LNWY Recommends: April’s Best New Music

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

‘Mr La Di Da Di’

Baker Boy

The self-proclaimed “fresh prince of Arnhem Land” has been one of the most interesting stories in Australian music for the past year, making frenetic, bilingual hip-hop with hooks galore. ‘Mr La Di Da Di’ trades in the hyperactive energy of his first two singles for a smooth, G-Funk-leaning bassline and a chanted, group-vocal assisted chorus. The adeptness and flexibility of his voice is fully on display here, effortlessly switching between English and his native Yolngu Matha language. On ‘Mr La Di Da Di’, Baker Boy continues to position himself as one of hip-hop’s most vital young voices. – Dom

‘Dracula’

Amen Dunes

Damon McMahon has been releasing a somewhat steady stream of music for the past 15 years – as the lead singer of Inouk before launching solo project Amen Dunes. But it’s Freedom that finally takes him from a local New York act to an international name. On ‘Dracula’ – one of the final tracks on his fourth full-length under the Amen Dunes moniker – Damon finds himself somewhere between Cass McCombs’ poeticism and Jim James’ modernised classic rock with a standout number on one of 2018’s stand-out albums so far. – Missy

‘The Way Things Change’

Yellow Days

The music that 19-year-old George van den Broek makes under the Yellow Days moniker has the ominous, encroaching feel of an anxiety attack. And ‘The Way Things Change’ crawls along at a walking pace, slowly ramping up the paranoia. The guitars have the same watery sound as the dreamiest Connan Mockasin tune, but George’s deep, resonant voice urging the listener to “keep going” brings in a welcome sense of unease to the proceedings. While the song never reaches a welcome crescendo, the menacing mood throughout never wanes, establishing Yellow Days as an auteur and master of atmosphere. – Dom

‘2000 Angels’

Ben Khan

After a quiet three years, London singer/producer and Dirty Hit signing Ben Khan has returned in fine form. ‘2000 Angels’ is his comeback stunner, with his signature Jai Paul reticent maximalist production and powerful sleek vocals that gets us excited for his long-awaited album, due out later this year. – Missy

‘Mirror Freak’

Good Morning

The first taste of the scuzzy Melbourne duo’s forthcoming debut record, ‘Mirror Freak’ is a bleary, hungover wake-up sigh of a song that’ll surely soundtrack your next morning after. The guitars don’t exactly intertwine but circle each other playfully, and the skipping melody gives way to a perfectly atonal sax solo played by singer Stefan Blair’s dad. ‘Mirror Freak’ is like the perfect housemate – friendly in a casual and unpretentious way, never too much to deal with or handle and never overstaying its welcome. – Dom

‘Arrows’

Haux

Ever since the emergence of playlisting, “chill” has pretty much become its own genre. Haux – aka London-via Massachusetts singer Woodson Black – has become one of the genre torchbearers with his whispery folk-electronic that can be filed somewhere between Bon Iver and Shallou. On ‘Arrows’ – the closing track from his most recent EP – Haux creates a gorgeously subtle piano-led soundscape that is both sensitive and comforting. It’s the perfect soundtrack for any “chill” situation you may find yourself in. – Missy

‘Talia’

King Princess

It’s rare that a debut single causes as much hype as King Princess’ ‘1950’. The first release off Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records has accumulated over a whopping 30-million Spotify streams in three months, but also gained fans in Harry Styles, The xx, and Charli XCX. While a debut like that sounds nearly impossible to follow up, the Brooklynite did just that with another authenticity-oozing DIY near-smash. ‘Talia’ cements King Princess as one of the year’s most exciting pop up-and-comers. – Missy

‘Nothing Matters’

Nardean

Western Sydney MC Nardean sounds like a picture of tranquillity and peace on ‘Nothing Matters’, like she’s accepted the song’s title as a mantra to live by. The twinkling keys and ticking beat shroud the song in an enigmatic cool, while the switch-up in flow employed halfway through is virtuosic in its effortlessness and adds a new disparate new layer. A nuanced, impressive debut single from an artist worth watching in the future. – Dom

'Lost In Paris' (ft. GoldLink)

Tom Misch

Tom Misch is in a league of his own. The multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/producer has been self-releasing his unique blend of electronic jazz-pop for the past few years and finally followed up his 2015 debut full-length with the genre-bending Geography. The record’s lead single ‘Lost In Paris’ is as good as you can imagine, with the South Londoner’s smooth jazzy vocals, Grammy-nominated GoldLink’s signature bouncing flow, and even a funky sax solo. Straight fire. – Missy

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