Follow The Peak on Spotify to stay up to date on New Music Friday.
“HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar
Neil MacAlister: This beat feels like getting punched in the face by a freight train. This might be the most contemporary Kendrick has sounded. He’s pulling no punches, he’s here to blow your mind and your speakers. This is a perfect mix of fun and seriousness. It’s like “King Kunta,” but way harder.
Sera Akdogan: This is a little aggressive. “Bitch, sit down?” Kendrick Lamar needs to learn some manners. He seems so angry about something. Maybe he should do some yoga and release some of that tension in his fascial tissue.
“The One” – The Chainsmokers
NM: You know, if we all stop listening to the Chainsmokers, eventually they’ll just go away.
SA: I wasn’t expecting this from The Chainsmokers. Less of a party song and more of a chill out song. He doesn’t seem to be concerned with rhyming either. . . sounds like a free verse poem at times. Love that beat in the background after the two-minute mark.
“In Cold Blood” – Alt-J
NM: To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t too keen on their last single (“3WW”), but this is the Alt-J I know and love. The horns are a nice addition, and the binary hook is pretty entertaining. Alt-J does weird so well.
SA: This upbeat alternative track progresses quickly in an amazing way. I am beyond excited for their new album. I love this/Alt-J so much. Turn up to full volume for a quick dance party in your kitchen.
“Heatstroke” – Calvin Harris feat. Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande
NM: Calvin Harris is two for two with this and “Slide,” I’m so glad he decided to abandon generic EDM this year. Thugga is all over this beat. Every year, he somehow manages to hop on the song of the summer. The only thing missing is an actual verse from Pharrell.
SA: This retro collaboration reminds me of a Grease musical. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, tbh. I probably wouldn’t listen to it on my own time.
“Love Yourself” – Mary J. Blige feat. Kanye West
NM: Not to discount Mary J. Blige, who’s as powerful and soulful as ever, but Kanye steals this song. This is Late Registration Kanye. This is the old Kanye everybody’s been clamouring for. Between this and “Glow,” I’m getting very excited for whatever he drops this year.
SA: Mary J. Blige. . . where has she been? This song has a great message, and Blige’s voice is earth-shattering as always. I like the idea of she and Kanye West collaborating, but it doesn’t really work for me. West just isn’t soulful enough.
“Say You Do” – Tei Shi
NM: I totally forgot about Tei Shi. I was a fan of her Saudade EP from a few years ago, but this is completely different. That was minimalist indie-pop, this is almost disco. I don’t hate it, but this song doesn’t really do much for me.
SA: In the heat of the moment. . . this song is annoyingly repetitive. It’s very Keshia Chanté. Somebody find me a hairbrush so I can parody this song in the mirror.
“International Space Station” – British Sea Power
NM: This isn’t bad. Kinda Vaccines-ish. I’d be interested to hear what else they have to offer.
SA: This song reminds me of U2. The lead singer has major Bono vibes. With that being said, I’m not really into it all. It might be good at the end of a movie where the two main characters ride off into the sunset, going 90km/h in a convertible down a long, windy road.
“Godmanchester Chinese Bridge” – The Howl & The Hum
NM: This song gets better as it goes on. The buildup is powerful, the lyrics are intimate. These guys could have the potential to get pretty big, but their sound is a little dated. It’s just not very interesting. And their name is too similar to The Head and The Heart.
SA: Oooh, I really like this. Kind of a grungy, indie breakup song that takes you through all the memories you had with someone before it all went to shit. It seems as though he secretly would still be there for her even though he kind of hates her. Sounds about right.
“Ultralife” – Oh Wonder
NM: Wow, this sounds a lot like Of Monsters and Men. Like, a lot. It’s kinda fun though.
SA: Sounds a lot like Of Monsters and Men. I like the harmonies between the female and male singers, and the familiar indie pop beat. I would definitely listen to this one again.
“Halfway Home” – Broken Social Scene
NM: You have no idea how stoked I am that Broken Social Scene is back together. This is so fun and chaotic and energetic. They have this whole indie/noise rock sound that’s entirely their own, and a seven-year break hasn’t hurt their music at all.
SA: Haven’t heard anything new from Broken Social Scene in seven years. Wow. Has it really been that long? This indie rock track is an awesome way to introduce their return to the music scene. It sounds like they really just picked up right where they left off. Can’t wait for the new album.
“9 (After Coachella)” Cashmere Cat feat. MØ & SOPHIE
NM: SOPHIE and Cashmere Cat are a strange combination, but this actually works pretty well. They’re both pretty unconventional DJs, and this is song is weird as hell, but MØ sounds perfect over it. That outro is kinda beautiful.
SA: The beginning of this song was alright (was that a xylophone?), but then it took an odd turn into a ridiculous jumble of nonsense. It seems as if this song couldn’t decide on an overlying musical beat, so it just picked all of them. The girl’s voice has potential, but I feel like it was compromised by the various sounds that a child makes on a keyboard.
“Done Da Da” – Massari
NM: The heavy Middle Eastern influence is interesting; this is something different. Not really my jam, but this has pretty big nightclub potential.
SA: Did he just say “somebody ella” instead of “somebody else?” That’s a little bit awkward. This track is a lot of fun if you don’t try to decipher the lyrics.