“Flotus” – Flying Lotus I’ve always loved Flying Lotus’s production; he keeps it simple but his sound design is some of the best I have ever heard, which makes his songs interesting. The majority of his songs do not have lyrics, and to be honest, I think this is why I enjoy his work so much. The string ensemble and piano combined in this song build up to a terrific “drop.” People may disagree with me on this, but I don’t think rap would sound good over this beat. If anything, there should be some good ole soulful jazz singing.
“Misty Morning Off Hills” – Sundrenched
I’ve been listening to a lot of Sundrenched lately and this is definitely one of my favorite songs of his. The simple rhythm of the song makes it very soothing, but the textures add a lot of interest. If you’re into this song, you should look up some of his other music on his Soundcloud because it is some of the most unique I’ve heard.
“Snow” – Rejjie Snow
You’re probably already familiar with Irish staples like Guiness or the Leprechaun, but what you may not know about The Emerald Isle is that it is home to a buzzing underground hip-hop community. One of the most promising talents from that pool is the twenty-year-old rapper, Rejjie Snow. He is one of the more lyrical and insightful rappers I’ve stumbled upon in recent times. You’d be fooled into assuming that you’d be confronted with a thick Irish accent. Instead, Rejjie’s details of his hometown tales sometimes extenuate his voice and mould it around his sound – something which provides a truly unique and at times enriching quality to his music.
“Miss U Always” – Snakehips
This kind of music makes my head right. Hailing from London, England, Snakehips is a nineteen-year-old producer and has released over five original mixes in the past year. I’m a big fan of cutting up vocal samples, and Snakehips does this with ease. This particular sample is used continuously throughout his songs – it’s like his watermark. Check out any of his other hits - He never fails to produce those good vibes.
“You” – Dadras
I originally came across Dadras while watching one of Jay Z’s Life+Times videos, “Welcome to the Future.” This song immediately captivated me and I found that by the end of the video, I was jamming out and couldn’t help myself from dancing. Dadras also has one of the most unique sounds I have ever heard. He incorporates organic sounds, like trickling water, and his electro musical composition flawlessly creates an original atmosphere like I’ve never heard.
“You Took Your Time” – Mount Kimbie ft. King Krule
This collaboration includes some of the most sought after vocalists and electronic artists in the UK right now. Both Mount Kimbie and King Krule are known for their distinctive instrumentation and songcraft. This song’s wistful instruments and soft-focus electronics make it so easy to love. Coincidentally, both performers have toured and played a show in Seattle in this past month… neither of which I have been able to attend!! :( Nevertheless, this song is definitely worth a listen.
“Blue” – Beyonce
Had to. Can I just say that I was extremely taken off guard by the arrival of this album? I think it is fair to say that we all thought Beyonce was moving on from her music career and starting to settle into her role as a mother to her young daughter. Boy did she prove us wrong. This visual album is composed of 14 new songs and 17 music videos. Listening through the previews of the songs, I felt that Blue really spoke to me. The track includes the voice of her daughter, Blue Ivy, and has freshness to it, combining African beats with muted modern hip-hop.
“Life Round Here” – James Blake ft. Chance
The hypnotic sounds of James Blake joined forces with the versatile talents of Chance The Rapper in a melancholic remix to “Life Round Here.” An extremely racially charged music video was produced shortly after the release. You would think that the addition of rap pasted in this song would seem artificial, yet Chance makes himself right at home alongside Blake’s production and voice. The vintage quality of the footage helps setup the metaphor. Additionally, all the occurrences the two artists encounter while driving down a winding road in England help solidify the director’s vision.