SOPHIE - UNISIL
An unexpected swan song for one of modern music's great innovators, “UNISIL” is the final single to be released by experimental pop and electronic musician SOPHIE before her tragic passing Saturday. A B-Side recorded originally for her debut album “Product,” it displays what made much of SOPHIE’s music so revelatory in the first place. Hyperkinetic rubbery synths overlay industrial percussion and squelching bass for a kind of electro-club banger that sounds not quite of this world. The layout here is simple; it is first and foremost a dance track, but the execution is as breathtaking as ever. It is a reminder to value every piece of art she shared with us.
Brent Faiyaz & DJ Dahi - Gravity (feat. Tyler, The Creator)
Tyler, the Creator teams up with R&B crooner Brent Faiyaz and DJ Dahi for this chill, subtly psychedelic soul track. The production from Dahi is textured and dusty, creating an instantly pleasant vintage feel and Tyler plays the guest role well, dropping a quick verse in the third leg of the track and leaving plenty of room for Faiyaz’s butter-smooth vocals and layered harmonies. Together, they have crafted a track that's set to keep the vibes light on an evening drive.
Julien Baker- Hardline
The emotional second single to Baker’s upcoming record “Little Oblivions," this track starts off sparse with some distorted organ acting as the only backing for the songwriter’s brittle vocals. And yet it only takes minutes for the song to become one of Baker’s most musically riveting tracks to date. Baker’s writing remains as harrowing and heartbreaking as ever, however the stunner on this track has got to be the lush, intricate and powerful instrumental outro that left me with my jaw on the floor on first listen. Baker remains a defining voice in modern indie.
Lana Del Rey - Chemtrails Over the Country Club
Lana revisits familiar themes on this lusciously arranged piano ballad, the newest teaser for her upcoming record of the same name. The track lingers and slowly builds like a wine-buzz on a rainy summer day, an image which fits the song's lavish moroseness. “Chemtrails...” sounds, production wise, very similar to tracks from her recent critically acclaimed album “Norman F*****g Rockwell.” Like many of the songs on that record, this single is sure to please longtime fans and sway some nonbelievers, a difficult balancing act to pull off though Lana makes it look easy.
Kimya Dawson - Thunder Rolls
Kimya Dawson's unique blend of sardonic wit and cautious optimism returns on this new, easy going folk track which tackles the topic of mobile accessibility. Kazoos, rounds of gang vocals, and surprisingly intricate string arrangements allow this song to breeze past it’s five-minute runtime. Though it’s been nearly ten years since her last full length record, she hasn’t missed a beat. You can hear the full song on Bandcamp.
5 tracks we're following this week
You can catch these tracks and others Friday night's at 5 p.m. during U92's countdown show, Studio 92.