Sampha, the British soul singer who provided the hook for "Too Much," off of Drake's Nothing Was the Same, released a cut of the track without Drake. (Sound familiar?) I think this song will never again pack the punch it did in its great Jimmy Fallon premiere, but we can appreciate Sampha's extended delicate touch here.
"Bank Head" is a notable jam off of Los Angeles singer-songwriter Kelela's debut mixtape, Cut 4 U, released this week. The whole album is streamable and available for download over at The Fader; you can also read her conversation with Rookie from last week, in which the 30-year-old former academic drops the following bit of knowledge: "It’s so important for people to know that nobody necessarily knows what they’re doing!" Kelela, for example, has no idea how she pulls off her own melody-based songwriting process:
She writes her songs in wordless gibberish, only retroactively grafting storylines onto the economical melodies that flow spontaneously [...]
Lots of new music out today, including The Foreign Exchange's fourth album, Love in Flying Colors. The Foreign Exchange is Dutch producer Nicolay and rapper/ singer Phonte (formerly of the group Little Brother); they met on the OkayPlayer message boards about a decade ago and started making music together across continents and without ever having met. A few years later, they were nominated for a Grammy, for 2009's "Daykeeper."
Potholes In My Blog points out that "Right After Midnight" is ripe for two-steppin', and it borrows a line ("All across the world, b-boys and girls") from one of my favorite two-step songs, Hi-Tek's "[...]
Matangi, M.I.A.'s first album in three years, is out today. Here's "Come Walk With Me," a catchy sing-along first released two months ago that's probably the easiest entry point to the album, at least on first listen—per her piece at Noisey yesterday, Hairpin pal Ayesha A. Siddiqi might call it a "nursery rhyme for post-colonial angst":
M.I.A’s choice to borrow imagery from disparate groups and turn it into iconography isn’t appropriative; it’s the natural instinct of a diasporic identity. South Asians are already forced to invest in the panethnic “other” constructed by the West; we keep getting beat up for looking like Arabs slash Muslims slash [...]
If you haven’t gotten into Chicago drill artists Sasha Go Hard and Tink, now would be the perfect time to start. On Sasha Go Hard’s latest single (produced by Tony Roche), the two have temporarily abandoned the drum-driven and sometimes cold-sounding aesthetic of the regional drill sound for this maximalist, sharp, and synth-heavy jam. What I love about both Sasha and Tink is their unabashed embrace of their youth—they're 21 and 18 years old, and they're fine with that. Here, it’s in full force: Sasha raps, “I’m coming up from the bottom. My mentality is fuck ‘em." (Language NSFW, if that wasn't already clear.)
There are certain epistemological questions that plague only the very young or the very stoned. When I was a kid, before my cognitive development peeled away so noticeably from that of my peers, these questions seemed trivial. Did other people see the same colors or feel the same things in the same way? It didn’t matter, and then it did.
When I was diagnosed with a developmental disorder—a non-specified, “high-functioning” place on the autism spectrum—the things I’d always asked myself seemed, suddenly, to have a very serious dimension. I wasn’t the same as other kids, and the differences felt fundamental, as though the materials and structures that composed me were [...]
Good morning! Here is the lovely Valerie June performing with a guitar at NPR's tiny desk. Edith profiled her for the New York Times Magazine back in August, and Valerie told her she called her banjo ukuleles "babies"; here, she tells the NPR staff, "There's a lotta cute babies around here today. This is my cute little baby." Then she sings "Somebody to Love" with a baby from Memphis's Tommy George banjoes. [NPR]
The greatest thing Alexander Skarsgård lookalike1 Bruno Mars ever did was to record the song "When I Was Your Man" so that Alexander Skarsgård lookalike2 Sam Smith could eventually cover and improve it.
1Every male human today is an Alexander Skarsgård lookalike. 2See above.