13 Beats of the Week: 2/19/21


Miller Downer, Managing Editor

    1. “Go and Come Back,” by Fleeting Joys — Many compare Sacramento’s own shoegaze duo Fleeting Joys to genre progenitors My Bloody Valentine, and frankly, the comparisons aren’t far off the mark. This being said, it’s not like it’s a bad thing to be akin to musical revolutionaries.
    2. “The Big Gloom,” by Have A Nice Life — Have A Nice Life manages to break through genre walls in unimaginable ways, effortlessly molding a unique sound with elements of post-punk, drone and shoegaze. While initially slipping under critical radar, the group’s 2008 album Deathconsciousness has in recent years come to garner a cult following with many praising its masterful use of lo-fi production and poetic lyricism.
    3. “South,” by Wu-Lu & Lex Amor — Wu-Lu inexplicably and chaotically experiments with genre-defining characteristics of industrial hip-hop, psychedelic rock and punk to create new-age rebellion anthems.
    4. “Helmut,” by Cities Aviv — Cities Aviv is the enigmatic project of Memphis-based Gavin Mays, a notable name in plunderphonics and experimental hip-hop. While many claim his 2020 album Immortal Flame to be ultimately disappointing, “Helmut” remains a standout track insofar as it perhaps best encapsulates Mays’s efforts in delving into much more abstract territory.
    5. “Alright,” by Jos — Following the contemporary sounds of Phoebe Bridgers and Snail Mail is newcomer Josef “Jos” Kuhn, a 19-year-old bedroom pop and slacker rock artist from Nashville, TN.
    6. “Lucy Pearl,” by Bug Beach — Bug Beach is an up-and-coming project that simultaneously branches into electronica as well as atypical art pop. In some ways, a comparison to a much calmer Glass Animals seems inevitable.
    7. “Be Glad You Create Anything,” by K15 — A master at new wave production and progression, K15 prides his ability to blend jazz with contemporary EDM sounds, such as house and jungle.
    8. “I Don’t Love Me Anymore,” by Oneohtrix Point Never — Oneohtrix is the textbook definition of neo-psychedelia in its incorporation of ambient and sound collage characteristics that serve to create an increasingly lush and avant-garde soundscape.
    9. “Inglan Is A Bitch,” by Linton Kwesi Johnson — Jamaican dub poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson has long portrayed the experiences of being an African-Caribbean in Britain, tackling intersectional issues of classism and racism for the past 40+ years in the form of Jamaican patois performed over dub-reggae.
    10. “Jesse James,” by Mushkilla & Dampé — Mushkilla and Dampé are forerunners in current efforts to resurrect and modernize UK garage, springing (like many of their contemporaries) from London-adjacent communities with their own interpretations of how the sound could evolve.
    11. “Don’t Tell (feat. Headie One),” by Hamza & Headie One — Belgium-based rapper Hamza Al-Farissi, has long dominated the French Belgian charts as an important name in the French hip-hop and R&B scene. Headie One acts as an interesting foil to Hamza on this track, in some ways aiding Al-Farissi in his efforts to break into a larger audience.
    12. “Blasé,” by Kiina & Goya Gumbani — Goya Gumbani made his way to London by way of Brooklyn, eventually collaborating with Scottish producer Kiina to create The Lesser-Known, a meditative stream-of-consciousness project.
    13. “i tried,” by slowthai — slowthai’s recently released TYRON proves that Northampton’s foremost voice is here to stay in the rap game, building upon his already impressive discography. “i tried” is an impressive pivot for the typically unapologetic and boisterous Brit, using his platform to open up honestly to his listeners.