You may not realize it, but you’re smack dab in the middle of a musical renaissance. Anything you want is out there: you just need to wade through oceans of mediocrity to find it. Lucky for you, we have boots. And, uh, ears. Each week, we’ll give you five songs and videos to help soundtrack your life. Come sail away.
Big week: Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift have new videos! Miley Cyrus released an “artsy” album with the Flaming Lips about her dead petz. Kanye said some stuff. Keith Richards says get off his lawn. Looking forward to their 2020 presidential run.
Now, on to the interesting:
1. Riff Raff and Danny Brown, “Wetter Than Tsunami”
A bizarre viral video for Monster Energy drink? Or a more bizarre PSA portending climate change? Otherwise, just your average Riff Raff melange of unicycles, bikinis, blatant product placement, disaster porn, purple snakes and giraffes, soundtracked by a rather disturbing beat straight out of Barnum & Bailey. Riff Raff’s got no time for your storm warnings, though: “Step inside the club/smelling like Miami/ice on my hands/should have won a damn Grammy.”
2. Rockabye Baby!, “All Apologies” (Nirvana lullaby cover)
All those ‘90s alt-rock tunes you love would make perfect lullabies, said ... somebody, apparently. That’s the thinking behind Rockabye Baby!, a label that eases your transition from hip guy to trying-too-hard dad (or mom). Why they didn’t call it “Cherub Rock,” we’ll never know. Their new release deconstructs blink-182 for the newborn demo, but listen here instead for their take on Nirvana’s “All Apologies.” The In Utero swan song played during HBO’s recent Kurt Cobain doc Montage of Heck, soundtracking baby footage of the future rock icon. Solid juxtaposition; guess there is a time and place place for this.
3. Majid Jordan ft. Drake, “My Love”
You know how it is: all these gold-diggers in the club, acting detached and burning your hard-earned cash (literally!). Drake’s latest discovery, a vocalist/producer duo from Toronto, has a future hit — even if it sounds like it was recorded underwater — and what we call #firstworldproblems.
4. Tunde Olaniran, “KYBM”
“This is unconventional.” No kidding. A Flint, Michingan native, “Afro-futurist,” author and, by day, Planned Parenthood employee, Olaniran is garnering critical raves for his hybrid of electronic, rap and pop. The guitar-fueled, high-energy single “Keep Your Body Moving” is a refreshing rebuke to the overly choreographed music vid: these are real dancers, real body shapes, all doing their stuff in a bus garage. With, uh, cameos by animated cobras. Unconventional, he did say.
5. Kenton Slash Demon, “Harpe”
A thinking man’s club track? A Hype Machine fave, this Copenhagen duo — just signed to the label that brought you Flume, Chet Faker, Flight Facilities and Jagwar Ma — wants to be headphone music for the club crowd. It works: their new single has a spacey groove that pulls both inward and out, and a music video that belies the song’s club vibes with a dinner party setting.