Bryce Rudow is a contributing writer for All Things Go
Overloaded by all the “new music” options you keep hearing about? We’re here to help. Here’s five songs we think you should fucking know (this week). Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments too.
- King Krule* – “Rock Bottom”
I am blown away by King Krule’s “Rock Bottom”. This song is able to perfectly capture that wonderful, incredibly-complicated balance of “refreshingly new” and “nostalgically timeless”. What is almost as impressive as the song itself, though, is the artist behind it, all because of one simple, unbelievable fact. It is so striking that it forever changes how one might listen to the song. I don’t want to be the one making the life-changing decision of letting you know this fact before or after you hear the song, so if you hate spoilers, scroll down to the bottom of the article and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now that that is out of the way, “Rock Bottom” is the latest in a string of impressive songs from King Krule to follow up his strikingly enjoyable EP titled simply (and frustratingly) EP. This kid, Archie Manning, and his Joe Strummer-meets-The Kooks voice (with a hint of Graham Ulicny from Reptar’s vocal manipulations thrown in there) are going to go far. And that’s before you get to the enchanting guitars, the subdued, yet pleasant drums, and the mature songwriting (appreciative nod to The Streets, included). Better jump on the bandwagon early before the backlash comes.
- Trimbal – “Confidence Boost”
James Blake is officially King Midas. Everything he touches turns to gold and this collaboration with grime MC Trim is no exception. Between his Harmonix project and the unofficial James Drake mashup album (Google it, and you’ll find it; it’s stellar), I’ve always been interested in seeing how well the post-dub Blake could play with hip-hop. “Confidence Boost” makes cryptic and creepy catchy with a warped and pitch-shifted Trim finding an assertive rhythm inside James Blake’s minimal, off-kilter production. The end melts, letting Blake shatter and dissolve the beat as Trim’s repetitive chant keeps hammering on. Fuck Madonna, this is why you strike a pose.
- Kid Cudi – “Creepers”
In the just recently released “Just What I Am” off Kid Cudi’s upcoming LP Indicud, Cudi declares, “I diagnose my damn self…I know that shit sound super crazy, but if you had my life, you’d understand.” The oft-mysterious but never shy Kid Cudi might be doing something crazy, but he must be doing something right, as the previously mentioned track and “Creepers”, his solo feature on G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer album, remind me of the Kid Cudi I knew and loved (and was disappointingly missing from the ill-fated WZRD album). Kanye’s uplifting, fun production (complete with his requisite Rick James sample you might recognize from “Blue Jeans”) allows for Scott Mescudi to remind himself that he has “the heart of a lion still shinin'” in this anthemic track. The beat could be the bizarro, optimistic cousin to “Runaway” and the affirmative lyrics play to it well. Cruel Summer may have been a mixed bag in terms of an album, but this song shouldn’t go overlooked or under-appreciated.
- St. Lucia – “September”
This song makes the Songs You Should F*cking Know list because it is damn near everywhere after only being released a few days ago, and it’s damn good. St. Lucia doubles down on the formula that made the South African native Jean-Philip Grobler such a success with his first album. The hooks and riffs are catchier, the beats are bigger, and the vocals are more commanding. I was lucky enough to catch St. Lucia at an All Things Go showcase at U-Hall a few months ago, and the neo-Phil Collins St. Lucia are just as enjoyable to see live as their records are to listen to. The September EP is on iTunes now with a bunch of remixes, including a gem from Alex Metric. We should all be eagerly awaiting the next single to drop from them.
- Willow – “Sweater”
My last post included “Turn On The Sunshine” by Suckers in all its music video glory. I wanted to keep the theme going with a creative video from sorta-famous-in-Belgium band Willow. They do their best Morrissey impersonation vocally, but the instrumentation might have well have been stolen from Jimmy Eat World or Temper Trap (more similar than you might think at first, right). However, it’s catchy enough to compliment this captivating music video directed by Filip Sterckx and shot with three beamers projecting on a studio floor and two walls. A cute enough video can get you places in this YouTube-obsessed world (just ask OK Go) so the sky is the limit on this one.
Bonus clip. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video of the making of the music video (remember that MTV show? Memories…):
*That one simple fact: King Krule and that voice belong to this kid:
This is them playing live: