Mike WiLL Made-It Photo via Hip-Hop Weekly
As we tumble full speed ahead into springtime, the music is raining down from every direction, making it difficult to know where to start your weekly (or, in today's case, weekend) listen. But MERRY JANE's got your back, and we’ve gathered up a handful of the hottest new tracks from across the SoundCloud music spectrum. On our latest SoundCloud playlist, we’re bringing you new tunes from pop legend Todd Rundgren, a comical Trump takedown by Tim Heidecker, an interpolated classic from The Notorious B.I.G., and much more.
BNQT- Unlikely Force
It’s taken about two years for Eric Pulido, the frontman of the Texas band Midlake, to finally bring his vision of the folk rock Justice League together under the moniker BNQT (produced Banquet). The indie supergroup, which includes members from Band of Horses, Franz Ferdinand, Grandaddy, Travis, and Midlake, first soared into the music world's collective conscious back in January with their epic debut single “Restart.”
Now, BNQT is back with their second offering, a glorious and brisk number entitled “Unlikely Force.” The collective's latest kicks off with a bluesy piano progression, followed by bellowing horns and an angelic harmony that features some of modern folk rock’s most beloved voices. Aiming for what Pulido called a “lush ‘70s feel-good vibe,” BNQT has successfully hit that mark with the Ben Bridwell-led “Unlikely Force.” This easygoing and breezy piece truly showcases exactly what this supergroup is capable when their powers are combined.
Faith Evans (ft. Notorious B.I.G.) - Ten Wife Commandments
Though we’ve just surpassed the 10th anniversary of New York City rapper The Notorious B.I.G.’s untimely death, his undisputed status as a legend is being kept alive by his widow and ‘90s R&B star Faith Evans. This past week, Evans gave Biggie Smalls’ classic 1997 track “Ten Crack Commandments” some matrimonial remix treatment.
On this unique reprise, entitled “Ten Wife Commandments,” Faith Evans offers her soulful voice to freshen up her late husband’s antiquated verses. The reanimated cut is tastefully transformed into a loving duet between the two, while interpolated lines like "I know you heard this before / Tell him you love him before he step out the door" seem to forewarn the listener that life is short and love is precious. While the beat itself remains largely unchanged, a few sporadically placed DJ scratches brings new life to this decade-old production.
“Ten Wife Commandments” will be showcased on Evans upcoming self-produced project The King and I, due out on May 19. The album will pay homage to The Notorious B.I.G., and will include features from some of his closest collaborators, such as Jadakiss, Lil Kim, and 112.
Yves Tumor - Limerence
After captivating the experimental electronic world with his hypnotic 2016 album Serpent Charmer, the Turin, Italy-based producer Yves Tumor has continued to blossom into an even more sonically diverse and expansive artist. His latest offering is a rework of the dream-inducing song “Limerence,” originally featured on his self-released debut When Man Fails You.
Yves Tumor has revived his finely-aged track into nearly six minutes of epic ambiance. Resting on a foundation of arpeggiated synths that seem to laugh in the face of gravity, the eclectic producer sprinkles in vocal samples of a woman playfully teasing her lover. The sound of fluttering strings weave in and out at the end, ultimately putting the listener in a meditative state that persists even after the song's over.
The new version of “Limerence” was featured on a recent compilation from the record label PAN, entitled mono no aware.
She-Devils - Hey Boy
After winning over hearts at SXSW with their surf rock-inspired indie ballads, the Montreal pop duo She-Devils is gearing up to release self-titled debut on May 19 via Secretly Canadian. Following in the sandy footsteps of their single “The World Laughs,” their latest cut “Hey Boy” provides a spacey twist to their greaser-styled tunes.
Bordering somewhere in between vintage and new-age space rock, She-Devils has cooked up a languishing anthem that sounds as if it were recorded in the ‘50s before being unexpectedly confiscated by a UFO. While producer Kyle Jukka marinates the track with quirky samples, there’s nothing otherworldly about lead singer Audrey Ann Boucher’s longing lyricism, as she waits impatiently for her dream love to trot into her life. “If I catch myself dripping and drowning now/Oh Boy/Sitting here waiting for prince charming,” she softly coos.
Tim Heidecker - Mar A Lago
From Snoop Dogg to Stephen Colbert, there’s an entire platoon of entertainers who've used their platform to deride and critcize President Donald Trump. But no one has consistently prodded at the spray-tanned demagogue quite like comedian Tim Heidecker, who has released a string of songs about the Commander-in-Chief over the last few months.
His latest musical quip is “Mar A Lago,” a Jimmy Buffet-esque ballad that mocks the president for the countless trips he’s taken to his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. Written from the perspective of Trump, the Tim & Eric star jokingly croons over a tropical vacation-vibed piano and jangly guitar leads. “Well, I’m sitting behind my desk in Washington, D.C./And everyone on cable news is yellin’ at me/And there’s only one place in this whole wide world I wanna go/That’s down underneath the Florida sun in Mar-a-Lago,” he gently groans.
Although the song is drenched in satire, the fun-loving instrumentals and comical lines make this five-minute epic feel too short. If you enjoy this witty piece, be sure to purchase it on Bandcamp, as all proceeds from the song will be donated to the “Everglades Foundation.” Earlier this year, Heidecker also released the songs “Trump’s Pilot” and “Trump Talkin’ Nukes,” which was featured in the ongoing anti-Trump compilation Our First 100 Days.
Jonti (ft. Steve Lacy) - Scrood
This neo-soul cut is backed by an uptempo breakbeat, topped with delicate funk guitar, thriving bass lines, and a wobbly organ-like synth. Halfway through, a Parliament-Funkadelic inspired solo rips through the sonic dreamscape. Jonti softly layers his reverberated vocals over the jazzy instrumental, emerging from the depths of heartbreak and despair to create an ethereal jam. On Twitter, the Sydney-based artist described his latest offering as a testament to “[soldiering] forward with luv, even when you find yourself in hopeless scenarios.”
Wavves - Animals
Since Wavves began as the bedroom project of Nathan Williams in 2008 to its evolution into a full band that now tours the globe, the San Diego group has carved out its own lane with eccentric pop-punk and garage rock tunes. Following up on their 2015 release V, the band has recently resurfaced with “Animal,” a fuzzy jam built around sporadic distortion and drowned-out vocals. From the very first pluck of the opening untamed bass line, this number instantly sends you into an aural tailspin.
Their latest single gives off a sort of surf rock-on-speed vibe, and Williams howls out restless lyrics that don't attempt to cover up his melancholy. “The whole world covered in gasoline/And burning alive/I feel taken advantage of/And empty inside,” he sings. This short-sighted ditty is built upon punchy drums and feral guitar work, creating a catchy rock anthem that is not to be domesticated. “Animals” will be featured on Wavves’ upcoming album You’re Welcome, due out May 19 on the frontman’s very own Ghost Ramp label.
Todd Rundgren (ft. Robyn) - That Could Have Been Me
Widely recognized for his versatility and unwillingness to fade away into obscurity, the 68-year-old musician Todd Rundgren has kept himself timeless by constantly reinventing his sound. The pop music maestro recently announced White Knight, his 27th studio album as a solo artist. The first offering from the feature-filled 15-track project is “That Could Have Been Me,” a powerful ballad featuring the Swedish singer Robyn.
Conjuring up the spirit of ’80s pop, Rundgren strictly focuses his talents on the production, letting Robyn take the spotlight with her robust and strapping vocal prowess. Filled to the brim with lush synths and a maraca-like percussion, the Scandinavian pop star conquers the tempestuous track with her expressive lyricism. "You promised a place in your world for me/But it's so cold and undefined," she belts out.
Taking a turn from the 2015 experimental effort Runddans, Rundgren seems to be returning to his pop roots on White Knight, which boasts an eclectic array of features ranging from Daryl Hall to Trent Reznor.
Shy Glizzy (ft. 21 Savage) - No I.D.
After kicking off 2017 with his The World Is Yours EP, DC rapper Shy Glizzy is looking to move up into the upper echelon of the hip-hop circuit. And what better way to climb the ranks than by linking up with one of the hottest and most nonchalant spitters in the game, Atlanta's rising star 21 Savage.
The two young gunners recently collaborated on the catchy banger “No I.D.,” a bruising cut about using their money and fame as a form of identification. Producer $ush! Ceej lays out a vibe-y trap beat with glittery synth samples and a soulful vocal “ah,” allowing the tandem to go "dumb" on the track. “Bitch I don't need no I.D. I'm with twenty-one/I’m going dumb/ I’m going dumb,” the DC rapper boasts in the hook. 21 Savage comes through with his usual heartless rhymes, dismissing a girl that “got some followers” because, at the end of the day, “Savage still not on her titties.”
Mike WiLL Made-It (ft Big Sean) - On The Come Up
Known as a founding father of the Atlanta trap music scene, the internationally acclaimed beat-maker Mike WiLL Made-It celebrated his 28th birthday this past week by dropping the star-studded 17-track project Ransom 2. The production mastermind has garnered features from some of hip-hop’s hallmark names, including Kendrick Lamar, Migos, Future, Pharrell Williams, and many others. The new album opens up with “On The Come Up,” a ferocious joint in collaboration with Big Sean.
Mike WiLL provides some epic opera samples and a scattershot of trap percussion, while Big Sean rhymes in the hook, “Look, all my niggas 'bout that action/Livin' the life we imagined/I cut off all my distractions/And started attackin'.” This emphatic banger is just a small sampling of what the renowned producer has to offer on Ransom 2, so be sure to scope out the entire project.