This Week’s New Music: Fast and Furious Beats, Unlikely Collaborations

Sometimes good things don’t take time. Case in point: the album “Unlocked.” Emcee Denzel Curry and producer Kenny Beats dropped the unexpected, fiery EP this month. The album’s genesis is […]
Khruangbin and Leon Bridges

by | Feb 15, 2020 | New Music

Sometimes good things don’t take time. Case in point: the album “Unlocked.”

Emcee Denzel Curry and producer Kenny Beats dropped the unexpected, fiery EP this month. The album’s genesis is testament to the duo’s nimble creativity. Curry recently appeared on Beats’ freestyle video series “The Cave.” The biweekly Youtube show invites rappers into Beats’ modest studio to make beats. During this episode, Beats turned Curry’s aberrant and peculiar requests into a freestyle they performed on the show. That segment fueled their new album. And they wasted no time. They recorded the glitchy, distorted, raw eight-track EP in 24 hours.

Still, “Unlocked” feels polished and well-produced. And listeners can get a taste of where it all began. Accompanying the 17-minute EP is an animated, experimental short film taking viewers on a journey into “The Cave.” 

A stark contrast to the speedy production of “Unlocked,” the album “Texas Sun” has been in the works since 2018. Sultry soul artist Leon Bridges teamed up with Khruangbin, a psych-funk trio, to create a four-track EP released February 7. Bridges and Khruangbin were on tour together in 2018, where the idea for the EP was born. Both artists hail from the Lone Star State and the album bakes in Texas flavors with nods to Tejano music, the inclusion of a pedal steel guitar, and lyrics capturing the natural wonders and beautiful loneliness of that expansive state. On the title track, Bridges sings, “that Texas sun / caressing you from Fort Worth to Amarillo.” 

The two artists are an unlikely match but the result is enthralling. The album is layered with distinctive sounds, skillfully meshing Bridges’ R&B singing with Khruangbin’s Thai funk-inspired sound. The EP reimagines notions of “Texas Music,” known for country and western swing, by meshing global influences, soul and blues.

We also added some notable new singles this week encompassing almost every genre of music. Artists with new material include London-based rapper King Krule; underground emcee Aesop Rock; Swedish electronic darlings Little Dragon; and Hawa, an 18-year-old rising pop star who happens to be a classically trained musician. 

Check KHOL’s new music playlist 👇 and stay tuned for next week’s. 

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