This Week In Releases 1/4/2021 (Viagra Boys, Bill Callahan, Madlib)

January 10, 2021 | By
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Viagra Boys - Girls & Boys (From Shrimp Sessions 2) - YouTube

 

It’s been a long first week of the year, luckily we’ve got some good tunes to boot.

 

Viagra Boys: “Girls & Boys”

For their last single in anticipation of their new record Welfare Jazz (which was released Friday 1/10/2021), Viagra Boys remains in the realm of new wave influence with a driving drum and bass groove that runs through the majority of the track. “Girls and Boys” also nabs a fair amount of influence from no-wave groups like The Contortions and The Pop Group, with their implementation of some atonal jabs of sax in the mix behind frontman Sebastian Murphy’s belligerent singing.

 

Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy: “Miracles (feat. Ty Segall)”

For the latest addition to their recent string of cover singles, Bill Callahan and Bonnie “Prince” Billy have enlisted the help of fellow Drag City labelmate Ty Segall for an interesting rendition of soul singer Johnnie Frierson’s recently rediscovered track “Miracles”. The instrumental is a far cry from the original acoustic guitar version, consisting mostly of a drum machine and synthetic bassline with some hints of electric guitar and a few horn embellishments. Callahan’s lyrics are front and center singing inspirationally about how the listener is a miracle, telling them they can do anything, while Segall and Billy serve as background singers to accentuate the message.

 

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard: “Life is Cool”

To kick off the new year that doesn’t quite feel like a new year yet, is a new song that isn’t quite a new song. Aussie indie giants King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard have seen fit to commission a remaster and reissue of their debut album Teenage Gizzard. The first track to be (re)released is entitled Life is Cool. If you’re a fan of KG, you won’t want to miss the full album release, which is due March 1st 2021.

 

for your health: “birthday candles in the effigy”

A perfect track to kick off 2020 pt. II, this new cut from Ohio emo outfit for your health serves as a soundtrack to our lamentations about the lack of change we thought would magically occur at midnight on NYE. birthday candles in the effigy is a brief two-minute affair, showcasing the band’s uncanny ability to fuse harsh orchid-esque emoviolence with some moments of legitimately catchy post-hardcore melodies.

 

Virgil Abloh: “Delicate Limbs (feat. serpentwithfeet)”

An artist known better for his artistic direction of Louis Vuitton and founding of high-end streetwear brand Off-White, Virgil Abloh has been making a name for himself in the music sphere by touring with several artists as an opening DJ and releasing a few club friendly mixes and remixes here and there. On this new track, however, Virgil collaborates with experimental pop and r&b artist serpentwithfeet to create a beautifully hypnotic song that fuses together elements of sophisti-pop and idm. It is easily worth a listen, and certainly makes a compelling case as to why one should be on the lookout for more music by Virgil in the future.

 

STR4TA: “Aspects”

Up and coming London synth-funk outfit STR4TA prep their new album Aspects with the release of the title track. The song is a nearly eight minute linear jam that sounds just as influenced by the sounds of deep house in certain passages, as it does in others by artists like Thundercat and Chromeo. Suffice to say it is sure to incite at least a couple impromptu living room dance parties.

 

Slowthai: “MAZZA (feat. A$AP Rocky)”

This new single from British MC Slowthai is a slight departure from the deep and introspective nature of the two previous teasers he’s released in anticipation of his forthcoming record entitled TYRON. MAZZA instead runs more like the rough and gritty grime tracks he rode to popularity. Hopping on to this production quite smoothly to support Slowthai is none other than A$AP Rocky, bringing an expectedly smooth and charismatic flow to the track.

 

Sun Ra: “UFO (Live at Grendel’s Lair 1978)”

Lifted from an archival release dropped on New Years’ Day called On Jupiter, UFO showcases Sun Ra and his Arkestra in full fusion mode on a series of three unreleased studio tracks and one live recording. The live recording, which is an earlier iteration of the second track on the record of the same name, is a much more groovy and funk oriented version of the studio version. It is certainly a must-hear for any self respecting Sun Ra enthusiast.

 

Madlib: “Hopprock”

Madlib releases another single from his upcoming record, following the previous “Road of The Lonely Ones”. The record, and subsequently all of the singles, is arranged by UK folktronica legend Four Tet; a quality that really shines through on this single. The sparse introduction to the track almost sounds like a field recording and even the layering of the instrumentals during the main bulk of the track share a similar musical DNA to most of Four Tet’s recognizable work. Madlib still remains true to form on the track though, as the percussive and rhythmic vocal sampling sound unmistakably like something straight out of his playbook.

 

-DJ Straight Edge

 

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