lane Beckstrom of Resavoir, Colin Croom and Jack Dolan of Twin Peaks, Macie Stewart of Ohmme, Elliot Skinner (formerly of Third Story), Grammy-winning producers Nate Fox and Pomo, and Grammy-nominated producers Carter Lang and Pete ‘Scum’ Nebula.
Along with the announcement, which comes on the three-year anniversary of his acclaimed debut album Paradise, Fortune also shared his brand new single “Shirtless.” The track, produced by Fortune himself alongside Lang, Croom, and Stewart, is filled with self-reflection and summer nostalgia. “Please don’t turn your radio down / take you to my favorite town,” he sings on the track.
U.K. artist BERWYN has only released two singles to date, “GLORY” and “TRAP PHONE,” but he has established himself as a voice calling out to be heard. His honest storytelling, in which he flips between rapping and singing, was perhaps best captured in a TV performance for Later… with Jools Holland. Recorded around the time of the Black Lives Matter protests, BERWYN channeled years of personal and generational strife into a magnetic moment, marking himself out as one to watch in the process.
Today BERWYN returns with more new music and details of his debut full-length project. “017 Freestyle” is his raw new track in which the Londoner opens up about missed opportunities, structural barriers, and needing to smoke weed to get to sleep over a skippy, chipmunk soul beat. You can see the video for that below. It is taken from DEMOTAPE/VEGA due for release on September 25. That’s this Friday. “GLORY” and “TRAP PHONE” both feature on the 10-track project.
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Power 105.1
Bobby Shmurda has been denied parole, according to a TMZ report. The rapper’s hearing was held last week, after being delayed in August. No reason was reported for the denial, but it’s likely that Shmurda will not be released until the end of his sentence on December 11, 2021.
The rapper was sentenced to between six and seven years in prison on conspiracy and weapons charges after securing a plea deal in 2016. In January, fellow New York rapper Fivio Foreign claimed that Bobby Shmurda had a whole album ready to drop from prison.
Dev Hynes has announced that his score for We Are Who We Are, the new HBO series created by Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, will be released next Friday, October 2. The record features 12 new compositions by Hynes, as well as two new compositions each by Julius Eastman and John Adams. Hynes and Eastman have a history of collaboration, with Hynes recently releasing a seven-minute piano improvisation called “Evil N****r,” based on Eastman’s composition of the same name.
“Franchise” follows a big two weeks for the Travis Scott marketing machine, in which the Houston star launched a collaboration with McDonalds — a version of the Quarter Pounder bearing his name — as well as a limited edition merchandise line. “Franchise,” as a title, seems to tie in with the theme, although Condo’s artwork bears no links to the fast food giant.
Released via Never Broke Again/Artist Partner Group/Atlantic, Top sold 126,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. on its way to No.1. That figure was predominantly boosted by 106,000 SEA units, made up of streaming data. Nielsen figures show the album was streamed 156m times in its first week available. YoungBoy’s online fandom is well-noted, he was the biggest music artist on YouTube in 2019.
Top replaces Big Sean’s Detroit 2 as the No.1 album in the country. This week’s top 5 is rounded out by Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die and Taylor Swift’s former No. 1 Folklore respectively. The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical is at No. 5.
Since emerging in 2017 the prolific YoungBoy has placed 15 albums on the Billboard chart, including four EPs. No other artist has charted as many albums of newly recorded material in that same span of time.
NPR has never had any difficulty securing popular artists for its marquee video series Tiny Desk Concert, but today’s installment features one of the biggest names in music anywhere: BTS. The K-pop band performed with a band in a Seoul-based record store VINYL & PLASTIC, running through their No. 1 English language single “Dynamite,” as well as “Save ME” and Spring Day.” The performances are playful, and the band does a bit of bantering between each one; before “Spring Day,” RM acknowledges the horrible global state of affairs and offers the song as a salve. Watch the whole show above via Pitchfork.
Bryson Tiller shared his second single this month, “Always Forever,” on Monday.
The track finds him trying to downplay his own feelings before they get too deep. “I tried to give you a little less of my time / Starting to feel like I’m never in my right mind,” Tiller croons over smoothed-out production.
The music video cycle from Bad Bunny‘s latest album YHLQMDLG has been a treat. Almost all of them feature a young actor wearing a bunny-eared cap playing an adolescent B.B., and this thread of connection gives an unusually human resonance to the clips.
The kid returns in the music video for the Mora-featuring “Una Vez,” directed by Stillz, but only for a brief moment in the introduction. After putting a YHLQMDLG cassette tape in his Walkman and returning to bed, the music video shifts focus to an astronaut exploring different landscapes that look familiar and alien at the same time.
After a few teasers over the weekend, Fleet Foxes announced their fourth album, Shore, is out tomorrow. The release time, 6:31 a.m. PT/9:31 a.m. ET, also happens to coincide with the autumnal equinox. Along with the new album, the band is also releasing a 55-minute, Kersti Jan Werdal-directed film available to watch on Tuesday at fleetfoxes.co.
On Sunday, frontman Robin Pecknold posted an album teaser on Instagram with the simple caption “Tuesday,” later adding to his story that he will be “posting some promo type stuff” the following week. “Forgive me if I post any good feedback. I know it’s corny, but I’m excited and it’s weird to put out an album from quarantine,” he wrote. There were also posters for the album spotted in Paris.
The group shared the official news, along with what appears to be a preview of the film, on Monday. Watch it below.
Mustafa is a Toronto-based artist who made waves locally as a spoken word poet and founding member of the Canadian rap group Halal Gang before going on to co-write on songs by The Weeknd and Camila Caballo. His solo music career debuted this year with the song “Stay Alive” and the James Blake collaboration “Come Back,” and today he shares a beautiful new song and video called “Air Forces.”
The clip takes place in Regent Park, Mustafa’s home, and the housing project that birthed artists like Mo-G, Lil Berete, Puffy L’z, and Smoke Dawg (R.I.P.). The footage of Regent Park is interspersed with more symbolic imagery like a green, sun-drenched field and a Black man with deep wounds in his shoulder blades, presumably where his wings used to be. The song itself is dreamy too, thanks to production which samples a Sudanese chant and Mustafa’s deeply beautiful vocals. Check it out above.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for EA Sports Bowl at Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest
Lil Wayne’s 37th birthday is approaching (September 27) and according to Mack Maine, there’s much to be celebrated this trip around the sun. Ahead of next Sunday’s festivities, Maine gifted Weezy the keys to an shiny amethyst 2020 McLaren 720S — as well as the news of the “original” release of Tha Carter V, which he tells TMZ is due out this Friday, September 25.
Tha Carter V initially dropped back in 2018 after a years-long contractual dispute between Wayne and Birdman. Though Weezy has since moved on, releasing Funeral and teasing the existence of Tha Carter VI, many of the album’s original tracks were left in the lurch. According to keen-eyed megafans, a number of those songs have recently been uploaded to the Shazam database, further fueling speculation that they’re about to see the light of day. The FADER has reached out to Wayne’s team for further comment.
Zendaya became the youngest woman to ever win the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama earlier this evening when she claimed the trophy for her role as Rue in Euphoria. Up against a crowded field that included Jennifer Aniston’s splashy return-to-TV, Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Laura Linney, Sandra Oh, and 2019 Lead Actress Emmy winner Jodie Comer, Zendaya’s acclaimed performance as a teen struggling with drug addiction ultimately came out on top. At 24, she is two years younger than previous record-holder Comer was when she won the award in 2019.
Justin Bieber has ushered in a new era with his latest single, “Holy.” The song features a verse from Chance The Rapper in which he references both Joe Pesci and soccer player Leo Messi. The “Holy” video was directed by Colin Tilley and shows Bieber as a factory worker whose employment is ended due to “the ongoing global situation.” That ’70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama makes a cameo, playing a soldier, while Ryan Destiny appears as Bieber’s partner. Check it out above.
“Holy” marks the latest in a series of collaborations between Bieber and Chance. They previously appeared together on 2013 single “Confident” plus DJ Khaled songs “No Brainer” and “I’m The One.” Earlier this month, Bieber stepped in for Drake for DJ Khaled’s “POPSTAR” video. His latest album Changes was released in February of this year.
(L) Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images (R) Ser Baffo/Getty Images for BET
One of Pop Smoke‘s biggest posthumous hits is “Mood Swings,” the Lil Tjay-featuring, TikTok-dominating sex jam. It’s currently sitting pretty at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and with a new remix out today featuring Summer Walker, it’ll likely advance even further. The R&B singer’s feisty performance on the remix provides the female perspective that the original was just begging for. Happily, the chemistry between Smoke and Walker is there in spades, too.
Another Chinese-owned app, WeChat, will also be banned on Sunday. The social media app is already facing the additional restrictions that are yet to come for TikTok, including the prevention of “any company from offering internet hosting, content delivery networks, internet transit or peering services to WeChat, or using the app’s code in other software or services in the United States,” according to the Times.
Brazil’s Anitta is already a massive star in the Latin America diaspora, and she’s aiming for crossover success with her new song “Me Gusta.” It features Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers and Cardi B, who took Bad Bunny and J Balvin to No. 1 in 2018 with the Latin trap-inspired “I Like It” (she is also, of course, the biggest rapper on the planet thanks to her current No. 1 “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion.) All three of the “Me Gusta” artists show up for the video, streaming above, dressed to the nines for a colorful fashion show in the city streets. And on September 23, they’ll perform the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Lil Tecca, the New York rapper behind last year’s inescapable smash hit “Ransom,” releases his debut album Virgo World today. One of the songs on its tracklist is the highly anticipated Lil Uzi Vert collaboration “Dolly,” and the music video is out now as well. The visual is directed by Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade, who also directed the “Ransom” video. It’s pretty straightforward: flexing in a sound stage with video vixens styled like cybernetic alien creatures. Check it out above.
DMV rapper Shy Glizzy shared his latest project, Young Jefe 3, on Friday. The mixtape serves as the rapper’s first project since his 2019 album Covered N Blood, and the first official follow-up in the Young Jefe mixtape series since 2016.
In a year of ill-timing, there have been few pop contretemps as jarring as the release of Lady Gaga’s sixth studio LP Chromatica, which was postponed due to the pandemic and eventually dropped on May 29th during the height of civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. Since its release, Gaga has kept uncharacteristically quiet, saving her first live performance of the new material for the VMAs a few weeks back. Today, she’s following it up with a video for the album’s third single, the antipsychotic Eurodisco
Directed by Tarsem Singh, the video offers a pop twist on Sergei Parajanov’s 1969 arthouse film The Color Of Pomegranates. It’s one of Singh’s first music videos since helming the clips for R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and En Vogue’s “Hold On” back in the nineties. Check it out above, and read Gaga’s statement on the video below.
Die For My Bitch, the second full-length project from California rapper Baby Keem, is still an excellent listen. With his talent for soulful earworms, brash SoundCloud rap energy, and an utterly contemporary lyricism, Keem has more than earned his collaborations with Kendrick Lamer (the Black Panther soundtrack) and Beyoncé (The Lion King: The Gift) as well as his spot on the 2020 XXL Freshman List. Today, Keem returns with “hooligan” and “sons & critics freestyle,” his first new solo tracks since 2019. “hooligan” comes with a trippy video directed by Jake Schreier and starring Keem, who stares at the camera while his co-stars star at the camera. Check out both of the new tracks below.
Mez is a Raleigh, North Carolina artist known for rapping, but he’s also worked with J. Cole’s Dreamville as a creative director and did a shoe for Puma. Today, he’s the host of a fake TV shopping network for his new music video “Loading.” The products on sale are top-of-the-shelf: the Hotep Kit, a book called How to Change Your Handshake for Suburban Living, a delicious looking cereal called “Hoop Dream-O’s” (sponsored by none other than T.J. Walker of the Indiana Pacers) and more. Funny stuff, but the song’s refrain of “Who’s gonna save us?” hints at something deeper, and Mez obligingly unpacks it in his verses. Watch above.
Alicia Keys has shared the tracklist for new album ALICIA, set for release this week (September 18). Keys’ seventh studio effort will feature a range of guest vocalists, with Sampha and Tierra Whack both featuring on the 15-track set. Mercury Prize-winner Sampha appears on “3 Hour Drive” while Whack, last seen in Beyonce’s Black Is King, contributed to “Me x 7.”
Other guests on ALICIA include Snoh Aalegra (“You Save Me”), Miguel (“Show Me Love”), Khalid (“So Done”) and Jill Scott, who appears on a track named simply “Jill Scott”
It’s been a whole year since Keys first began to roll out her seventh studio album by dropping “Show Me Love.” Since then, she’s released six additional singles from the record — “Underdog”, “So Done,” “Love Looks Better,” “Time Machine,” “Good Job,” and “Perfect Way to Die” — as well as hosted the Grammys.
“Truth Without Love” “Time Machine” “Authors of Forever” “Wasted Energy” Feat. Diamond Platnumz “Underdog” “3 Hour Drive” Feat. Sampha “Me x 7” Feat. Tierra Whack “Show Me Love” Feat. Miguel “So Done” Feat. Khalid “Gramercy Park” “Love Looks Better” “You Save Me” Feat. Snoh Aalegra “Jill Scott” Feat. Jill Scott “Perfect Way To Die” “Good Job”
The Book, titled Immediately, is an 80-page collection of lyrics and photography by Camille Vivier. Poet and author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous Ocean Vuong contributed the book’s foreword. It is due for release on December 1 via Hat & Beard Press.
Hadreas was due to tour with Tame Impala this summer, a plan that never took off due to the coronavirus pandemic. He will perform songs from Set My Heart on Fire Immediately live for the first time in a broadcast from the Palace Theater in Los Angeles this weekend (September 19). Tickets for the show are available now, along with new merchandise and tickets for an intimate encore solo performance from Hadreas.
Nicholas Krgovich went through his first break-up at the age of 35, and, being an uncommonly gifted singer-songwriter prone to lengthy bouts of introspection at the best of times, he channeled his pain into the creation of an album. The result was “OUCH,” released in 2018, a record that displayed much of what makes Krgovich such an interesting musician — not least his ability to render mundane details essential through pithy lyrics and meticulous melodies. But for the sake of brevity, you can learn a lot about Krgovich by thinking the album title, rendered in quote marks and written in caps lock, grimly funny in a shrug-your-shoulders, existential sort of way. Here’s a guy who sings, “No amount of Jonathan Richman, Hafiz, and Alain de Botton is stopping me / From screaming ‘fuck you’ into the air,” with all of the resignation absolutely none of the fury that he’s referring to. The song from which that line is taken, “Spa,” is a lavished in flutes and delivered in near-whisper.
His latest project is fully collaborative, a full-length album with his friends Joseph Shabason and Chris Harris — as Shabason, Krgovich, and Harris — called Philadelphia. The project was born out of a shared love of Japanese New Age music, which is present throughout without overpowering Krgovich’s wry sophistipop or Shabason’s deft jazz inflections. Philadelphia is no break-up record (Krgovich says in a press release that he deliberately avoided writing about heartbreak this time), but his lyrics are still scrupulous and sharp.
“I Don’t See The Moon,” premiering below, is one of the album’s more pensive moments, its minimalism less clearly indebted to Hiroshi Yoshimura or Midori Takada than the first two singles from Philadelphia, and the video for the single, directed by Derek Janzen, reflects that.
“I’m so glad SZA released the ‘Hit Different’ video a day or two before we made this one,” Krgovich wrote in a statement to The FADER. “All of a sudden I was inspired to lip sync and change outfits and even get my boyfriend to do my hair and make-up. All things I haven’t done in a music video for years, if ever. This was another breezy and fun video to make with Derek and I’m glad we did it before all the forest fire smoke wafted up here. Also very psyched on how the sixth shot looks a lot like a painting I really love called ‘Song of the Lark’ by Jules Breton. Ooh, and that we could feature this woodblock my mom brought me back from a trip to Hawaii back in the late ’90s. She was pleased.”
My main goal with this video was to really try to find a balance between the soft pacing of the song and the visuals,” Janzen added. “With the song encroaching on nine minutes, it seemed suitable to try and keep things minimal in terms of technicality and subject matter, and instead simply offer a handful of slow moving dolly shots for the viewer to soak in the scenery and hopefully get swept up in the music. Nicholas is also just such a fun performer to watch, so it’s never a bad idea to just let the camera roll on him for long stretches of time as the sun is setting.”
Watch the video for “I Don’t See The Moon” below. Philadelphia is out tomorrow, September 18, via Ideé Fixe Records. Pre-order it via Bandcamp.
It’s not difficult to imagine Ecco2k‘s new song “Pollen” being played hundreds of years ago on a harpsichord in some palatial Scandanavian sitting room. The post-cloud rap artist’s new single is a stripped-down departure from his 2019 album e; instead of reimagining his collective drain gang’s signature sound into a psychedelic slurry, Ecco opts for a Swedish-language ballad produced by Mechatok. The video, streaming above, features footage of Ecco playing a concert and walking in a field, entreating the sky for something, with a picture of him wearing a flower crown superimposed over it all. Watch above, and listen to Ecco2k’s February collaboration with Bladee “Girls just want to have fun” here.