In a week that has been hampered by the divisive policies of President Trump, it’s easy to lose sight of the enjoyable things in life, like music. That’s why we’ve voyaged across the musical spectrum to gather all the best new tracks in one place for you. On this week’s SoundCloud playlist, we’ve got a fresh cut from the new Migos album CULTURE, political wit from indie folk star Father John Misty, and much, much more!
Maxo Kream - Grannies
Houston native Maxo Kream’s “Grannies” is an autobiographical joint about the time he was kicked out by his parents and forced to live at his grandmother’s house. Usually known for spitting savage bars about his life as a Hoover Crip, Maxo’s latest number offers a refreshingly personal look into his rough upbringing.
Over the soulful West Coast-style beat, Maxo melds a more sentimental approach with a merciless flow. “Auntie Triss was ’sleep, I stole her car and when I’m servin’, robbin’/Grinding with my family through the struggle, hold ’em down regardless,” he raps on the hook, acknowledging that he is both street certified and a family man. Light one up, press play, and learn the art (and the heart) of the hustle straight from the gangsta gospel of Maxo Kream.
Mount Eerie - Real Death
Last fall, experimental folk icon Phil Elverum revealed that he had recorded new music for his revamped indie project Mount Eerie. Already recognized for their disheartening acoustic tunes, the group reached new depths of despair with the heartbreaking single “Real Death.” The mournful ballad focuses on the death of Elverum’s beloved wife and close collaborator Geneviève Castrée, who passed away last July.
“Death is real/Someone’s there and then they’re not/and it’s not for singing about/it’s not for making into art,” he laments at the start of the song. The desolate song fuses raw emotional intensity with Mount Eerie’s minimalist instrumental style, resulting in a moving, heartfelt ode to Elverum’s longtime soulmate. The brief yet powerful single is the first to be revealed from the band’s highly-anticipated forthcoming album A Crow Looked At Me, due out sometime this year.
Alicia Keys - That’s What’s Up
R&B singer-songwriter-pianist Alicia Keys recently celebrated her 35th birthday by releasing “That’s What’s Up.” The sensual cut samples elements from Kanye West’s “Lowlights,” a godly interlude from his critically acclaimed 2016 album The Life of Pablo.
On the song, the birthday girl triumphantly croons over the reverent piano progression with remarkable pride and power. The three-minute interpolation seems to symbolize a message of thanks sent directly from the Keys to God. “It feels so good, feels so good, so good to be free,” she belts out with passion. Listening to the track gives us a similar sensation.
Major Lazer (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Nicki Minaj) - Run Up
On the prowl for a feel-good dance number to help get your mind off these turbulent political times? The collaborative electronic supergroup Major Lazer recently resurfaced with “Run Up,” an illuminating single that features vocals from PARTYNEXTDOOR and Nicki Minaj and will do you right.
The group’s latest song conjures up the tropical vibes that have grown increasingly popular in today’s pop world. Toronto R&B star PARTYNEXTDOOR electrifies the dance joint with a hypnotic and smooth hook, while hip-hop powerhouse Nicki Minaj chimes in with boastful lines like “He call me queen, he know ‘Nicki’ is the moniker.” Needless to say, the renowned electronic trio will have the club bouncing with the island-like atmosphere of “Run Up,” which will be featured on the upcoming Major Lazer album Music Is the Weapon.
Migos (feat. Gucci Mane) - Slippery
This past week, Atlanta hip-hop trio Migos released their highly-anticipated album CULTURE, a 13-track effort that includes the viral hit “Bad and Boujee,” among other bangers. On one of the project’s other standout cuts, “Slippery,” Migos teams up with local trap legend Gucci Mane to flex all over the rap game.
Quavo, Offset, Takeoff, and Guwop trade diabolical verses over the glassy and bass-driven beat, produced by OG Parker and Deko. “Run in your house and with pumps and the shotties/Your mama might be up inside it (bah)/Cars robotic, bad bitch with a body/But really don’t care nothing about it (uh-uh),” Offset flaunts. Although Migos has achieved new levels of fame, the gang clearly hasn’t forgotten the ferocious bars and unique stop-and-start rhyme scheme that helped them reach the top.
Gucci Mane - 3 for Free
After reconquering the rap game with an exceptionally prolific 2016, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane has showed no signs of slowing down in the new year. Shortly after announcing his forthcoming album DropTopWizop, the trap legend dropped a surprise collaborative EP with producer Shawty Redd, entitled 3 for Free.
The three-song project features Guwop at his most ruthless, as he tackles the menacing trap beats with bars about stacking dough and spending it on designer clothes. Spanning just under 10 minutes, the brief musical experience has no shortage of hard-hitting lines that will inspire you to keep grinding. Gucci even pays homage to Shaggy’s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me,” reformulating the catchy pop hook about infidelity for the streets: “She gave me head and I gave that bitch a Jeep/She said I fucked her but I say it wasn’t me.” Who says there are no gentlemen anymore?
Father John Misty - Pure Comedy
Known for poetically voicing political criticism in his music, indie folk star Father John Misty (a.k.a. J. Tillman) has returned right in the nick of time with the new apocalyptic piano ballad “Pure Comedy.” Throughout the satirized six-minute hymn, the outspoken artist’s lyrics aims to denounce President Trump and dismantle religious patriarchy.
“And how’s this for irony/Their idea of being free is a prison of beliefs/That they never ever have to leave,” he laments. The latest work was accompanied by a distinct visual directed by Matthew Daniel Siskin, which splices doom-laden black-and-white animation with disastrous clips from current events in America. In addition to the newly released song, Father John Misty also announced that his third studio album, also entitled Pure Comedy, will be released on April 7 via Sub Pop.
Thundercat (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins) - Show You the Way
Bass virtuoso and frequent Flying Lotus collaborator Thundercat recently revealed that his third studio album, Drunk, is dropping on Feb. 24. To build hype for the forthcoming project, the multi-genre producer unleashed his expansive new single “Show You the Way.”
The song features unlikely contributions from musical legends Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. Heavily marinated in the spirit of ’70s soul, “Show You the Way” is comprised of lush synths, smooth bass lines, and polished harmonies that float effortlessly over the impeccable groove. All in all, this fervently polished track is the perfect vessel to launch your stoned mind up into space with.
Knxwledge - Pushit.
Philly-born producer Knxwledge slayed his way through 2016 with polished beats and his collaborative project with singer/rapper Anderson .Paak, NxWorries. This past week, the experimental hip-hop savant dropped an instrumental-driven mixtape entitled WT.PRT10.8_.
One of the most butter-smooth pieces from the new material is “Pushit.,” a two-minute loop that showcases Knxwledge’s knack for creating alluring instrumental compositions. It features samples of immersive piano, groovy percussion, and evocative guitar work. A subtle voice chants in the backdrop of the elegant instrumentation, providing a bit of liveliness to the otherwise tranquil atmosphere. If you vibe to “Pushit.,” be sure to peep the entire nine-track mixtape on SoundCloud.
VeilHymn - Hymn
Known for reinvigorating ’80s dance music with his project Blood Orange, singer-songwriter Dev Hynes recently formed VeilHymn, a new side project with Bryndon Cook (of Starchild and the New Romantic). “Hymn” is their first effort under the VeilHymn moniker, but Hynes and Cook are frequent collaborators and worked together on Blood Orange’s most recent album, Freetown Sound.
On the duo’s first single, Hynes sets his energetic style aside to produce a poignant love ballad, crooning affectionate lines like “Calling out to you to try and move on/And if something changes then let me know.” Although the new offering lacks the catchy adrenaline typically found in Blood Orange’s sound, Hynes injects his bubbling bass lines and expressive vocals into the heart-aching slow jam. And it’s all good, because sometimes you need the feels, not the dance.
Sneaks - Inside Edition
D.C. electro post-punk artist Eva Moolchan has mastered the art of producing fragmented dance tracks under her alias Sneaks. On her new 63-second ditty “Inside Edition,” she uses her expertise as a minimalist to conjure up a quick-witted and coy rhythm. Moolchan drones over the tune’s simplistic blips and machine drums, creating an intoxicating aura that fades away much too quickly.
With punchy lines like “Inside edition/Here’s some news for you/Inside edition/Let the blues stay blue,” the new number will have your feet ready to revolt on the dance floor. “Inside Edition” will be featured on her upcoming album, It’s a Myth, due out March 31 on Merge Records.