Lead image via Fact Magazine
Looking to wind down from a party-fueled weekend and prepare yourself for the imminent work week ahead? Well, what better way to clear your hazy mind than by filling it up with a slew of the hottest new hip-hop, R&B, indie rock, and dance music?
Thankfully, we've dug deep into the soil of SoundCloud to unearth the latest and greatest from across the musical spectrum. On this week’s playlist, we’ve got a duet by Chance The Rapper and his brother Taylor Bennett, a fuzzed-out anti-gun violence protest jam from Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore, a baptized banger from 2 Chainz and the Trap Choir, and much more.
JMSN - Drinkin’
After building hype with his critically acclaimed 2016 release It Is., the Michigan-bred R&B singer JMSN has already announced his follow up album Whatever Makes U Happy, due out April 8. This past week, the soulful crooner unveiled “Drinkin’,” an alcohol-induced single from the forthcoming project.
Once the song's introductory drum roll wraps up, JMSN starts to spill his guts (and booze) over a soulful guitar progression and slothy jazz drums. As the song progresses, backing harmonies and a heart-wrenching organ join in on solemn ballad of self-reflection. By the end of the intoxicating number, the singer finds solace in the fact that drinking makes him happy, and fuck what anyone else thinks about that. “I stopped trying to please anybody. Please yourself. Whatever makes you happy, do that shit, and if it’s drinking, go and do it all the time,” he concludes.
She-Devils - The World Laughs
Just moments after being signed to the renowned indie label Secretly Canadian, the Montreal pop-art group She-Devils celebrated by sharing the latest single “The World Laughs." Led by the dynamically-expressive duo Audrey Ann Boucher and Kyle Jukka, the band fuses a range of samples to create a stimulating and lush number that can nearly be tasted.
Comprised of soft surf-rock strumming, sporadic drum samples, and various nature sounds, putting you on a one-way flight an otherworldly island. Boucher’s potent and haunting lyrics match the impact that this multifarious offering has on this listener. “I want to go inside you/And control the way you move/Inject you with stranger things,” she gently coos. All in all, “The World Laughs” manages to put a modern twist on aging samples, ultimately creating a refreshing mixture of the new and old.
Todd Terje - Jungelknugen (Four Tet remix)
Norwegian DJ and producer Todd Terje has taken a unique approach for the release of his forthcoming song “Jungelknugen." Before even premiering the original version, the highly anticipated piece was presented in the form of two vastly different remixes, one by fellow Norwegian Prins Thomas and another by the eclectic UK producer Four Tet.
The latter’s take on Terje’s mysterious dance joint offers a majestic journey into the brightly lit dance-fueled world of Four Tet. Spanning nearly eight minutes, the UK producer’s interpolation of “Jungelknugen” is propped up by boisterous techno bass and battered percussion. The rapidly arpeggiated synth builds up with momentum before tastefully-inserted breakdowns bring the high-powered groove to full-force.
If you think this mix provides insight into what Terje’s version will sound like, think again. The remix by Prins Thomas takes on a completely different vibe compared to Four Tet’s offering. Both remixes can be found alongside one another on a new 7” released by Olsen Records.
Lil Uzi Vert - 1.5-XO Tour Llif3
Coming off a monster year in 2016, Philly rapper Lil Uzi Vert has spent the last few months building up his stock by opening up for The Weeknd on his European tour. But Uzi still managed to find time to treat fans to a four-track, mini-project called Luv Is Rage 1.5. On the standout track “1.5 XO Tour Llif3," the outlandish spitter sets aside his usually fun-loving persona to unearth some of his deepest demons.
Although the song’s title was undoubtedly inspired by his recent international tour with the Canadian R&B starboy, the content of the drug-fueled ballad reflects a more somber (and wealthy) Lil Uzi Vert. “Xanny numb the pain yeah/Please, Xanny make it go away/I'm committed, not addicted but it keep controlling me,” he rhymes with unbridled honesty. The TM88-produced cut features slippery trap percussion and reverberated synths, while Uzi switches between his boastful flow and intoxicating auto-tune.
The four-track release was equipped with a message to get his fans hyped for his forthcoming full-length project, stating that “LUV IS RAGE 2 COMING SOON.”
Taylor Bennett (ft. Chance The Rapper & Jeremih) - Grown Up Fairy Tales
After becoming the first independent artist to ever win a Grammy, everybody and their mother is familiar the singer-rapper hybrid Chance The Rapper. The multifaceted artist’s talent must run in the family, as his lesser known sibling Taylor Bennett just dropped his second album Restoration of an American Idol.
His breakthrough project features the brotherly collaboration “Grown Up Fairy Tales," including an opening verse by Chance and a delicately-purred hook from fellow Chi-town R&B singer Jeremih. The Mike WiLL Made-It beat is unusually soft-hearted for the famous trap producer, centered around church-like piano progression that provides the perfect backdrop for this familial ballad.
Chano kicks things off by conquering the mushy cut with his impeccable wordplay, while his brother steps in to steal the spotlight with brutally honest bars about dealing with health issues and coming out as bisexual. According to Bennett, the track was originally meant to be on Chance’s award-winning mixtape Coloring Book, but it was gifted to him during his recent hospitalization in New York.
Thurston Moore - Cease Fire
Best recognized as the singer-songwriter and lead guitarist of the legendary ‘90s rock outfit Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore has been traveling down the solo path since his band called it quits back in 2011. In his latest offering “Cease Fire," the guitar virtuoso conjures up six minutes of brash and relentless distortion that sounds as if it were freshly cut from Daydream Nation.
According to Moore, "Cease Fire” is a audial protest against guns and the violent climate seething out of America. "The song is also about the power of love, in all its freedom of choice. A power that no gun can extinguish as love will rule always. Melt down your guns and kiss your neighbor," he said about the song. The rumbling rock epic features a barrage of adrenaline-pumping guitar solos over hypnotically distorted rhythms. Throughout the instrumental anthem, Moore chimes in with a “cease fire” mantra to relieve the listener of his indomitable shredding.
The political message that Moore delivers with his roaring guitars isn’t his first rendezvous with activism in music. Last year, he dropped the single “Chelsea’s Kiss” in support of U.S. Army Prvt. Chelsea Manning, who had her sentence commuted by Barack Obama a few months after the track was released.
Cadence Weapon - My Crew (Wooo)
For the first time in nearly five years, Canadian rapper Rollie Pemberton (better known by his Cadence Weapon moniker) has resurfaced with the new heater “My Crew (Wooo)," backed by fellow Canuck and breakout producer Kaytranada.
Throughout the three-minute banger, Cadence pays homage to the city of Montreal, which he called “the Brooklyn of Canada” in a statement about the new number. Although he hasn’t dropped a studio project since 2012 Hope in Dirt City, the former Poet Laureate of Edmonton knows he still sits atop the hip-hop food chain. “I’m a real veteran, you’re an unknown figure/I’m really clever, got my shit together/I’m on the top in this endeavor," he spits with unbreakable bravado.
Kaytranada comes through with laser-powered blips and a boom-bap beat that is gently garnished with trapped out hi-hats, creating the perfect soundscape for Cadence Weapon to flaunt over.
2 Chainz (Ft. Gucci Mane, Quavo & The Trap Choir) - Good Drank 2.0
At the start of 2017, Atlanta trap star and entrepreneur 2 Chainz unleashed a prohibition-era style video for his new single “Good Drank,” an undoubted banger featuring Gucci Mane and Quavo. While the original take primarily revolved around lean and money, Tity Boi recently took the tune to church during a performance on Jimmy Fallon, replacing Quavo’s catchy hook with a gospel-ized rendition by the Trap Choir.
2 Chainz recently released the studio quality version of the remix, bouncing the listener back and forth between a trap house and an excitable Sunday sermon. Instead of the Migos frontman on the chorus, the powerful choir gives drug-laden lines like “Drop top, no hot box” and “She said that molly give her thizz face” a biblical feel. “Good Drank 2.0” also features an extra 2 Chainz verse, where he gives shoutouts to Andre 300, Guwop, and Mike Dean as the Trap Choir harmonizes in the backdrop with religiously-charged "ooohs."
Chances are the original version will be featured on 2 Chainz’s forthcoming album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, but in the meantime, press play and let this prayerful remix ease you into Sunday.
Kanye West - Bed Yeezy Season 5
Back in mid-February, Kanye West debuted his Yeezy Season 5 fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Although the exclusive event didn’t feature any fresh tunes per se, it did include an epic remix of R&B singer The-Dream’s rendition of J. Holiday’s bedroom banger “Bed."
This past week, Kanye blessed fans with his 17-minute interpolation of the 2006 demo, called “Bed Yeezy Season 5,” transforming the chummy bedroom banger into a sinister soundscape. Packed with Yeezus-friendly wobbling bass rumbles and spaced out synths, The-Dream’s promiscuous lyrics are layered atop the minimalist production. Towards the middle of the lengthy joint, Yeezy starts whipping the buzzing synths through different pitches, creating a mix that sounds like it was recorded on the dark side of the moon.