Our music editor Jillian Mapes is taking a well-earned break from song-roundup duties today, which means you get me LARPing Chris Weingarten and nerding out over Tim Hecker instead. Rejoice! It’s not just our experimental electronic hero this week, though — there’s also the long-overdue return of Blonde Redhead and the longer-overdue return of Death from Above 1979, along with a new track from the inimitable Young Thug and a piece of pleasant summery weirdness from Helado Negro. Bam.
Death from Above 1979 — “Trainwreck 1979”
Yay for the return of Death from Above 1979, whose sole album You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine was one of the great under-appreciated records of the 2000s. Almost exactly decade after its release, they’re scheduled to release a follow-up entitled The Physical World, and this is the first single. On first listen, it’s perhaps not quite as memorable as the best moments from their first record, but still, it augurs well for their return. Huzzah.
Tim Hecker — “Amps, Drugs, Mellotron”
A reinterpretation of the Virgins album track “Amps, Drugs, Harmonium,” with the harmonium of the latter replaced by… yes, a mellotron. This was released earlier this week as part of Adult Swim’s ever-fascinating Singles Program, and if anything, it’s even warmer and more immersive than the original.
Blonde Redhead — “Dripping”
A quiet, understated track even by Blonde Redhead’s standards, this is the second song released from their upcoming album Barragán, which is out on September 2. “Dripping” is dreamy and kind of unfocused, albeit in an entirely positive way, and come to think of it, would have sat very nicely on our playlist for summer-night rooftop drinking.
Young Thug — “Lifestyle”
Young Thug is kinda like a post-millennial reincarnation of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, a man with unique phrasing and an instantly recognizable style who also appears to be, well, y’know, batshit crazy. This is taken from his new mixtape 1017 Thug 2, and while the Auto-Tune-heavy hook will be a matter of taste, the verses are as uniquely arresting as ever.
Helado Negro — “I Krill You”
From last week, technically, but still, worth a listen. You might know Helado Negro from his work with Julianna Barwick as OMBRE — that’s where I first heard of him, anyway — and his solo work shares a somewhat dreamy feeling, although there’s something more tangible and less ephemeral about this track, especially its pulsing, pounding bassline. It also takes a couple of unexpected left turns over the course of its five-and-a-half minutes. Aaaaaaaand that’s all for this week!