“Faceshopping” is the third single for SOPHIE’s 2018 effort, and it is insanity. She layers her own distorted vocals into a metallic and glitchy beat, and the vocals of frequent collaborator Cecile Believe provide the software to the production’s hardware. Although “Faceshopping” is a futuristic pop song about surface-level presentation, it wrenches something primal from the chest. It rips it out to beat and clank and screech in broad daylight.
Father John Misty, “Mr. Tillman”
Josh Tillman’s latest release as Father John Misty is a cheerfully sinister affair, a pop song sprinkled with glockenspiel and told by a frustrated hotel concierge. Through a mask of courtesy that erodes throughout the song, said concierge alternately chides and consoles Tillman with increasing absurdity. The impersonal verses are punctuated by Tillman’s insistence that he’s “feeling so fine,” despite a wealth of evidence for the opposite. The song concludes with an eerie glockenspiel solo, the high note a little too low, just dissonant enough to keep us guessing.
Sir Michael Rocks, “Krillin In Yo Hood”
The Cool Kids member and Chicago rapper Sir Michael Rocks continues to drop quirky, eccentric sounds with his latest single, “Krillin In Yo Hood.” The artist boasts his technical abilities with tightly-packed, rapid-fire bars over the entirety of the Dragon Ball Z inspired track. Sir Michael Rocks remains one of hip hop’s most confident and illustrious figures today.
Shannon & the Clams, “Backstreets”
While their entire album Onion is worth listening to, Shannon & the Clams’ single “Backstreets” greets the listener with an instant wistful and sentimental feeling. Shannon & the Clams are known for their beachy garage punk and surf sound, comparable to that of the Growlers or Tijuana Panthers. The chorus transitions from their familiar fast-paced swing to a slower and more comforting sound. “Backstreets” incorporates the gyrations involved in a typical beachy song with an added nostalgic and dreamy nuance.
SALES, “Off and On”
Florida pop two-piece SALES is back with the second single from their forthcoming project which is teased to release this summer. “Off and On” displays a slight deviation from the band’s previous sound, all while incorporating familiar elements from their previous releases. The track is warm and swirly; Lauren Morgan’s vocals bounce off the cut’s guitar leads with lovely charisma and charm, leaving the listener daydreaming in a pool of organized noise.
Khalid feat. Swae Lee, “The Ways”
Executively produced by Kendrick Lamar, the “Black Panther” soundtrack was packed with hits from a variety of artists. Khalid and Swae Lee’s “The Ways” is smooth and intoxicating. The track’s tropical production and Khalid’s airy vocals combine for one of the catchiest R&B tracks of the year thus far.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, “Not in Love We’re Just High”
Funky and introspective, “Not in Love We’re Just High” sets the bar high for Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s upcoming album Sex & Food. Listeners, while initially bombarded with a cacophony of sounds, quickly ease into the soothing vocals, cool synths and infectious beat of the pseudo-ballad about a cocaine-induced infatuation. Though seemingly cohesive with 2013’s II and 2015’s Multi Love, “Not in Love We’re Just High” and lead single “American Guilt” point to a more reflective look at the times we live in today. Sex & Food is set for release Apr. 6 via Jagjaguwar.
Rejjie Snow feat. Dana Williams, “Room 27”
Irish rapper Rejjie Snow returns with a melancholically dreamy cut from his latest LP, Dear Annie. Dana Williams sends the track into a cloudy bed of sonic bliss over the track’s hook as Snow delivers depressing, introspective bars in his verses. The rapper contemplates suicide in a despairing quest for the so-called “27 Club.”
A.A.L (Against All Logic), “I Never Dream”
American-Chilean producer Nicolas Jaar released his debut album under the moniker A.A.L this month. 2012-2017 features danceable, bright tracks, most notably highlighted by the ever-so-funky cut “I Never Dream.” Jaar’s intricate sample slicing sets the track apart from his electronic contemporaries, displaying a broad range of seamless and subtle sounds all wound up in one delightful package.
Janelle Monáe, “Make Me Feel”
Certified badass Janelle Monáe brings flashy, bubbly sounds with “Make Me Feel,” one of two debut singles from her upcoming album Dirty Computer. This will be the artist’s first LP in five years as she comes off success from her roles in films such as “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight.” If you like the nostalgic charm of artists like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, this track is sure to make your day.
Will is an Artsweek Editor. In his free time he enjoys listening to Death Grips and having heated discussions about the legitimacy of astrology.