This week we were treated to breakout releases from two artists that have been primed to blow up for some time: Dilly Dally and Kelela. But there was plenty of other new music and video to comb through, and we’ve found a nice mix of raw and hype, pure bliss and deep sadness.
Take a look below to go “Downtown” with some Majical Cloudz, “Get Bummed Out” with Sports, stand atop the rubble with El-P and Killer Mike, and tour the “Shitty World” while exploring your Daddy Issues. But first, get a little taste of Pity Sex:
Pity Sex — “What Might Soothe You?”
Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Pity Sex have one of the more awkward (and fun) band names to casually drop in conversation (“Hey, are you into Pity Sex?”), but the smoothed-out tones of their particular brand of shoegaze are way more soothing than any charitable intercourse. They recently finished recording their upcoming full-length, White Hot Moon, which is due sometime in 2016 on Run For Cover; “What Might Soothe You?” is its first single, and features the band’s male/female vocal duo of guitarist Britty Drake and bassist Brandan Pierce.
The video is laden with occult imagery, from a dark baptism to druid robes. The director, Joel Radkowski, told the FADER that he “[c]an’t say I didn’t just want to make a modern Joy Division ‘Atmosphere,'” so do with that what you will.
Majical Cloudz — “Downtown”
Majical Cloudz sounds like the musical manifestation of deep, guttural longing. The Canadian duo, comprised of Devon Welsh and Matthew Otto, layer electronic loops to set haunting moods for Welsh’s soulful croon. “Downtown,” the third single from the project’s third full-length Are You Alone? chronicles an obsession, acknowledging its absurdity with a sobering acceptance:
Nothing you say/will ever be wrong/’cause it just feels good being your arms
The video’s lo-fi black-and-white aesthetic matches the artwork for the record and the other singles, and is just kooky enough to lighten the song’s somber mood. Welsh’s goofy smile cuts through the tension of the shaky camera/swinging light bulb effects. It’s ultimately an odd companion piece to the song, but the song is so beautiful it almost doesn’t matter.
Sports — “Get Bummed Out”
Listening to Sports’ excellent sophomore LP All of Something is bittersweet: its catchy pop hooks and raw emotion are a breath of fresh air, but the band’s future is unclear. They met at Ohio’s Kenyon College, but have since graduated and scattered across the country. “Get Bummed Out” captures the vulnerability of coming out to your crush, and all the insecurity that induces. “Do I make you nervous?/ As nervous as you make me/ if i breathe too close to you?” By the end of the track, singer Carmen Perry convinces herself to “try to get over you before you’re even mine.” Lucky for us, we don’t have to get over Sports quite yet; All of Something is out October 30 on Father/Daughter.
Run The Jewels — “Rubble Kings Theme (Dynamite)”
Rubble Kings is a documentary film by Shan Nicholson that documents gang culture in New York City from 1968-1975. OG New York rapper/producer El-P is friends with the filmmakers, and enlisted his partner in crime Killer Mike to produce this banger for the film’s soundtrack. Rugged and raw, the production sounds as grimy as the film looks (and New York City was in the ’70s). El-P’s verse captures some of the sentiment that informed the birth of hip-hop culture in the Bronx (and elsewhere), a longing for recognition that ultimately manifested itself in defiant expression:
I am done asking and pleading and begging you recognize i am alive/you are done walking inside of the section you’re treading in there is the line
The track was dropped as the penultimate Adult Swim Single, which has seen quite an impressive run. Here’s to hoping it never goes away.
Daddy Issues — “Shitty World”
Daddy Issues is a brand-new trio out of Nashville, Tennessee; local stalwart indie label Infinity Cat recently signed them to a record deal and dropped “Shitty World,” the first single from Can We Still Hang, their tape on Infinity Cat’s cassette series. Jenna Moynihan, Jenna Mitchell, and Emily Maxwell all learned how to play their instruments to start the band, and while that’s certainly clear on “Shitty World,” their personalities shines through, and the assist on guitar from Jeff the Brotherhood’s Jake Orrall doesn’t hurt. And if you happened to notice that the single’s title is oddly reminiscent of their new label mates, you’re certainly not tripping.