Sunday 4 June 2023

BEST NEW TRACKS OF THE MONTH 04/06/2023: Kendrick Lamar & Baby Keem, NxWorries, Queens of the Stone Age and more...

I haven’t done one of these track roundups in a while and, my God, I’ve got so much to catch up on. Here are just some of the best bangers and bops that I’ve heard over the last couple weeks. Artists featured include Kendrick Lamar & Baby Keem, NxWorries, Queens of the Stone Age, The Voidz, Knower, Matt Fusullo, MY-HI and Moreish Idols.

‘The Hillbillies’ – Kendrick Lamar & Baby Keem

As much as I enjoy Kendrick delving into deep topics, it’s refreshing to hear him letting his cornrows down and dropping a goofy song like this. The track sees him and Keem comparing themselves to professional footballers Messi and Neymar, boasting about boarding jets and eating caviar with infectious flows that match the bouncy rhythm of the beat. The track somehow manages to weave in a Bon Iver sample. Oh, and for some reason, Tyler the Creator gatecrashes the music video.

‘Daydreaming’ – NxWorries

R&b singer Anderson Paak and producer knxwledge have been making music together on-and-off for the last few years under the alias NwWorries. Despite digging both artists, this is the first time I’ve actually listened to a NxWorries track, and I get the feeling I’ve been missing out big time. ‘Daydreaming’ takes the form of an 80s-style power ballad. It’s driven along by steady reverb-soaked drums and there’s an epic guitar solo towards the end. It accomplishes all of this without being cheesy, largely because Paak’s vocals are just so divinely smooth. The music video was created using GTA V gameplay.

‘Carnavoyeur’ – Queens of The Stone Age

These Bowie-esque vocals really suit Homme. And I’m loving how the guitar tone makes it almost sound like a synth. That outro riff is also badass, even if the drums sound a bit buried (at least the production sounds better than on Villains). All in all, this has me pretty excited for their upcoming album, In Times New Roman..., which will be dropping June 16th.

‘Prophecy of The Dragon’ – The Voidz

‘Prophecy of The Dragon’ is musically as ludicrous as its title, opening with digital percussion that is jarringly contrasted with a Randy-Rhoades-style metal riff, only to then enter a verse that sounds almost like Radiohead. Julian Casablancas’ vocals could probably do with a bit more oomph over the metal riffs, and lyrics like ‘I used to be a lounge lizard, but now I’m a wizard’ are a bit dumb. But despite its faults, this song is insanely fun. Certainly a lot more interesting than any of the songs on that last Strokes record.

‘The Abyss’ – Knower

The new Knower album is out now! ‘The Abyss’ is the latest single from the album and it features Genevieve Artadi singing in her sweetest voice while delivering lyrics like ‘inside of this stream of piss/ we’re the abyss’ accompanied by some typically insane musicianship. How do they all stay so rhythmically tight? The way Sam Gendel manages to keep that speedy sax playing in time with Louis Cole’s drumming has me thinking that the two ought to form a separate duo together. I don’t know, maybe something clown-themed?

‘Video99’ – Matt Fasullo (feat. Janel Rae)

Back when I was a kid, there was a local movie and game rental store called Replay that I used to visit religiously. The store no longer exists and I miss walking down its aisles. ‘Video99’ recounts a similar nostalgia surrounding a video and game rental store called Video99 in Stouffville, Ontario. The song has a fittingly bittersweet tone consisting of a genre-bending mix of bluesy vocals, shuffling drums, synthetic bass and peculiar guitar melodies. Added to the concoction of sounds are some guest vocals from Janel Rae that serve as a cool added contrast. It’s a captivating song all round.  

‘Phaser’ – MY-HI

Brighton alt rock four piece MY-HI deliver some fun and creative riffs in this new track ‘Phaser’. The guitar tone is really gritty and muscular and the vocals are fittingly energetic too. If you love your rock loud and in-your-face, you’re certain to love these guys.

‘Green Light’ – Moreish Idols

From their new Lock Eyes and Collide EP, London experimental rock band Moreish Idols deliver this thrillingly turbulent track about being stuck at a crossroads in life. It features lots of driving metaphors accompanied by jazzy sax playing and some intense scuttling drums. The way it ebbs and flows is truly enthralling.