This year has been pretty chaotic for me, so I apologise if here is there is absolutely no routine to these track roundups anymore. Honestly, who posts a track roundup on a Monday??? Oh well, deal with it. Artists featured this week include Jonah Yano, Baba&Co, Dinner Party, Wednesday, Metallica. Liturgy, Ryan Egan and Oliver Tree.
‘Always’ – Jonah Yano
I was craving something a bit jazzy this week, and this track from Japanese-Canadian singer-songwriter Jonah Yano has definitely hit the spot. The piano chords and soft emotive vocals in the first half are beautiful, however it's the sprawling piano solo in the second half that really makes this track impressive. My first thought was ‘this sounds like BADBADNOTGOOD’, and it turns out BADBADNOTGOOD did in fact produce the song, along with Jonah’s entire new album Portrait of A Dog.
‘Colorhead’ – Baba&Co
This debut single from Delhi-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Abhiruk Patowary is seriously thrilling stuff. The opening piano and saxophone had me expecting a jazz track, but it quickly becomes apparent that it’s more than that. There are cinematic blasts of strings and horns, world music flavours including ouds and kemences, warm electronic keys and even some electric guitars that verge on prog metal. All of these sounds are expertly woven together, while also integrating complex melodies and rhythms. It’s a very fun five minutes.
‘Insane’ – Dinner Party ft. Ant Clemons
Dinner Party are a jazz/r&b/hip-hop supergroup made up of Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington and 9th Wonder. Their new single ‘Insane’ features guest vocals from Ant Clemons and takes the form of a super smooth r&b track. The beat meanwhile showcases the best of each musician - the syrupy synths of Terrace Martin, the warm pianos of Robert Glasper, the smoky sax of Kamasi Washington and the soulful sample work of 9th Wonder.
‘Bath County’ - Wednesday
This is much shorter and sweeter than the last Wednesday track I listened to, 'Bull Believer'. However, Karly Hartzman’s unique voice is just as hypnotic - her exasperated groaning tone feels like it's constantly about to erupt (and when it does, it's very satisfying). I'm also loving the grungy shoegaze instrumental, although I do wish it was mixed a little louder.
‘If Darkness Had A Son’ – Metallica
Of the three singles that Metallica have dropped from their upcoming album 72 Seasons, this is by far my favourite. The build-up to the main chugging riff at 1:20 reminds me of the build-ups on And Justice For All. The way Hetfield chants ‘temptation’ is also pretty badass, even it does kinda sound like a weird Heaven 17 interpolation. Hammett's solo and Lars' drumming also feel a lot more dynamic in this single than on the other two. I'm also enjoying the breakdown at the end. All in all, it's satisfying stuff.
‘Before I Knew The Truth’ – Liturgy
The new Liturgy track is - as I expected - absolutely nuts. It opens with a chaotic did-i-accidentally-open-two-tabs intro, before pummelling the listener with squiggly guitars and demonic screeching along with other trademarks of Liturgy’s ‘transcendental black metal’ sound including ‘burst beats’ and intense glitch-out moments. It’s packed full of cool ideas, and this time it’s not 15 minutes long. It’s everything I want from a Liturgy track.
‘Speaking For Myself’ – Ryan Egan
Inspired by French music app Radiooooo and Purple Magazine's 2070 project, ‘Speaking For Myself’ is an attempt to envisage what music might sound like in the year 2070. And it seems that the singer/producer’s vision of the future is a dark one - the sound here is a lot rougher and colder than the reverb-soaked warm soulful music we're used to hearing from Egan, featuring verses made up of spoken word that detail a post-apocalyptic world over brooding droning synths and raw crispy percussion. It's a very captivating track that definitely feels like it should be the soundtrack to a dystopian movie.
‘Here We Go Again’ – Oliver Tree & David Guetta
Oliver Tree's quirky image is fast becoming a gimmick at this point. His early music felt genuinely 'alternative'. This, on the other hand, is just depressingly formulaic. I'd rather listen to The Chainsmokers. Actually I take that back - it's not THAT bad.