New Music Weekly is your one stop shop for new releases in the world of music each and every week. From the best of the best, to some of the rest, Mark Conroy is here to give you the low down on what you might have missed. This week: Eminem, Chromeo, Kamaiyah and more…
Chromeo return to blend funk and pristine pop production from the 80s and pour the sweet tasting result all over us. Some might grit their teeth at the thought of the sugary sweet vibes of ‘Juice’ but given the right mood, it can scintillate. Like a more radio-ready take on ‘Neon Indian’, the track is drenched in Miami Vice poolside bliss and stacked with fluorescent pop hooks. It’s the perfect distraction for Reagan-era geopolitical uncertainly—which I’ll admit may not be enough to help you forget about Trump-era geopolitical uncertainty.
Kamaiyah ‘Playa in Me’
Sza may have stolen our hearts in 2017 but let’s not forget about 2016’s rap queen. Following on from last year’s breezy and brilliant A Good Night in the Ghetto, the reliably cocksure Kamaiyah dropped a surprise new mixtape entitled Before I Wake during the week. Of all these tracks, ‘Play In Me’ makes the most immediate impression. It’s not a lyrically complex powerhouse, but the domineering delivery and self-assured sneer present in lines like “I’m the coldest bitch alive” supplies the track’s voluptuous venom. With its manifest destiny sing a long-gone chorus over the smooth liquid production, this is Hip-pop for the party woman who brings the party to her, whether anyone is there to see it or not.
Michael Rault ‘Sleep With Me’
Montreal pop-rocker Michael Rault evokes the psychedelic optimism of latter-day Beatles on ‘Sleep With Me’. The simple sweetness of the piano chords, the hospitable harmony work and kind of warm, warped production work that was experimental in the 60s come together to make a perfectly pleasant piece of escapist pop.
Eminem ‘Walk on Water ft. Beyoncé
Eminem resurfaces on the rather joyless and uber-serious ‘Walk on Water’, a stuttering slow piano ballad that not even Beyoncé can save. Marshall Mathers wants you to know he’s facing the facts, that he’s aware the game has changed, and he hasn’t changed with it. He’s out of touch and can’t match what others are doing in the same field. As always, there’s some clever verbal gymnastics but in the end it is all for naught. He thinks rapping about his own obsolescence makes him less obsolete. It doesn’t, it just makes it that bit sadder because he knows what we do.
Kimbra ‘Top of the world’
Remember Kimbra? The woman who gave us the sweet voiced feature on that garbage baa baa black sheep monster hit ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ by Gotye. Well if you weren’t aware of her solo material, you should do so now. New single ‘Top of the World’ is a stellar blend of tribal chant, EDM propulsion and swaggering female centric pop. The presence of co-producer Skrillex is welcoming restrained but becomes reliably apparent just when it needs to be. His minor explosion of heavy hook drops add weight to Kimbra’s cocky proclamations. At times she’s recalls the searing ego trip of Kanye West’s ‘I Am a God’, and they say Taylor Swift is the one channelling Yeezus.
True Blue ‘Bad Behaviour’
The sometimes bassist of and vocalist of Porches Maya Laner returns to her solo project with lovely and languid ‘Bad Behaviour’. On the track, Laner laments about the self-destructive patterns she can’t escape via an deeply felt and elegant falsetto. The droopy horns, glisteningly gloomy synths and the heart-breaking lyrics make for a ballad that’s beauty lies in sweet sense of self-acceptance.
Mica Levi ‘Interlude 2’
After her standout work in Under the Skin and Jackie, 30-year old Mica Levi is fast becoming one of the most singular and exciting voices working in soundtracks. ‘Interlude 2’ from her score work for anime short Delete Beach. It’s typically sparse piece of minimart electronics that’s short on sonic variety but rich in atmosphere.