Black Milk – ‘Everyday Was’ ft. Mel
Opening with 16-bit synth sounds before transitioning into the track proper, Black Milk’s new album If There’s A Hell Below harks back to Cannibal Ox’s 2001 album The Cold Vein. On this opening track, ‘Everyday Was’, a simple and catchy bass melody forms the backbone of a beautifully textured instrumental, once again reminiscent of that CanOx classic.
Dutch Uncles – ‘In n Out’
The first sample of O Shudder, the new album from Dutch Uncles, ‘In n Out’ is an unashamed sex ballad expressed through a bouncy 80’s filter. Big bass slides and Tears For Fears-esque guitars shimmer over a punchy, stark vocal from vocalist Duncan Wallis, on what proves to be a genuinely hypnotic indie pop track.
Viet Cong – ‘Continental Shelf’
Gloomy and seeped in repressed emotion, Viet Cong is a band featuring former members of Calgary band Women, and they seem intent continuing to channel the same dark energies as in their previous outfit. ‘Continental Shelf’ is their debut track, at least in this new form; gangly and tortured, it’s only natural to get excited for their first full length release.
Iamamiwhoami – ‘Chasing Kites’
To Whom It May Concern
Another cut from her forthcoming album, BLUE – due later this year – Scandinavian visionary Iamamiwhoami releases possibly her most direct and pop track since 2012’s ‘Play’. ‘Chasing Kites’ is a big, melodic ballad and is one of her strongest releases in years, and features the same audiovisual accompaniment that she has become renowned for – the new album cant come soon enough.
宇宙コンビニ – ‘Everything Changes’
No Big Deal
Better known as Uchu Combini to Western listeners, ‘Everything Changes’ is a stunning new single from the Japanese math rock group. Featuring the touching songwriting of Maybeshewill with the guitar technicality of TTNG (This Town Needs Guns,) rhythmic rock fans will be hard pressed to find a more impressive guitar riff anywhere this month.
Sleater-Kinney – ‘Bury Our Friends’
Since calling it quits in 2006, the members of Washington’s Sleater-Kinney have hardly paused for breath between fresh creative projects, but the return of the iconic feminist band has set excitement levels to fever pitch for many 90’s rock fans. Debuted this month as the first track from 2015’s No Cities To Love, ‘Bury Our Friends’ picks up where the trio left off, with impossibly catchy hooks alongside a rousing message: “Exhume our idols, and bury our friends! We’re wild and weary but we won’t give in!”
Paula Temple – ‘Deathvox’
Bludgeoning. That’s one word that might sum up the new electronic madness on Paula Temple’s latest EP Deathvox. Behemoth walls of industrial noise meet pounding techno rhythms on the title track – all at once, unearthly manmade machine noises squeal over thudding, natural acoustic percussive sounds like some kind of dystopian chase scene, creating a cinematic experience similar to the masterful production on Ben Frost’s latest album, Aurora.
Run The Jewels – ‘Oh My Darling Don’t Cry’
Colourful, crass and cartoonishly violent, every track on Run The Jewels 2 directly mirrors the stark zombie stickup adorning its cover. El-P and Killer Mike debuted the project last year to critical acclaim, and expectations were high for the sequel. 2 goes above and beyond; its verses are biting, its flows are relentless, and its instrumentals can only be described as “bangers” from start to finish – whether on the twisted and trap-inspired ‘Lie, Cheat, Steal’, the hyper-sexualized dirge of ‘Love Again’, or the menacing groove on the Zack De La Rocha-featuring ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’. No track sums up Run The Jewels 2 like ‘Oh My Darling Don’t Cry’ – glitchy enough to intimidate but not so much as to make it a difficult listen, holding strong pop sensibilities that ensure it’s catchiness is rivaled only by its sheer aggression. In a year already filled with brilliant rap releases, Run The Jewels 2 is a cornerstone and a centerpiece in 2014’s hip hop vernacular.