True Romance, the excellent debut album from the British pop singer Charli XCX, is pretty much nothing but potential hits, and now another one of them has a video. In the clip for the twinkling and sighing “Take My Hand,” from director Ryan Andrews, Charli swans around a frenetic dance party, throwing come-hither looks in every possible direction. It’s quite a performance. Watch it below.
The Boy Least Likely To reached a certain level of fame in the ’00s on the strength of their debut album The Best Party Ever and the singles “Paper Cuts” and “Be Gentle With Me” (the video for which featured a young Rashida Jones). They soon became the best known example of a genre of twee indie-pop called “cuddlecore” by some, a title that came as a surprise to the band’s singer Jof Owens, but more on that later. After a few years off, The Boy Least Likely To — Owens and Pete Hobbs — are back with a new album, The Great Perhaps, a project they funded with the help of fans via Pledge Music. The album showcases the band’s simple songwriting and emotional lyrics all set to a shyly pop beat fueled by whimsical drum machine rhythms and sly guitar hooks. Owens stopped by Turntable.fm for a chat about the new album, making music on their own schedule and, of course, Kylie Minogue. Yes, that’s the second interview in a row in which Kylie Minogue came up.
After all the feints and subterfuge and precisely-engineered hype, Tomorrow’s Harvest, the first album that Scottish downtempo heroes Boards Of Canada have made in eight years, is imminent. And now, we finally get to hear a studio track from it. “Reach For The Dead” is an ominous, humming instrumental drone-piece with just a few hints of the sad nostalgia that the group used to radiate. Until the glitchy drums kick in two-thirds of the way through, it sounds like something that would be playing on the score of a great ’80s sci-fi movie when the heroes discover something wondrous and terrifying. Listen to it below.
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire has been teasing his upcoming mixtape Kismet for a bit now. And while we’ve heard songs like “Noble Drew Ali” and seen his video “Nightfall At The Thames,” there was still no concrete information about if or when the full collection would actually come out. Finally, the project has an official release date and it’s 6/4. The tape includes collaborations with Danny Brown, Flatbush Zombies, Raider Klan member Key-Nyata, and a head-scratching production credit for Curtis Mayfield. To prep for the release, here’s shortie “Fat Fool,” produced by The Alchemist. No hook, no put-on flair, just eX lyrically bench-pressing 300 and an accompanying video that has him simply being chauffeured through Austin in a rickshaw. Kismet also includes a track called “Chains,” which I have yet to hear, but from what I have been told about the hook, it sounds like proto-”New Slaves,” at least content-wise. Watch the “Fat Fool” video and check out the full Kismet tracklist below.
Settle, the debut album from the brotherly British garage-revivalist duo Disclosure, is still a couple of weeks away, but I’m going to tell you right now that it’s one of the best albums of the year. Thanks to the excellent singles “White Noise” and “You & Me,” you’ve probably already heard one side of their sound: The sweetly melodic, R&B-derived slickness that they can conjure so well. But “When A Fire Starts To Burn,” which more or less works as the album’s opener, shows another side: The absolutely vicious riff-happy dance side. Even when they’re making ferocious instrumental tracks, though, Disclosure sound more euphoric and approachable than you’d believe. “When A Fire Starts To Burn” is an absolute jam, and you can hear it below.
The Halifax-bred producer Ryan Hemsworth has built his name on a form of twinkling, emotive cloud-rap music, though his take on the style is a lot smoother and more grounded than that of, say, Clams Casino. We’ve lately posted Hemsworth tracks like “Perfectly,” “Proto,” and “Colour & Movement,” as well as his remixes for Cat Power, Lana Del Rey, and Rhye. And now Hemsworth has released a free seven-track online EP called Still Awake. Check it out below.
When Earl Sweatshirt invited weed-rap superstar Mac Miller to the stage at Low End Theory to perform a new song a few months ago, the combination seemed weird as fuck. But Miller gets better and more interesting all the time, and a recent FADER cover story revealed that he and Earl are actually really good friends. And today, we get to hear the studio version of “Guild,” the song they performed together. After the staggering “Chum” and the goofy Odd Future group effort “Whoa,” it’s the third complete song we’ve heard from Earl’s rabidly anticipated forthcoming album Doris, which still has no release date.
“Guild” is a clinic in blunted rappity-rap, with Earl and Mac, their voices distorted and pitched down, going in over a twinkling and low-key beat. And I wouldn’t have guessed this would ever happen, but Mac kind of beats Earl on this song? He’s at Myrtle Beach in a purple fleece in hotel lobbies playing Für Elise? He’s at a prop shot in Montauk throwing tomahawks at civilians? I mean, he does really well. Listen to the track at FADER.
Where are you, Fiona Apple? After a banner 2012, the singer-songwriter recently cancelled her only scheduled appearance for 2013, at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival; she also torpedoed a slew of South American tour dates late last year with no signs of rescheduling on the horizon.
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised — disappearance is part and parcel of Apple’s career trajectory. Apple says she rarely ventures outside her Los Angeles home, except when visiting the L.A. club Largo, where she occasionally hops on stage with pal and resident performer Jon Brion. She doesn’t drive and claims there is no one she speaks to on a daily basis. She’s released only four albums in 17 years — 2012′s The Idler Wheel was her first in seven years; it was another six years between the prior one, Extraordinary Machine, and its predecessor, her second effort, When the Pawn …. She’s that especially rare public figure in the digital age — one who still cultivates an air of mystery and distance.