13 Beats of the Week: 2/3/21


Miller Downer, Managing Editor

  1. “S’il vous plait,” by Otoboke Beaver — Hailing from Kyoto, Japan, punk rock band Otoboke Beaver jam-pack every track with fast-paced and chaotic in-your-face lyrics.
  2. “Hard to Move,” by Triathalon — Indie pop trio Triathalon fit the genre as it stands contemporaneously to a tee. While it does not push any creative boundaries, “Hard to Move” is an incredible dive into an easy and lush listen.
  3. “BIPP – Autechre Mx,” by SOPHIE & Autechre — With the recent passing of legendary EDM producer SOPHIE, it would only make sense to share some of her more defining and prominent tracks featuring likeminded industry juggernauts like Autechre. Working with big names such as Charli XCX, Vince Staples and Nicki Minaj, SOPHIE unarguably shook modern pop music to its core by constructing her experimental, multi-layered tracks with sounds mimicking latex and metal, as if she were building a sculpture.
  4. “Call Your Name,” by Tora — Singer-songwriter Tora remains a minor name in the neo-soul industry, but her recent single “Call Your Name” has given her sufficient foothold on streaming services like Spotify. Her upward trajectory can only be a clear indicator of more impressive work on the way.
  5. “Mood (feat. Zacari),” by SiR & Zacari — Contemporary R&B artist SiR destroyed any expectations imaginable with his 2019 album Chasing Summer, grabbing huge names like Kendrick Lamar, Jill Scott and Lil Wayne to make one of the most memorable neo-soul albums of recent history. The addition of Zacari on this album in the nearly-penultimate “Mood” is simply the victory lap of an incredible production.
  6. “Piggy Bank,” by JD. Reid & slowthai — English duo JD. Reid and slowthai clearly had one goal in mind when making “Piggy Bank” back in 2018: grime making a comeback. Now both celebrated transnational artists, it is sufficient to say that they have accomplished what they set out to do.
  7. “Can I Watch? (feat. Apani B as Nikki),” by Viktor Vaughn & Apani B — Viktor Vaughn, one of the late MF DOOM’s many alter egos, is much more technical and aggressive than his counterparts, as made evident in the storytelling of “Can I Watch?,” a stylized dramatic dialogue between two characters in DOOM’s fictional world.
  8. “Take Two,” by Chong the Nomad & Hollis — Chong the Nomad has long been on the cutting edge of electronica influenced pop, constantly changing sound to adapt to new trends.
  9. “Fight Like Ida B & Marsha P,” by Ric Wilson — Ric Wilson is revolutionary in his approach of incorporating activism directly into his sound, promoting Black Lives Matter as well as the dissolution of ICE.
  10. “boston,” by boylife — Industrial gospel artist boylife creates his own renditions of an otherwise esoteric genre, breathing new life into a long-forgotten art of vocality and big production.
  11. “Silver Joy,” by Damien Jurado — Damien Jurado has learned an incredible amount about himself as well as his own music over the course of his 25-year career, painting quiet and somber portraits of his own experiences through acoustic simplicity and long, winding lyricism.
  12. “I’m Sleepin’ In,” by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard act in the name of experimentation, garnering them plenty of comparison to early ‘60s psychedelia. In some ways, many view the crew to be the truest continuation of rock in the modern day.
  13. “Please Don’t Cry, They Stopped Hours Ago,” by Brave Little Abacus —B rave Little Abacus is one of the last bastions of math rock-influenced Midwest emo, an eclectic and dense genre made popular by the likes of American Football and Jimmy Eat World. “Please Don’t Cry, They Stopped Hours Ago” is only one of many incredibly passionate and sentimental tracks off of BLA’s 2010 release Just Got Back From the Discomfort—We’re Alright.