Toronto’s Kalisway breaks free on “Hit ’Em With The Funk”

Toronto’s Kalisway breaks free on “Hit ’Em With The Funk”
The singer says she’s on a mission to create “her own unstoppable groove.”

By Sajae Elder

October 18, 2021

For Toronto-based singer Kalisway, her funk-leaning sound was borne of a diverse musical diet, filled with everything from Parliament Funkadelic and Bob Marley to Erykah Badu and Pharrell in her early years. “Music was always around me. I would sing so much as a kid, my mom always told me I was constantly humming a tune,” she recently told FADER as she shared her latest single “Hit Em With the Funk,” her second since dropping her EP Cream back in 2020. “It’s why I always felt different with the way I heard music in my mind. Because I heard fusions of it.”

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The FADER recently caught up with the singer over email about how the song came together and how her bright sound stacks up in a city determined to be melancholic. Listen to “Hit ’Em With The Funk” above.

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Kalisway. Mark Pangilinan.

 

You recorded the vocals for your new single in one take! What was going through your mind when you did? Does all of your music come that organically?

My ideas are all organic. It’s all in the moment. It’s all in the way I feel, and how I vision the music and colors coming together. When I record voice memos, if I were a painter, I would be able to paint the picture of what each track feels like to me. Because musically, I’m a painter. So, when I recorded “Hit ‘Em With The Funk” in that one take, it was full of adrenaline, a rush of red, white, black, orange, colors that scream confidence to me. That was all I remember because I don’t try to “think” during those moments. Because for me, by staying presently not present, I’m allowing my mind and ideas to be unrestricted or doubted.

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Coming from Toronto, there’s obviously what’s sold to us as the city’s sound, but your music doesn’t necessarily fit that mold. Is that something that crossed your mind at all?

A lot. I’ve said many times that my music doesn’t fit the “expected” sound of my city. Some even told me, “You might just need to move out to the states”. But I’m here to change that. Toronto isn’t one sound; it never has been to me. And my music is a prime example of it. I don’t care about molds or what’s already been done. My sound is about to open a new lane for real.

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Kalisway. Mark Pangilinan.

 

You dropped an EP last April, sort of at the start of the pandemic, and a single earlier this year. Had any of that time in between changed your relationship with creating?

My mind changed for sure. Through the start of the pandemic, I actually lost my voice for a bit, so that caused a pause for me in terms of recording. So, I had to find another way to release the ideas that I had within my mind. At first, it was weird, because usually, every time I have an idea, I run to voice memos. But instead, I ran to FL (Fruity Loops) and wrote the melodies of my vocal on top of the track to remember the flow. And that was a game-changer for me. Because now my mind focused more on the instrumental songwriting and structure of the track, instead of my voice alone.

I feel like more R&B artists are starting to play around with funk, and even a bit of psychedelia in their music, including yourself. What were some of your inspirations and do you feel like this is your final sound?

I’ve always been funk. Growing up with P Funk, G funk, Bootsy on repeat made me want to create my own unstoppable groove. I have always tried to reach a point where I knew it sounded right to me. It’s never been an experiment, but more of a personal goal I was trying to reach. A goal of making the funk that I grew up on, twist and fuse into the new way that I hear it. A new way that I feel it in my mind. And for once, I feel that each time I create a new craft. And I know I’m doing something right, because it’s developed my sound, continuing to strengthen it, and it’s spreading worldwide.

Skylar Grey, Polo G, Mozzy & Eminem – Last One Standing Lyrics

[Chorus: Skylar Grey]
Now you see me standin’ in the lights
But you never saw my sacrifice
Or all the nights I had to struggle to survive
Had to lose it all to win the fight
I had to fall so many times (Oh)
Now I’m the last one standin’

[Verse 1: Polo G, Skylar Grey]
Uh, you weren’t with me on the cold block nights
Now you front row for the spotlight
Now the diamonds in the Audemars bright
Jets overseas for a far flight (Oh)
Young nigga on bullshit, and I ball on ’em, Bill Cartwright
Knew I could shine through the darkness
I guess I always been a star type
That lion in me made my heart fight
Could’ve been a victim of a opp pipe
Took a million risks just to get to this
‘Cause we ain’t the ones that the cops likе (Oh)
Been so many times God tested mе
They only see the answers I got right
They commentin’ all on the blogs
Tryna tell me how to live my life
And I waited so patiently
If you could take off, don’t wait for me
No days off, grind faithfully
I keep thankin’ God for savin’ me
Front line, showcasin’ our bravery
I know that top spot, it was made for me
It all paid off, so we felt the struggle so painfully

[Chorus: Skylar Grey]
Now you see me standin’ in the lights
But you never saw my sacrifice
Or all the nights I had to struggle to survive
Had to lose it all to win the fight
I had to fall so many times (Oh)
Now I’m the last one standin’

[Verse 2: Mozzy]
Yeah, you know the code we gotta live by
Never mind all the ice cubes on this wrist, wearin’ the big body
Live by the gun, get bodied, or it’s hella time in that cell
It was hella times where I failed
When I had to double back from them Ls
Bet he don’t double back when he tell
‘Cause it ain’t no comin’ back when you tell
Why would you leave me here by myself? A nigga be lonely
Ayy, I blew the whole bag on they flights, ain’t leavin’ the homies
If he really gang, then get him a chain, no cubic zirconies
Why’s [?] in a stogie, stood firm, never folded
Furthest thing from a rodent, you put the jacket on and you bogus
Yeah, big dawg and they know it
I had to spin off to stay focused
Longev’ on the motion
We don’t abandon ship when it’s hopeless
Sound of the microphone, and they know

[Bridge: Skylar Grey, Eminem]
I make it look easy
Like I made it overnight
I make it look easy
But you don’t see the dark side
And all of the monsters I had to fight
And all of the nightmares, made me stronger than life (Yeah)

[Verse 3: Eminem]
Y’all say (What?), I’ve changed (Huh?)
Really, though? (Tell me) How so? (I got)
Got all (What?), this bread (Yeah)
I’m still (What?), sour though (Huh)
I don’t know (I’m a), square peg (In a), round hole (Yeah)
Like a block of cheese in a paper towel roll
Rocky Balboa (I), never been no (What?), towel thrower
Even when I got kicked to the curb (Yeah)
Life knocked my dick in the dirt
I got back up, flipped it the bird
‘Til I earned the attention I yearned
Not to mention, I learned
How to turn resentment and hurt
To an unquenchable thirst, in the simplest terms
It’s revenge of the nerd, in every sense of the word
But all you see is the fame and the millions
You don’t see the strength, the resilience (Nah)
How I rack my brain but it feels as if I’m tryna explain it to children (Damn)
So a lot of this pain isn’t healin’, no escapin’ it, this anger is spilling
Almost like recreatin’ a feelin’ of 9/11 when the second plane hit the building
So let ’em paint you the villain
Some of this just may be a symptom (Yeah)
Of havin’ way too much income (Mm)
But when you struggled every day just to get some (Yeah)
Now all of this hate is a syndrome (Yuh)
When they can’t relate, and that stems from (What?)
Money lookin’ like it grows on trees
Yeah, they’re green but those aren’t leaves (Leaves)
Sufficed to say, with every sacrifice I made
It’s like I gave up my life to fame
All the nights that I lied awake
Nights I stayed up to write and pray
Had to claw, scratch, and fight my way
Just follow me, and I’ll light the way
Look to the hook if your sky look grey (Skylar Grey)
And rappers, how can we be on the same level now?
When I gotta look down and see these clowns that are on the ground
Bitch, I got the clouds beneath me
Ever since I put out the EP to the height of 2003 me
You ain’t see the struggle to make it out the D
Because I made it somehow look easy

[Chorus: Skylar Grey]
Now you see me standin’ in the lights
But you never saw my sacrifice
Or all the nights I had to struggle to survive
Had to lose it all to win the fight
I had to fall so many times (Oh)
Now I’m the last one standin’ (Oh)
Now I’m the last one standin’

Mrley’s “So Much To Say” video breaks the fourth wall

Mrley’s “So Much To Say” video breaks the fourth wall
The rapper turned punk idol releases his new EP Love You London next month.

By David Renshaw

September 22, 2021

Do you remember when there was music on TV? Sure, there are tasteful syncs in your favorite streaming drama and late night performances booked to pad out Jimmy Fallon’s YouTube channel, but not that long ago seeing artists live on stage was a staple on screen; think of when MTV was about the M or Top Of The Pops was still a thing. Londoner Mrley remembers these days, too. His new video for “So Much To Say” is an homage to The Word, a cult British music show that played host to bands like Nirvana and Oasis back in the day.

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That series refused to stick to conventions and neither does Mrley, prior to lockdown and quarantine times he was a rapper. Now, like a lot of people out there, he wants to make his frustrations heard in a clear and direct way so is making righteous punk music. “So Much To Say,” like all of Mrley’s music, retains the fast-paced delivery of his rap days but applies it to a harsher, more distorted sound. It’s not a revelation to highlight the shared DNA between these types of music but rarely are both sides represented so clearly.

On the track Mrley told The FADER: “It’s special to me as it contributes to the progression of music. I managed to take a trap 808 completely out of context by using it in punk. It pays tribute to today’s rap music whilst even hinting at the 80s rock sound but somehow it remains punk.”

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Love You London, Mrley’s debut EP, will be released on October 15.

Listen to midwxst’s new EP Back In Action

Listen to midwxst’s new EP Back In Action
It’s the alt-rapper’s second EP of the year.

By Jordan Darville

September 22, 2021

midwxst. Photo by Zamar Velez.

 

Indiana rapper midwxst is an artist that emerged as part of the digicore wave and channeled that hype into a major label deal. After sharing his SUMMER03 EP in March, midwxst returns with a new eight-track release called Back In Action, a cocktail of street-ready bluster and raw emotion. Features include ericdoa, BabySantana, and KA$HDAMI, who appears in the music video for their collaboration “LA.” Find that below, along with a stream of Back In Action as well midwxst’s upcoming tour dates.

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midwxst tour dates

10/3 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right
10/9 – Philadelphia, PA – Overcast N Friends
10/15 – Los Angeles, CA – The Moroccan Lounge
10/30-31 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern w/ Glaive & Ericdoa
11/12-14 – Las Vegas, NV – Day N Vegas

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Listen to Tems’ new song “Crazy Tings”

Listen to Tems’ new song “Crazy Tings”
The single is set to appear on the singer’s upcoming EP.

By Sajae Elder

September 10, 2021

Rising Nigerian star Tems has shared her latest single, “Crazy Tings.” Set to appear on her upcoming EP, the Guilty Beatz-produced track is a shot of breezy Afro-fusion, finding the singer crooning about a failed potential love in her signature rasp.

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Most recently, the singer landed a feature on Drake’s long-awaited sixth album Certifiied Lover Boy on the track “Fountains.” In late 2020, she joined fellow Afrobeats artist Wizkid on the Made in Lagos track “Essence,” which received the video treatment earlier this year as well as a remix featuring Justin Bieber.

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Tems’ forthcoming EP drops on September 15. Her last project, For Broken Ears, dropped last year.

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Listen to “Crazy Tings” above.

Lorde shares EP of Solar Power songs sung in Māori

Lorde shares EP of Solar Power songs sung in Māori
“Even if you don’t understand te reo, I think you’ll get a kick out of how elegant my words sound in it.”

By David Renshaw

September 09, 2021

Ophelia Mikkelson Jones

Lorde has dropped surprise EP Te Ao Mārama, a collection of five songs from her new album Solar Power sung in Māori, the indigenous language of New Zealand. Proceeds from the EP will be donated to the New Zealand-based charities Forest and Bird and the Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust. Listen to it below.

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In a newsletter to fans, Lorde exlained her decision to release the EP and her relationship to the Māori language. “Many things revealed themselves slowly to me while I was making this album, but the main realisation by far was that much of my value system around caring for and listening to the natural world comes from traditional Māori principles,” she wrote. “There’s a word for it in te reo: kaitiakitanga, meaning ‘guardianship or caregiving for the sky, sea and land.’”

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She went on to add: “I’m not Māori, but all New Zealanders grow up with elements of this worldview. Te ao Māori and tikanga Māori are a big part of why people who aren’t from here intuit our country to be kind of ‘magical,’ I think. I know I’m someone who represents New Zealand globally in a way, and in making an album about where I’m from, it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here. It’s also just a crazy beautiful language—I loved singing in it. Even if you don’t understand te reo, I think you’ll get a kick out of how elegant my words sound in it.”

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The lyrics on Te Ao Mārama were translated by Hana Mereraiha while Dame Hinewehi Mohi & Sir Timoti Kāretu receive thanks for “overseeing” the project in its credits.

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Bob Marley’s Grandson Skip Marley “Slow Down” With H.E.R. Certified RIAA Gold

The grandson of Reggae Legend Bob Marley has earned his first Recording Industry Association of America Gold certification for his track “Slow Down” with American R&B singer H.E.R.

Tracks are certified Gold by the RIAA when the sales and streaming equivalent of 500,000 units are sold in the United States.

The song was earlier this year nominated for a Grammy award and put the name and face of the young Marley on the music map after being released just under a year. It was his first Grammy nomination, and although it is an R&B song, the single is the intro to Skip Marley’s career as a multi-genre artist.

“Slow Down” featured on Skip’s debut EP Higher Place, which also featured six other tracks, including “Higher Place,” “That’s Not True,” a collab featuring Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley (Skip’s uncle); “Make Me Feel” with Rick Ross and Ari Lennox; and others.

Skip shared his gratitude on his Twitter account with a simple “thank you” and the praying hands emoji and tags at H.E.R and the RIAA. Elsewhere, he was quoted by other media expressing his gratitude.

“I’m thankful that the EP reached these levels over the past year.”

Skip Marley & H.E.R.

He also spoke of a vinyl release for his EP soon to be released under his label Tuff Gong records.

“The vinyl record release is a collector’s item to show that gratitude to the DJs and fans who supported from the start. The one thing you can’t slow down is time, so it is important to acknowledge the milestones along the way,” he said.

Meanwhile, the artist’s label noted that shortly after release, “Slow Down” raked in over 70 million global streams to become the most-streamed song by a Marley, beating out even his renowned Grandfather Bob Barley who is King of the charts even posthumously.

Skip Marley also made history as the first Jamaican-born artist reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Adult R&B chart and first in the Top 15 in nearly 15 years since Sean Paul’s “When you gonna give it up to me” did it. He also received a nomination for his EP for the Grammy’s Best Reggae Album.

The EP was Executive produced by Skip and his Cedella Marley, who herself has a history in music as a member of the Melody Makers) and C. Jermi Thomas from Island Records, A&R.

On the other hand, fans have much to look forward to as the planned release of the EP will see an expanded edition featuring bonus track remixes of “Slow Down” into an Afrobeat Remix and featuring DaVido & Oxlade; and “Make Me Feel” remixed into a Dub Mix featuring Ari Lennox.

The expanded EP is scheduled to drop on September 10.

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Fauness shares “Dragonfly,” announces new EP

Fauness shares “Dragonfly,” announces new EP
Maiden No More is out October 8 via Cascine.

By Jordan Darville

August 24, 2021

Fauness. Photo by Bob Foster.

 

An utterly individual voice in underground pop music, Fauness is preparing her debut EP Maiden No More for release on October 8. The lead single from the project is “Dragonfly,” a song that showcases the London artist’s impeccable ability to conjure radio-ready jams for her own universe — the song is a glittering, joyful thing, much like its namesake.

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“Dragonfly” hints at a theme of liberation, and that’s pressed home in the track’s music video. Co-directed by Fauness and Aarony Bailey, the artist herself traverses around a forest with a leash (or is it a noose?) around her neck, relentlessly cheerful as she searches for her liberation. On her Instagram page, Fauness wrote about how myths surrounding dragonflies, long seen as “symbols of transformation,” inspired the song:

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Their status in myth is more flattering in Non-Western cultures (Japanese, Navajo to name only 2). Europeans often saw dragonflies as agents of the devil. They have been called the “devil’s horse”…

One German folktale involves a young woman who was far too independent for her own good. She rode around on her horse all day and didn’t do what people expected her to do as a young woman of marriageable age…

Riding through the forest at night she ran over a little man who cursed her for her disobedience, yelling, “May you always be joined to your horse as one!” Together, the wild girl and her horse became the dragonfly.

Watch the “Dragonfly” music video below. Read our 2018 GEN F with Fauness here.

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Hunnah celebrates Blackness on the soulful “Appreciate”

Hunnah celebrates Blackness on the soulful “Appreciate”
The track is set to appear on the singer’s upcoming EP, Unloved.

By Sajae Elder

August 20, 2021

Toronto singer-songwriter Hunnah has shared her latest video “Appreciate,” a warm ode to the beauty of brown skin and the desire to truly be seen. Over soulful drums, handclaps, and twinkling synths, Hunnah’s voice sways between her lower, more syrupy tones and soft falsetto. “I think that I like myself sometimes,” she sings on the track’s pre-chorus.

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In the bright, sun-kissed visuals, the singer and her crew don fits as colorful as the world around them, down to Hunnah’s baby pink box braids. “This song came from conversations with friends about feeling unappreciated and unseen as Black women moving through the world and specifically in the realm of dating,” Hunnah said in a statement about the track. “This desire to be desired, to be seen and appreciated is something that I often run from but this song and project overall is me diving into this vulnerability and exploring these often unvoiced desires.”

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The singer’s forthcoming second EP, Unloved, is due this fall. Watch the video for “Appreciate” above.

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Angel Olsen covers Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face”

Angel Olsen covers Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face”
The song serves as the third release from Olsen’s upcoming cover EP, Aisles.

By Sajae Elder

August 16, 2021

Leading up to the release of Aisles, Angel Olsen‘s upcoming EP of 1980s covers, the singer-songwriter has shared her own take on Billy Idol’s 1983 hit, “Eyes Without a Face.” The track serves as the official follow-up to previous covers, Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” and Men Without Hats’ “Safety Dance,” both of which are also set to appear on the EP. After sharing “Like I Used To,” her duet with Sharon Van Etten, Olsen said Aisles was her way “to have a little fun and be a little more spontaneous.”

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Back in May, Olsen reissued her 2019 and 2020 albums All Mirrors and Whole New Mess along with remixes and the outtakes collection Far Away as part of the Song Of The Lark And Other Far Memories box set.

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Aisles drops on September 20. Listen to the cover above.

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Thumbnail photo by Dana Trippe

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Disclosure share new song “In My Arms,” announce new EP

Disclosure share new song “In My Arms,” announce new EP
Never Enough is out this Friday, August 20.

By Jordan Darville

August 16, 2021

Disclosure. Photo by Hollie Fernando.

 

For the next five days, English dance duo Disclosure will share a new song every 24 hours, collecting all the tracks on an EP called Never Enough, out on Friday (they did the same thing last year and in 2018 as well). The first song, out today along with the EP’s announcement, is called “In Your Arms,” a sunny beachside techno jam specked with cowbell and joyous vocals.

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Read a statement from Disclosure’s Guy Laurence on the song below via Stereogum, followed by a stream of “In My Arms.”

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The spark that ignited the creation of this body of work came from a place of wanting to revitalise a very fractured & uncertain dance music scene & club culture that has changed so much all over the world for obvious reasons in the last 18 months. While piecing together initial ideas during the spring of 2021, hope began to glimmer on the horizon for producers & DJ’s that we may soon be able to gather together again, dancing & listening to music as one, participating in something larger than ourselves. So we asked each other… what would we want to hear in those moments? What does that first moment back in a club sound like? What does walking into Shangri-la, Glasto at 2am feel like again? What does a headline show at Reading look like after all the difficulties 2020 brought on our whole industry? With all these questions unanswered & with the possibility that any of these events may actually be allowed to take place, we set to work on creating something that might fit one of those magical moments some of us have been longing to participate in again.

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Miso Extra salutes new pals on “Adventures of Tricky And Duke”

Miso Extra salutes new pals on “Adventures of Tricky And Duke”
Check out the debut single from the London-based artist and producer.

By David Renshaw

August 03, 2021

Sirui Ma

There’s a moment on “Adventures of Tricky ‘n’ Duke,” the debut single from English-Japanese vocalist and producer Miso Extra, where she warns the listener; “Don’t blink” It’s sound advice for a song that packs an awful lot into its modest runtime. Melding both languages of her dual heritage, the bilingual artist glides over a chewy beat filled with harmonic ad-libs and flourishes to celebrate new friendships and blossoming relationships alike, serving up a brief moment of joy to lighten your day.

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Speaking to The FADER about the song via email, Miso Extra said: “‘Adventures of Tricky ‘n’ Duke’ is all about a beautiful encounter with a new friend and acts as my self introduction as Miso Extra. In Japanese we call this a jikoshoukai. The song tries to capture the butterflies and innocence of being in the midst of a new friendship, the kind where you feel like you’ve met your match.”

“Adventures of Tricky ‘n’ Duke” will feature on Miso Extra’s forthcoming EP, Great Taste, due later this year.

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miso extra · Adventures Of Tricky And Duke

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Listen to glaive’s new song “bastard”

Listen to glaive’s new song “bastard”
His new EP all dogs go to heaven is out next Friday.

By Jordan Darville

July 29, 2021

glaive, at once a sage and enfant terrible of hyperpop, has been on a hot streak in 2021. His songs “cloak n dagger” featuring ericdoa, “what was the last thing u said” with aldn, and “detest me” all dropped this year and made it to our weekly Songs You Need playlist, and it seems like he’s just getting started.

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His latest track “bastard” embraces the maximalism that’s become a hallmark and Achilles’ heel of the subgenre — where else are you going to hear ping-ponging xylophone improvisation next to a swelling, several dozen-strong orchestra? As ever, glaive’s presence, here sounding wounded and desperate for connection, is what keeps everything from falling over on itself. “I made this song a year ago when I was 15,” glaive said in a statement. “I’ve had it for a while but I think it stands the test of time.”

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glaive’s new EP all dogs go to heaven is out Friday, August 6.

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Thumbnail photo by Stefan Kohli

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Listen to BbyMutha’s new EP Cherrytape

Listen to BbyMutha’s new EP Cherrytape
The EP follows the release of bastard tapes vol. 3.

By Sajae Elder

July 26, 2021

Bbymutha shared a brand new EP, Cherrytape, on Monday. Following the release of her single “GoGO Yubari” last month, Bbymutha’s latest four-song offering pairs experimental, club-ready electro beats with the Chattanooga rapper’s playful drawl. On “rainyday:),” the rapper glides over fast-paced production while closing track “Wrist,” she and Detroit rapper ZeelooperZ pay homage to D4L’s 2006 hit “Betcha Can’t Do It Like Me.”

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Since sharing her debut studio album Muthaland last summer, the rapper has released a handful of singles and EP’s almost exclusively on Bandcamp, including bastard tapes vol. 3 and Muthaleficent 2.

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Stream the EP below, and purchase it on Bandcamp.

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Skepta dropping new EP feat Kid Cudi, J Balvin, this Friday

Skepta dropping new EP feat Kid Cudi, J Balvin, this Friday
ALL in includes five tracks, and is Skepta’s first album since Ignorance Is Bliss.

By Shaad D'Souza

July 25, 2021

Luke Walker/Getty Images for Greenwich Peninsula

Skepta has announced that his new EP ALL in will be released this Friday July 30. The follow-up to 2019’s Ignorance Is Bliss, the five-song record includes collaborations with Kid Cudi, J Balvin, and Alté star Teezee. Earlier this year, Skepta collaborated with A$AP Rocky and Pop Smoke on the Fast and Furious 9 single “Lane Switcha”; he also linked up with JAE5 and Rema on “Dimension”, and slowthai on “CANCELLED”. JAE5 also produced a song on ALL in. See Skepta’s announcement of the EP below.

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Amaal discovers her alter ego on the silky smooth “Honey”

Amaal discovers her alter ego on the silky smooth “Honey”
The track is set to appear on her upcoming EP, Milly.

By Sajae Elder

July 16, 2021

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Amaal shared the futuristic video for her latest single “Honey” on Friday. Set to appear on her sophomore EP Milly, the Dan LeMoyne-directed clip finds Amaal taking on the unapologetic alter ego Milly, the subtle transformation allowing the singer to shed her inhibitions and embrace her own sexual liberation in the dark, moody video.

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“This song came from a playfully, fun, and sexy place,” Amaal told The FADER over email. “I’ve gone through a major transformation within the last few years and I’m for the first time not just saying ‘I feel confident’ but truly feeling and embodying what that means to me. I wanted this song to be braggadocios and bold with the drums still hitting but keeping it minimalistic so the forefront could be the message… I got that honey! These parts of me have always existed, I just now have done the work in my life to feel comfortable in expressing myself on my own terms.”

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Of her upcoming EP, Amaal says its throughline is her newfound liberation. “When we started the recording process I made a vow to sit in all those emotions that I’ve suppressed for the majority of my life,” she explained. “A lot of my self-expression was silenced due to the opinions of others and the fear of criticism so I had to let it all go! I allowed those parts of myself that have existed within me to come to light and grow on this project.”

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Watch the video for “Honey” above.

Thumbnail image by Anoosha Kargarfard.

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Daneshevskaya learns to let go on “Dr. Johann Averies”

Daneshevskaya learns to let go on “Dr. Johann Averies”
The NYC-based artist’s Bury Your Horses EP is released next month.

By David Renshaw

July 13, 2021

Saying goodbye to a loved one is rarely easy but Daneshevskaya makes music to ease the pain. Based in Brooklyn, Anna Beckerman (Daneshevskaya is her Lithuanian middle name) crafts ambitious DIY pop songs with lyrics focused on the figures that have passed through her life; friends, romantic partners, and those whose role is less easily defined. Her emotionally honest songs begin from a place of loss and work backwards toward happier memories. A collection of songs written over the past five years comprise her debut EP, Bury Your Horses, due for release on August 20, with new single “Dr. Johann Averies” premiering above.

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Inspired by a character in the creepy 2007 horror movie Paranormal Activity, “Dr. Johann Averies” starts with a dramatic flourish as Beckerman sets the scene of someone encouraging her to “come on in, the water’s gray.” A plaintive piano and string section provides a swoon-worthy backdrop as she ruminates on the tender and unguarded feeling of being left alone.

Speaking to The FADER about the song, Beckerman said: “Dr. Johann Averies is a song I wrote over the course of a couple years. This is kind of a scary song to me. I wasn’t always sure what I was talking about until I named it. Like the EP, it’s about saying goodbye, but specifically about the fear involved in letting go. It’s really ominous to leave someone, or to be left. Very freaky. But it’s also romantic, and all the lyrics and melodies ended up being both romantic and scary at the same time.”

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Gracie Markland.

Angel Olsen announces new covers EP, shares song

Angel Olsen announces new covers EP, shares song
Aisles is the first release on Angel Olsen’s new label somethingscosmic.

By Shaad D'Souza

July 08, 2021

Angel Olsen only seems to get more prolific by the year. In 2019, she released her grand, mercurial All Mirrors, and followed it with a stripped-back twin record, Whole New Mess, last year. This year, she’s released her Song Of The Lark box set, which compiles both records alongside alternate versions and rarities, as well as a huge heartland rock collab with Sharon Van Etten, “Like I Used To”, which she and Van Etten discussed on a recent episode of The FADER Interview podcast.

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Now, she’s released “Gloria”, a cover of the Laura Branigan song, and announced Aisles, a new EP of 80s covers that also serves as the first release on somethingscosmic, an imprint of Jagjaguwar that will serve as the home for all of Olsen’s odds-and-ends releases, including “covers, collaborations, and one off singles.” Aisles is out August 20 digitally and September 24 on vinyl; preorder a physical copy here, and listen to “Gloria” above.

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Brent Faiyaz enlists Drake for Neptunes-produced single “Wasting Time”

Brent Faiyaz enlists Drake for Neptunes-produced single “Wasting Time”
Hear the first single from Faiyaz’s upcoming EP.

By Jordan Darville

July 01, 2021

(L) Brent Faiyaz. Photo via pubicist. (R) Drake. Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for dcp.

 

After emerging in 2015 as part of the R&B group Sonder, Brent Faiyaz became one of the most consistent new R&B artists. He’s appeared on Billboard hits (GoldLink’s “Crew” with Shy Glizzy) and picked up a few plaques of his own along the way (his most recent full-length Fuck The World contained the Gold-certified singles “Clouded” and “Fuck The World [Summer in London].”)

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He may not yet be a household name, but his latest single “Wasting Time” shows he has no intention of being relegated to the status of “best-kept secret.” The new track features Drake and sports production from The Neptunes, who are all themselves students of the sultry ’90s R&B music that Faiyaz pulls from so well. Rather than sticking to a pure nostalgia trip, “Wasting Time” aims for a woozy and timeless atmosphere, boosted by soaring orchestral strings and a crackling chemistry between Faiyaz’s vocals and Drake’s bars. Listen below.

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Jamaica’s Tessellated teams up with Protoje on “Sweeter”

Jamaica’s Tessellated teams up with Protoje on “Sweeter”
The track appears on Tessellated’s Tropics Vol. 1 EP.

By Sajae Elder

July 01, 2021

Jamaican artists Tessellated and Protoje teamed up for the new single “Sweeter,” sharing its cinematic video earlier this week. Appearing on Tessellated’s debut EP Tropics Vol. 1, the genre-bending track blends reggae delivery with soulful, Latin-inspired production. The clip finds both artists trying to woo the same woman, only to both end up losing her in the end.

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“For me, ‘Sweeter’ is a milestone both sonically & visually,” Tessellated said of the track and its video. “From getting to collaborate with Protoje & make a genre-bending Latin & Jamaican fusion to then working alongside Gabrielle Blackwood to tell that story into a visual format, I truly feel it’s my most solid work to date & one that truly represents me as an artist.”

Watch the clip above.

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Turnstile share new EP, TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION short film

Turnstile share new EP, TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION short film
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By Jordan Darville

June 28, 2021

For their new 11-minute short film, punk band Turnstile are celebrating the simple joys of impulsive physical movement. TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION is a film that shares a title with a surprise-released four-track EP, out today, and each of the new project’s songs gets a segment featuring a good deal of a lot of lovingly shot bodies throwing themselves around. There’s no shortage of arty close-ups, either. North America may be reopening the kind of sweaty, smashed venues that bands like Turnstile thrive in, but we can still appreciate the poetry in watching someone slam dance with themselves in a high school football field. Watch the short film above, and listen to the EP on Spotify below.

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Thumbnail photo by Jimmy Fontaine

beabadoobee shares new EP, “Cologne” music video

beabadoobee shares new EP, “Cologne” music video
Our Extended Play is out now.

By Jordan Darville

June 23, 2021

beabadoobee, an artist making the ’90s alt-rock revival feel natural, is back with a new EP. The four-track Our Extended Play follows her 2020 project Fake It Flowers, one of The FADER’s favorite projects of the year. Dropping today along with the EP is the video for “Cologne,” which stars the artist herself as the leader of some youths who take down some stuffy white people. Only good vibes from beadoobee this Wednesday, in other words. Check out the video above, with beabadoobee’s North American tour dates below.

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Thumbnail photo by Callum Harrison

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On the road with Ethel Cain

On the road with Ethel Cain
The self-proclaimed “cult leader of the swamp” journeys across America in her new video for “God’s Country,” featuring Wicca Phase Springs Eternal.

By Salvatore Maicki

June 22, 2021

Ethel Cain

“This is not home, this is the office,” Hayden Anhedönia assures me, at a taco stand near Echo Park in Los Angeles. She glamorized the city’s cinematic appeal on “Michelle Pfeiffer,” which opens her newest EP as Ethel Cain: “everything’s easier way out West, wholly mad and half undressed.” Now that she’s out here all the time for business, she can see through the allure. “Everytime I come out here, it’s such an egregious display of segregation that it almost feels counterintuitive to climb the ladder and make a career for myself. I want to make money so I can buy my house and be comfortable, but I see these rich people [in the Hills] and I don’t want what they have. You’re taking $80 Ubers from place to pace, passing through places that look like skid row. It feels so off-kilter.”

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Anhedönia feels more at peace in the forgotten corners of America. She grew up studying pop music alongside the Bible from the vantage point of Perry, Florida, a small town of 7,000 in the panhandle. There, she developed the character of Ethel Cain, who she describes as being comprised of “hot and stuffy weather, white dresses, and hair pulled back into a bun.” To put it in plainest terms, Ethel Cain is “the cult leader of the swamp.” Her music culminates Cain’s theatricality and Anhedönia’s socioeconomic observations into roaring gothic pop that deftly maneuvers between syrupy and sharp-edged.

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She plans on returning down south to record her forthcoming debut album, but for the time being, she’s still living in the abandoned church in rural Indiana where she made the EP, Inbred. The decaying Midwest majesty directly inspired the EP’s centerpiece “God’s Country,” an eight-minute sprawler that languishes in broken American promises before rocketing into the horizon, Anhedönia’s vocals entwining with those of Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. Its equally-striking video, directed by her friend Edith Underground, documents her first cross-country road trip with the same weary hope that colors the song. In a country built around its interstate highway system, Ethel Cain is ferociously committed to the backroads, something the video tacitly encapsulates.

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Watch the premiere of “God’s Country,” and read our Q&A with Anhedönia, below.

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What made you decide to take a road trip and document it in this way?
Ethel Cain: I had to come out to LA, and I didn’t want to just fly out here. Plus I needed to shoot videos and I needed to save money, since I wasn’t trying to go too hard since it’s just the EP. My friend Edith Underground and I decided to drive to LA, and took her old VHS camera on the road. We left at the end of March, and got back in mid-April. I don’t know much about astrology, but I’m an Aries, so it was my season and I was feeling bold.

We started in Indiana, drove to Florida to pick up my sister, and then out to California and back to Indiana. It was my first road trip, and besides stopping at a few motels for showers, we slept in the bed of the truck almost every night. We avoided the interstate and took mostly backroads, with spare jugs of gasoline in case we ran out. My one goal was to wash my hair in a river, but it never happened — next time!

Are there any particular memories from the trip that stand out to you?
There’s a holy trifecta of moments. The day that we left LA, we drove to meet one of my friends Jack from SALEM. He took us to this huge abandoned dam in Ojai, where we had to crawl under fences and scale a big hill, crawl over some shit and go down some ladders to get there. I remember floating on my back in the water, feeling so alive. For a moment, the constant anxiety of the pandemic was gone. Like, this is what I used to do, getting in trouble and hopping fences.

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The second was standing at the salt flats in Utah and seeing everything in the distance, with the wind whipping around us. And the third was looking out over the prairie in Nebraska. I’ve always wanted to go there, it’s been part of my work since “A House in Nebraska.” I always talk about it. To stand there for the first time, in the heart of the country, it felt like “this is it.”

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of what America is, especially when you’re seeing it from just one vantage point. In this sense, road trips can offer a lot of perspective.
I think it really shows you why you need to be more open-minded because you can formulate an opinion on why someone is the way they are without any context clues: their upbringing, the environment. Everyone loves to act like everyone else on the planet should act the way we act, but we’re all in completely different situations. I don’t mean in politics — be a fucking leftist — but there’s cultural differences here. I fully feel like racism, homophobia, and transphobia are all rooted in classism. If you don’t know what it was like to grow up rough, you really don’t get it until you see it.

Ethel Cain

I’ve always admired how your work acknowledges class disparity, especially on a song like “God’s Country,” with lines about how our kids will grow up with half as much.
When I was writing the song I had mad climate anxiety. I was thinking about how our children won’t even know what they’re missing out on, or what they’ll need, or what they could have. This is god’s country?

I was working at a nail salon, and I lost my job the first week of the pandemic. They were like, “bye.” I wasn’t making much, but it was enough to pay my bills. I was in a shitty house paying $285 a month, and there was times when I didn’t eat because my money was going toward equipment. All my friends were starving and broke. I’m blessed that I got offered my deal when I did, because I was scraping and clawing to get there. I was at the end of my road and I needed a miracle. I got really lucky, and it was still really hard for me. Think of all the people that don’t. It feels irresponsible to not acknowledge class disparity and pretend it’s not real, because then you become a neoliberal elite: “I’m doing okay now, so nothing else matters.”

Especially in the music industry I think we’re reaching a point where we have to start speaking out about the money side of things. It feels irresponsible not to.
There’s this weird misconstrued notion that everybody in this industry is rich. A lot of people in the industry are mad exploited. It’s not the artists making the money, it’s the suits that you don’t see. They don’t have the Grammys, but they’re sitting comfortably. For me, I’m trying to make a couple quarters, buy a plot of land, and get out. With all that’s going on right now, it’s so tone deaf that there are still artists who sing about private jets.

One of the reasons I feel like I need to talk about it is that I constantly get compared to Lana [Del Rey]. I love her, and we both sing about America, but I’ve never seen the pearls and the curls. The red carpets out here are two feet away from homeless encampments. The glamour is gone, the shine has been buffed off. Some of my songs are written from personal experience, but let me put myself in somebody else’s shoes.

How did “God’s Country” come together?
Every other song on the EP came together in a weekend, but “God’s Country” took me six months to write. At least ten different versions of the song exist. I’d left Florida for the first time in my life and moved to Indiana, the sun was hot and the cornfields were full. My mind was massively ballooned up with things I’d never thought of. I went to Chicago the first weekend after moving and came back with a baggie of ketamine. My bedroom has all these stained glass windows, and it was hot and I had my screen door open and could hear the bugs. It was a warm feeling, and there was an old piano that they left in the church with this warbly eighties sound. I felt like I was walking down a hot and lonely road out in the middle of nowhere, where the sky was huge.

At first it was a love song, but that felt inappropriate with everything that was going on last summer. The song goes back and forth with what I want — you’ve tasted love and it tasted sweet, you’ve known what you’ve wanted, you’ve seen your dreams. But you have to let go of that facade of what you want for yourself because it isn’t going to happen. It’s hard to grapple with the realization that life isn’t going to be what you dreamt it was going to be.

How’s the record coming along?
Everybody will get why it took me four years when it’s done. The real shit is coming. The songs are written, I just need to get back down south to record them. The project deals with the subversion of Christianity, especially in the south. These women that say “God loves you” and preach the gospel, but they’re preaching their own gospel. “God’s Country” is the most indicative of what the record’s going to sound like.

When you eventually get to tour it, would you want to go beyond just the major American hubs?
I would love to do a farm tour. Have you seen Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion” video, where the stage is out in the middle of the desert? I want to set up stages in empty fields and have people stand around. I don’t care about playing stadiums, I’d rather be at dive bars. I want to be successful, but I don’t want it to get to an impersonal level.

Sherelle slows things down on “160 Down The A406”

Sherelle slows things down on “160 Down The A406”
Listen to the debut single from the London-based DJ and producer

By David Renshaw

June 21, 2021

Isaac Lamb

Sherelle, the U.K. artist best known as a DJ and co-founder of the Hooversound label, has dropped her debut single. “160 Down The A406” will feature on an EP of the same name, due on July 6, and can be streamed below.

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Speaking about the upcoming EP in a statement, Sherelle said: “160 Down The A406 is a product of wondering what the next stage of my life will be during 2020. The two tracks represent discovery and they mean a lot to me as I feel like I am always searching for the new and unknown. I wanted for my first introduction musically to be different. I feel like I rarely show a softer, emotive side to the world and these tracks are supposed to be warm and forgiving. Something which wasn’t the case in 2020 for me. Although I had gained a lot, I also lost all my income and was feeling super isolated.

Producing for me was a way of dealing with all the anxiety and sadness that I had felt. I also went through a lot of self-discovery of what I truly wanted out of life and asked myself if I was truly happy with things. The outcome of this are two reflective tracks which feel full and fuzzy. They are supposed to make you happy. Like anything I do… I just want people to be happy and dance.”

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Skales and Davido dim the dancefloor’s lights on “This Your Body”

Skales and Davido dim the dancefloor’s lights on “This Your Body”
Hear the new single from Skales’ upcoming album.

By Jordan Darville

May 27, 2021

Skales. Photo by Akinlabi Akinbulumo.

 

Last year, Nigerian pop mainstay Skales shared an EP called Healing Process, seven tracks that balanced the flexing-focused tracks (“Badman Love,” “Loko”) with passionate displays of vulnerability (“Done To Me,” “On Your Side”). His new single “This Your Body,” a collaboration with Davido, falls in the middle: an ode to the prospect of a hookup, “This Your Body” glows with the excitement some impending, long-awaited romantic companionship. And to that end, every element, from the joyous scatting to the glowing synths to the sheer chemistry between the artists, confers with each other for maximum infectiousness.

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“The record is many shades of creative genius to me,” Skales said in an email to The FADER. “I was trying to make a summer anthem that aimed at the ladies and I couldn’t think of anybody else than the baddest Davido. Krizbeatz is a longtime collaborator of both myself and Davido. We all just linked and delivered this masterpiece.”

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SIPHO. flips a U.K. garage classic on new song “BODIES”

SIPHO. flips a U.K. garage classic on new song “BODIES”
Freshly signed to Dirty Hit, the U.K.-based artist will release his debut EP next month.

By David Renshaw

May 26, 2021

SIPHO. is an artist making boundary-pushing music out of Birmingham, England. Stylistically he moves around, utilising everything from trap beats to late night ballads, though much of the music he is putting out at the start of his journey is centered around his struggle to reconcile a god-fearing upbringing with slowly coming to understand the murkier side of the religious industrial complex after coming across YouTube series It’s Supernatural!

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New song “BODIES,” premiering below, uses Monsta Boy’s garage banger “I’m Sorry” as a launchpad for SIPHO. to open up about the world changing under his feet, his sonorous voice going toe-to-toe with the atmospheric production and blues-y guitar riffs. The song will appear alongside previous single “MOONLIGHT” on the forthcoming EP AND GOD SAID…, due June 25 via Dirty Hit.

Speaking about the background of the EP in a statement, SIPHO. said: “For like a year and a half, I was really involved in church, very religiously aware of the things I was doing. Even the music I was making was really existential. But then eventually, I realised that everyone who came on the show with a story also seemed to have a book to sell, some special text that could ‘reverse your sinful DNA’. It was then that I realised there’s a 50/50 to this – you can believe, but we can never truly know. I’ll always have that awareness of something bigger than us, but I can’t tell you what it is. Nobody can.”

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Check out the “BODIES” video below.

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The 8 projects you should stream right now

The 8 projects you should stream right now
New music from J. Cole, St. Vincent, Jorja Smith, and more.

By Jordan Darville

May 14, 2021

J. Cole. Photo by David Peters

 

J. Cole, The Off-Season

Cole’s seventh full-length album was announced almost out of nowhere earlier this month. The album was preceded only with the release of “i n t e r l u d e,” but Cole kept eager fans on their toes with a freestyle over “93 Til Infinity” and “Still Tippin,” as well as the announcement of his signing to the Rwandan national basketball team.

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

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St. Vincent, Daddy’s Home

Annie Clark’s new album follows 2017’s MASSEDUCTION and that project’s full-length remix LP MassEducation. Like those projects, Daddy’s Home is co-produced by Clark and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff.

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

Jorja Smith, Be Right Back EP

The English singer-songwriter’s new EP contains songs Smith felt she needed to write, but that don’t fit on her upcoming album. “It’s called Be Right Back,” Smith said in a statement, “because it’s just something I want my fans to have right now, this isn’t an album and these songs wouldn’t have made it.”

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

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Various Artists, Spiral: From The Book of SAW Soundtrack EP

Executive producer 21 Savage presents a four-song soundtrack for the upcoming film in the horror franchise Saw with new music from Gunna, Young Thug, Young Nudy, and more.

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

Fatima Al Qadiri, Medieval Femme

Al Qadiri’s new project for storied electronic label Hyperdub is another concept album with weighty, timely themes. Its music was “inspired by the classical poems of Arab women,” according to a press release.

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

Jayda G, DJ Kicks

The announcement of Jayda G’s DJ Kicks mix came with the song “All I Need,” which made it to our weekly Songs You Need playlist. Today, the entire mix from the Canadian selector and producer is ready for your vibing pleasure.

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

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LSDXOXO, Dedicated 2 Disrespect EP

A constant presence at the legendary underground club night GHE20GOTH1K, LSDXOXO moves from DJing to producing with his debut EP. The project’s release will be celebrated with a special livestream release party in conjunction with Club Quarantine, kicking off at 7pm EST; find more details here.

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

Paris Texas, BOY ANONYMOUS

BOY ANONYMOUS is the 8-track debut from LA’s Paris Texas, the experimental rap duo behind the FADER-approved singles “Heavy Metal” and “Force of Habit.”

Stream: Spotify | Apple Music

Psykhi flails against domesticity on “White Picket Fence”

Psykhi flails against domesticity on “White Picket Fence”
Relive the drama with this Ghana-born rager’s punk debut.

By David Renshaw

May 10, 2021

Psykhi‘s striking “White Picket Fence” opens with the image of the Ghanaian-born artist sitting astride a horse. Clad in a red jacket and peeping out from behind long hair, Psykhi sings about being “addicted to the drama” over a distorted, grungey riffs. It’s the drama, Psykhi suggests, that is spoiling his chances of living a blissful home life. Nevertheles, he can’t quit it and “White Picket Fence” taps into the excitement and fury felt during a tumultuous relationship.

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Mixing a punk attitude with rap candences and style, Psykhi’s unique approach on “White Picket Fence” is magentic. The song is his debut single and will feature on an upcoming EP, details of which are due to be confirmed soon. Speaking to The FADER about the song, he said: “I was trying to figure things out and needed my outlet; so I sat in the park with a blunt and wrote White Picket Fence. I write melodies to try and recreate a sense of euphoria. White Picket Fence is an expression of love and passion mingled with disappointment and pain.”

On the theme of the video, meanwhile, director Peter Spanjer added: “When coming up with the concept for the White Picket Fence video, it was really important for me to visually mirror the intonation of the song whilst at the same time adding another layer to the experience. That’s when I started to think about symbolism, such as the white horse – traditionally a symbol of freedom and triumph – then placing it within an environment you wouldn’t typically see it in. The idea of the scenery was also inspired by the works of photographers Deana Lawson and Kennedi Carter who have both documented black cowboys – their images really resonated with me and represented all of the things I not only get from the song but also from Psykhi: confidence, courage and strength.”

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kezia and NAYANA IZ take their power back on “south!”

kezia and NAYANA IZ take their power back on “south!”
The song is set to appear on kezia’s upcoming debut EP claire.

By Sajae Elder

May 05, 2021

So far, singer-songwriter kezia’s sharp pen has mapped out her unique perspectives on love and sex with previously released singles like “SUNSHINE” and the dream pop-tinged “megan fox.” Today, the Tanzanian-American artist shares the anthemic “south!”— a raucous reclamation of her own sexual agency featuring rising British rapper NAYANA IZ. In the playful @by.hassan-directed visuals, both artists perform against colorfully trippy kaleidoscope backdrops while asserting their personal power on the tongue-in-cheek track.

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“That’s my dicksucking anthem,” kezia said of the track in a statement. “In a world where black women are uninvitedly sexualized, we need to take ownership of feeling strong and cemented in our sexuality. ‘south!’ is about liberty. It’s also about consent! ‘will you walk into the fire, or will you walk out of my life, yuh’ meaning u can choose the purifying flame of my love or you can continue to live in darkness without me. NAYANA’s verse adds another layer of storytelling… effortless and blasé, an opulence radiating from within.”

The track is set to appear on kezia’s debut EP claire, out on June 11th via NEVER SEVEN.

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Watch the video above.

Thumbnail image by Sanny Bisquerra

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Lydia Ainsworth shares the dreamy “Cosmic Dust”

Lydia Ainsworth shares the dreamy “Cosmic Dust”
The track is set to appear on her upcoming album Sparkles & Debris.

By Sajae Elder

May 05, 2021

Singer-songwriter Lydia Ainsworth shared her new single “Cosmic Dust” on Wednesday, the third from her upcoming album Sparkles & Debris. The upbeat dream-pop track sees Ainsworth’s breathy falsetto trickle over breezy, guitar and harp-driven production.

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“We are simply dirt, water, and air animated by the sun for a particle moment; we will all soon be gone,” Ainsworth said of the song in a statement. “What is the legacy we leave behind if we keep hurting and devaluing other people’s existences? This song is about my hope for meaning beyond what feels like a nihilistic world order, one that turns a blind eye to injustice and abuse to each other and the planet.”

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Sparkles & Debris drops May 21.

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Thumbnail via John Michael Fulton