Press Play is my weekly series of (mostly) indie tracks from the barely discovered depths of corporate DSPs. All my recommended tracks are compiled into the Spotify playlist linked below, which is updated weekly.
Bando. & Isaiah Rashad, “Payday”
After making a triumphant return in 2021 with his sophomore album, “The House Is Burning,” TDE artist Isaiah Rashad blesses us with another guest verse on a track from Arlington rapper Bando. The hardly-known rapper holds his own against Rashad and displays great chemistry on this trap record, with energetic flows that contrast nicely with Rashad’s slower cadence.
Fred again.., “Faisal (Envelops Me)”
From London-based producer Fred Gibson (aka Fred again..) comes this beautiful house/electronic track that features Gibson singing about wanting to escape the prison of emotional unavailability.
“I’m ready to feel,” he sings repeatedly, as if he hasn’t felt human for a long time. If you, like myself, were wondering what “faisal” meant, it’s an Arabic term for “the separator between good and evil,” suggesting that Gibson’s journey to love is a dangerous balance between both worlds.
Mitski, “The Only Heartbreaker”
Mitski is coming.
Those three words should excite anyone that enjoyed her last album, “Be the Cowboy,” when it released in 2018. Her second lead single from the upcoming album, “Laurel Hell,” is an 80s-inspired track that, according to a statement from Mitski, is about “the person always messing up in the relationship, the designated Bad Guy who gets the blame.”
In the accompanying video, Mitski turns a forest into ashes with every step she takes before eventually climaxing into a supernova.
Beach House, “Superstar”
Beach House is back with the first chapter of their long-awaited eighth studio album, “Once Twice Melody.” The highlight of these first batch of songs is the phenomenal “Superstar” that I wish had been released three months earlier.
The production is incredible with its dreamy blends of synths and percussion that crescendo into a cinematic climax that would make M83 proud.
The next three batches of the album will be released in increments from now through February.
Kay Flock & G Herbo, “Being Honest (Remix)”
The Brooklyn drill scene has not been the same since Pop Smoke passed away, but there are some promising newcomers, such as 18-year-old Kay Flock. On the sample of XXXTENTACION’s “changes,” Flock displays great potential with honest (pun intended) lyrics about loneliness and paranoia during his ascent to fame.
This track is featured on his recently released mixtape, “The D.O.A. Tape.”
You can find all the tracks from this week and others here: