Staff Picks and Good Shit for the Week of August 15
It was Makonnen Week, apparently.
So here’s the deal. We used to have a column every Friday called “Insult to Injury” where we listed everything the Noisey editors had been listening to all week. Then we realized that you, the wonderful Noisey readers, probably didn’t have any clue what the fuck “Insult to Injury” means and neither did we, to be honest. (We have a fully functional bar at the office and sometimes we have brainstorming sessions there.) So now we’re calling the column “Staff Picks and Good Shit” because it sounds like something you’d see in a record store. Like the one in Empire Records. Remember Liv Tyler? Wonder if she got our letters. Anyway, here’s what we were digging this week in our newly named column. Oh, also, joining us is the dude from Wild Party. Kick it off, dude from Wild Party…
Lemaitre - "High Tide"
They're from Norway and I think they're doing something different. It's like soulful indie hip-hop pop shit. It's kind of like Phoenix meets Daft Punk with some Justice thrown in, but more soulful.
Lincoln Kreifels - Singer of Wild Party
Warpaint - "Disco/Very"
Earlier this week, I was in LA for, you guessed it, more Made In America. The final episode is going to focus on LA, but summarizing that city's impossibly nebulous and disparate scene is a toughy. That being said, it was a no-brainer to talk to Warpaint so I met up with Emily and Theresa and Emily's place in Echo Park. It goes without saying that they're some of the coolest people I've ever interviewed. So cool that when they were recording their album in Joshua Tree, "Disco/Very" had the neighbors complaining to the cops that their music was making them nauseous. Buncha badasses. And this video rules for being totally loose and, in a day and age in which everything is over-thought, breathtakingly simple.
Kim Taylor Bennett, Style Editor
Schwarz - "Wonderwall (EDM Trap Remix)"
The Baltimore producer Schwarz is a weird fucking dude. He's one of those Neo types who can see through the 1's and 0's of popular music and cut to the truth: all music, and all everything, is the exact fucking same, and should be treated as such. In that spirit, he recently released a mixtape entitled Top 40 Bootlegs 2009-2014, consisting of totally straight-faced club edits of the past 20 years of pop music, including a large swath of the past 20 years of pop that no one ever needed to have club edits. In addition to the typical Beyoncé/Bieber/Kanye/Nicki edits that are so expertly-executed and downright fun that you'll find the outer rims of your mouth curling upwards with joy as you listen to them, Top 40 Bootlegs 2009-2014 contains some downright strange shit. Some of it, such as the Blink 182 rave remix or the hardstyle remix of Radiohead's "Creep," are abject failures, almost horrifying in their shittiness (as to whether or not this was actually the point and the conceptually-minded Schwarz wanted to make a greater statement about how some songs just don't need a remix is debatable). But amidst the Avril Lavigne trap remixes and "Consent-Twerk" mixes of Alanis Morissette, there is this beautiful, perfect, bizarre, and strangely addicting trap remix of Oasis's "Wonderwall." "Wonderwall" is one of the definitive Top 10 hokiest songs of all time, and so injecting some absurdist bass stabs and some chugging chants of "HEY!" into the affair feel almost correct. There are many things that I would like to say to you but I don't know how, and "turn the fuck up" is one of them.
The Gaslight Anthem - “Have Mercy”
Boy do people like to argue about this band. Their new album isn’t my favorite one of theirs by a mile but I dunno, man, I feel like there are a lot worse things going on in music worth getting your dick in a twist about. Crunkcore, for example. Anyway, I think this song’s a pretty good one, especially in the context of what the album is about, which you can learn about thanks to this incredibly moving, touching feature on the band. Wow. Such writing. Very self-promotional.
iLoveMakonnen - "Whip It"
It's been a big week for Our Friend Makonnen, and it looks like things are only going to get bigger. There's supposedly a Migos remix of this song on the way, which is unfortunate for my girlfriend, whom I think I've already driven insane by singing this song, but which is great news for everyone else. Because this song deserves to be huge! Makonnen's voice is incredible! So low! Drew first described Makonnen to me as being like David Bowie, and this is the type of song that really drives that comparison home. So much range! He floats with those high notes at the end. How could you not have a good time listening to this song? If there is anyone I trust to teach me how to whip it, it is definitely my friend Makonnen.
Kindness - "World Restart"When Adam Bainbridge aka Kindness released his debut album World, You Need A Change Of Mind a couple of years ago, it mostly flew under the radar. In some circles, it was immediately dismissed. Not everyone could get behind Bainbridge's garish funk and R&B pastiche. Some assumed his commitment to late 70s sounds was ironic, because an English hipster making funk must be right? Haters gonna hate but he was doing something right because his genre of choice has caught on over the past couple of years and even inspired last year's inescapable Marvin Gaye-rip-off "Blurred Lines" and Daft Punk's equally ubiquitous "Get Lucky." An album later, Bainbridge is still sticking to his guns. "World Restart," the first song from his upcoming record-- fittingly-titled Otherness-- is one of my favorite tracks of his so far, in part because it features Kelela. I've been listening to it all week since it quietly came out and it's gotten me even more excited for Kindness' return.
Aura - "STWO"
Sometimes in life, you can't have everything that you desire served up to you on a silver platter whenever you feel like. For example, this week, I wanted to write about "Look at Wrist," but someone decided to beat me to it. So now, I'm here writing about this STWO song we premiered this week, because life is a cruel mistress. But whatever, this song is still really good, and STWO is still the most impressive thing to come out of France since hygiene.
Hank Wood & the Hammerheads - Live set
God. I love love love Hank Wood & the Hammerheads. If you were to take the garage-punk of the Spits and mix them with the knucklehead charged-hair approach of bands like Crazy Spirit, you'd have this NYC band. They just released their new LP Stay Home, the follow-up to the great Go Home from a couple years ago. It's a burner. Download yours for FREE and order the repress via Toxic State when you can.
Tunji Ige feat. Michael Christmas and ILOVEMAKONNEN - "Day2Day (Remix)"
I don't need to repeat Kyle and tell you that our friend Makonnen is having an amazing week. He fucking rules and we love him. On this track here, he joins young Philly-based rapper Tunji Ige—who is a mere 19-years-old—and Boston's Michael Christmas on what might be the best song of the summer. Or at least my favorite. "I fuck your bitch make it hit on my day to day" is a GOAT refrain that will now be in your head for the rest of the weekend.