Even though Kim Davis is free, and black-belt troll Donald Trump wedged his coiffed dome into our consciousness with his admittedly brilliant music supervision, this week wasn’t all bad. As evidence, we rounded up five of our favorite new songs that we heard this week.
The week saw new singles from the upcoming Jay Rock and Disclosure albums, an out-of-nowhere offering from everyone’s favorite Wing Stop® Bawse, and a snarky take on “everyone is gay” from Seattle punk scenesters Childbirth.
But first, the latest Adult Swim single, in which Chromatics return reassuringly to form:
Chromatics – “Shadow”
“Shadow,” the newest single from Chromatics’ upcoming LP Dear Tommy, was released Tuesday as part of the Adult Swim Singles series. Building off a loose and cacophonous drum beat, Ruth Radelet’s hushed vocals breathe softly over the breezy, airy composition, almost taunting us with its glimpse of the impeding album, which does not yet have a release date. But as this is the fourth single from the unreleased LP (“In Films,” “Just Like Us,” and “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around” preceded “Shadow”), if they continue at this clip the actual album release may prove irrelevant.
Disclosure – “Hourglass (ft. Lion Babe)”
The brothers Lawrence appear to be immune to any superstitious sophomore jinx. “Hourglass,” the latest in a string of singles from the upcoming LP Caracal, follows the same four-on-the-four formula that made Settle feel like an instant classic. Their guest this time is Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey, who said in a statement that it was her first time “doing a feature record.” The video matches the aesthetic of previously released single “Willing & Able (ft. Kwabs),” with an iPod-commercial silhouette of Hervey busting several moves in triplicate.
Rick Ross – “Foreclosures”
The most fabulous of the hip-hop fabulists, the Bawse Rick Ross returned to the fold this week with a sweeping, 17-track mixtape called Black Dollar. Ever the maestro, Ross’ executive production is on point, assembling bloggable features from Meek Mill, Future, Wale, The-Dream, and Gucci Mane, along with production from the likes of the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, who handled the boards on “Foreclosures,” the tape’s luxuriously morose opener. Ross weaves tales of fleeting success, admitting “we spend it all, nothing for our children.” It’s impossible to discern if Ross approves of such reckless behavior — though with tales of $250,000 watches found elsewhere, we can guess — but that’s kind of the point. The Bawse is meant to be omniscient. Neither good nor bad, he simply is.
Childbirth — “Since When Are You Gay?”
Childbirth is comprised of three ladies with day jobs in other bands: Julia Shapiro (Chastity Belt), Bree McKenna (Tacocat), and Stacy Peck (Pony Time). “Since When Are You Gay?” is their third single from their second LP, Women’s Rights, due out October 2 on Suicide Squeeze. The song takes the POV of a skeptic, unconvinced that their conversant is actually gay, and not just “on the weekends.” The sneering tone and reactionary, undeniably male perspective give the song a mocking tone, and it’s hard not to laugh along with lines like “I know you, and I know that you like dick / What is this, some kind of trick?” If this and fellow single “Nasty Grrls” are any indication, the LP should have plenty more laughs.
Jay Rock – “Vice City”
The Black Hippy posse cut we deserve. The Top Dawg Entertainment crew of Kendrick Lamar, Ab Soul, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock assemble here in the promotional vehicle for Jay Rock’s new LP, 90059, out today. Pretty much any track that features Lamar with other rappers is bound to expose the elevated level he operates at, but it’s compelling to watch the crew’s lesser members try their hand at the flow he opens with. The arhythmic, stutter-step diction is reminiscent of what a proper freestyle sounds like, with odd pauses meant to give the MC time to catch up. The raps here are clearly written, but the vibe is dope nonetheless. And if it just leaves you wanting more Kendrick, check out his jaw-dropping medley from the first week of Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.