Kendrick Lamar feat. Lady Gaga - "B--- Don't Kill My Vibe"
After all the rumors about Lady Gaga guesting on Kendrick's album, she didn't end up making the cut. And I have to agree with Stereogum's Tom Breihan here: Had Gaga's version of this track made it on good kid, m.A.A.d. city, she definitely would have killed my vibe. Supposedly Gaga turned her take in too late, but I'm totally down for wild speculation that they used the version that ended up coming out because it's way, way better.
Foals - "Inhaler"
The Oxford combo's soft-edged dance punk gets a big-budget remake here, sounding not unlike the closing credits anthem from an action movie. It begins downright subtly but eventually explodes into a chorus that, as Pitchfork points out, shows the value of studio time with producers Flood and Alan Moulder. Holy Fire is out Feb. 12 on Warner Bros.
BenZel & Jessie Ware - "If You Love Me"
Speaking of movie soundtracks: This feels like it belongs in an inspirational film released in 1990. I don't know what it is about Jessie Ware (the bun?), but I'm slowly, surely buying into the hype about the British soul songstress.
Harry Fraud feat. French Montana and Action Bronson - "Mean"
All the rap producers have their little track signature these days. Mike WiLL Made It does his own name-checking thing, Young Chop has the kid who says "Young Chop on the beat," our city's own Rashad has his "Elev8 the motherf---ing game" tag. In turn, there's no doubt who's behind the boards when a beat begins with "La musica by Harry Fraud." (Where you at, Hit-Boy?) Here the Queens producer releases the first single under his own name with guest spots by a couple of his top collaborators. French Montana and Action Bronson happen to represent the twin poles of mainstream breakout success and underground deity-building that Fraud has been about this year. In related news, this song is good.
King Tuff - "Keep On Movin'"
Here we have Sub Pop's power pop revivalist... in 3D! King Tuff is out now.
The Weeknd feat. Drake - "The Zone"
This one's not new, but the video is. Due to all the hoopla surrounding Trilogy, the repackaged and expanded version of The Weeknd's mixtape series, the internet has been awash in Abel Tesfaye these last couple weeks, providing ample reminder that (a) he's legitimately good at what he does and (b) what he does legitimately impacted what Drake did with Take Care last year. That's no more apparent than when listening to Drizzy ruminate over one of Tesfaye's dreary, misanthropic soundscapes in "The Zone."
Hilly Eye - "Amnesia"
Wondering what ex-Titus Andronicus guitarist Amy Klein has been up to since leaving the band? Here's one thing: Ably dipping back into the 1990s. Hilly Eye's Reasons To Live will be out next year on Don Giovanni Records.
Benoit & Sergio - "New Ships"
Sleek, smart, subtle dance music that plays kind of like a chillwave version of early Junior Boys. Really genius stuff.
Tame Impala - "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"
In case you were wondering if Tame Impala was a psychedelic rock band. Lonerism is out now on Modular.
Sufjan Stevens - "The Star Spangled Banner"
Hey, we had an election this week! Democracy in action! Why not extend the moment by writhing around in Sufjan's tweaked version of the national anthem?