Kendrick Lamar leads our selection of essential new music this week with another taster of his follow-up to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, while Tuff Love, S-Type and Young Fathers represent Scotland, and Dutch Uncles go grand on their new single.
Kendrick Lamar – ‘The Blacker the Berry’
Fresh from bagging a Grammy, Kendrick Lamar has shared a second tantalising taste of his upcoming third album that finds him on angry, scintillating form after the upbeat party vibe of ‘i’. ‘The Blacker the Berry’ references the 2012 killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin and directly confronts the racial tension that has recently ripped through the heart of urban America. Producer Boi-1da provides the suitably heavyweight backing, but it’s all about Lamar’s urgent, immediately recognisable talent in front of a mic. Eventually the track descends into a mellow, soulful coda, but this is another powerful track from one of the most exciting hip hop stars around.
Tuff Love – ‘That’s Right’
Scuzzy DIY guitar pop doesn’t get much better than this. Glasgow duo Tuff Love keep things admirably short and simple on their new single ‘That’s Right’, taken from their forthcoming Dross EP. With lyrics based on the instructions to a box of pain killers, it’s a medicinal shot of guitar-pop energy, and proof that you don’t even need to leave your bedroom to be a pop star these days. Although when your music’s this good the inevitable tour will follow.
The Dross EP is out now on 10” pink vinyl via Lost Map Records
Dutch Uncles – ‘Drips’
The great thing about Dutch Uncles is that they experiment gleefully with pop music without ever succumbing to pretentiousness. The Manchester band are due to return imminently with their fourth album O Shudder, and following the release of the brilliantly funky lead single ‘In n Out’, ‘Drips’ whets our appetite for more deliciously decadent pop. While most bands use orchestral elements in a heavy-handed way, on this track Dutch Uncles weave a complete Steve Reich-style score amongst their guitar arpeggios and Duncan Wallis’s crooning vocals.
O Shudder is out on February 23 via Memphis Industries
S-Type – ‘Casper’ ft Lunice
Much has been made of the hip hop-influenced electronic music coming out of Glasgow in recent years, and label/collective Lucky Me have been at the heart of the success of star producers like Hudson Mohwake and Rustie. While he’s not quite reached the same level as his contemporaries yet, Bobby Perman has been making music from a young age, and in the past few years his S-Type project has been building a sizeable following. The preview above is just an excerpt from one of the tracks on his three-track ‘SV8’ EP, but it marks him out as the next name to watch from a label in the know.
SV8 is out now via LuckyMe
Young Fathers – ‘Rain Or Shine’
Wisely perhaps, Young Fathers haven’t hung around counting their pennies since winning the Mercury Prize last year. Instead, they’re already launching new music our way, and ‘Rain Or Shine’ is the first single to be taken from White Men Are Black Men Too, their follow-up to Dead. Once again, it doesn’t quite sound like anything else out there – it’s pitched somewhere between the meaty indie rock of TV On the Radio and the noisy clamour of Death Grips. If that sounds like a strange place to be, that’s exactly where Young Fathers do their best work, outside of easy definition and classification.
White Men Are Black Men Too is out on April 7 via Big Dada
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