Music from the inimitable Lizzo, Bibio, Blu & Exile, Ásgeir and more this week
Blu & Exile: Constellations
A decade after the release of their acclaimed boom-bap debut album Below the Heavens, the glorious duo Blu & Exile have dropped a new tune. The boppy "Constellations" will appear on their new record (a prequel for their debut) In the Beginning: Before The Heavens, which will feature 14 tracks from their 2007 recording sessions. The song is typically Blu & Exile—a laid-back beat by Exile (aka Aleksander Manfredi) and poetic, effortless vocals from Blu (aka John Barnes III). It's a feel-good, bouncy tune that's ultimately uplifting and soulful.
Lizzo: Truth Hurts
Minneapolis-based Lizzo's newest track "Truth Hurts" just dropped, and as expected it's a banger chock-full of attitude. Opening with the line, "I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch," this song is badass. The music industry is all the better for having Lizzo as part of it.
Bibio: Phantom Brickworks III (Edit)
With a soundscape that acts as a bridge to another world, English experimental electronic producer Bibio's "Phantom Brickworks III (Edit)" is an assemblage of mostly improvised musical pieces imagined throughout the years. The minimal, atmospheric track glides forward on delicate, sometimes odd, sounds under the guidance of a piano. Bibio also directed, shot and edited the brand new video, featuring calming autumnal sequences.
Ásgeir: I Know You Know
With delicately triumphant electronica fortifying vocals rooted in folk, Ásgeir's "I Know You Know" invokes ethereal images of the natural world, from light to the ocean and rivers flowing. Its brand new music video, directed by Baldvin Albertsson and Arnar Helgi Hlynsson, follows suit with scenes of wonder (and of everyday activities) shot near Ásgeir's hometown in the north of Iceland. Many comparisons have been made between singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, James Blake and Bon Iver. While fitting, they don't quite capture Ásgeir's particular type of magnificence. The track appears on Ásgeir's recently released album Afterglow, for which he's in the midst of a North American tour.
Sure Sure: Hands Up Head Down
LA-based band Sure Sure (aka Chris Beachy, Kevin Farzad, Charlie Glick and Michael Coleman) return with a super-catchy tune "Hands Up Head Down." A falsetto, staccato hook and an undeniable bop unite for electro-pop perfection. The lyrics explain a dance move for the anxious—as the title suggests—and the song will surely have a video to match in time. The band performs at Silverlake's Satellite this coming Friday.
Mavis Staples: If All I Was Was Black
The title track from Mavis Staples' forthcoming album (out 17 November), "If All I Was Was Black" confronts not only racism the singer faced in her eight decades of performing, but also the violence she witnesses today in racial conflict. Written in collaboration with longtime friend and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, the track (and the album's other songs) aims to "bring us all together as a people. That's what I hope to do. You can't stop me. You can't break me. I'm too loving. These songs are going to change the world," Staples explains to NPR.