Prince’s death hit us like an uppercut to the gut; we’d already been thinking about death, art, and mortality, and the loss of someone so important to so much that we care about in music is never easy to bear.
But there are plenty of places for you to see the Purple One show up classic rock legends, or set the bar impossibly high for any future Super Bowl performance. And we’ll probably be treated to selections from the vault at some point or another. So for now, we’ll move on, somberly. This week’s songs don’t necessarily have anything to do with Prince, but he was certainly on our mind the whole time we picked them out.
A$AP Ferg – “Hungry Ham”
A$AP Ferg is trying his best to leverage his A$AP Mob associations into a career like his homie A$AP Rocky’s, and with his new record, Always Strive and Prosper, he might just succeed. We may not understand exactly what this track, “Hungry Ham,” featuring Skrillex and Guyuanese rapper Crystal Caines, is all about, but we’re digging on Crystal’s flow, and don’t be surprised to see Skrillex ride out the EDM bubble crash producing massive hi-hop records.
Holy Ghost! – “Crime Cutz (Neon Indian vs Holy Ghost! Remix)”
Holy Ghost!’s Alex Frankel may be up to his neck in bagels, fish and pastrami, but he’s also set to release Crime Cutz, the first new record from the dance duo since 2013’s Dynamics. This remix comes courtesy of Frankel friend Alan Palomo, a.k.a. Neon Indian; the 7-minute-plus disco jam is primed for the dancefloor.
PUP – “Doubts”
Toronto punks PUP have been killing themselves on the road in support of their debut self-titled full-length, and recently took some well-deserved time off to recuperate. But they’re back for the attack—”Doubts” is the third single off their upcoming LP The Dream Is Over, out May 27 on SideOneDummy/Royal Mountain, and they hit the road in support of it next month. You’ll have to forgive Zane Lowe for his DJ Clue-esque “WORLD FIRST” ad libs inserted into the track.
Imarhan – “Imarhan”
We’ve been happily devouring as much Tuareg music as we can get our hands on since we were introduced to Bombino last summer. Imarhan hails from the deserts of southern Algeria—where Bombino first picked up a guitar—and offer their own take on blues, west african rhythms, and Tamashek vocals. With their latest, self-titled, LP, they hope to dispel any preconceived notions about the Tuareg, for a sound and an ethos that is expressively urban.
Boys Noize – “Starchild (feat. POLIÇA)”
Berlin’s Alex Ridha, who releases music under the moniker Boys Noize, has a new LP due out later this spring, Mayday. Here on “Starchild,” another Zane Lowe premiere, he enlists the help of Minneapolis’ POLIÇA, whom he met through Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon at his Eau Claire Festival. We caught a bit of POLIÇA in Austin during SXSW, and were mostly struck by the dulcet tones of Channy Leaneagh’s voice, which are on full display here, over Ridhq’s interstellar soundtrack.