The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week: De La Soul, Aesop Rock, Fear of Men


Today has been quite the day for new music. James Blake surprise-dropped his latest LP, The Colour in Anything, Chance The Rapper bequeathed his “Blessings” on the Tonight Show, preparing us for the impending release of Chance 3, ANOHNI blew our minds with a drone bomb, Death Grips dropped us into a Bottomless Pit, and Dawn Richard and Kingdom sneakily released the rest of their collaborative EP, Infrared. And that’s to say nothing of the new—and impending—Radiohead.

With such a wealth of great new music, for the sake of accuracy, this week’s column should be called “The 5 Best Songs We Heard This Week That We Haven’t Already Opined About At Length.” Still, we trudged on, and found a handful of new tunes to sate your cravings through the weekend. We’ve got some new swill from the World’s Fair, a very uncool clip from Aesop Rock’s latest LP, some gloomy cloudy day beach pop from Brighton, and a band as loopy as its own concept record.

But first, we better call an ambulance for De La Soul:

De La Soul – “Trainwreck”

After giving away all their music for free, and then raising more than half a million to fund their next album via Kickstarter, my dudes in De La Soul have been struggling to release their next LP, And The Anonymous Nobody. They released a 4-track EP, For Your Pain and Suffering, earlier this year, and finally tossed one of them on the streaming services for the hungry bloggers. “Trainwreck” is the only track on on the EP that will make And The Anonymous Nobody, due out this summer. And it knocks—we love the funky bass line and the scuffed hand bell ringing, which recalls fond memories of the disgusting DJ premier beat for KRS-One’s “MCs Act Like They Dont Know.”

Nasty Nigel – “Boone’s Farm”

Nigel makes yet another appearance on 5 songs, this time for this semi-serious ode to being broke as hell and numbing the pain with the cheapest booze you can find (and stomach). His turn on the sung hook might have been executed better by someone who can actually sing, but when you’re gutter like that you ain’t tryin’a pay for no hook. And the World’s Fair MC needs no assistance on his verses, staying in the pocket with his husky Dominican drawl. Authentic New York griminess.

Aesop Rock – “Dorks”

Aesop is one part shaman, one part Ace Ventura in this clip for “Dorks,” a track off his newly released LP The Impossible Kid. He lyrically desiccates the dorks and nerds who question his art over an expertly woven guitar boom-bap beat and a truly fearless sample of Sweet Tee’s “On The Smooth Tip.” Spend your weekend diving into The Impossible Kid, you won’t regret it.

Fear of Men – “Sane”

Read ten reviews of a Fear of Men record, and the word “atmospheric” will likely appear as many times. The sound seems to fill rooms, like smoke seeking empty space to occupy. “Sane,” the third single from the Brighton, U.K.-based band’s album Fall Forever, slowly expands over its first few minutes, before exploding into a machine-gun marching snare percussive spat. But Jessica Weiss’ voice never wavers, the calm amidst a storm of sound. Fall Forever drops June 3 on Kanine.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “People-Vultures”

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are beyond description, but if you’re looking for any indication as to their sound, well, stop at the name. It’s important to note that the newly released “People-Vultures” comes in the middle of Nonagon Infinity, an album that has no breaks for songs, and so it’s full-throttle all the way as the band joins together in the form of a giant, uh, people vulture and fends off what looks like a team of low-rent Power Rangers. The very watchable video undermines the foreboding haunt of the track, though, which finds singer Stu Mackenzie sounding almost possessed as he sings about, deadly ulcers, wild dogs, and voodoo. And, yeah, we know: It’s unbelievable that the most face-melting song of the week comes attached to such an absurd video (which is a direct continuation of this one). —Shane Barnes, Associate Editor