Common feat. Mary J Blige: Come Close
Our #TBT this week, taking us back to 2002, is “Come Close,” Common’s gentle serenade for true love featuring R&B queen Mary J. Blige. Both artists—along with No Doubt, Usher, Fall Out Boy, and even a couple of K-Pop stars—donated their time to perform for free at this past weekend’s Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, which took place in Washington, DC on 18 April 2015. The free event brought together world leaders, policy-makers, activists, artists and of course, us citizens, to inspire action for ending extreme poverty and solving climate change.
Lilith Ai: Hang Tough
The lo-fi soul of Lilith Ai’s latest track “Hang Tough” is more than a sum of its parts. A resonating power in her voice carries lyrics of warped depth, all nestled atop the strumming of her guitar. And yet, from the nuances of an electronic-influenced bridge and the choppy, thoughtful beat that keeps the song moving along, there’s something altogether remarkable.
Ratatat: Cream on Chrome
Experimental duo Ratatat performed live for the first time in four years at this year’s Coachella, where they also debuted the new track “Cream on Chrome” to those dancing in the Sahara Tent. The rest of the world can hear the studio version through a low-key music video showcasing an interactive light installation. The instrumental track is classic Ratatat; with melodic electric guitar lines and punchy dance beats, and channels some world music influences as it unfolds. Ratatat’s new album will drop this summer through XL Recordings—until then, catch them on tour from Barcelona’s Primavera Sound to Governor’s Ball in NYC.
Villagers: Hot Scary Summer
Over the past six years, French music publication La Blogothèque has become known around the world for their spontaneous single-shot Take Away Shows. The series sees musicians performing acoustically, often wandering around a picturesque part of Paris. Their latest features Villagers frontman Conor O’Brien performing “Hot Scary Summer” in Chapelle expiatoire, a chapel dedicated to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Startlingly intimate, yet with grand cinematic drama thanks to the location, La Blogothèque once again brings out the best in a musician by adding the least.
Bibi Bourelly: Riot
Berlin-based songwriter Bibi Bourelly has quickly found her way into the international spotlight. The 20-year-old has been writing songs since childhood, but her breakthrough came this year when she worked with Rihanna on “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “Higher.” Now Bourelly presents her own first official release with “Riot.” With just vocals and an acoustic guitar, the track exudes defiance and attitude. Bourelly’s raspy voiced self-confidence is infectious and though no full-length album has been announced, we’re looking forward to hearing what’s next.