New music by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Erykah Badu covers Drake and more in this week's musical round-up
High Water: Moonlight Mind
High Water (aka NYC-based musician Will Epstein) has been mostly mum since releasing his debut EP The Beautiful Moon in 2013. With the celestial bodies in perfect alignment, he finally releases a new track, "Moonlight Mind," that continues his veneration for the mystical orb in the night sky. "This track exists as a bridge between the last release and the new record, taking the psychedelic movements and focusing them more on direct song communication," Epstein tells CH. The delicate lullaby unravels into a whirling cascade of beautiful noise and tranquilizing electric guitar that never feels chaotic, but overwhelms in its intensity and emotion. A great teaser for what's to come.
Electronic music artist Arca, aka Alejandro Ghersi—who's done production for FKA Twigs (EP2), Björk (Vulnicura) and Kanye (Yeezus)—released his own debut LP Xen last November, dropping experimental sound collages that bloom with expressivity and a compulsion to move the body, regardless if there's a beat to follow. Now he's released the first track, "Soichiro," off of his upcoming sophomore effort, titled Mutant. In contrast to the feverish, unsettling mood of the instrumental track that at times brushes with complete cacophony, the music video for "Soichiro" is simple and bewitching—a slim, muscular body slowly turning in blue light, with moments of intermittent darkness.
Erykah Badu: Hotline Bling (Drake cover)
Erykah Badu has recorded the most empowering cover yet of Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” a song that remembers an ex-lover. There’s much less hurt and confusion in Badu’s extended seven-minute rendition, which was co-written with her 17-year-old son, Seven Benjamin, and perfectly shows off her distinct jazzy, soulful voice. It even includes a mock voicemail (her own hotline) that neatly outlines the reasons why people call her these days: “If you’re calling to beg for some shit, but this is that pre-call before the actual beg, press five.” For more R&B queens rocking out on “Hotline Bling,” be sure to check out Keyshia Cole’s “remix” version as well.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Get Some
The prolific, controversial Anton Newcombe, frontman of the now Berlin-based The Brian Jonestown Massacre, is working on releasing new material—and calling the package, straight up, Mini Album Thingy Wingy. "Get Some" is a track the band has been performing live for some time (you can find YouTube videos dating to 2006), but the recorded version is just as good; a laid-back head-nodder that's the perfect soundtrack for the transition to autumn.
SOPHIE, the secretive London-based producer who sometimes hangs with PC Music, has established a cult following with surprisingly few solo tracks (you can count them on one hand) as well as production on songs like QT's "Hey QT," Le1f's “Koi” and even "Bitch I'm Madonna." The first single to be released since last year, "MSMSMSM" is a grimier and darker what-the-fuck-is-happening track, lacking the pitched-up vocals and twinkling pop synths found in previous songs like "Lemonade" and "Bipp" but carrying the same amount of incredible energy. SOPHIE's talent lies in pressure cooking through restrained production and the most unexpected sound design—a blessing that's pushing experimental dance music forward.