Peanut Butter Wolf: RIP 2016
On the first day of 2017, Peanut Butter Wolf (aka Chris Manak, the founder of Stones Throw Records) began releasing his RIP 2016 mixtape in parts. Just a few moments ago, Part 3 appeared on Soundcloud and—like the previous mixes—it commemorates well-known and obscure musicians that the world lost last year. The creative, tender mixtape is a genuine tribute to the likes of Phife Dawg; Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White; Sharon Jones; Andy “Thunderclap” Newman and so many more.
The Avalanches feat. Freddie Gibbs: Bad Day
Australian outfit The Avalanches released their second record in 2016, following a 16-year break, and evidently they have plenty more where that came from. Recently a rough version of the group’s track “Bad Day,” featuring Indiana-born rapper Freddie Gibbs, found its way online—and like much of what we’ve come to expect from The Avalanches, it blends several genres via guest spots and countless samples (including one from Gladys Knight covering Stevie Wonder). A tweet from The Avalanches stated that a newer (possibly final) cut also features De La Soul’s Posdnuos.
Dirty Projectors: Little Bubble
One of the band’s most beautiful songs to date, “Little Bubble” by the Dirty Projectors debuted today in video form. Soulful and soothing, the track isn’t devoid of the band’s thoughtful eccentricity—manifesting here in numerous ways, but arguably most noticeably in a burbling, dripping beat. “Little Bubble” and last year’s “Keep Your Name” are expected to be a part of the band’s forthcoming LP, their first since 2012’s Swing Lo Magellan.
Dan Deacon: Opal Toad Segment
Off a forthcoming experimental music compilation, I Said No Doctors!, from NYC-based music label Dymaxion Groove, musician Dan Deacon’s “Opal Toad Segment” conveys a different sort of chaotic charm than we’ve come to expect from the mastermind. Here, a vibrant tinkling—of “MIDI-triggered pinpoint notes from an acoustic grand piano”—rises and falls with a binaural boldness. It’s quite beautiful and entirely out of the ordinary.
At times sultry, at times soaring, “Billie” by NYC- and London-based singer Khodara finds its power through beauty. The single, off a forthcoming EP to be released 17 March, diverges from the dancey, disco-dazzling work Khodara released late 2016 but this dynamic departure strikes one of her core goals: to demonstrate the versatility of pop music around the world.