We know you’re busy. So instead of covering everything, we’re going to publish a rundown of the best new music each month. You can find our UK round up later this week. As Drake said on his everlasting debut album – Thank [Us] Later. Or send us gifts in the post.
Alright guys and gals - it’s time. After months of sodden footwear, frostbitten fingers, and cold cigarettes in the rain, we’re here: on the periphery of the greatest thing in existence, Summer - the season, not the OC character. It’s not quite here yet - host a BBQ in April and you risk shivering come 4PM - but god damn, we’re excited. We’ve been lusting after its arrival since we published this column back in January, so you best believe we’re gonna keep talking about the sunshine for at least another month until it finds a foothold in semi-permanent glory.
This month saw a butt-ton of new music channeled into the conservatories of our inner-ears. Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt both dropped the pinnacles of their career, thus far. Young Thug released the Barter 6. Wayne dropped a video for a weed-delivery website. There’s been bad too: Tom Delonge quietly released his first solo record, somehow the Wombats put out a new album and announced a show at Alexandra Palace, and Drake made out on stage with Madonna. Someone even redubbed up Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” to make it even more creepy.
That’s not what we’re here for, though, because there’s also been a truckload of excellent new releases from some of the game’s newest artists. So with that in mind, let’s shine a light on some of our favourite releases from April, 2015.
Mariah Carey - “Infinity”
Basically what we have here is a song that sounds like a song for a Disney film about the 90s that was originally written for Justin Bieber but given to Mariah Carey instead, which is absolutely fine by me. Dramatic string arrangements? Trills that go on for days? A falsetto only dogs can hear? Mariah all but invented this shit. It’s the sonic equivalent to the little black dress - Emma Garland
Place of origin: New York, USA
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - “Can’t Keep Checking my Phone”
Finally, someone has written a song about the most important yet also redundant aspect of my life: incessantly checking my phone. Whether it’s waiting to see if a WhatsApp has been shut-down, I’ve missed out on the latest epidemic to hit #MusicTwitter, or surfing Instagram to check how few hearts have been gifted, most of every moment in my life has been spent glancing at my iPhone, sliding the lock screen open, sliding it back again, putting it in my pocket, taking it out again to fondle, and repeating ad nauseum. It’s a sorry existence, really - looking at a screen as a means to avoid any conversation or potentially awkward situation, but that’s life. The iPhone is an armband. Sometimes it’s my only friend in a crowded room. And god damn, do I hate doing it. Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s new one captures that feeling with the song’s title “Can’t Keep Checking my Phone” but elsewhere, in terms of bubbling sound, proves their new record should be one of their best yet. I mean seriously. Have you heard that melody? Tame Impala, go eat your heart out - Ryan Bassil
Place of origin: Auckland, New Zealand / Portland, USA
Warren - “Left”
This time last year Lil Spook, aka Spooky Black, aka Corbin, piqued interest with the release of “Without You”, a slow-burning, mood-teasing banger. In 2015, Warren, with his first track “Left” is doing similar things to me. How? I want to play the track on repeat; it’s like holding on to a pillowcase full of my emotions; it wraps around my head holding me tight. That’s not to say the track’s share aural similarities though. Warren’s “Left” is way more lowkey - focusing on instrumentation rather than production, with an excellent layering of vocals that’d get my choir teacher weak at the knees - Ryan Bassil
Place of origin: The Internet
Samantha Urbani - 1 2 3 4
This song, man. It’s what I think the 80s were; it’s funky bliss; it’s a love cheat in a turquoise shell suit; it’s an English dream of New York; it’s “Into the Groove” halfway through a six hour disco set; it’s melted ice cream - Joe Zadeh
Place of origin: New York, USA
Baby E - “Finessin’”
Yo, I don’t know too much about Baby E aside from these two facts: he’s worked on a track with the incest-loving Kevin Gates and his track “Finessin’” is about to pop off. Or at least it’s been popping off in my constant rotation. Sitting somewhere between Bieber and Post Malone, it’s the sort of heavily stylised pop-rap track that can sound like the charts, and throwing up bottles of Cristal in the jacuzzi, at the same damn time. - Ryan Bassil
Place of origin: Los Angeles, USA
OMI - Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn edit)
People give Simon Cowell a hard time, but all credit to him for hearing this track, demanding it be released on SYCO, and spending a shitload of money trying to get it to number one. It's part-dancehall, part-sunset house feel makes it the most perfect summer record since ATB's "9pm (Till I Come)". Mark my word, this will be blasting in every cocktail bar from Marbella to Barbados. In fact, the only thing that prevented it from going number one was that crappy Wiz Khalifa tune, so I guess Simon Cowell finally knows what it's like to be on the side of critical acclaim rather than commercial success. Welcome - Sam Wolfson
Place of origin: Jamaica
Else - “Zephyr”
I’m not gonna say much aside from: these two guys from France are basically Daft Punk 2.0. And god damn, they need to get some vocals on the track - Ryan Bassil
Place of origin: France
Feki - “Remember”
Feki is only 19 years-old but that hasn’t stopped him pumping out remixes for everyone but the kitchen sink. Tagging everything with “future chill” and “future slow jam”, Feki’s own production style is constantly evolving and continually dope. His most recent jam “Remember” has a lot of R&B vibes going on but they’re met with a shit ton of house influence - ice cold keys, sharp beats, pitched-up arpeggios, and emotional subject matter. It’s the sort of music you would have heard playing at your local leisure centre in the 90s but with a more soulful, sedative quality. It’s sexed up, basically. If you blasted this bizz in an indoor swimming pool everybody in it would either start fucking or drown in a state of sheer chill - Emma Garland
Place of origin: Brisbane, Australia
Jazz Cartier - Marauding in Paradise LP
Canadian rapper Jazz Cartier came on my radar with “Rose Quartz / Like Crazy” - a track that samples its two namesakes: Toro Y Moi’s “Rose Quartz” and the doomed, heart-panging, transatlantic relationship in the film Like Crazy. The track showcased a rap artist not bound to cliche or expectation - but rather one invested in his own interests, be it laidback pop or Felicity Jones arguing with reckless abandon. This month he dropped his first full length Marauding in Paradise, and we see more of his persona spill on record. It opens with the god-like “Guardian Angel” - a track that gives me the fear and makes me feel like I’mma about to smited - and continues with tracks that sample Biggie and sit somewhere between lowkey, murky production and reflective hype. It’s very much a rap album that sits in a post GoldLink world - Ryan Bassil
Place of origin: Toronto, Canada
Mic Kellogg - “Breakfast”
You know the feeling you get when you wake up, you’re about to whet your parched insides with a glass of freshly squeezed OJ, the sun peeps through the window at just the right intensity, and everything just, like, clicks? That’s Mic Kellog’s “Breakfast”. In some ways, it reminds me of Chance the Rapper, with colourful, bumpy production providing the foundation for sing-song rap and a strong hook, but also stands alone. Having produced tracks for Webster X, who we premiered on Noisey a few months ago, “Breakfast” is the first time Mic’s stepping out on his own. I can’t wait to see what he does next - Ryan Bassil
Place of origin: Wisconsin, USA
Casey Veggies - “Tied Up” (Feat Dej Loaf)
Since the release of “Try Me”, the 2014 hit that had Drake tweeting lyrics from the song and has more than likely seamlessly slipped into your consciousness, Dej Loaf’s been proving her weight as one of the best up-and-comers in the game. She’s positive; she’s strong; she does what she wants - and that’s never been more clear than on “Tied Up”, a track where she states you can be both “a lady in the streets in the dress with her hair tied up” or a “freak in the sheets in the room with her hands tied up”, it’s whatever. Just do you. And keep running shit like a boss queen - Ryan Bassil
Place of origin: California / Detroit, USA
Natsume Mito - "I Cut My Bangs Too Short"
Once upon a time, probably about a year ago, in a boardroom somewhere in Japan, rising J-pop star Natsume Mito sat with her creative team and scratched her chin over the eleven completely different music video pitches for her new single “I Cut My Bangs Too Short”. Suddenly, a crazy person shouted “LET’S JUST MAKE ALL ELEVEN VIDEOS!” And because it’s Japan, everyone in the room stood up and applauded that person. Since February, Natsume has been drip-feeding each of these videos for the same single, which vary from kids TV style to art house animation, and her fans have fawned over them all. But this one - nicknamed online as "Suspect Version" - is an outright winner. Watch Natsume play every part in this dumb yet perfect kawaii murder mystery, accompanied by the sound of her dreamy and glistening 8-bit pop - Joe Zadeh
Place of origin: Japan