Jams of the Week: Azealia Banks, Sleigh Bells, Cloud Nothings and more
I liked last hump day's roundup of hot new songs on the internet so much that I thought I'd bring it back for an encore. Without further ado, 10 notable tracks to emerge since last week.
Sleigh Bells - "Comeback Kid"
Like the previously leaked "Born To Lose," the first official single from Sleigh Bells' sophomore set "Reign of Terror" sticks to the formula that made the Florida duo overnight indie sensations: bombastically jarring digital blasts and ultra-sweet melodies, as if a female transformer snorted Pixy Stix and before rocking the gnarliest strip club known to robotkind.
The Harlem hotshot's first new track of 2012, "Pretty Flacko," maintained the zonked-out, dystopian feel of last year's killer "LIVELOVEA$AP" mixtape. This second offering, on which the faithful student of hip-hop pays tribute to the Kanye song of the same name, shows a new, more buoyant side of Rocky. His success seems to have him in good spirits for once, which works out pretty well for his listeners.
Azealia Banks - "NEEDSUMLUV"
Speaking of Harlem: Though it can't hold a candle to The Soul Children's "I'll Be the Other Woman," the latest single from post-Minaj internet hype fiend Azealia Banks is a more-than-respectable entry in the canon of R&B songs about the pitfalls of being a man's mistress.
Cloud Nothings - "No Sentiment"
Another brutal aggressor from the Cleveland wunderkinds' Steve Albini-recorded "Attack on Memory." The album drops next week, but you can stream it now.
Das Racist's Himanshu Suri, a.k.a. Heems, continues his free-associative romp into hip-hop excess on his new "Nehru Jackets" mixtape (download here). In the above banger, he references Salman Rushdie and Kordell Stewart among myriad other cultural touchstones. I love this man. Spazzed-out Detroit MC Danny Brown and the brash, lowbrow Mr. eXquire himself chime in too; all those guys are developing an attachment at the hip. For more Das Racist fun, check out Kool A.D.'s new tape "The Palm Wine Drunkard."
The Chieftans featuring Bon Iver - "Down In the Willow Garden"
The esteemed Celtic band teams with world-conquering Wisconsin beardo.
Lower Dens - "Brains"
Ex-freak folkie Jana Hunter's Baltimore-based Lower Dens was one of my favorite discoveries from SXSW last year. Now they're back with "Brains," which frames their usual gloomy shoegaze aura in an incessant krautrock undertick.
Schoolboy Q featuring Dom Kennedy and Curren$y - "Grooveline Pt. 1"
Is this seriously a Lex Luger beat? Q's "Habits and Contradictions" is the latest release from Kendrick Lamar's Top Dawg Entertainment.
Daniel Rossen - "Saint Nothing"
Rossen, of Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles, has a solo EP called "Silent Hour/Golden Mile" coming on Warp Records in March. Lead single "Saint Nothing" presents him at his most maudlin.
Santigold - "Big Mouth"
Last week's Wild Belle song reminded me of Santigold. This week we get the genuine article with a single that sounds straight out of M.I.A.'s "Kala."