FKA Twigs under the bedsheets, Snarky Puppy serves up a banquet of guest collabs, and Blackalicious is back in this week's music
FKA Twigs: Good to Love
Resembling something a closer to a ballad than we're used to from her, FKA Twigs' brand new song "Good to Love" is her most intimate yet. With a close-up, personal (yet exquisitely stylized, like every Twigs production) black-and-white video (which she co-directed with Imma) to match, the track builds with background vocals and dramatic cadence that never overtakes the simple, sweet sharing of a secret: it's good to love. Also, she's just announced that she'll be headlining Pitchfork Festival this 15-17 July, in Chicago.
Snarky Puppy feat. Laura Mvula + Michelle Willis: Sing to the Moon
Versatile music ensemble Snarky Puppy (who just won their second Grammy this past Monday) turns the spotlight again onto guest instrumentalists and vocalists for the album Family Dinner, Volume 2. Recorded live in New Orleans' Esplanade Studios (save for one trip to Mali, as Afro-pop singer Salif Keita had been ill during the session) and in front of an audience, this second helping is a culmination of diverse musicians, from electronic music duo KNOWER to 74-year-old rock'n'roller David Crosby, bringing out each other's strengths. British soul singer-songwriter Laura Mvula's new take on her song "Sing to the Moon" stirs up goosebumps and is a good place to start. The album is now available to stream, and if you like what you hear, every sale benefits New Orleans charity The Roots of Music.
Blackalicious feat. Myron: On Fire Tonight
With their trademark groove-laden brand of hip-hop, Sacramento-based Blackalicious has teamed up with Myron (of soul outfit Myron and E) for "On Fire Tonight." Its smooth beat is accompanied by a video (directed by James Connelly) that includes graphic, distressing—but important—footage from protests in Ferguson and Baltimore, and police brutality across the United States which is contrasted with imagery of sheer beauty (aka the nude female form). The famously woke duo hasn't been super-prolific in recent years, but clearly understand when their audience wants to hear from them.
Mavis Staples: Action
With decades of soul behind a voice that first reached the radio in 1950, Mavis Staples' latest single "Action"—penned by the potent rocker Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards—manages to be relevant, informed and beautiful. Off her forthcoming album Livin' on a High Note, which sees the icon collaborating with some of indie music's top talent, the track aims to inspire bravery but invokes plenty of fun along the way.