The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: Horse Lords, Chloe x Halle, Ross From Friends


Did you drink your Lemonade this week? We can forgive you if you’ve been exhausted by the Beyoncé blitz in the music press this week, and we’ve got just the cure to ail you: more new music (or videos), all from artists not married to Jay-Z.

This week, we’ve got a new video from the riders of Rohan, a pair of baby Beyoncés set to break out, the D∆WN of a new Kingdom, and Rihanna doing that thing where she walks around nude and murders men. But first, a new jam from a dorky archaeologist with an annoying voice:

Ross From Friends – “Talk To Me You’ll Understand”

Ross From Friends is a deep house DJ and producer who holds the distinction of having the best DJ name we’ve heard so far in 2016. “Talk To Me You’ll Understand” is an early preview of his forthcoming EP You’ll Understand, and it builds off the classic 4/4 house standard beat, laying down some atmospheric keyboard synths and a guitar solo straight out of an ’80s blockbuster.

Horse Lords – “Truthers”

When we spoke with Guerilla Toss ahead of the premiere of their “Perfume” video, the band told us that Horse Lords were among their favorite bands of the moment, and after a few days with Interventions (out today on Northern Spy), its new LP, we’re inclined to agree. “Truthers” leads off with some swirling finger-tapping on guitar, with a tone that simultaneously evokes Saharan desert blues and experimental noise. They celebrate the new LP’s release at Brooklyn’s Market Hotel tonight with No Wave Godfather James Chance & The Contortions; if nothing else, it’s sure to get weird.

Chloe X Halle – “Drop”

After noticing our favorite Afro-Cuban twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz stuntin’ in Beyoncé’s Lemonade film, we decided to look into the other paragons of young black excellence on display in Queen Bey’s opus. First up is Chloe X Halle, the teenage sisters who signed to Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment imprint after their cover of the pop star’s “Pretty Hurts” went viral. Our first impression is surprise at how mature the sound, structure and lyrics sound—it might be time for us to give the teens a bit more credit when it comes to making substantial pop art. The First Lady sure has.

D∆WN X Kingdom – “Honest”

We’ve been stanning for the Fade to Mind/Nightslugs family of labels since their Kelela showcase, Cut 4 Me, dropped a few years ago, and figurehead Kingdom has been on our radar ever since. His latest release is a collaboration with Dawn Richard, “Honest,” for a forthcoming Fade To Mind compilation. It’s got his trademark stutter-step percussion and synthetic atmospherics, and Richard softens up her typically razor-sharp persona, taking a break from stomping on haters for a little raw honesty.

Rihanna – “Needed Me”

Rihanna’s Anti took a minute to grow on us, but “Needed Me” grabbed us from the get-go. It’s Rihanna at her baddest: “Don’t get it twisted/ You was just anotha nigga on the hit list/ Tryin’a fix your inner issues with a bad bitch/ Didn’t they tell you that I was a savage? Fuck your white horse and a carraige.” The beat grinds like the leopard print booty tatted strippers in the video, and while the video’s “plot” has little to do with the subject matter, her face, her walk, her whole whole look — matches it perfectly. Flexing on how disposable your sex partners are (and how bad they wish they weren’t) is old hat for rappers and R&b dudes, but it’s hard not to root for Rihanna here. If anyone has earned the right to objectify men, it’s Rihanna. And she makes it look so good.