Animal Collective: Mountain Game
Originally recorded (but never used) for 2010’s Red Dead Redemption video game, Animal Collective’s “Mountain Game” throws back to their Merriweather Post Pavilion-style pop artistry. Bearing all the musical nuances we’ve come to love from the band, the track’s greatest surprise happens to be its pure beauty; it’s gentler than their more chaotic (but organized) works and incorporates soothing harmonies. We can all be grateful they decided to release it on their own six years later.
Wilough (Willow Smith): November 9th
The sublime Willow Smith, working under the name Wilough, has released a song inspired by last week’s election, but unlike many artists’ responses, the 16-year-old’s song is full of hope and beauty. Titled “November 9th,” Smith’s short (under two minutes) but sweet track is tender and minimal. With lyrics including, “Take my hand and you will see / Sadness and anger aren’t everything,” the song nods toward and encourages a future of togetherness.
The Landing: Stars in Motion
Brooklyn-based The Landing says he makes space-pop and considering the track “Stars in Motion”—with its glittery synths and vocals including “I want to believe”—the genre’s name is pretty accurate. The tune (which just got a music video to accompany it) is super-groovy and retro—which makes sense considering space age pop was a genre that emerged during the ’50s and ’60s—and was also known as bachelor pad music. With a decidedly cruise-y vibe, this song would certainly suit late nights on the shag-pile.
Cashmere Cat feat. Tory Lanez + Selena Gomez: Trust Nobody
Norwegian musician Cashmere Cat already released a banger track with The Weeknd, and now his second powerhouse collaboration gets a simple, enrapturing video. While Selena Gomez and Tory Lanez provide guest vocals, there’s no cameo in the video for “Trust Nobody”—not to forget, Gomez is resting up from her ongoing battle with lupus and depression. But the five dancers against the backdrop of a setting sun, standing up to some major wind, seize your complete attention with the beauty of their human form.
Gordi: 00000 Million (Bon Iver Cover)
With nothing but the sound of her voice and some reverb, Gordi—Australian singer/songwriter and Jagjaguwar-signee Sophie Payten—takes Bon Iver’s already minimalist “00000 Million” one step further in her cover version. Gordi’s husky, lower range a capella enhances Justin Vernon’s otherworldly poetry and offers some much-needed, grounded reflection within these chaotic times—a modern-day hymn.
serpentwithfeet: four ethers
A work of uncommon brilliance, the new video for singer serpentwithfeet’s “four ethers” taps into the mysticism of the track’s lyrics and pairs it with a visually stunning universe. There is an operatic grandeur to the experimental R&B track, a stand-out from the artist’s debut EP blisters. Its visual treatment features serpentwithfeet (aka Josiah Wise) dancing (in with movement inspired by Japanese avant-garde dance), dressed in scarlet and set against consuming darkness. It’s powerful imagery to say the least.