Sunday, May 26, 2024

Fresh Playlist: Two Door Cinema Club Boogies, Nx Worries Soothes

With new music flying like warp-speed through the various channels of the Internet, it can be hard to keep up. But worry not! Each week The Fresh Toast will deliver the most-discussed and exciting songs that have recently dropped. Landed. Crashed. And also: soared. Enjoy.

Nx Worries—“Scared Money”

Anderson .Paak records remind me of eating pecan pie on grandma’s couch: buttery, luscious, that type of comfort into which you wish to fade away forever. His solo Malibu project released this year remains on rotation for those reasons. Combining neo-soul, funk, hip-hop, and R&B into something uncharacteristically whole, there’s always something worth re-visiting and reminding yourself of. To steal a Boomer expression: “It just feels good, man.”

So little surprise that .Paak’s collaboration with underground producer Knxwledge that slips into the ears like an old fall jacket—yes, easily, but also a nostalgic garment you weren’t aware you missed. .Paak’s hard-won hopefulness, much like Chance the Rapper’s, ripples so effortlessly against Knxwledge’s smooth vibrations and tricks you into forgetting worries and problems. It’s all good, fam. And even if it’s not, it will be eventually. They make you believe there is reason yet to believe. No worries.

The crew’s much-anticipated Yes, Lawd! released a week early on Apple Music. It includes previous efforts like “Suede” and “Link Up.” This whole record should be on repeat this weekend. But right now, “Scared Money” is the standout looping on the headphones. Yes, Lawd.

Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar—“Don’t Wanna Know”

A week after I called Adam Levine “corporate cool” (unlike Bruno Mars, who’s just cool now), Maroon 5 released the made-for-everyone radio single “Don’t Wanna Know” replete with a super slick, commercialized music video with—gasp!—celebrities. I did not intend this type of situational irony. Sometimes the universe steals your punchline. I’m okay with it. But I’m not okay with Kendrick’s guest feature here.

For an insular rap artist like Kendrick to also maintain his super pop status, it’s almost inevitable he dips into these kind of guest features. It’s part of the tradeoff. He made it work on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and scorched the Grammy stages with Imagine Dragons on that “Radioactive” remix. But this decidedly falls flat. With show-stealing verses on records with Travi$ Scott’s and Isiah Rashad and Sia—you get the point. This one wasn’t necessary, K-Dot.

Tim Heidecker—“Talkin’ Nobel Prize”

Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature this week. Like any news event on the internet, everyone had wildly strong reactions within seconds. You likely have yours, too, and that’s fine. But my favorite response was this little diddy by Tim Heidecker doing his best Dylan impression. Here’s a quick sample of the lyrics: “Take your medal and throw it away/Come on back when you got something to say/Or just save it for a rainy day/Ain’t nothing Nobel ’bout me anyway.”

Two Door Cinema Club—“Bad Decisions”

We missed this single when it debuted last month. But with Two Door Cinema Club dropping Gameshow today, their first record in four years, it’s worth re-visiting. Following a year hiatus, the band stripped away much of their contemporary sound, and dipped into the well of David Bowie and Prince, namely their disco pop records. (Watch the music video, it’s so Bowie.) The album, in a very refreshing manner, is a stark overhaul from where TDCC started.

Yellow Days—“Your Hand Holding Mine”

A 17-year-old should not be able to write and sing with this level of tenderness about heartbreak. That it’s about a love when he was 14 years old hardly matters. Yellow Days is the latest signee to London label Good Years, who boasts a roster of Mick Jenkins, Banks, and Lil Silva. He is surely one to keep an eye on.

Emeli Sandé ft. Áine Zion, Jay Electronica—“Garden”

Jay Electronica is one weird cat. As Erykah Badu told us so long ago, it’s like “he’s an alien from somewhere really.” His disappearing act antics have turned away some, but when he drops a verse like this, I can’t understand why. Capturing that first fling post-heartbreak, he rhymes “Once outside these prison walls, to believe again is scary / Your garden is my sanctuary.” Against the sparse, wavy production, both Electronica and Sandé vocals soar, dip, and dive. They explore. You’re excited to be along for the ride.

Gucci Mane—“Wop”

Guwop needs no introduction. His music needs no argument, no critical analysis. Just wop.

Posted By: Brendan Bures


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