It’s a rainy weekend, which means it’s a fine time to settle in with a cup of tea and some pleasantly mellow music. We’ve got plenty of that, and we’ve also got new SOPHIE and Jeezy, which are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Vive la difference!
Tindersticks — “We Are Dreamers!” (feat. Jehnny Beth)
Pairing Stuart Staples’ fine-wine baritone with Savages singer Jehnny Beth’s vocals is one of those ideas that looks somewhat counterintuitive on paper but makes perfect sense on record. Beth’s role on this song is not unlike Patti Smith’s on R.E.M.’s “E-Bow the Letter” all those years ago, a foil for the lead vocals who ends up stealing the show.
WOKE — “The Lavishments Of Light Looking” (feat. George Clinton)
This collective might as well be called the Afrofuturist All-Stars — it comprises Flying Lotus, Shabazz Palaces, and Thundercat, which means it features the three most prominent musical explorers of inner and/or outer space working today (it could probably use some Ras G and Gonjasufi, too, but you can’t have everything). The song itself — released as part of Adult Swim’s singles series, which you can download for free — is predictably spacey and trippy, and features vocals from George Clinton, because of course it does. Excellent.
Ethiopian Records — “Running Shoes”
Ethiopian Records is exactly what it says on the tin — it’s a project of Addis Ababa producer Endeguena Mulu, and it’s fascinating. The sounds are a mile away from what you might instinctively associate with Ethiopia — there’s no hint of Ethiojazz or bolel here, for instance. Instead, it’s abstract electronic music that drifts from idea to idea, never quite settling into a groove and never giving any hint of what might be coming next.
SOPHIE — “MSMSMSMS”
This sounds like the soundtrack to some ghastly Mario-esque video game where you keep dying while jumping for the same moving platform, again and again and again. It’s pretty great, in other words. (In other news, you can also buy a SOPHIE dildo.)
Jeezy — “Gold Bottles”
True story: Jeezy can afford really fucking expensive booze!