Unique new sounds to close out the summer [Single Reviews]

As summer comes to a close, you’re probably looking for new music to spin. Maybe you want to hear some more “Summer Grooves” to extend the warm weather, or maybe you’re already ringing in the fall and all of the coolness that comes with it. Whatever your preference in climate or musical style may be, you’re bound to find something that you’ll love with this, as there’s truly a little bit of everything between the six new tunes here.

Joywave – “Obsession”: A new obsession, indeed. Of course, perhaps, it’s not so new anymore. I’ve been meaning to write about the latest Joywave jam since its initial release a month ago, so I’m not entirely sure why it took me this long to finally make it a priority. There is one thing I am sure of, however: as spacey-sounding it is, “Obsession” is an infectious bop, through and through.

Michael Kiwanuka – “You Ain’t the Problem”: When was the last time you heard a song where the intro and outro combined made up over half of the song’s lifespan? It’s a phenomenon that I myself can’t say I hear in modern music very often, and yet, that’s exactly what’s happening on Michael Kiwanuka’s new track. The British singer-songwriter packs a full song into just over a minute and a half of runtime, bookending it with expansive instrumental breaks where you’ll no doubt want to sing along. What starts out almost tribal soon transforms into a bluesy soul rocker, before “You Ain’t the Problem” eventually fades out into a vibey ending. It’s an ending that gives you that perfect feeling of satisfaction you want to experience after listening to a song, no matter what style of music you prefer.

Danny Brown – “Dirty Laundry”: I have a weird relationship with Danny Brown’s music. I can’t think of any other rapper who wows me with their talent while simultaneously making me laugh from their hilarious wordplay. Brown is truly one of a kind. As if that’s not enough, he’s also always finding the perfect beats to back his quirky, clever blend of hip-hop, so much so in fact that his last full-length, 2016’s Atrocity Exhibition, was one of my favorite releases from that year. The lead single from its forthcoming follow-up, “Dirty Laundry,” is just another shining example of this: the Q-Tip produced beat feels like Brown is navigating a video game, all while he brings his signature voice and innuendo-laced rhymes.

Zoo Trippin’ – “Come Correct”: Columbus’ favorite party band is back with a new single, but believe it or not, “Come Correct” for me personally is my first real taste of the alternate quintet. I can’t help but get some old-school vibes from the funky groove present, and I feel like the constantly-moving bassline has a lot to do with that. To me the coolest part about this song is how tight the group sounds as a unit, so if it’s any indication of the direction Zoo Trippin’ is headed instrumentally, sign me up for some more of this party rock funk!

Trap Rabbit – “Chunnel Through the Garden”: I was pitched this Philadelphia instrumental duo not long after their Songs About Worms released last month, and while the entire EP is well worth a listen, the meandering opener is what immediately attracted my attention. To me “Chunnel Through the Garden” epitomizes this jazzy, progressive sort of fusion that continues showing up throughout Songs About Worms. Sonically, it feels a little avant-garde and very left-field, but I think what’s most impressive about Trap Rabbit is that their music is generated solely by keyboards, drums, and samples.

Don Broco – “ACTION” (featuring Taka Moriuchi, Tyler Carter, Caleb Shomo & Tilian): Just from reading the list of featured singers in the title, I knew the surprise new banger from Don Broco was going to a heavy music lover’s heaven. After all, with vocalists from One Ok Rock, Issues, Beartooth, and Dance Gavin Dance, that guest feature list alone feels like a “who’s who” of the “scene” bands. I’ve always been impressed with how seamlessly Don Broco blends that scenester-type post-hardcore sound with an alternative rock sensibility, and “ACTION” is just a step further in that direction. It’s already massive, but then each singer takes a little piece of what he’s best known for and throws it in. The result is rather repetitive, but it’s a fun sort of repetitive.

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