Good morning! Lots of music to distract you until your lunch break: Jean Grae is releasing a surprise EP today called Jeannie; "Mask" is available for streaming and embedded above. (Jean, being Jean, has also recently launched a sitcom called Life With Jeannie and released another EP, Gotham Down, in the fall. I've had "Before the Summer Broke" on loop all week.) Elsewhere, NPR's First Listen is streaming the sophomore album from Warpaint, the all-female band from Los Angeles who once made spelling sound this good. Warpaint is due out next Tuesday. [[...]
This track from Mapei, the 22-year-old with roots in Stockholm and Providence, has been perfect in both its original and remixed forms. Now it's acoustic, and it's mournful and soaring in a totally unexpected way. For its next trick, "Don't Wait" will take be reborn as a phoenix and finally take flight. [via]
"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.
There's good reason to debate the girl-power cred of the mononymous chanteuse: these single-named chart-topping women have massive fanbases and worldwide recognition, and assigning any particular ideological label can have far-reaching trickle-down cultural effects. But I'm going to come out and say it:
Yes. Enya is feminist.
1. Enya is a woman
2. Enya has sold 75 million records worldwide and is the best-selling Irish solo musician of ever
3. Having performed in 10 languages, Enya celebrates and respects women of many cultures, including cultures that are made-up and only exist in Middle Earth
4. Flouting the rules of conventional femininity, Enya has short hair
5. Flouting the rules of "not looking [...]
Two live performances are getting me through this snowy morning: first, from 22-year-old Texas singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz, a set at NPR Music's Tiny Desk, where she performed songs off of her third album, Build Me Up From the Bones. I wasn't familiar with her music, and it's an easy, folksy-but-poppy listen. Second, after the jump, Chvrches performs "We Sink" on the Letterman stage. It's one of those renditions that makes you love the track even more.
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, [...]
Here's the latest, high-energy single from Angel Haze's debut album, Dirty Gold. We talked to her at length back in November, and I just wrote her up for New York's annual "Reasons to Love New York" issue (she's No. 6, right between the guy who's drawing every New Yorker and the cronut). In our interview, I asked her about her perfect day in the city—she just moved back to Williamsburg after spending five months in L.A.—and her answer was, characteristically, darkly descriptive:
It’s raining! Everything is slow. You can go outside without feeling like suffocated by the cluttered street. And it [...]
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]