It’s Kanye’s world, we’re just livetweeting it. This week’s best new music includes the redemption of GOOD Music associate Big Sean (with the release of his third album, Dark Sky Paradise, this week), and also Nick Jonas, who did West proud with a killer “Only One” cover.
Kanye West — “All Day”
Everything Kanye West does feels like a full-blown event right now. In the midst of this Yeezy season, the beautiful dark twisted coronation ceremony is bound to be the surprise release of West’s new album. Based on the four new songs he’s premiered this year — “Only One,” “FourFiveSeconds,” “Wolves,” and now “All Day” — it’s clear that there’s not one singular vision for this new album. “All Day,” which sounds the most similar to Yeezus, is probably my favorite of the bunch, though “Only One” still makes me tear up. West’s “All Day” premiere at the BRIT Awards this week (see above) felt decidedly political, even if the song isn’t. West brings a certain weightiness to even trap tracks, which is no easy feat. — Jillian Mapes
Aero Flynn — “Crisp”
Aero Flynn is Josh Scott, who is buddies and shares band members with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who also produced Flynn’s upcoming self-titled album. “Crisp,” simply put, washes over you. It is as velvety as you’d expect from Vernon, but it’s Scott’s plain vocals layered over stacks of Wisconsin cabin door creaks and babbling creek blips (and so many sounds that beg for onomatopoeia), paired with some scuzzy guitars, that create a vacillating tension and make this song an event all its own. — Shane Barnes
Big Sean — “Research” feat. Ariana Grande
Big Sean’s latest collaboration with his main squeeze Ariana Grande instantly reminded me of Clueless like his name’s Iggy-Iggs, and not just cuz the beat sounds a titch like “Fancy.” In Clueless, Dionne tells Murray, “Perhaps you can explain how this cheap K-Mart hair extension got into the backseat of your car.” Big Sean’s arguments stem from the hair in his bathroom sink, with him urging, essentially, “girls be shady.” Ariana is contented to play the angelic hook-girl, which, considering Sean’s strong contributions to her My Everything, seems only fair. “Research” may only be a bonus track on Dark Sky Paradise, but it’s worth repeat listens. — JM
Juan Wauters — “She Might Get Shot”
On first listen, Juan Wauters might sound like Captured Tracks’ low-rent Dylan, but listen: he’s not. Dylan’s sardonic Uruguayan jokester cousin? Yeah, sure. “She Might Get Shot” is off of Wauters’ upcoming album, Who, Me?, and finds him riding a nice little bass line as he sings of a girl who “read books because that’s what they told her that she should be read.” It’s probably the poppiest thing the guy has done outside of his old band, the Beets, and it’s so good that a crowd bursts into applause as the song comes to a close. — SB
Built to Spill — “Living Zoo”
As much as I love those Built to Spill songs that devolve into brooding, blistering jam sessions (s/o to “You Were Right,” an all-time classic), I’ve always had a soft spot for songs like “Big Dipper,” where Doug Martsch embraces the poppier side of his signature guitar tone. The first single off Built to Spill’s upcoming album Untethered Moon, “Living Zoo,” hits closer to the latter. It’s downright sunny, even. — JM
Bonus: Nick Jonas covering Kanye’s “Only One.” BRB, swooning forever.