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Our Best New Songs series is here to give you context on what we’re spinning each week in VMP’s On Rotation playlist — curated by VMP staff, no algorithm needed. Listen and read along below to find out why these artists should be on your radar.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are back with their first music in over nine years. The band — Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase — have released their first single, “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” with Perfume Genius, and announced their upcoming fifth studio album, Cool It Down. Karen O said of the new track in a press release, “I see the younger generations staring down this threat, and they’re standing on the edge of a precipice, confronting what’s coming with anger and defiance. It’s galvanizing, and there’s hope there.”
Perfume Genius also co-stars in the music video for “Spitting Off the Edge of the World,” directed by Cody Critcheloe — who designed the artwork for Fever To Tell and worked with Perfume Genius previously as well, as the director of the artist’s “Queen” visuals. (“Perfume Genius was incredibly gracious to roll in the very cold mud as my co pilot and steal scene after scene with his surreal charm,” Karen O said.)
Addressing the long wait for new music from the band, Karen O said in a statement: “To all who have waited, our dear fans, thank you, our fever to tell has returned, and writing these songs came with its fair share of chills, tears, and euphoria when the pain lifts and truth is revealed. Don’t have to tell you how much we’ve been going through in the last nine years since our last record, because you’ve been going through it too, and we love you and we see you, and we hope you feel the feels from the music we’ve made. No shying away from the feels, or backing down from what’s been gripping all of us these days. So yes we’ve taken our time, happy to report when it’s ready it really does just flow out.”
You can pre-order the VMP edition of ‘Cool It Down’ here.
“Medicine” is a new song from 070 Shake’s You Can’t Kill Me — preceded by singles “Body” with Christine and the Queens, “Web” and “Skin and Bones” — released alongside the album last Friday. Accompanied by a music video directed by Alexander Wessely, “Medicine” is the fourth track off of Shake’s sophomore album via Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings.
Shake, born Danielle Balbuena, spoke with Complex ahead of the album’s release about the two-year process behind her second record, originally titled You Can’t Kill Me Because I Don’t Exist. The 24-year-old spoke plainly in the interview about her relationship to her labels: “To be honest, just to keep it real with you, G.O.O.D. Music is not really a thing. Like, nobody works for G.O.O.D. Music. They don’t even exist. To be honest, I worked with Def Jam. Nobody works at G.O.O.D. Music, you know? So it’s really Def Jam, which has a legacy in itself.”
Speaking about the multitude of shifting sounds on You Can’t Kill Me, Shake said, “It reflects me as a person. I don’t like when things don’t change. Especially in music, like, I can’t hear the same boom bap drums. Your bars got to be crazy. I love when things change, and new things come in, because my mind is always different. I have ADHD. Like right now, I’m trying to balance everything out that’s happening. I think the ADHD does help me when I’m making music, though, because I’ll be here and then the next second, I want something else.”
BLK ODYSSY’s latest release, “BENNY’S GOT A GUN,” features funk legend George Clinton and Griselda rapper Benny the Butcher. The song is the second single — following “COMPLEX OF KILLING A MAN” with Baby Rose — ahead of BLK ODYSSY’s upcoming BLK VINTAGE REPRISE, the deluxe edition of his 2021 debut album. “BENNY’S GOT A GUN” is produced by BLK ODYSSY (aka Juwan Elcock) alongside Carrtoons and Jordan Knul.
Despite the presence of Benny the Butcher, the titular character is a fictional teen, bullied and pushed to become violent himself. The cinematic visual for “BENNY’S GOT A GUN” is labeled “PART I,” implying that there’s a forthcoming part two to this story.
Speaking with Alternative Press magazine about his debut, BLK VINTAGE, Elcock (who also performed under the moniker Sam Houston), discussed keeping activism at the forefront. “I think that’s a really big goal of mine, and I think it should be a goal of any artist who has a powerful platform and has an opportunity to do things on a larger scale,” he said. “Music is good. It makes the world go round, and it’s important to our culture, but there are more important things to be said that can’t be summarized in a three-minute song.”
After appearing on “BENNY’S GOT A GUN,” Benny the Butcher released “Welcome to the States,” with an accompanying music video, rapping about mass shootings over Kendrick Lamar’s “We Cry Together,” off of Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. A statement about the song directs listeners to donate to the Buffalo 5-14 Survivors Fund directly, or to purchase a limited-edition “Pray for Buffalo” T-shirt, with 100% of the proceeds going to the fund.
You can pre-order the VMP edition of Carrtoons’ ‘Homegrown’ here.