The loss of a harddrive is one of those things that can’t resolve to ever sound like anything but a first world problem, but to those of us who live inside of a machine it is hella traumatic. Like when Scarlett Johansson briefly goes offline in Her, you fear that a piece of you may have just disappeared into the digital ether. So, I’ll defend Future from the inevitable jabs he’s going to get over the melancholy mood he reserves for some data storage. That said, Future’s patented flat affect and minimalist depressive hedonism has managed to stir me a total of about three times in his career and MikeWillMadeIt is responsible for all of those tracks. I honestly can’t distinguish the rest of this song from the last couple songs he’s released. I always hope to be surprised, but this is just the American hip-hop version of the mopey miserablism that defined the indie ‘90s.—TIMOTHY GABRIELE (2/10)
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A few weeks after removing all his music from Spotify, the always unpredictable Prince has delivered his new track “Stare” exclusively (so far) to the service. Whether “Stare” will be included on his upcoming new release The Hit & Run Album is unknown. What is known is that “Stare” is the type of blazing funk that can only come from Prince. It’s not really too far removed from what he’s done in the past – it’s a bit of a mix between “Sticky Like Glue”, “Musicology” and “Sexy Dancer”, with a nifty sample of his classic “Kiss” thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t break any new stylistic ground, but that hardly matters. The groove is smokin’ hot, with sizzling horn riffs and a bassline capable of inducing brain melt. “Stare” continues the hot streak the mercurial genius has enjoyed since the beginning of 2014 with the release of multiple standalone internet singles, and his outstanding pair of LPs Art Official Age and PlectrumElectrum.—CHRIS GERARD (8/10)
It’s not every day you get a new song that fades out anymore, but it’s rarer to get one that fades in as well as out. It’s a dying trend, but one that ASG singer/guitarist Jason Shi and Thunderlip drummer Johnny Collins decided to exploit on “Lions”, a fantastic new track by their collaboration Wildlights. It’s a bit of a delayed start as a result, but when it gets going it’s a swift, groovy blast of sunny skate punk and hazy desert rock.
Where did this spryness come from? As it is with all the pioneers of the Dunedin scene, you expect them to mellow out once they reach a certain age. But the Chills return in full form after close to 20 years with a propulsive confidence that gives an eye wink to their reverb-soaked contemporaries. Not that it’s a complete surprise—Martin Phillips has always had it in him to remold the Chills, and after sprinkling a few tracks here and there in the past few years it seems he’s finally concocted a formula that works. It’s a succinct rock song that curiously reminded of a less bombastic British Sea Power, which isn’t a bad thing, really. It’s also idiosyncratic enough to distinguish it as a Chills track, and that’s reason enough to believe that “America Says Hello” is a welcome return to the full-length album format.—JUAN EDGARDO RODRIGUEZ (8/10)
Cindy Wasserman and Frank Lee Drennan, also known as Dead Rock West, recently put out the album It’s Everly Time!, a 13-song tribute to the Everly Brothers. Featuring an array of standards and underrated tracks, their latest single is their cover of the 1965 song “The Price of Love, which has been re-recorded live for their new video for the track.
// Sound Affects
"The latest installment of Pop Unmuted digs deep into pop lyrics and analyze's Kacey Musgraves' Pageant Material.READ the article