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The Best Music Released Around the World in February, 2015

From the surprise release of Drake’s new mixtape to Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry”, February’s been ripe with sonic goodness.
Ryan Bassil
London, GB
February 27, 2015, 10:00am

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 here. As Drake said on his everlasting debut album – Thank [Us] Later. Or send us gifts in the post.

February is a strange month. Falling beyond the depth of Winter and before the periphery of Spring, it’s a speed-bump at the entrance to better times. Winter’s still here, T-shirt weather is far away, and unless you’re in a relationship or can flip a decent pancake, the month’s crowning events serve as reminders you’re abjectly failing at becoming a functioning human being. But hey – it’s over now. We’re out.

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The month’s one saving grace is music. It doesn’t matter how drenched your feet or psychological make-up gets, music will always be there. From the surprise release of Drake’s new mixtape to Kendrick Lamar’s “The Blacker the Berry”, February’s been ripe with sonic goodness. So before we slam on the brakes and park-up for the last month of Winter, let’s run through some of the month’s best tracks.

Let’s do this!

The Song with the Ability to Make You Lose Your Mind: Lotic’s “Heterocetera”

The latest track from German producer Lotic hits you like an unrelenting militia of antagonistic wasps – and I mean that literally. It opens with swarming, buzzing sounds, hell-bent on infiltrating the recesses of your being. The first time I heard “Heterocetera” I was home alone battling anxiety and god damn, it made things worse. But with calming retrospect, the abrasive, corroding sound cultivated by Lotic beats down on any and everything released in February, 2015.

FFO: Music that’ll wake you the fuck up, electronica, insects

Place of origin: Berlin, Germany

An Album Worth Listening To: Colleen Green’s “I Want to Grow Up”

Colleen Green’s third record I Want to Grow Up isn’t the most original, or even brilliant, album recorded. But it doesn’t have to be. Tracks like “Things That Are Bad For Me”, the refrain of “things are so overwhelming” on “Grind my Teeth” and the lethargic punch to apathy that’s cohesively spread across the record connects with the general malaise felt by humans who are stuck in the mud but too indifferent to do anything about it other than complain, and listen to sweet-ass music.

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FFO: Knowing we all go through the same shit, Best Coast, sweet melodies.

The Week the Hip Hop God’s Came Through and Saved Everything

Between February 9 and February 13, rap fans were blessed: Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake all dropped music. It was one of those golden weeks where everything felt right in the world and the best in the game battled to one-up one another, leaving their bounty to be repeatedly pillaged by listeners searching for gasps of new music. No one missed it, but it’s always worth a reminder. Here’s the three tracks:

Harriet Brown & Astronauts – “Fiction”

On “Fiction”, Los Angeles based newcomer Harriet Brown glides through channeling Prince but decked out in American Apparel. The track’s co-produced by Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick and wobbles like a purple-flavored blancmange placed on the hood of a newly-washed Cadillac. It’s fun, but sophisticated; rich, not ostentatious – the aural equivalent of having a bubble bath and drinking wine in your dimly lit flat.

FFO: Prince

Place of origin: Los Angeles, United States

Adventures – “Pure”

Adventures have been killing it lately. We featured their last track “Heavenly” in our January round-up and described it as “being hugged until you can’t breathe” – and new track “Pure” is more of the same which is definitely, unequivocally, one-hundred percent a good thing.

FFO: Feelings, guitars, holding hands and getting drunk

Place of origin: Pittsburgh, United States

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Huon Kind – “Feel Like This”

Sydney based duo Huon Kind have one of the best press shots in existence. Just take a look above – it’s all wood furnishings and ironed cotton. “Feel Like This” is the second track they’ve released and it’s the sort of smooth, clean-cut R&B that plays from the yacht in my dreams.

FFO: Sartorial elegance, cocktails, boat trips

Place of origin: Australia

Anderson Paak & Knxwledge - "Suede"

Released on the iconic Stones Throw, Anderson Paak and Knxwledge's "Suede" is part juice-ridden Dam-Funk goodness, part canvas shoed late night skate-session rap. The flow's smoother than polished paper.

FFO: Golden age, funk, rap

Place of origin: United States

Horse Head – “Homesafe”

Take a seat at the civil partnering ceremony of emo and hip hop and listen to Horse Head’s debut EP Romantic. Falling into similar territory to the likes of Spooky Black and Bones but with hooks that wouldn’t sound out of place in your MySpace Top Eight, the record also features Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, the side-project of one of the dude’s from the excellent band Tigers Jaw.

FFO: side-fringe, Ryan Hemsworth, #soundcloud

Place of origin: United States

Post Malone – “That’s It”

Sometime near the end of January, Post Malone inadvertently spawned himself a rap career after “White Iverson” blew up and racked over 400,000 plays on Soundcloud. He’s only got three tracks so far and it’s the above one that goes hardest.

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FFO: Spooky Black, gurgle-rap, #hype

Place of origin: United States

Beerlover – “Stereo Funk”

In the dark throes of Winter, sometimes it’s best to reconstruct your environment based around music. Bearlover are from Brazil which means their brand of future-funk sounds like Summer all year round.

Place of origin: Sao Paolo, Brazil

Thief – “Crazy”

Thief’s “Crazy” isn’t all that different from the rest of the pop-heavy house-infused music that’s proliferated the charts over the past two years but god damn, that doesn’t stop it sounding fresher than orange juice.

FFO: Pop

Place of origin: Sydney, Australia

Weed - "Thousand Pounds"

Vancouver's Weed have put out a bunch of EPs and LPs already, but it's new track "Thousand Pounds" that packs the most punch. The chorus rolls through like a poppier version of post-shoegaze bands Nothing and Whirr yet it's still murky enough to soundtrack your descent into couch-locked bliss so…. Fuck yeah? #420 #BLAZEIT!

FFO: Super-silver haze, shoegaze, looking numbly into the distance

Place of origin: Vancouver, British Columbia

Appleby – “Scars in Waiting”

Appleby has fam in Spooky Black’s group the stand4rd – they put him in their mix for The Fader. And it’s easy to see why. His music’s tainted with a similar brand of loneliness. There’s a difference though – Appleby doesn’t just sing, he raps. “Scars in Waiting” is all hungry thirst – the sort of thing you want from a young artist – with Appleby rapping “really wanna meet J Cole / always on to Kanye West”.

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FFO: singing'n'rapping, motivation, the stand4rd

Place of origin: United States

Bonus Round: Some unknown dude doing Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” accapella

What is this sweet dream? Seriously.

You can find Ryan Bassil on Twitter: @RyanBassil