Blood Orange: Augustine
With a track like “Augustine” (and the accompanying video), it’s hard to think of things Blood Orange (aka Dev Hynes) can’t do. Off his just dropped album Freetown Sound (which features songs made in collaboration with Debbie Harry, Ta-Nehisi C, Carly Rae Jepsen and more), the song maintains Hynes’ signature soulful vocals and drum-and-piano instrumentation, but introduces what feels like a far more complex song structure. Commencing with female guest vocals and entering a thoughtful patch of speak-singing, the song delves into the singer’s familiar falsetto. The video, which Hynes also directed, features the multi-instrumentalist playing various musical devices and dancing. Altogether, it comes together with beauty and a bit of grace—and the lyrics and their substance require just as much attention.
Jimmy Edgar: Dreamz Come True
Detroit-raised DJ Jimmy Edgar chases chords and techno futurism with his new EP Dreamz Come True, released through his art and music collective Ultramajic (he often creates his own glossy album artwork). Jimmy Edgar has the perfect subliminal visual message to accompany the mesmerizing title track featuring Rochelle Jordan’s tender, lush vocals. Who knew the oversaturated hot pink was such an important element in opening the portal to the doorway of your desire (or to joining a cult)?
Angel Olsen: Shut Up Kiss Me
Angel Olsen enraptures in her new boisterous (teetering on the edge of rash desperation) rock song “Shut Up Kiss Me,” whose music video was written and directed by the singer-songwriter herself. Rocking the same glittering silver wig seen in the similarly awesome “Intern” teaser trailer, Olsen seems to be enjoying her new, forthright musical direction (and perhaps alter ego) as much as we are. Her next album MY WOMAN releases September on Jagjaguwar.
Beyoncé: Freedom (Live at BET Awards 2016)
There were too many not-to-miss moments a few nights ago across television: the Copa América match between Chile and Argentina; the showdown between Cersei and the High Sparrow in GoT’s season finale; and of course, the 2016 BET Awards. The surprise opening performance was none other than Beyoncé, barefoot and ankle deep in water onstage and kicking up rain showers in perfect sync with her dancers (track collaborator Kendrick Lamar also makes an appearance). The unapologetically black feminist anthem “Freedom” wasn’t the only highlight of the annual awards show. Prince tributes from Sheila E, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson, Janelle Monaé and many more brought out the tissues, and Jesse Williams’ no-holds-barred humanitarian of the year speech stirred a fire within.
Metronomy feat. Robyn: Hang Me Out to Dry
From Metromomy’s upcoming fifth full-length album Summer 08, “Hang Me Out to Dry” features pop darling Robyn and was apparently recorded for the band’s 2011 record The English Riviera but it hadn’t seen the light of day until now. It’s a minimal but robust track that pulses along gracefully. With lyrics about driving around, mellow vocals from Robyn and Metronomy’s Joseph Mount and a meandering vibe, it’s the soundtrack to all your balmy summer nights.