This week’s best new songs are spearheaded by two major, huge, extremely big returns to the spotlight. First and foremost is Our First Lady of Technopop, Robyn. Honey, out next month, marks the first solo material from the superstar in a whopping eight years, and the newly-shared title track proves that it’s going to be worth the wait.
On par with this unveil was the sudden reveal of Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V, an album that many had given up hope on ever being released after six years of delays. But arrive it did, and while first impressions aren’t painting it as a masterwork, it’s not without its high points, one of which we’ll get to in a moment.
Both of those plus a bevy of choice cuts from the likes of Yaeji, Kelela, and Juicy J make this edition of Best Tracks of the Week.
BADBADNOTGOOD & Little Dragon – “Tried”
Talk about a collaboration we never knew we needed; BADBADNOTGOOD and Little Dragon teaming up for a new single is exciting on paper, but even more exciting is how marvelous this team-up proved to be. “Tried” is seamless to the point of phenomenal – the rich, layered, jazzy beat from BADBAD seems tailor-made for the smoky vocals of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano, who is on absolutely top form. Like the best duos, each brings out the best in the other, collectively arriving at a very groovy place neither group could get to on their own. – J
D33J – “Other Man” ft. AJ Tracey & Sloan Evans
Many have been quick to lament the depressive aura that hovers over the majority of today’s trap-inflected hip-hop like a lean high. Producers like D33J stand as a welcome dose of sunshine in such dour times, offering a beat that is heavily turnt while still sounding light as air. AJ Tracey is an inspired feature here – the British MC truly lights up all over this joint, making for a track that is joyously unassuming in its intent to get your ass moving. – J
Empress Of – “Love For Me”
Lorely Rodriguez’s latest single is a wholesome collaboration with DJDS and spreads a pure message about reciprocity. She previously worked with the Los Angeles-based duo on the 2017 song “Love” along with a Khalid-assisted track called “Why Don’t You Come On.” Empress Of’s sophomore album Us drops on October 19. – S
Juicy J – “Neighbor” ft. Travis Scott
I could easily write a passage about how wonderful Juicy J is, and how Astroworld has only increased the need for more Travis Scott hooks in our lives. Or I can come clean and admit this song is here because hearing both of them repeat the word “fuck” 13 times in a row – to the point where it bends reality and you wonder if you’re hallucinating or trapped in a sound board – is one of the purest, ridiculous moments of auditory pleasure I’ve had all year. – J
Kelela – “KAYTRANADA_WAITIN_115 BPM”
We’re still not over the emotional elegance that was Kelela’s Take Me Apart, and thank goodness she isn’t quite done with it either. Still riding its wave of confusing relationships and the feelings that inevitably follow, she’s enlisted her “worldwide community of DJs and producers” to reimagine the album’s tracks. This week, Kaytranada takes on “Waitin,” stripping it back with a touch of dreamy strings, keys, and a subtly hip-swinging beat. We didn’t know we were waiting for this blissful jam, but it was well worth it. – B
Lil Wayne – “Uproar”
Not gonna lie, we’re a bit underwhelmed by Tha Carter V so far, especially since it’s more or less centuries in the making. Nonetheless, it’s good to hear from Weezy again, free from the confines of Cash Money, several years wiser, and even more skilled at skateboarding. Production comes courtesy of Avenue and Swizz Beats, and it does not disappoint, building momentum with stop and start beats coupled with high pitched string sounds and bursts of ad libs. More importantly, Weezy’s bars are on point, gliding through his words with the occasional ollie. – B
Robyn – “Honey”
It’s been a long, long eight years, but Robyn is blessedly back in action. “Honey” was entirely worth the wait; it’s five minutes of the sort of immersive, rich-with-feeling techno pop that only she can craft. That this is merely the title track to her upcoming project, with an album’s worth of tunes like this around the corner, is honestly the happiest piece of news of 2018. – J
Tommy Genesis – “Daddy”
No doubt that you’ll love this track when the first moan kicks in. Once again, the Vancouver art rapper teams up with Charlie Heat on a piping hot banger that sounds like it could have been a B-side for Beyoncé. Tommy Genesis’ self-titled debut album is officially slated to drop this fall on Downtown Records and it can’t come soon enough. – S
Yaeji – “One More”
Our girl Yaeji is back once again with a song that manages to bring the soothing power of an ASMR video to the dancefloor. Starting off quite sparse with layered near-whispers of Korean croons, the track soon evolves into a laidback house jam equally appropriate for daydreaming in bed or a midnight spin at the club. – B
Yellow Days – “How Can I Love You?”
Anyone that’s been feeling lovesick lately will appreciate this groovy tune from Yellow Days. On this tasty track, the UK artist recruits a crew of musicians for an arrangement that will fully nourish your soul. – S
Be sure to check out the previous edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.
Jake Boyer, Bianca Giulione & Sydney Gore