John Grant: GMF
In a style that is one part Antony Hegarty and one part Jack Black, American musician John Grant smoothly tackles hard-hitting issues like addiction, sexuality and living with HIV. The Reykjavik-based singer's droll ruminations recently amused crowds at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge, where he performed tracks from his upcoming sophomore album Pale Green Ghosts. For a hint at what to expect from an album recorded with Gus Gus frontman Birgir Þórarinsson and featuring backup vocals by Sinead O'Connor, have a listen to the single "GMF" (Greatest Mother Fucker) now streaming on Spotify.
Vondelpark: Always Forever
On "Always Forever," young London trio Vondelpark deftly infuse indie pop with ethereal R&B, drawing on a wide array of influences. Think Arthur Russell and Sade visiting Bon Iver at his cabin for a session. Vondelpark's eclectically-sourced sound is matched by their visuals. The video fades between newlyweds having their first awkward photos taken in front of a setting sun and a CGI-babe taking a lustrous dip in the sea. Oddly, this juxtaposition compliments the quixotic melody, leaving us more enthralled by the love of the young couple than the video game-inspired siren. The band's first full-length album, Seabed, is out now on R&S Records.
Clams Casino: Bookfiend (feat. DOOM)
The SoundCloud community got a special treat this week when New Jersey-based producer Clams Casino dropped "Bookfiend," which features the mysterious, masked rapper DOOM. Clams, known for his dreamy, atmospheric hip-hop production for artists like A$AP Rocky and The Weeknd, and DOOM, famous for his low-structure, critically-acclaimed verses, play off one another's strengths in this stellar collaboration—the first in a series of tracks the duo will release on Lex Projects.
Kris Kross: Totally Krossed Out
When Kris Kross "jumped" onto the scene in '92, they inspired young people everywhere to get Totally Krossed Out with their Jermaine Dupri-produced debut album. They also ignited a major fashion moment where it was suddenly acceptable to wear an entire ensemble backwards—belt, baseball jersey and all. Their ephemeral reign as the daddy macs of teen rap left an indelible mark on music, and sadly, this week 34-year-old Chris Kelly, one half of the entertaining twosome, died of an overdose. Enjoy the digital version of a tape likely kept constantly on deck many years ago with a listen on Spotify.
The Fox Is Black: May Playlist
You know that friend that always puts you on to the best music? The Fox Is Black (formerly Kitsune Noir), the award-winning art and design site, has been that friend to the Internet for some time now with a collection of monthly playlists released to much acclaim. The May Playlist features a range of indie pop, rock and electronic jams to suit the recent change in temperature with upbeat yet relaxed cuts from the likes of Wild Nothing and Tanlines. Follow the May Playlist on Rdio and Spotify and take it with you to the park for some sun and fun times outdoors.