Madlib – Road of the Lonely Ones (Soul/Funk/Hip-Hop)
This bass-heavy track built around the lovely harmonies of late 1960’s soul group, The Ethics, is the lead single of Madlib’s upcoming album, “Sound Ancestors.” Fellow record crate digger, Four Tet, pieced together Madlib’s tasty guitar licks and dusty drum breaks into an album designed to be listened to from start to finish.
Burial, Four Tet, Thom Yorke – Her Revolution (Rock/Electronic)
Musical luminaries Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke of Radiohead have teamed up for another dream team collaboration, their first since 2011. On the tender “Her Revolution,” Yorke’s angelic vocals are supported by a delicate drum pattern, a haunting, distorted piano and heaps of crackling reverb. The song possesses an enchanting winter aura that leaves you wanting more.
DARKSIDE – Liberty Bell (Electronic/Rock)
DARKSIDE is the collaborative project of guitarist Dave Harrington and electronic producer Nicolas Jaar. After a hiatus, the two have reunited to announce a new album, “Spiral”, set for release in 2021. Lead single “Liberty Bell” features a majestic flamenco guitar line swirling atop a repetitive building beat that propels Jarr’s meditative vocals to satisfying heights.
Machinedrum – Star (ASAP Ferg Remix) (Electronic/Hip-Hop)
A$AP Ferg, the always adventurous co-founder of Harlem’s A$AP Mob, was inspired to collaborate with Machinedrum after track contributor Tanerelle played him “Star” from Machinedrum’s latest album, A View of U. To Ferg, the track popped with a super fresh sound he knew he had to jump on. An electrifying studio session followed and the results are a meeting of creative minds, giving the song an exciting new identity.
The Kills – Passion Is Accurate (Blues/Rock)
The Kills latest release, “Little Bastards”, is a collection of rarities and B-sides recorded during the last decade that have now been remastered. Filled with blues, grit and sex, the track “Passion Is Accurate” utilizes a neck-snapping snare and their trademark choppy guitar style to great effect. The album captures the ultra-raw and undeniably cool mystique of the duo’s early work while maintaining a cohesive energy that allows it to stand alone as a modern piece.
Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine? – Live (Rock)
With 2020 coming to a close, music fans worldwide were mourning the loss of live music. Thankfully, British rockers Arctic Monkeys delivered a captivating set of the band performing at London’s world famous Royal Albert Hall in 2018. The show was more intimate than usual as the band played a lot of the material for the first time to a live audience that night. The crowd’s raucous energy is tangible as one of Britain’s greatest rock outfits rips through what could be considered their greatest hits.
Paul McCartney – Find My Way (Rock)
Legendary Beatle, Paul McCartney, came out of nowhere at the end of this difficult year with a refreshing new album created during quarantine. “McCartney III” is the third in his solo artist series following “McCartney II” released way back in 1980. Following in the series’ DIY aesthetic, “McCartney III” is completely self-recorded and produced. Lead single “Find My Way” is a punchy and deceptively simple song sure to put a big smile on your face.
The Avalanches – Overcome (Funk/Pop/Electronic)
Australian group The Avalanches’ new album, “We Will Always Love You” showcases the duo’s incredible ability to filter featured artist cameos through their unique Avalanches lense to ensure the tracks all fall in line with their bouncy, sample-heavy sound. Delicate piano stabs, a shuffling beat and soaring repetitive vocals on the standout track “Overcome” was a great way to end 2020 on a high note.
Classixx & Local Natives – Weekends (Indie Rock / Electronic)
Los Angeles based indie darlings Classixx and Local Natives have joined forces after attending a wedding in Mexico together made it clear they should collaborate. Breezy and fun with vocal harmonies and disco synths galore, “Weekends” will have you yearning for those forgotten sun-kissed summer evenings.
Soulwax – Empty Dancefloor (Dance/Electronic)
Inspired by the world’s clubs shutting down due to the pandemic, the Belgian dance-rock brothers, Soulwax, return with a track about missing that feeling of being in the middle of a crowded club as the energy starts to build. With it’s distant “woos”, thunderous live drums and percolating synths, “Empty Dancefloor” conveys their confidence that nightlife will eventually bounce back, perhaps like never before.