Just when you think you have Vince Staples figured out, he goes and does something like fool us all into thinking he would retire from music in the service of an elaborate, covert release strategy of new songs. “Get the Fuck Off My Dick” has arrived, and it is every bit as confrontational and confounding as his successful trolling suggested.
But that’s far from all we’ve been blessed with this week. Sade, the goddess herself, has returned with her first new song in seven years with “Flower of the Universe.” A startling leap forward from Anderson .Paak was dropped via a Spike Jonze-directed Apple ad, and tunes from Beach House, Jacques Greene and Buddy have all managed to keep us on our toes.
All of those and more can be found in the latest edition of Best Tracks of the Week:
Loving is great, but you know what’s better? Loving someone right. You know what’s even better than that? Singer / songwriter / producer extraordinaire Amber Mark reminding you! The New York musician keeps it 100 on her latest single that reminds us of both R&B slow-jams of yesteryear and diva-led anthems. On top of all that, we love that she gets increasingly sassy as it all unfolds.
An Apple ad directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA twigs is probably the most unorthodox way that Anderson .Paak has unveiled a new single in his career, but for better or worse, the visual is now inseparable from the stupendous track. It’s far more adventurous than anything found on his 2016 effort Malibu, with the production switching from glitchy electro to harp strings to steel drums in seconds. It’s a trip through a sonic world that, despite the title, feels infinite.
Our second taster of Beach House’s upcoming album 7, “Dive” is masterful marriage of droning synths and Vitoria Legrand’s vocals – here brought into razor-sharp focus. When the percussion rolls in after the two-minute mark it practically begs you to jump out of your chair and prance along with it. It’s not as immediately accessible as lead single “Lemon Glow,” but it certainly promises an excellent LP through and through.
The latest single from rising Compton rapper Buddy is a fiercely, righteously proud anthem of blackness – an extremely necessary musical output in 2018. After delivering an instantly-catchy chorus, the MC comes close to spitting actual fire with each of his verses, flowing at a speed rarely seen outside peak-era Busta Rhymes.
After his excellent 2017 full-length Feel Infinite and a cheeky Rihanna edit, Jacques Greene is back in business with his first official single of the year, thanks to Adult Swim. “Nordschleife” has got everything you’d from a JG track – slightly chopped but soothing vocals on top of dreamy synth lines, this time with some breaks thrown in for good measure.
To conclude his second studio album Lil Boat 2, Lil Yachty assures us he’ll be flexing ‘til he’s 66. On a quick first listen, many tracks on his latest full-length sound like what you’d expect from a male, 20 year-old rapper in 2018, but this one shows us a slightly softer side of Yachty while still managing to squeeze in the amazing line “bad bitch, bubble butt” as well as a guest feature from Trippie Red.
We’ve been a fan of Rachel Foxx for some time now, and it’s been a joy to see how she evolves from single to single. The gentle bounciness of “Mistress” is incredible, and as much as we love all her heartbreak bops, the world always needs another very danceable, femme-centric anthem.
When we first got word of a new Sade single, the first in seven years, we naturally freaked out. When we found out it was an official song from the Ava DuVernay-directed A Wrinkle in Time movie, we started hyperventilating, and then when we heard the thing, we were instantly placated by the soothing voice of Queen of Everything Sade. That hip-hop-esque percussion courtesy of No I.D. with gently twinkling guitar and a gorgeous arrangement of strings? Simply sublime.
Josiah Wise (aka serpentwithfeet) has a voice that feels as transcendent as the primordial subjects with which he often occupies himself. His first release since the acclaimed blisters EP features all of the awe-inducing ululations that made it such a standout release, along with the radiant, hymn-like production that matches his voice note for note in its celestial grandeur. The track ends with the sound of thunderstorms, a real-world equivalent to the titanic forces on display.
After electrifying us all with the rave-ready club-rap of last year’s colossal Big Fish Theory, Vince Staples has taken a hard turn back to the sonic world of his debut album Summertime ’06. Which means that the beat is sparse and eerie, built around a piano line straight out of John Carpenter’s Halloween playbook and haunted vocal samples. It highlights the stinging barbs Vince delivers in each line, because make no mistake – this song is no where near as goofy as the title might indicate. As he puts so eloquently in this instantly-iconic chorus, he’s avant-garde with this shit, so get your jaws off his dick.
Be sure to check out last week’s edition of Best Tracks of the Week here, and let us know what you think of our picks in the comments below.