Jams of the Week: Animal Collective, Azealia Banks, Radiohead offshoots and more
This week is extra-heavy on blogosphere darlings who like to tinker with synthesizers. Fortunately, the hype fiends are in top form. Enjoy!
Animal Collective - "Honeycomb"
About time these guys came out with something new. And wouldn't you know it, they nailed it. "Honeycomb" is culled from the critically acclaimed creatures' new 7-inch, due out June 26 on Domino. The super-cool widget above also plays B-side "Gotham," which ain't too shabby either.
Azealia Banks - "Jumanji"
Azealia is so hot right now that people will gush about pretty much anything she does. Here's one song that actually merits the hype. "Jumanji" is the first single from the prodigious rapper's "Fantastic" mixtape, coming this summer.
Modeselektor & Thom Yorke - "This"
The somewhat disturbing video above soundtracks an equally chilling song by producer Modeselektor and Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Culled from Modeselektor's 2011 album "Monkeytown," this is another reminder of how good "Radiohead goes electronic" material can be, which makes "The King of Limbs" that much more frustrating. (Pitchfork points out that the pair did another track from that album, which also has a creepy video and is also pretty awesome.)
Ultraista - "Smalltalk"
Speaking of Radiohead, their trusty producer Nigel Godrich (he engineered "The Bends" and has produced every album since "OK Computer") started a new project called Ultraista. That "King of Limbs" synth sounds pretty sweet with Laura Bettison cooing over it.
Ab-Soul featuring Kendrick Lamar - "ILLuminate"
Ab-Soul is getting to the point where we almost don't have to introduce him as "Kendrick Lamar's Black Hippy associate Ab-Soul." But the ever-amazing Kendrick's on this track (coyly repurposing a line from Dr. Dre's "What's the Difference," no less), so might as well mention him. Most memorable line goes to Ab-Soul, though: "I used to want to rap like Jay-Z/ Now I feel like I'm runnin' laps 'round Jay-Z." Ab's album "Control System" is out today on Top Dawg Entertainment.
Passion Pit - "Take a Walk"
Surprised not to hear much of the trademark falsetto in Passion Pit's comeback single. Not sure I'm sold on this one yet. Does that really qualify as a chorus? Are they intentionally playing against type? Sophomore LP "Gossamer" is coming July 24 on Columbia.
Meek Mill featuring Drake and Jeremih - "Amen"
Church. (Also: Meek just pees Rozay? What's he saying about his boss, exactly?) "Dreamchasers 2" is available now as a free download.
Jaill - "Perfect 10"
Sub Pop signees Jaill do their best Dr. Dog impression. I give it an 8.3. Jaill's sophomore album "Traps" is out June 12.
Bo Deal featuring Waka Flocka Flame and Chief Keef - "Murda"
If these guys are serious about killing people, let's hope their vests are as bulletproof as their party music. "Murda" hails from Brick Squad affiliate Bo Deal's upcoming mixtape "The Chicago Code 3" and features production by Southside, who produced a sizable chunk of Waka's upcoming album "Triple F Life."
Oberhofer - "Runaway"
Usually not a fan of indie rock bands covering rap songs, even a particularly melodic rap power ballad like "Runaway." But this one lacks the ain't-I-cute factor that often poisons such endeavors. Instead, Brad Oberhofer and the boys do justice to Kanye's douchebag ode, plunging into the depths of self-pity and emerging with one of the most powerful reinterpretations I've heard in some time.