Junglepussy's enviable confidence, School of Seven Bells heals, and David Bowie's still got it in this week's musical round-up
David Bowie: ★
We've watched and re-watched David Bowie's 10 minute long music video for his new song "★"(pronounced "Blackstar") and still have no idea what's going on—but we can say with certainty that the audiovisual experience is weird in the best way possible. Like a theater stage, scenes change from a jeweled skeleton in a spacesuit to a lot of cult-like dancing and human scarecrows as Bowie's voice trembles with emotion in this experimental pop-meets-prog-rock-meets-jazz-meets-the-future-meets-everything track. With 27 albums under his belt, Bowie still has that fiery hunger not to cruise but to keep pushing his musical boundaries. His upcoming album of the same name releases when the musician turns 69, in January 2016.
School of Seven Bells: Open Your Eyes
Melodic, hopeful and empowering are only a few attributes of "Open Your Eyes," a brand new track from School of Seven Bells. It's a first glimpse of SVIIB, the band's next and final album, out on 12 February. The band lost guitarist Benjamin Curtis to cancer at the end of 2013, but lead singer Alejandra Deheza has pressed on beautifully and incorporated parts Curtis recorded while alive.
Junglepussy: Pregnant With Success
Brooklyn-born rapper and fierce champion of loving yourself, Junglepussy has dropped an album's worth of empowering anthems. She dedicates Pregnant with Success to her muse (her mother) writing that it's "an ode to my mother, to all mothers, to anyone who's ever planted a seed, to anyone who's ever created something, to anyone who's ever waited patiently for something to come into fruition." Her confidence hooks first-time listeners immediately and tracks like the particularly sensual "Somebody" wraps its arms around you and won't let go.
Danny L Harle: Broken Flowers
"Teardrops feel like showers / I thought I was free / Lying awake for hours / With just your broken flowers." These loaded, somber lyrics juxtapose with effervescent arpeggiated synths, a bouncy upbeat tempo, and a female vocalist (Ellen Roberts) not of our world—and that is the beauty of Danny L Harle's moving-or-trivial pop song "Broken Flowers." Though an early version of the song has been out for some time, the British producer has given it a tweak for his first release under Columbia Records. Broken Flowers dropped this week with four songs, including a "remix" of Broken Flowers called "Awake for Hours"—an endurance test that, if you pass, will initiate you into the cult that is PC Music.
Tsar B: Escalate
Unsigned Belgian newcomer Tsar B introduces herself to the world with her first song, "Escalate." Intentionally veering away from the predictable and headed to swampier pop waters, Tsar B's strong voice is the song's anchor whether she sings a cappella into an echoing abyss or when her harmonies are pitched down and filtered.