Five days in, and it’s already been a very strong month of new music releases. Carly Rae Jepsen previewed her new album with the self-loving “Party for One”. Ariana Grande executed a very “high road” break-up song with “Thank you, Next”. And, there’s the groovy, Thundercat, BADBADNOTGOOD, Flying Lotus collab “King of the Hill”. Not to mention a whole new album from Vince Staples.
Check out all of this and more, as we continue to march towards the holiday season, and (hopefully) even more music releases.
Vince Staples: FM!
The Long Beach rapper Vince Staples gave little notice before dropping FM!, what he described as a 22-minute project with “[n]o concepts, no elaborate schemes, just music. Because nowadays,” he concluded, “who needs more bulls***?” The press release wasn’t even close to describing what could be the best rap album of 2018. FM! finds the mind behind Summertime ’06 in fantastic shape, powerfully composing moods and perfectly written verses from neighborhoods Americans often overlook. FM! features Kehlani, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyga, and more.
Ariana Grande: “Thank U, Next”
America’s heartbroken sweetheart dropped “Thank U, Next”—just minutes before the airing of Saturday Night Live—and the internet predictably swooned for her mature ode to exes. Not Pete Davidson specific, but inclusive to their affair as well, “Thank U, Next” was Ariana’s way of addressing all of the romantic gossip that has reverberated through her career. If “Thank U, Next” was tinged with biting sarcasm, or sleek and sexy revenge, it would still be a banger. But it isn’t, and is better because of it, because it shows us that Ariana is actually the level-headed, compassionate, and ever growing artist we want her to be.
Thundercat: “King of the Hill”
This week Thundercat (aka Stephen Bruner) shared “King of the Hill,” a groovy new song featuring BADBADNOTGOOD and Flying Lotus. The track is featured on Brainfeeder X, a new 36-track compilation celebrating the 10th anniversary of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label that’s due out November 16. Much like many Thundercat tracks, the song seems to end just as it gets going. But that could just be his way of leaving us, wanting more. And we do.
Carly Rae Jepsen: “Party for One”
It’s been over a year since pop virtuoso Carly Rae Jepsen boasted 80 newly written songs for the highly anticipated EMOTION follow-up at The New Yorker Festival, making fans think there wouldn’t be much more of a wait before another album of bangers. Though it took awhile longer, we finally have “Party for One”, and a promise for a 2019 album release. Catchy, bouncy, empowering, fun. “Party for One” is everything we have been missing from the Canadian pop star since 2015’s EMOTION.
Tenacious D: Post-Apocalypto
On Post-Apocalypto, Tenacious D goes on an epic, and often disastrous, adventure. Though deeply influenced by the perceived chaos of today, Post Apocalypto is funny. The commentary is obvious and apparent, but adequately cut with humor and absurdity. According to Jack Black and Kyle Glass, the Post-Apocalypto album/film is, aside and above everything else, meant to inspire hope in its listeners, in addition to being a hilarious, NSFW piece of art.
Takeoff: The Last Rocket
Will Takeoff be able to keep the Klay Thompson comparison he’s earned through his standout verses, his explosion onto the scene as a youngster, his high-end ability to perform in the clutch? It’s time to find out, because the second solo Migos project is here, with Takeoff’s The Last Rocket. Will we see more anchored, rapid-fire verses, such as Takeoff’s legendary bars in “Narcos”? At the very least, we hope to know the mysterious Migo just a little bit more after spending some time with The Last Rocket.
Cass McCombs: “Sleeping Volcanos”
Raw immediacy, compassion, balance. “Sleeping Volcanos” is the first listen from singer/songwriter Cass McCombs’ upcoming LP, Tip of the Sphere, an album which was quickly and entirely recorded in Shahzad Ismaily’s Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn. Tip of the Sphere arrives two years after Mangy Love, the LP that put McCombs on the map. McCombs will be touring in support of Tip of the Sphere, due out February 8th.