It’s Friday, which means its time for our weekly retrospective of this week’s best new music. This round gives us previews of long-anticipated albums from embattled MC M.I.A. and critical favorite Oneohtrix Point Never, plus new raps from Rick Ross and Lil Ugly Mane in addition to the return of long-absent acts like New York synthpop act the Blow and the Pixies, who remain beloved despite their new material’s mixed reviews. All of them are available gratis after the jump to help aid your post-summer ennui.
M.I.A. — “Come Walk With Me”
It’s not easy being an M.I.A. fan, but those of us who kept the faith through MAYA, Trufflegate, and serious label drama have been rewarded with a return to gloriously eclectic form. It’s been almost a year and a half in the making (the track was first previewed last spring), but the slow-jam-turned-dance-song seems worth the wait. Hopefully Matangi, the singer’s “Paul Simon on acid” fourth LP, will have just as big a payoff.
Oneohtrix Point Never — “Zebra”
It’s almost impossible to summarize a Oneohtrix Point Never track, let alone a seven-minute long tour de force like “Zebra.” But the second full song from Daniel Lopatin’s upcoming album R Plus Seven has all the intricate beauty one expects from Oneohtrix’s signature layered, instrumental sound.
The Blow — “From the Future”
It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from the Blow (seven years, to be exact), but Khaela Maricich seems to be doing just fine without her longtime collaborator Jona Bechtolt, now of YACHT. Even though Bechtolt’s been replaced by Melissa Dyne and the band moved their base of operations from Portland to New York, Maricich’s precocious lyrics and poppy vibe are still intact on “From the Future,” the second track from the Blow’s upcoming self-titled album.
Pixies — “Indie Cindy”
It’s not necessarily a “best” track; in fact, the consensus is that it’s pretty awful (the Pitchfork pan of EP-1 is one for the ages). But it’s the Pixies, which means any roundup of the week’s biggest releases would be remiss in not including the first in what promises to be a steady stream of new material over the next year. Thus, “Indie Cindy,” the free single off EP-1 and the only track as yet with a video.
Queens of the Stone Age — “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High”
An Arctic Monkeys cover from Josh Homme and company, brought to you by BBC Radio 1. It’s acoustic and surprisingly low-key for one rock group covering another, and a pleasant surprise amid the hype for the Arctic Monkey’s upcoming album AM, the group’s fifth.
Machinedrum — “Gunshotta”
Every song from Machinedrum’s upcoming concept record Vapor City is meant to evoke a specific location in the namesake city that’s literally of the producer’s dreams. “Gunshotta,” the second single from the September 30th album, comes with cover art from illustrator Eclair Fifi as a helpful visual aide.
Los Campesinos! — “What Death Leaves Behind”
If you were a teenager in 2009, you’re a sucker for Los Campesinos!, no ifs, ands, or buts. And you’ll probably be ecstatic to hear that the Welsh rockers have an album, No Blues, coming out at the end of October. Here’s the first single, sure to provoke instant high school flashbacks for millennials everywhere.
Ryan Hemsworth — “Against a Wall (ft. Lofty305)”
The first single off of October’s Guilt Trips, “Against a Wall” pairs up Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth with Miami rapper Lofty305. The result is a typically dreamy track with dialed-down vocals and a gorgeous, hazy feel to it.
Rick Ross — “No Games (ft. Feature)
“No Games” is loud, proud, and exactly what one envisions blasting out of the speakers at a frat party where the fraternity brothers know better than to rage to Macklemore. Everyone looks forward to a Rick Ross guest spot, but “No Games” suggests Ross’s upcoming Mastermind will help bolster his solo career.
Lil Ugly Mane — “On Doing an Evil Deed Blues”
Eight minute Southern rap odyssey, complete with surreal samples, slo-mo interludes, and sinister-looking cover art? Check. Your Friday is complete.