BoJack Horseman is a new animated sitcom on Netflix about a washed-up sitcom star who happens to be an anthropomorphic horse-person. The first season is already streaming, and there’s a second one on the way. The show has a very serious cast of voice talent, with Will Arnett in the lead role and Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris, and Paul F. Tompkins backing him up. And the show’s creators also roped a big name into doing the theme music. Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney is responsible for the loungey minute-long instrumental that soundtracks the opening credits; check it out below.
The Weeknd shared one-off track “King Of The Fall” earlier this year to promote the announcement of a five-date tour with ScHoolboy Q and Jhené Aiko. Just a few weeks before that tour is set to begin, he’s shared a video for the song. It’s a typical Weeknd affair, featuring slick production values and pretty girls, all while Abel Tesafaye walks around in slo-mo and pretends to be an innocent observer even as his lyrics betray otherwise. Watch below.
Killer Mike is one of the great interviews in all of popular music, as he showed in a recent CNN appearance, in which he talked, with great eloquence and emotion, about the fucking absurd police presence at the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. But Mike also appears to know how to tailor his message to his audience, and he came off just as well earlier this week, when he was interviewed on Fox Business Network (by the former Alternative Nation VJ Kennedy!) to talk about the police presence in Ferguson. Mike’s father is a former Atlanta police officer, and on Fox, he talked about how the best way for police to stay safe is to become involved with the communities they’re promoting. He also ingratiated himself with the Fox set by mentioning his NRA membership and invoking his Constitutional rights. If anyone can get a message across on Fox News, it’s this guy. Watch it below.
Ariana Grande’s sophomore set My Everything, out this week, is part of at least two long legacies. The more obvious of those is the tradition of children’s TV stars stepping into the industry machine and walking out pop stars on the other side. The album is exceptional for what it is — a compendium of conservative yet youthful takes on a wide range of styles with a relatively hip slate of guests including the Weeknd, Big Sean, and Childish Gambino. As the stylistic gulf between the sassy, brassy “Problem” and the EDM-poppy “Break Free” hinted at, Grande and her team cover a lot of ground on this record in the horizontal sense. There’s some trad ballads, some hip-hop-oriented tracks, a few that skew toward EDM without going all-in like “Break Free” — and what could have been an unlistenable jumble is instead a smooth ride. The album should help Grande cover a lot of territory in the vertical climb-to-stardom sense too. Although My Everything’s songs scan as slightly anonymous, as professional grade radio jams they range from good to great; anything on My Everything could work as a single. And even if Grande is still struggling to project a compelling persona on screen and in the vocal booth, My Everything succeeds as a transitional step on the path from teeny-bopper to genuine pop star. The record suggests commercial safety for now and opens the door to further mature exploration down the road. Despite obviously following in the footsteps of Mariah Carey, it embodies that sentiment Britney Spears expressed with “Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman,” only with songs Grande could still feel respectable singing 20 years from now assuming her career lasts that long.
Sea Oleena will soon release an album titled Shallow, though her new single, “If I’m,” sounds anything but. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric piece that stretches the definition of a singer-songwriter to its most ambient and spacious limit. Oleena’s work has been deservedly compared to Grouper’s most song-oriented material, but “If I’m” weaves in some snapping beats and sharp strings, building tension without releasing it too soon. Where you might expect the song to finally boil over, it moves instead into an even lovelier ambient comedown, as if the whole thing just evaporates right in front of you. Listen.
SOHN is a British-born and Vienna-based dance producer who got some shine for remixing Disclosure and who released his debut album Tremors earlier this year. Today, he’s shared a non-album loosie called “The Chase,” a warm, bubbling synth-soul track with some lovely adult-contempo vocals and a strong sense of atmosphere. Give it a listen below.
Win Butler never met a Canadian celebrity basketball game he didn’t want to take part in, and next month, he’ll share the court with some fellow indie rock heavy hitters at this year’s Pop Vs. Jock charity game. The game is an annual part of the Pop Montreal festival, and both Win and Will Butler will play for the Pop team, as they have in years previous. As Exclaim! reports, Strokes bassist Nikolai Fraiture, another veteran of the game, will also play, as will Bon Iver’s eternally busy Justin Vernon. Spurs role player and noted indie rock superfan Matt Bonner will coach the Pop team. The game goes down 9/20 at McGill University Sports Centre.
Experimental guitarist Luke Wyatt aka Torn Hawk might get the award for most accurate song title of the week. “I’m Flexible,” the first single off his upcoming Let’s Cry And Do Push Ups At The Same Time, mangles synths, drum machines, and guitar playing in the same way he has through many releases, but here it hits with a muscular heaviness. It’s a beautiful piece of music filled with sounds that are grindingly abrasive. The dichotomy makes “I’m Flexible” a song that you can sit with and appreciate for all of its art, or simply enjoy the aural wonder. The best comparison from this year is probably Mark McGuire’s Album Of The Week Along The Way, but Wyatt covers much more ground. It conjures the same inward-looking space sounds of pre-Replica Oneohtrix Point Never, but with the a pure-pleasure electronica that reminds you how great that first Ratatat album was. This is around the time of the year when I expect the unexpected, a late in the season game changer that makes me reconsider what my favorite recent music is. That might have just happened. Listen to it below soundtracking one of Wyatt’s “visual mulch” constructions.