Why is everyone asking about summer plans? That’s like months away righ—hoooooly shit it’s May?! Are we supposed to have internships by now? Why did Hennessey not email us about this months ago?
JAI PAUL – “Str8 Outta Mumbai” – as described by tulio ospina
Jai Paul – Str8 Outta Mumbai (Video) from sleepkllls on Vimeo.
Several of you may be familiar with Jai Paul’s groundbreaking debut, the sexy BTSTU. Well, after an overwhelming demand for more songs than the three he has produced in the past two years, Jai Paul finally released an album. Sort of. His self-titled album was leaked and, the artist claims, “contains unfinished recordings.” Many of them don’t even have track names yet. But it doesn’t matter. The songs on it are completely and incredibly wompy, the unique signature style of this rising talent.
His music sounds like it came from outer space, sacrificing clearness for a sound that is droningly danceable. It’s all about effect with Jai Paul. Forget looking for a message, the real message lies between what you can feel and how the song just sounds. In “Str8 Outta Mumbai,” Jai Paul brings out his British Indian culture, mashing ultra-techno synths with Indian melodies (including incredibly catchy tabla drums at the start). This is a song that is meant to be listened to with the bass up high and a corny disco ball star-studding the room. Listen if you like bass-heavy beats, Indian tunes, and dancing your ass off.
KENDRICK LAMAR — “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain)” — as described by linnea rivano barros
The song starts off with a melodious and catching hook, sung by a deep, gravelly voice (provided by Ash Riser, or Ashtrobot, a hip-hop/electronic producer/rapper/singer, who’s voice also appears on Kendrick’s Ronald Reagan Era). Soon the ballad begins: a mournful narrative spoken to the rapper’s young sister, creating for her the vivid and terrible reality of a prostitute’s life on the streets of Compton. Kendrick Lamar masterfully describes Keisha’s rapid loss of innocence and her untimely…well, I won’t ruin it for you. “Keisha’s Song” is a work of literary prowess that will immediately engage the listener’s unwavering attention. I bring the song here this week as a (presumably unnecessary) reminder of Kendrick’s genius. It’s always quite an experience to rediscover Section. 80, I highly recommend it.
MUTUAL BENEFIT — “Advanced Falconry” — as described by jackson wiley roach
Fragile strings, yearning voices, light handclaps, subtle banjo, and a thousand colors. It’s like the dream you have in the slow-motion second between closing your eyes and opening them again.
LANA DEL REY — West Coast (Hippie Sabotage Remix) — as described by sasha perigo
I’m obsessed with Hippie Sabotage. I first heard the producer duo’s ambient California vibes at the Rickshaw Shop in San Francisco, when an opening DJ dropped the recently released Tove Lo flip “Stay High”. I had the track on repeat all winter. Hippie Sabotage’s latest release, a remix of Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast”, does not disappoint. They successfully build on the original to create a mix I am not afraid to preemptively call the track of the summer.
CHROMEO — “Lost On The Way (feat. Solange)” — as described by alejandra salazar
In honor of White Women, Chromeo’s newest release, I have opted to share my favorite song from the album—a shameless side plug, however, that this entire album is musical gold and you should all listen to it as soon as you can. The duo that is Chromeo is really, really good—the self-professed Funklordz have made a name for themselves by producing infectiously catchy dance beats and putting on some crazy disco-themed performances. But while the Funklordz in their element are what initially caught my eye and kept my attention, what I really liked about “Lost On The Way” is how welcomingly out of character it is for them (similar is the two minute long“Ezra’s Interlude”, which is a touchingly delicate and poignant tonal break mid-album). The track features some absolutely gorgeous vocals from Solange that rival those of lead singer Dave 1, and a lyrical hook just as catchy as the melody. It’s a side of Chromeo I’ve rarely seen before, and I’m totally diggin’ it.
POOM — “Les Voiles” — as described by culture editor brittany newell
YAY IT’S SUMMER LET’S RIDE A BAGUETTE AND WAVE OUR UNSHAVEN LEGS IN THE AIR! C’EST LA VIE INDEED!
CANDI STATON — “Hallelujah Anyways” — as described by visual arts editor eric eich
This one has been taking me to church all weekend – I keep playing and replaying it, on my Spotify and in my head. When it gets to the chorus I imagine prim and proper parishioners decked in leather harnesses, pastors in fishnets and heels, the smell of incense and plenty worse. I don’t know when or where I first heard this, but one of its lyrics rang in my ears like the voice of God when I woke up on Saturday morning, and my subsequent Google search for “dun dun dun dun blessings come down dun dun dun dun situation turns around” worked brilliantly. Praise.
SWEET VALLEY — “One” — as described by editor at large katharine schwab
“Now I’ve got everything I want and shit…I gotta house. I got 3 cars. I got money in my pocket. I got everything I want.”
“How old are you?”
“One” takes me back to the days when things were simple, convertible-top-down easy. I’m usually more compelled by lyrics, but this song is rhythmic and cinematic and the melody is strong enough that words aren’t necessary. I can see the story behind it: young men on dark streets who listen to their footsteps echoing. They walk with time to kill, on the lookout for someone to save. They’ve got pieces of their hearts hidden under the carpet in the living room.