Untouched Justin Bieber Calvin Klein photo.
Well, it’s the end of the first full week of 2015 and we’ve already given up on most of our resolutions. Those being to stop asking people about updog and to never again reference a certain happy celebrity’s oversized headwear. We’re also still listening to music, even though we promised ourselves we would cut that shit out. Here’s what the Noisey editors were listening to this week…
HUMAN BODIES - "No Life"
This record cheekily popped onto my radar on the day it was released, and it was love at first spin. Caligari Records is one of my favorite underground tape-peddlers because they constantly and tirelessly unearth the best of what's lurking around the extreme metal fringes, and Human Bodies is no exception. The Boston cadre's debut LP, No Life, is a raw, nasty, OUGH-eriffic bundle of black metal with a huge boner for crusty hardcore, and I can't stop listening to it. It came out after I submitted all my year-end hoopla last month, but it totally would've topped my list had I heard it sooner.
Kim Kelly, Contributing Editor
Kim on Noisey | Kim on Twitter
Jason Aldean - "Burnin' It Down"
High on Fire - "Baghdad"
I'm seeing Matt Pike and the boys for the umpteen zillionth time tonight, this time with another favorite of mine, Windhand. The latter records are great, but I don't know if anything ever will hit quite as hard as the first time I heard the guitar tone on The Art of Self-Defense. It sounded like pitched chainsaws, especially the way that Matt Pike begins "Baghdad" with the slide into the chord. Fuck, it's perfect.
Fred Pessaro, Editor-in-Chief
Fred on Noisey | Fred on Twitter
Crazy & The Brains - “I’m Rich”
The ironic rich person anthem. I look good forever and a day, baby.
Dan Ozzi, Editor
Dan on Noisey | Dan on Twitter
Lapsley - "Falling Short"
Because this sounds like the teenage daughter of SBTRKT and Jessie Ware. And yeah, there's a little bit of Adele and Tracy Chapman in there too. And it's perfect for listening to while you gaze out the window at freshly fallen snow. Liverpool-born Holly Fletcher has been making internet waves for the past 12 months, but 2015 is the year she breaks. Having singed to XL Recordings this past October, this week the 18-year-old, recent high school graduate released her EP Understudy. It's svelte, somnambulantly sensual four-tracker. Curl up, stay warm.
Kim Taylor Bennett, Style Editor
Kim on Noisey | Kim on Twitter
Jahkoy - "vacay"
Drake's "How About Now" is popular partly because it's a song that has Drake on it, but it's also largely because of the beat. Jordan Evans flipped Jodeci's "My Heart Belongs To You" into an airy melody used by Drake in order to belittle his exes, but it lacks the bounce necessary for it to truly ring off in a public setting. Thankfully, Toronto artist Jahkoy enlisted the same Jordan Evans, with the aid of his production partner Matthew Burnett, to help him make "Vacation". The beat the duo came up with sounds like a disco remix of Drake's "How About Now", which is to say that it is an absolute slapper. The song is all about comparing falling in love to putting in work, but you'd be forgiven for not being able to hear the message through all the head-bobbing you'll be doing listening to it.
Slava Pastuk, Noisey Canada editor
Slava on Noisey I Slava on Twitter
Rae Sremmurd - "Safe Sex Pay Checks"
The world is a cold and dark place. As human beings, just getting through a day sometimes feels like continually trying to life a piece of concrete that's cemented to the ground. I have to wake up again? But damnit, ugh, my alarm fucking sucks. And, shit, that stupid person that I always see at the stupid coffee shop just did that stupid thing again while I am waiting in line for coffee. And, motherfuck, here I am, walking to work, and I just slipped on the sidewalk because it snowed for the seventh day in a row and I'm still refusing to buy actual boots. Life can feel like hell. And in those moments of self-centered frustration, we find ourselves pondering the big question, "What is life about?" Why put ourselves through the daily grind of general existence when all we want to do is just binge watch Netflix? Well, because we have no choice. That's where Rae Sremmurd's new album SremmLife comes into play—in particular, the closing track "Safe Sex Pay Checks." The refrain—which follows the simple hook of "safe sex and pay checks / that's what it's all about / don't forget about it"—is a nice reminder that when you get caught up in overthinking your own bullshit, the solution to hating yourself and your existence is to just turn the fuck up and have a good time with your friends because life is finite and existence is futile. There is no recourse for the past. The future is imaginary. All that matters is right now. Sremmlife!
Eric Sundermann, Managing Editor
Eric on Noisey | Eric on Twitter
PartyNextDoor feat. Drake - "Recognize"
I've pretty much ignored PND over the last year because I wrote him off as mostly a Drake rip-off and because I knew that Slava, by virtue of knowing everything about Toronto, had that beat covered for us, thus relieving me of any professional obligation. But it turns out PartyNextDoor made a really good single! And he doesn't sound like Drake, except for one part where he kind of raps like Drake. But he also raps like Migos, and that's cool. He also also is basically like the glossiest possible take on that Toronto sound, which gives a nice contrast to him singing that his car is covered in dank. I don't really know why I'm suddenly obsessed with this song, but it sounds really good.
One thing that I do know, though, is that the video finally made one of the secret ingredients of Drake's success click for me: Drake is an actor. I mean, duh. But think about it: His awareness of his facial expressions is way beyond pretty much any musician's except for maybe Nicki Minaj (studied acting) and, like, Ariana Grande (also a child actor). Same with his hand motions. And that helps us ascribe so much more of a narrative to him than we do for most artists. Specifically, watch the part where he sings "I can name a lot of things I'll do for you" at 4:35 and screws up his face to look tough. Or the part where he makes the little driving motion while he sings about snow tires at 4:16. Instead of just letting those lines stand as they are, he complicates them with a winking gesture that says "see, not only do I do these things, but I am a rapper," which helps keep that tension of corniness and coolness that makes us love Drake afloat. When he does that goofy thing with his hand to pass the verse off to PND, it's something that could be lame as hell, and we just accept it because Drake has so effectively sold us his character.
Kyle Kramer, Editor
Kyle on Noisey | Kyle on Twitter