Francis and the Lights feat. Kanye West and Bon Iver: Friends
It’s ever the joyful day when Francis and the Lights releases a new track. Recently, frontman Francis Farewell Starlite guested on Chance the Rapper’s “Summertime Friends.” Turns out, Chance’s song actually samples Starlite’s “Friends”—which the band just released, with the help of co-producers Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Ariel Rechtshaid (HAIM, Sky Ferreira), Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat and more. The video once again showcases Starlite’s fanciful dance moves, and features a dapper Kanye West and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (the latter even doing some choreography); it’s directed by former band member Jake Schreier. But the song impresses most with its simple, thoughtful lyrics to Starlite’s dreamy vocals.
SOFI TUKKER: Drinkee
Making rhythmic dance music that will completely take charge of your body, NYC-based duo SOFI TUKKER (Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern) finally have a music video for their viral song “Drinkee.” Hawley-Weld chants Portuguese lyrics by Brazilian poet Chacal as a digitally enhanced rainforest emerges. The video also features the band’s custom-made live set-up: an elevated ring of books, with contact mics inside, that trigger different beats and sounds—all the while getting the musicians physically engaged. SOFI TUKKER’s EP Soft Animals released this weekend.
Lady Leshurr feat. Wiley: Where Are You Now?
In Lady Leshurr’s new single “Where Are You Now?”, the Birmingham MC (of “Queen’s Speech” freestyle fame) asks about those artists (especially one-hit wonders) she listened to growing up. The music video has the camera trying to keep up with the Queen’s jabs and blows—both verbal and physical. The song even gets meta for a moment when Wiley—who has a verse on the track—doesn’t show up on set (prompting the hashtag #WheresWiley). Lady Leshurr’s first studio album is slated for early 2017.
The Lemon Twigs: These Words
Teen brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario (19 and 17, respectively) are writing music that channels decades of experience and listening. “These Words” has a beautiful symphonic chorus—with some requisite honky tonk piano improv—channeling the uplifting nature of The Monkees and the elaborate instrumentation of ELO. Calling themselves The Lemon Twigs, they’ve just signed with 4AD (Grimes, Purity Ring, Deerhunter, The National, etc) and we’re looking very forward to the forthcoming album.
Courtney Barnett: Elevator Operator
A love letter to Melbourne, Courtney Barnett’s “Elevator Operator” includes plenty of city-centric nods in the lyrics and just-released music video. Featuring Australian musical royalty (Paul Kelly), beloved comedians (Magda Szubanski) and more, the video hits lots of recognizable spots in the city—from beaches to the Nicholas Building (and its notorious elevators). With a cameo from Sleater-Kinney, mentions of Vegemite and Barnett herself dressed as a very cute concierge, this video is super-playful—despite the lyrics revolving around a disenchanted 20-year-old who’s feeling a little lost.