Y/N is a weekly music guide based on our very scientific, non-subjective Yes/No rating system. It’s very serious.
Y!!!: The new video from British punk band Savages is unreal, a full immersion into noir direction with a song that emanates from the gut. Singer Jehnny Beth demands you look directly into her eyes as she belts, torch-style, “I adore life,” beseeching us all to contemplate the philosophical underpinnings of that assertion and make a silent pact with her to live vehemently while we can. Adore Life, incidentally, is the title of their forthcoming album (out January 22 on Matador) and I personally am looking forward to locking myself in a dark room alone and listening to it on full blast. They are so important.
OK: “Used to Love You” is an aight number on the scale of Gwen Stefani jams, maybe a six if “Luxurious” is a 10. (It’s okay, Gwen, we don’t find Gavin all that inspiring, either.) The official remix by MAIZE gives it a little protein booster, some synths to juice it for a dancefloor, somewhere.
Y: This dropped before the holidays, so allow us to play catch-up: Chris Lee, aka huge Chinese pop star Li Yuchun, collaborated with London’s PC Music crew on a bubbly little club jam and dropped her amid a gossamer landscape of funhouse mirrors. The result is a semi-precious gem mined from the deepest crevices of the internet, but it’s not so internet that you won’t want to listen to it 34 times.
Oui: Brandy’s first jam in four years reminds us all what it really means to fuckin sang, as she drops scale runs so handily they resonate on a cellular level; try and restrain your chills. Now we all just gotta find a juke joint where we can play this at 3 AM.
Si: Grime heads, Rinse FM regulars and beat freaks been knowing that British producer/DJ/singer Cooly G is a force to be reckoned with, but if this is your first foray into her material, this collection of unreleased jams is a fine place to start. Get It Pt 1 shows her breadth as a musician as she navigates the wavier spaces between pulsating grime and spacious house. If you are unable to get busy to this in the club, you can still clean your apartment to it.
*Sniff* Yes *Weeps*: “True Colors” is an almost mean cover to take on—when don’t you wanna cry when you hear it—but Marina and the Diamonds is careful enough with your emotions that it sounds like a hug through your tears.
YUSSSS: London grime youf Nadia Rose murks this street single, exhibiting probably the most important qualities in a grime MC: personality, precision, humor, creativity, and a cutting grasp of the way syllables interplay with the frozen grip of the beats. “My old man said I wouldn’t amount to nuffin’,” she says, “but fuck it, look at all the shit I’ve become?” Yes, girl.
I wanna send this song to my shrink: New York pop duo Chairlift keeps dropping jams on the lead-up to their new album, Moth (out January 22), but this one’s a little tonally different among the weirdo pop hits they’ve previously released. It’s interesting to hear singer Caroline Polachek drop a pretty straightforward midtempo ballad in the tradition of Rhye, whose Robin Hannibal, incidentally, helped out on production. “Crying in Public” is such a quintessentially New York sentiment (cause like, who hasn’t), but they tamped down the drama here, letting it exist on its own terms. Listen to it in tandem with....
...this new track by Wet, whose emotional love resonance lands on about the same barometric data as the Chairlift guy, and both of which are definitely going to land in some indie romantic comedy by 2017, no doubt. Wet’s album also drops this month—it’s called Don’t You, and it’s out the 29th.
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