Lana Del Rey released a 30-minute soft-focus short film called Tropico today. Here it is. I got to the part where she recites "Howl"; if you make it through the entire thing, please report back with highlights. (NSFW.) [Vevo]
M.I.A. stopped by the Colbert Show last night and performed two songs, "Y.A.L.A." and "Come Walk With Me." I have found a new workout plan, and it is The M.I.A.'s Sole Backup Dancer Dancing Around Behind M.I.A. Workout Plan. ("Y.A.L.A." is embedded above; go here to see "Come Walk With Me" and to see her tell Colbert, in very plain terms, "I don't watch the show.") [Pitchfork]
Saint Heron, the first annual installment of R&B compilations Solange Knowles will be releasing from her very own label, Saint Records, is basically jam after jam after jam—but it's this life-affirming-for-a-frigid-morning track, from L.A. singer-songwriter India Shawn, that I've had on repeat. (See also: Cassie's "Indo" and Solange's own "Cash In." The whole thing's on Spotify, too.)
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 [...]
"Spotless" is a Ryan Hemsworth-produced track off of Druture's Out of Towner Vol. 1, a Chicago-based mixtape, featuring verses from Sasha Go Hard and Tink and a hook from Kitty (née Kitty Pryde). It's got a dark, looming beat and Kitty's light whisper breaks up two standout tracks from Sasha and Tink. (Tink, by the way, is consistently great. Her own mixtapes are here.) I'll be doing Lorde moves to this for a few hours at least. [The Fader]
I started watching this music video and I thought to myself, this is nice. I'd be fine with the entire video just being an extended shot of Francis Farewell Starlite of Francis and the Lights doing his funny jig in this pretty field. And then it was exactly that.
Like a Dream, the group's new EP, is due out Nov. 25.
The rapper Angel Haze grew up in a religious community in Michigan that she’s since described as a "cult," and the first secular music she ever heard was on the radio at age 16 in Virginia. The song was Young Joc's "It's Goin' Down." And yet last week, the 22-year-old was sitting in an expansive conference room at her label's offices in midtown Manhattan, waiting for an intern to deliver two cheese Danishes and a venti hot chocolate with whipped cream and mocha drizzle from a Starbucks down the block. She signed her deal with Universal Music Group last year, and her first album (following six [...]
What’s a year without a Rihanna album? For close to a decade, we haven’t known one. Since 2005, she’s inundated the masses with an enjoyably suffocating demonstration of reliably provocative yet consumer friendly pop, and that relentlessness has paid off well.
This week, Rihanna’s total album sales in America hit the 10 million mark. That brings her worldwide tally to around 50 million, not to mention the 180 million singles sold that make her the biggest digital artist of all time. The statistics are telling, but her real impact is harder to quantify: Rihanna occupies a substantial space in our culture, and after eight years of consistent releases, [...]
It's Monday, so you're probably slogging your way through a work day. After all, those burgers need flipping, the phone needs answering, and the law needs… legislating? Perhaps you're looking for a musical boost. Who could blame you? I'm here to give you some alternatives to the Lily Allen snoozer. As it turns out, the second-wavers had plenty to sing about how hard it was out there in the '80s. And as an added bonus, their hair was amazing. So let's minimize the Lily Allen and click on over to Donna Summer for an afternoon pick-me-up.
"She Works Hard for the Money" — Donna Summer, 1983 If [...]
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.