Looking for some new jams to keep you cruising through that oncoming summer heat? Well, it’s been another booming week in music, and we’ve searched through SoundCloud to dig out the freshest new tracks to help get you through the weekend. On this week’s playlist, we’ve got a WWE-themed banger by the Migos gang, a new single from ATL trap star 2 Chainz, the star-studded opener from Major Lazer's new EP Know No Better, and more.
Omar Souleyman - Chobi
Known for fusing techno with an Arabic folk-pop style called "dabke" to create transcendent dance music, Omar Souleyman has slowly broken into the Western music world through his impassioned live performances. On his new album To Syria With Love, the Syrian singer is packing a distressing message within his rambunctious sound.
On his new single “Chobi," Souleyman wistfully croons about his native region in northeastern Syria, howling lyrics that translate to “When will our alienation end so we can go back home?/ We miss gathering together under the shade of our tree/ The soul is tormented by our longing.” His heartfelt words are enlivened by the clattering percussion and Arabic-influenced keyboards. The seven-minute thumper will be the closing track on To Syria With Love, which was released this weekend through Diplo's Mad Decent label.
Major Lazer (feat. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo) - Know No Better
After dropping their 2015 album Peace Is The Mission, the electronic music superteam Major Lazer, consisting of Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire, is back at it with the new six-track Know No Better EP. The project is filled with features from across the world, but the opening track boasts an impressive cast of Travis Scott, Quavo, and Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello.
On “Know No Better,” the renowned trio cooks up a bouncy dancehall beat, employing grand piano and pitch-shifted vocals to create a club-ready groove. Scott uses his vintage autotune style in a poppier way than usual, dueting back and forth with Cabello on the “yeah you know no better” hook. After Travis Scott branches into his own anthemic verse, the imminent presence of Migos’ standout rapper Quavo transforms the mix into a full-blown trap banger. You can stream the entire new Major Lazer EP for free on SoundCloud.
2 Chainz - 4 AM
This past week, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz announced details for his upcoming LP, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, along with the new single “4 AM,” featuring none other than Travis Scott. The two rappers go in over lurching piano samples and standard trap percussion. Produced by rising producer Murda Beatz, the minimalistic beat allows Tity Boi and La Flame to flaunt over the mix with their signature styles at the forefront of it all.
2 Chainz smothers the track with his smooth southern drawl, spitting his usual tongue-in-cheek lines like “For my birthday I threw me a surprise party” and “Hard to get some head and try to drive." In between these terse verses, Scott swoops down to supply an autotune-laden hook about keeping the party going throughout the night. 2 Chainz’s new 16-track project will drop June 16, and will also feature Drake, Pharrell, Gucci Mane, Quavo, and more.
Institute - Exhibitionism
Ever since the Austin post-punk outfit Institute hit the scene with their debut 2013 demo tape, the band has been churning out raw thrash jams that are highly critical of the political system. This weekend, the Texas punk stalwarts released their new album Subordination via Sacred Bones. Earlier this month, we shared the band’s jarring and anti-patriarchal single “Powerstation,” and now, Institute is taking aim at America’s flawed educational system on “Exhibitionism.”
Frontman Moses Brown puts on an anarcho-punk growl to discuss his disillusioned memories from his time in the public school system, groaning out lines like “Exhibitionism is all they wanted from me." His unruly lament is backed by a erratic guitar solo and loud basslines, supplying a powerful boast of punk to the lead singer’s indecipherable narrative.
RL Grime (ft. Miguel) - Stay For It
Producer Henry Steinway (better known as RL Grime) has some major plans for his forthcoming album NOVA, having recently released his very own zine to help build up support for the project. This week, local Los Angeles artist has just shared the first single from his album, “Stay For It,” a sweltering mix that features vocals from fellow West Coast R&B singer Miguel.
The track showcases RL Grime’s relentless knack to weave boisterous synths and heavy sub-bass together to create dance club bangers. But the vocal prowess of Miguel, who Steinway calls one of his “favorite artists ever,” brings this production to an entirely new level of epic. As arpeggiated blips race throughout your ears, the featured singer’s soulful crooning adds a monumental component to this already luxurious cut. According to RL Grime, this collaboration has been two years in the making and gone through many different iterations, but the lush final product makes it well worth the wait.
Migos - To Hotty
If you’ve listened to the Atlanta rap group Migos closely over the years, you’d know from songs like “People’s Elbow” (an ode to the legendary wrestler-turned-movie star The Rock) that the three members like to reference the WWE. Last weekend, Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff returned with a new track entitled "To Hotty,” a straightforward trap banger dedicated to throwback wrestler Scotty 2 Hotty.
The Migos trio rouses up their vintage style on the new offering, each member taking turns decimating the Southside-produced heater. Offset kicks it off with the longest and fiercest verse of the bunch, rhyming about his relentless pursuit of cash (“Maintain, gotta keep a hundred comin'/Ain't no pain like the name with no money”). Quavo and Takeoff follow up with their own iconic flow, and the three share duties on the recurrent “Scotty 2 Hotty” hook. The hard-hitting cut will be included on an upcoming compilation from the Atlanta hip-hop label Quality Control.
Mutual Benefit - Jog Along Bess (Vashti Bunyan Cover)
In 1970, English singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan released her debut Just Another Diamond Day, a vintage folk project that faltered during its release, but has amassed a cult following in the near half-century since. This past week, Jordan Lee, leader of the indie rock group Mutual Benefit, announced that he would be covering the entire album for Sounds Delicious, a monthly vinyl series launched by the food and music website Turntable Kitchen.
On this interpolation of the the lively folk-pop jam “Jog Along Bess,” Mutual Benefit recreates the authentic playfulness that is abundant in Bunyan’s version. Usually known for invoking wistful feelings with their modern folk sound, Lee and co. find themselves breaking new ground on the rollicking pop song. As the Mutual Benefit frontman gently warble about a misfit crew and dogs traveling around in a broken down vehicle, his acoustic guitarwork and introspective vocals help maintain the feelgood nature found on the original Just Another Diamond Day standout track.