Despite a barely premature leak of an anticipated album, the scariest news this week has been Trump-related, with the Donald set to make his SNL debut this Saturday, sharing a stage with takes-no-shit musical guest Sia.
In terms of new music, though, there was a plethora of exciting new options to choose from, but we managed to narrow it down to five of our favorites. There’s a new single from a promising young Def Jam MC, some South American vibes from an ascendant DJ/producer, an oddball supergroup reissue, and new blessings from the goddess known as Grimes. But first, a posthumous release from some influential Chicago scenesters:
8-Inch Betsy — “Get in the Van”
Chicago queer punk outfit 8-Inch Betsy certainly put in the time in their hometown scene, and after more than a decade together, are releasing their final LP, The Mean Days, next Friday, November 13. They’re the last 8-Inch Betsy recordings from singer and songwriter Meghan Gailbraith, who passed away earlier this year from a year-long illness. “Get in the Van” is a bouncy, crunchy pop-punk jam with a dark premise, a bittersweet triumph.
Logic — “Fade Away”
The young Maryland MC Logic made waves last year with his debut album Under Pressure, his first LP with Def Jam. He wasted no time working on a followup — “Fade Away” is its third single. The looped backing vocals sound like a Q-Tip-freaked old school soul or R&B sample, and the boom-bap drum beat is built for bopping. Logic’s flow is impressive, varying cadence, rhythm, and intonation to great effect. His new LP, The Incredible True Story, also drops next Friday, November 13.
Bosq — “Cumbia en Bahia”
Wax Poetics just premiered the new video from Bosq, he of the Whiskey Barons fame, “Cumbia en Bahia.” The video, shot by the producer/DJ himself while on vacation in South America, has heavy iMovie-effect home video vibes, but gives a visual representation of the home of the culture he’s celebrating with the track. Bring a little of the southern hemisphere up north as the winter bears down on us.
Alan Vega, Alex Chilton, Ben Vaughn — “Fly Away”
Back in 1996, Ben Vaughn, Suicide’s Alan Vega, and Big Star’s Alex Chilton teamed up to make the experimental album Cubist Blues for Henry Rollins’ 2.13.61 label. The fruit of two all-night improv sessions at Dessau Studios in New York, the weird, sparse recordings would be their only output; they played just two shows before calling it quits. Now Light in the Attic and Munster Records have teamed up to reissue the forgotten LP; it’s out December 4.
Grimes — “Pin”
Grimes’ hotly anticipated fourth LP, Art Angels, leaked earlier this week and saw an official release early this morning. We’re still wrapping our heads around it, but “Pin” is an early favorite. Claire Boucher has started working guitar tracks into her mixes, and her axe skills are on display here, paired with an atmospheric hook and vocal tracks manipulated into a percussive beat. Check back for more on Art Angels next week, but you can listen for yourself: it’s out now on 4AD, and you can buy it on iTunes or stream it on Spotify.