We’re only two weeks into 2017, and thus far the new year has been filled with a plethora of exceptional tracks across the musical spectrum. If you thought last week was filled with bangers, wait until you get a load of the new songs that popped up on SoundCloud this week. We’ve got a wide range of hip-hop, indie rock, and electronic music to help you start your week off on the right foot. On this week’s playlist, we’ve got the return of DMX, new Migos, a political track from classic rock legend David Crosby, and much more!
Japandroids - No Known Drink or Drug
Back in November, the beloved Canadian rock duo Japandroids announced that their new album, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, would be released in Jan. 2017. This past week, the band treated fans to “No Known Drink or Drug,” the second single off of their highly-anticipated follow-up to the 2012 sophomore release Celebration Rock. The new song features the anthemic vocals and quick-witted distorted guitar work that exemplifies Japandroids’ beloved sound.
In between the repeated chants of “Sha na na na na,” guitarist Brian King sings beautiful quatrains about highly-addictive love: “Passport, past life, a drifter's demons/Alone, lost, and fast running out of reasons.”
Homeshake - Every Single Thing
Searching for soulfully smooth way to start the week? Montreal’s Homeshake has you covered. This past week, the indie group dropped “Every Single Thing,” a sensual song about the desperation and hunger that love creates.
Previously a guitarist for indie sensation Mac Demarco, Homeshake frontman Peter Sagar shifts between a high pitch and sad droning on the new track. The romantic song is driven by an expressive synth bass and astutely consistent percussion, creating a unique fusion comprised of classic soul and new-age indie rock. “Every Single Thing” will be featured on Homeshake’s upcoming album Fresh Air, due out Feb. 3 via Sinderlyn.
DMX (feat. Swizz Beatz) - Bain Is Back
After laying low since making a triumphant return with his 2012 album Undisputed, DMX has finally resurfaced with the new Swizz Beatz-produced track “Bane Iz Back.” The song features X’s vintage aggressive flow over alarming sirens. After Swizz Beats kicks shit off, building hype for the return of the baddest of bad men, DMX takes over the beat with a couple of menacing verses, holding nothing back: “Cats nowadays be spittin’ that fuck shit/Bird-ass niggas, spittin’ that duck shit/I’m from the old school, and that there, we don’t fuck with/Been locked down on lock down, so you suck a dick.” For those in need of some bark and bite from the dog, you got it.
Alicia Keys x Kaytranada - Sweet F’in Love
Canadian dance-music producer Kaytranada was among the most prolific beat makers in the game last year, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2017. His latest track, “Sweet F’in Love,” is a collaborative effort with famed singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, who elegantly reaches for high notes while repeatedly singing about “sweet f’in love” over the energetic beat, which is comprised of fluctuating percussion and feel-good piano-jazz work. It’s unknown whether the song is a throwaway from Kaytranada’s last album or a new track, but Keys’ husband and famed producer Swizz Beatz felt the track was worthy of sharing with the world on his SoundCloud.
Migos - T-Shirt
After creating unprecedented viral buzz with the hit song “Bad and Boujee”—which even earned them a shout out from Donald Glover at the Golden Globes—the Atlanta-based trio Migos has undoubtedly become one of the hottest things in hip-hop. This past week, Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset continued their streak with the new trapped-out track “T-Shirt,” produced by Nard & B.
Each Migos member adds their own unique flavor over the dreamlike beat, using their renowned stop-and-start flow to create a hypnotic audio experience. “Young nigga poppin’ with a pocket full of cottage/Whoa, kemosabe, chopper aimin’ at your noggin,” Takeoff melodically raps in the hook. On top of dropping “T-Shirt” on Soundcloud, Migos also released a chilly visual for the song that features the gang dressed up like swagged-out animal trappers.
Bonobo (feat. Nick Murphy) - No Reason
This past week, British producer Bonobo teamed up with Australian singer-songwriter Nick Murphy (a.k.a. Chet Faker) to release the ethereal and atmospheric track “No Reason.” As Bonobo works his magic on the backdrop of the sparkly beat, Murphy soothes the intoxicating track by softly crooning lines like “Pictures of people that don’t make a sound/When music’s around, stay warm.”
Well known for conjuring up super chill sonic sounds, Bonobo’s latest song is perfect for an aimless late-night drive or spiritualized smoke sesh. The new single is featured on Bonobo’s new album Migration, out now via Ninja Tune.
Jay Som - The Bus Song
San Francisco singer-songwriter Melina Duterte has blossomed into an indie music darling under her musical moniker Jay Som. After gaining recognition with her debut EP, Turn Into, the rising lo-fi folk rock artist is now poised to explode in 2017.
This past week, Jay Som released “The Bus Song,” an undeniably catchy track with wispy guitars and softly delivered lyrics that try to sort out a relationship between two close friends. The metaphorical and personal lines are carried by atmospheric instrumentals that create a calming vibe. “Take time to figure it out/I’ll be the one who sticks around/And I just want you to need me/And I just want you to lead me,” she sings in the song’s conclusion.
David Crosby - Capitol
The musical surprise of this week comes from classic rock icon David Crosby, from the famed group Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. His political protest song “Capitol,” produced and co-written by James Raymond, takes aim at the corrupt and ineffective U.S. Congress.
“Capitol” is reminiscent of the classic ’60s sound that Crosby helped pioneer with his iconic folk group, packed with soothing finger-picked guitar lines and potent lyricism. “They come for the power, for the power they stay/They’ll do anything to keep it that way,” Crosby sings. The song comes during a time of great political unrest, just as CSNY’s “Ohio” did in 1970 in response to the infamous Kent State shootings.
Flo Morrissey x Matthew E. White - Thinking Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover)
Last week, building hype for their collaborative covers album, Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White dropped their take on Frank Ocean’s hit song “Thinking Bout You.” With brightly orchestrated guitar work and Morrissey and White trading off vocals, they create their own unique and pleasant version of the elusive singer’s beloved 2012 single. The album also features covers of the Velvet Underground, Barry Gibb, and Little Wings.
The Black Madonna - He Is the Voice I Hear
This past week, Chicago disco queen the Black Madonna came through with “He Is the Voice I Hear,” her first piece of new work since the 2013 EP Lady of Sorrows. The 10-minute orchestration starts with elegant piano playing and sporadic jazz drums, and slowly transforms itself into a dancey beat driven by abrupt violin notes and thumping percussion. The lengthy track provides a luxurious and epic adventure into the Black Madonna’s deep, world-renown disco skills.
Dave East (feat. G Herbo & Don Q) - No Hook
Harlem’s Dave East has earned himself a spot as one of hip-hop’s most respected underground rappers. After a prolific year that saw the release of a new mixtape and EP, East is setting himself up for an even bigger year with “No Hook.”
On the track, East links up with G Herbo and Don Q to trade off verses where they unearth the harsh realities of life over that hypnotic hip-hop beat. “Balenciagas sweatsuits, too many losses they won’t respect you/Money get low, watch how quick them bitches neglect you,” Dave East rhymes. The trio spit venomous bars that are so infectious that no hook is needed, effectively decimating the old-school styled beat in three minutes time.