In the music world, this was far from a slow news week. (Couldn’t Gucci Mane have saved his Twitter freakout for later?) Here’s a sampling of what’s been going on over the past few days to help you catch up. I’m leaving Arcade Fire out of this, though, because you’ve probably already heard “Reflektor” and there’s only so much time you can spend holding your phone up to your computer.
Dev Hynes’ long-presumed dead post-punk group Test Icicles may have been revived in DJ form, but he’s truly come into his own over the past few years as the alt-pop act Blood Orange. He’s gone on quite an extensive artistic journey, but his new video for “Chamakay” sees Hynes traveling to Guyana to connect with family members he had never met. A wistful, not quite nostalgic mood hangs over the song, and additional vocals from Chairlift frontwoman Caroline Polachek add to the feeling of watching a ghost become solid.
LA chanteuse Banks is currently on the road with the Weeknd, and while she may not be as prolific as her tourmate, she might be on her way to outshining R&B’s partied-out poster boy. English producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs has a knack for making songs that sound both otherworldly and intimate, though “Bedroom Wall” is decidedly more minimalist than his own material, letting Banks’ warm vocals shine through. The two previously teamed up for Banks’ song “Warm Water.”
From Jessie Ware to AlunaGeorge, the UK’s been producing plenty of fresh talent with diva potential. London’s FKA twigs immediately grabbed attention with first single “Water Me,” and second offering “Papi Pacify” will ensure her stock keeps rising. Directed by FKA twigs and Tom Beard, the video reflects the glittering, smoky, Arca-assisted production while getting just a bit smothering. FKA twigs’ EP2 is out next week on Young Turks.
Producer and DJ Josh Legg, aka Goldroom, might be one of the hardest-working guys in music right now. On the title track from his new Embrace EP, he enlists singer Ariela Jacobs to show that summer doesn’t have to be over yet. “Embrace” is sunkissed and soaring, daring you to have one last pool party.
London electronic trio Darkstar released its second album News From Nowhere earlier this year on Warp, and there’s still plenty of life in it. The band just released the video for “A Day’s Pay For A Day’s Work,” directed by Lucy Luscombe. Depicting a training session in trust exercises, the clip reflects the cozy, softly swooning track with the refrain of “I never cared so much for losing touch.” Fall back, someone will catch you.