Drake - "Started From the Bottom"
The first single from Drake's third album Nothing Was the Same is dark and minimal, with Drizzy debuting a new post-Kendrick flow. The video, though, is almost as funny as the song's conceit that Drake is some kind of rags to riches story. Narrative segments depict Drake's promotion at a pharmacy chain between images of stardom at its hottest and coldest. This seemed dull and repetitive at first, but after repeated exposure it has, of course, sunk its hooks into me. (Of course, Drake doesn't care what anybody thinks as long as the caged reptilian ladies love him.) Nothing Was the Same isn't close to being done, so no release date yet.
Tyler, The Creator - "Domo 23"
Here's one from a rapper who once rightly framed himself as Drake's antithesis, also prepping his third LP: After yesterday's news of a Wolf dropping April 2 and a tour kicking off at the Newport March 12 comes the video for "Domo 23," Tyler, The Creator's new single. It's easy to get lost in the typically colorful/goofy/geeky wrestling-themed visuals at the expense of hearing the music, but there's a pretty fascinating song in there. It's closer to the clattering chaos of "Rella" from The O.F. Tape Vol. 2 than the instantly iconic tracks that introduced most of us to Bastard ("Bastard") and Goblin ("Yonkers"), but maybe Tyler still has something like that up his sleeve. In the meantime, we get a comical state-of-Tyler address over ominous, claustrophobic post-Luger synth spazz, eventually morphing into something lighter and airier with some background crooning that sounds like Frank Ocean. All in all, still super intriguing.
The Postal Service - "A Tattered Line of String"
I'm bringing "A Tattered Line of String" to your attention because the first new Postal Service song in 10 years is a noteworthy occasion, but this one probably should have stayed buried. Perhaps that's too harsh, especially considering the lovely Jenny-Lewis-choppin' bridge, but even a more generous assessment would have to conclude there's a reason this one didn't make the cut for Give Up. It's being dug up for the 10th anniversary reissue coming April 8 on Sub Pop.
Kurt Vile - "Wakin on a Pretty Day"
The only antidote for that Postal Service track on Monday was the sweet balm of a Kurt Vile comeback single. "Wakin' on a Pretty Day," from the similarly titled Wakin on a Pretty Daze LP Matador is releasing on April 9, is exactly the sort of rust belt mellow gold I crave from Philadelphia's foremost drug-hazed guitar noodler.
Marnie Stern - "Nothing Is Easy"
Four lessons from "Nothing Is Easy": There are no coincidences; no one has ever been cool; you don't need a sledgehammer to walk in Marnie Stern's shoes; The Chronicles of Marnia is going to be so awesome when it drops March 19 via Kill Rock Stars.
The Strokes - "All the Time"
After the A-ha-reminiscent "One Way Trigger" served as our first taste of Comedown Machine (coming March 26 on RCA), official lead single "All the Time" finds The Strokes in a much more traditionally Strokesy mode, albeit more of a "Room On Fire B-side" Strokesy than a "life-changing rock 'n' roll pop crossover moment" Strokesy.
Usher - "Go Missin'"
Last year Usher released the Diplo-produced "Climax" just in time for Valentine's Day. Yesterday the singer and producer dropped another collaboration, this time without the benefit of Nico Muhly's exultant string arrangements. Maybe Muhly was the X factor because "Go Missin'" fails to recapture the glory of "Climax"; then again, it's doubtful the duo will ever top that one.
Youth Lagoon - "Mute"
Getting real Mercury Revved up for Wondrous Bughouse's March 5 release date on Fat Possum and Trevor Powers' band's May 14 visit to A&R Music Bar.
Pusha T - "Trust You" feat. Kevin Gates
Pusha T is nothing if not thematically consistent, and his new Wrath of Caine mixtape is stocked with the Clipse rapper's trademark hardass coke-dealer imagery. "Trust You" bears some of those marks, capped off by a sample of Marlo's iconic "My name is my name!" rant from "The Wire," but it's more about thug-love than anything else, highlighted by New Orleans sing-rapper Kevin Gates (who has a new mixtape of his own out this week) doing his best Future impression while romantically crooning "Might just trust you with my drugs/ Might trust you with my money." Genius.
!!! - "Slyd"
!!! is releasing the amazingly titled THR!!!ER on April 30 via Warp, and they done got me excited for it with "Slyd," a longform party track that deserves to at least be mentioned in the same breath as "Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard." That is, if you've any breath left after cutting loose to this thing.