HOT MUZIK TAEKS: April singles bring summer anthems

April 7 has come and passed, but Kendrick Lamar’s latest album has yet to be released, although it is available for pre-order on iTunes.

We don’t really know much about the 14-track album, which is currently untitled, outside of the fact that it’s 14 tracks long and that one of them is the certified banger “HUMBLE.”, which comes with a music video courtesy of director Dave Meyers and The Little Homies that you have to see to believe.

When the album actually comes out, you can bet we’ll have something up on Kendrick’s latest project.

Gorillaz are continuing to put forward singles ahead of the release of Humanz, having recently performed at Printworks London, a rare sight for the “virtual band.”

On Thursday, “Let Me Out” was the single to be released to the public and features appearances by Pusha T and Mavis Staples. A psychedelic anti-pop track that will make your head bop, Pusha T lends a sense of urgency, giving life or death imagery over a tense and powerful boom-chuck while Mavis Staples and 2D soar and drag the mood, respectively, in the bridge. A safe bet would be that “Let Me Out” could be a signal of transition in the album itself.

“Let Me Out” is the sixth album single to be released, if you don’t count the four house and dancehall remixes to “Andromeda”, “Ascension”, “Saturn Barz” and “We Got The Power”, which came out Friday morning.

Now that the housecleaning is done, let’s move on to some new, yet familiar faces!

It’s April, which is usually around the time artists start releasing singles to try to hit the summer airwaves, which means a lot of your favorite artists are suddenly coming out of the woodwork with new sounds.

Harry Styles, formerly of One Direction, has finally released his hotly anticipated first solo project and it delivers in terms of potential.

I’m not sure what exactly to make of the lyrics here, but you can’t deny that Styles lends a certain charm to them, even if they don’t make very much sense. What really grabs my attention here are the allusions to many trends of 1980’s and 1990’s style popular music, including the use of multiple guitars (which I envision being glittery and flooding the world with lights) and the canned drums over a softly played piano.

It’s a different sort of throwback that is very Phil Collins in its execution; it feels new, yet familiar at once. It should be interesting to see how much play this gets on the radio, as this version is over five minutes long, which is much too long for many popular formats of commercial radio.

Canada, our northern neighbors, are usually good for giving us unique vibes, especially in the indie rock scene.

Feist is a sort of modern forebear for the pop artists (such as Lights, Grimes and Purity Ring) that would come after her, even though her sound is decidedly more poppy than the artists prior mentioned.

Known for lighter, more minimalist hits such as “1 2 3 4” (which was featured on an iPod commercial once upon a time) and “My Moon My Man”(which received a pretty great remix by Grizzly Bear), Feist’s latest venture, “Century”, pretty much shatters any popular perception she may have had before.

Feist’s first new single in four years features a lot of grit and punch that will surprise you at first listen. One might mistake it for a song from Cat Power or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at first, what with its story telling elements and lo-fi qualities, but it’s Feist through and through and that’s especially apparent in the lyricism. There’s also a surprise uncredited feature artist that gets into some sick beat poetry before one final guitar breakdown that you have to hear.

It’s certainly quite the sonic journey that’s worthy of a good listen or twelve.

Atlanta-based rapper B.o.B has had a rough last couple years.

He sort of fell off the face of the earth after Strange Clouds and Underground Luxury, the two major-label records that followed the seminal The Adventures of Bobby Ray, both were critical and commercial flops

Then, he got into a bizarre Twitter spat with Neil deGrasse Tyson about whether the earth was flat or not and continued to prop up conspiracy theories on his various social medias.

Anyway, he’s released a series of four mixtapes (called Elements) during his conspiracy theory phase (with mixed results) and seems to be putting forth a more earnest effort to a followup to Underground Luxury. 

In the past, he’s teased a followup to the Strange Clouds album, but this single doesn’t seem to be it. The single, “4LIT,” features T.I. and Ty Dolla $ign, and has a distinctively mid-2000’s feeling to it, certainly a conservative sound for a rapper known to bounce around in the eccentric, especially with dancehall-inspired beats being all the rage.

Finally, we close the segment with Martin Garrix, who most of you may remember for “Animals,” the track that pretty much killed EDM on the radio for about a year or so one summer.

This time around, he’s brought some help to dominate the summer airwaves in the form of Brooks (alias of Dutch progressive house producer Thijs Westbroek) on an admittedly catchy tune called “Byte.”

Westbroek has a pretty steady following on Soundcloud, with around 18.8 thousand followers on the song-release service. Primarily known as a remixer, he is a co-producer on this track which could result in him gaining a bigger following in the EDM community, as Garrix is considered amongst the EDM elite.

Westbroek seems to have caught the ear of Garrix after Westbroek remixed Garrix’s “Scared To Be Lonely”, another recently-released track.

“Bytes” has no lyrics, but it does have a pretty cool video going for it and you can’t deny that it’s a pretty damn catchy tune when you listen to it. It’s destined to be a hit at sporting stadiums everywhere.

Have any cool sugestions for us to check out? Write to us on Twitter at @HotSprots and to James @AVKingJames.


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