Another quiet week for major album releases, but great singles bode well for the rest of the fall.
SZA – Quicksand (Spotify)
The newest track from leading lady, SZA, is directly in her wheelhouse. She sings her sweet melodies over a laid-back, synth-heavy R&B beat, and the outcome is nothing shocking, just more great music from this on-the-rise singer. “Quicksand” would have flowed seamlessly into her most recent release “Ctrl,” which came out in June to unanimous acclaim. This song is on the “Insecure” Season 2 soundtrack and the meteoric rise of that show is similar to that of SZA’s in the past year. Originally signed to Top Dawg Entertainment with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q, SZA moved on to RCA Records earlier this year and her output and presence is noticeably improved since. Because SZA has released a new album and can do no wrong, you should not hold your breath for new material from this New Jersey singer.
Hundred Waters – Wave to Anchor (Spotify)
Hundred Waters, from “Show Me Love (Skrillex Remix)” fame, is an indie/electronic group with one of the best female lead singers in the world. The things the band does to lead singer Nicole Miglis’ vocals are mind-boggling. Her voice drifts in and out of the up-tempo beat here and it is mesmerizing. I listened to this song on Mac speakers, but would advise some big headphones. The band’s new album is being released this Friday and is a must listen.
Everything is Recorded – Mountains of Gold (feat. Sampha, Ibeyi, Wiki & Kamasi Washington) (Spotify)
I had the latest Ibeyi and Kamasi Washington song on here last week, so Everything is Recorded must be a reader. The man who put all these artists in a room (figuratively now because of the internet), is XL Recordings label-head Russell Richards, who goes by the artist name Everything is Recorded. The standout from this song is New York rapper Wiki, who is coming off his debut album “No Mountains in Manhattan,” which was released in late August. If anyone reading this thinks all new rappers mumble constantly, and have no lyrical chops, then look no further than Wiki as your saviour. This 23-year old sounds very New York on “Mountains of Gold,” rapping over the soulful melodies of the cast around him. If you are a fan of this song, another track from Everything is Recorded, “Close but not Quite (feat. Sampha),” is a must listen.
Broken Machine – Live Like Animals (Spotify)
This chorus is absolutely hype-town USA. There is really no other way of describing it. I picture the inner monologue of JJ Watt as he destroys helpless an offensive lineman to be similar to this chorus. “Live Like Animals” is technically an alternative-rock song, but I would define it as pure energy.
Injury Reserve – North Pole (Spotify)
The latest song from Arizona hip-hop trio, is a deviation from their maximalist bangers, to a more introspective track here with “North Pole.” Their recent rise to stardom has not been without its drawbacks, as the first verse from Stepa J Groggs is mostly about the changes the group have experienced since their “songs have been going up.” The second verse, a message from Ritchie with a T to a dead friend from his childhood, is as emotionally charged a verse as you will hear all year. The group’s new EP “Drive It Like It’s Stolen” is expected for late September.
Tove Lo – Disco T**s (Spotify)
You can always count on Tove Lo for some sexually, over-the-top dance music, and she again delivers with “Disco T**s.”
Ski Mask the Slump God – No Tilt (feat. Lil’ Yachty & A$AP Ferg)
Produced by “XO Tour Llif3” creator and human anglerfish, TM88, “No Tilt” features the most insane hip-hop beat of the week (The picture to the right gives you an idea of TM88’s haircut. It is a truly bold and innovative step in human hair styles). This beat should sound bad. It sounds like an old submarine trying to get a signal from a broken radio. I have no idea where TM88 found that noise, but what is more surprising is that he heard it and said to himself, “I can make a beat out of that noise.” I have no idea what the Slump God is up to on this song. The sounds he is making from the background adds nothing to the song and becomes really annoying at the end of his verse, but Yachty and Ferg are there to save him.
Here are a few songs that might have been missed from the summer break that deserve a listen as well.
Jay Electronica – Letter to Fallon
Radiohead – I Promise
Vince Staples – Yeah Right (big speakers needed)
Teddy Craven is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.