Sound Board: The Week’s Best Tracks
Our picks for the best tracks out there for the week of November 30–December 4, 2015. Headphone-tested, FLOOD-approved.
2015 is almost completely in our rearview mirror. We’re already looking ahead to the future, and 2016 is going to be a great year for music. Most of our favorite songs this week came from upcoming releases (Margot Price, La Sera, Matt Kivel, Animal Collective, Wiki), but we’ll always have room in our hearts and headphones for a new track by Erykah Badu (featuring Andre 3000).
Check them all out below.
Nashville’s Margo Price seems poised to be the next major country artist to find a foothold in the wider world. That’s partly because she’s the first country singer to sign to Jack White‘s Third Man Records, but it’s also because her no-bullshit attitude and high fluttering voice both recall the legendary Loretta Lynn. The video for “Hurtin’ (on the Bottle),” Price’s debut Third Man single, finds her sashaying in a dingy bar like many a honky tonk angel before her, but we also follow her outside, where she shotguns a PBR like a pro while a pal drains a bottle of Bulleit and the evening devolves into good ole-fashioned Nashville debauchery. “I put a hurtin’ on the bottle,” Price sings. “That don’t touch the pain you put on me.”
On Music for Listening to Music to‘s lead single “High Notes,” Ryan Adams and Katy Goodman (a.k.a. La Sera) strip away the ripping guitars in favor of a rippling country melody and one-two rhythm, effectively transforming Goodman from former Vivian Girl to alt-country chanteuse in the vein of Neko Case.
A few weeks ago, Erykah Badu temporarily shut down the Internet with a perfect flip-side cover of Drake‘s “Hotline Bling.” That cut seems to have inspired her, because now Fat Belly Bella has an entire mixtape of phone-themed songs up on Apple Music. While But You Caint Use My Phone doesn’t include “Hotline Bling,” it does feature a collaboration with Andre 3000 (the two have a son together named Seven, who appeared on the “Hotline Bling” remix). The track finds Andre in full-on “Int’l Players Anthem” mode, daring himself to leave his phone unlocked in front of his lover. Later, the track simmers into slow-jam territory, turning into a cover of The Isley Brothers’ “Hello, It’s Me.”
On Friday, Animal Collective debuted their new album over the PA system at the Baltimore airport, which probably made for some confused holiday travelers. Now, the group have shared “FloriDada,” the album’s lead single, and you don’t have to go through security to hear it. “FloriDada” is the opening track from Painting With, Animal Collective’s first record since 2012’s Centipede Hz. Like Merriweather Post Pavilion before it, the album was recorded by Panda Bear, Avey Tare, and Geologist (fourth member Deakin having apparently sat out the sessions), and if “FloriDada” is any indication, the album represents a turn back toward the bouncing, wiggy pop of that record rather than a continuation of Centipede Hz‘s maximalist prog.
Matt Kivel, “Jamie’s”
It’s been over a year since Matt Kivel released his sophomore album Days of Being Wild, but earlier this week, he unveiled plans for his next full-length and dropped a brand-new song. “Jamie’s” is one of the first tracks Kivel has released off of Janus, which is out on February 5 via Driftless Recordings. “Jamie’s” tells the tragic story of a young woman who tells her family and loved ones that she’s gay. The track features Kivel’s warm and rich vocals atop light acoustic guitar picking with sporadic electronic glitch sounds. It’s short and haunting.
With guest spots on tracks by Run the Jewels and Earl Sweatshirt in his back pocket, Ratking’s dynamite plug Wiki is readying his first solo LP. lil me features production credits from Madlib and Kaytranada, as well as Ratking’s Sporting Life. “Living With My Moms” is a playful ode to the benefits and struggles about living with your mom as well as what it’s like on the road. Spoiler alert: most of it is about doing drugs. The track’s video follows Wiki and the fantastically afroed Nasty Nigel as they head out on tour, leaving their moms behind, only to come flying back the moment the moms are kidnapped.