Fresh Beats: Flying Lotus and more new music

Fresh Beats: Flying Lotus and more new music

Fresh Beats: Flying Lotus and more new music
September 23
00:19 2014

Matt Wood / Senior Staff Writer

Flying Lotus

“Coronus, the Terminator”

Prolific experimental hip-hop artist Steven Ellison, known as Flying Lotus, has always served as an example of low-key brilliance. In a genre dominated with towering egomaniacs and narcissists, Flying Lotus is off somewhere quietly creating electronic tracks that push the boundaries of what the genre can do. His upcoming release, “You’re Dead!” has a staggering 19 tracks announced, and showcases the respect he gets within the hip-hop community with appearances from Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg.

The song is short and sweet, running just under three minutes with a floating chorus of vocals, samples and a simple, clicking rhythm track. The dense, complicated arrangement rides on the edge of becoming too crowded, but FlyLo is  well-versed at creating clarity in chaos. The aqueous melodies intersect and overlap perfectly, and the result is a soothing, harmonious track perfect for late-night driving.

4/5

TV on the Radio

“Happy Idiot”

On the first single off its upcoming fifth album, “Seeds,” TV on the Radio singer Tunde Adebimpe embraces blissful ignorance in an effort to forget the scorn of a past love. Though the lyrics are highly relatable, the words themselves feel a bit weak for a sharp, clever lyricist like Adebimpe, and the song leans heavily on the repetition of a handful of lines.

“Happy Idiot” traverses a post-punk aesthetic that works well with the lower-pitch vocals of Adebimpe, but the arrangement feels a bit uptight. TV on the Radio thrives within the nuances of swinging beats and noisy layers, and although cleaning up the sound creates a new dynamic for the band, it feels like it loses some of the passion that defines the band. The full album might be more varied, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait until Nov. 18 to reach a verdict.

3/5

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz

“Where No Eagles Fly”

Indie rock icon and perpetual leather jacket-wearer Julian Casablancas put together a supporting band to create his newest release, “Tyranny,” which comes out today. Once on the cutting edge of New York garage rock, Casablancas has felt a bit out of touch lately, especially in the recent releases by The Strokes as well as his solo album.

Imposing synthesizers and falsetto onto a band that was known for its traditional garage-rock style and harsh vocals just didn’t make sense. What makes more sense, though, is taking the craving for a different style into a different band, which is why he succeeds with the addition of The Voidz. “Where No Eagles Fly” alludes to Misfits in not only the name, but also the sound. The track is grungy and rooted in punk influences, and Casablancas’ voice nestles into the track perfectly, transitioning between a calm, almost spoken-word verse into a thundering, roaring chorus. We might never get The Strokes back to its original form, but at least Casablancas knows how to put out quality side projects.

3.5/5

Featured Image: Julian Casablancas and the Voidz. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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