LNWY Recommends: August’s Best New Music

Missy Scheinberg and Dom O’Connor – from the Laneway offices in New York and Sydney, respectively – tag team for the best tracks of the month.

 

‘A Wall’

Downtown Boys

‘A wall is just a wall’ might be the most unsubtle metaphor to use in 2017, but ‘A Wall’ is more than just a stinging Trump rebuke. Instead, it crackles with a barely-restrained urgency, one that comes from the higher production values as much as the extended call-and-response cries of ‘Fuck It!’ that punctuate the verse and the stirring saxophone swells in the pre-chorus. Whilst many bands would imbue a song like this with a hint of resignation, that’s not Downtown Boys’s style- instead it’s a ferocious call to arms that’s impossible to not believe in. – Dom O’Connor

‘That Much’

Buddy

It hasn’t even been three months since Buddy released his collaborative EP with Kaytranada, but the Compton MC is back with another G-funk, futuristic number that shows why he’s one of hip-hop’s best-kept secrets. While having already worked with Alicia Keys, Nick Murphy, Kendrick Lamar, and Pharrell at the ripe age of twenty-three years old, Buddy holds his own on That Much. Here, he steps into the spotlight for the first time with his sharp, no-frills delivery that sits perfectly atop bouncy production from MIKE & KEYS, proving that he’s a talent of his own that doesn’t need to be held up by A-list collaborators. – Missy Scheinberg

 

‘Sky’s Grey’

Destroyer

There’s something that’s effortlessly warm and comforting about hearing Dan Bejar’s weathered, cracked croon, especially on a song like this, where he dials back the yacht-rock indulgences of his last few records and marries a stuttering drum machine to lounge-lizard piano chords. Bejar’s abstract lyricism has always married the personal with the poetic- ‘I’ve been working on the new Oliver Twist’ he repeats, like it’s a worthy ethos to live by. The song’s elongated, sax-assisted coda unfurls with the comfort and ease of a sunny, late-summer afternoon, and like that, the contained universe Bejar creates within the song is gone. – Dom O’Connor

 

‘Sleep’

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions

We’re not even three-quarters of the way through 2017, and yet we’ve already seen one of the biggest years in shoegaze since 1996, with the first records from both Slowdive and Ride in twenty-one years(!!). Furthering this revival, we now have new music from Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions: the shoegaze super-duo comprising of Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and My Bloody Valentine’s Colm Ó Cíosóig. As is expected by its title, Sleep is a gorgeously woozy dream-pop tune propelled by Sandoval’s hypnotic voice and an unexpected combination of upright cello and xylophone that further boost the hazy lullaby quality of the beautiful track. If you’re someone who likes falling asleep listening to music, this one’s for you. – Missy Scheinberg

 

‘Gummy’

Brockhampton

The LA-by-Texas ‘boy band’ return (only a few months after their much-hyped debut Saturation) with a G-funk aping posse cut. The song’s immediacy, in the easily-hummable hook and the sense of purpose in the verses, showcase Brockhampton’s growth as an entity. Gummy probably won’t make the Odd Future comparisons stop for Brockhampton, but there’s a clear democracy and here that Tyler and co were always missing- a rawness that when harnessed this well, invigorates the song with a vital energy. – Dom O’Connor

 

‘Silk Mirage’

Love Deluxe

Ever since sharing his debut track a few months ago, Sydney producer Love Deluxe has become one of the most exciting new talents in electronic music on this side of the Pacific Ocean. Combining warm, bubbling synths and a smooth, funky bassline with disco breakbeats, Love Deluxe manages to create a paradoxically futuristic-yet-retro sound of his own that sits comfortably between the classic sounds of Todd Terje and the modern maximalism of Melbourne’s Roland Tings. With a three-song EP already under his belt in just as many months, here’s to hoping we continue to hear more from the rising Sydney producer. – Missy Scheinberg

 

‘Stranger’s Kiss (ft Angel Olsen)’

Alex Cameron

Alex Cameron is a world unto himself, and here Angel Olsen joins him in a barely-ironic duet, smothered in halcyon synths and Olsen’s best Roy Orbison impression. It’d be wrong to label it a pastiche- a line like ‘they made a meme out of my legacy, darling’ is sold with utmost sincerity. Cameron continues to grow as both a songwriter and performer with every song, and October’s Forced Witness is quickly shaping up as a late-year highlight. – Dom O’Connor

 

‘Quarrel’

Moses Sumney

Trading in previous single Doomed’s sparse-yet-pulsing R&B brooding ambiance for a falsetto and string-laden, modernized gospel-jazz fusion number, Moses Sumney is anything but a one-trick pony. While the first two-thirds of the nearly seven-minute track are driven by the California native’s delicate falsetto, Quarrel concludes by seamlessly morphing into an experimental jazz jam, courtesy of its A-list backing band featuring Thundercat, Cam O’bi, and KING’s Paris Strother. Between Doomed and Quarrel, Moses Sumney’s Jagjagwar debut is surely on it’s way to becoming a favourite of 2017. – Missy Scheinberg

 

‘Say Nothing’ (feat. Emerson Leif)

Muto

Muto’s forte has always been the slow-burn, saturating his songs in woozy synths and always holding an element back. Say Nothing continues this, taking a wobbly topline from Emerson Leif and slowly building to a crescendo that floats above the rest of Say Nothing. Muto doesn’t just use restraint as a technique here- instead, he builds the entire track around it, subverting the listener’s expectations from the get-go and continuing to build a considerable body of work. – Dom O’Connor

 

‘Bathwater’

WESLEE

Not only does 2017 seem to be a year of shoegaze revival, but it’s also brought forth a futuristic take on 90’s R&B nostalgia all across the spectrum, from TLC’s final record and the viral Sade x Drake mashup EP to new 90’s-influenced sounds from the likes of Jorja Smith, H.E.R., and most recently, newcomers WESLEE, whose second-ever release has just solidified that debut viral track Gassed wasn’t just a fluke. While maintaining frontwoman Emma’s (no surnames have been revealed yet) smooth 90’s-indebuted vocals, Bathwater trades in the skeletal ballad feel of Gassed for a fleshed-out, colourful instrumentation and production. With a Hottest Record In The World and two million Spotify streams under their belts in a mere few months, WESLEE is sure off to a promising start. And who ever thought a song called Bathwater could sound so sexy? – Missy Scheinberg

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