With some artists seeking change socially and globally through their lyrics, while others change comes in diversifying their style and genre, this week, What’s Good is all about change.
EXUM – Bad Chick Bad Dude
Following his banging debut single ‘Dark Kept Secret’; the NFL player turned dream-pop producer changes into the Bad Dude on his latest release. Swapping rolling bass and indie pop for lo-fi hip-hop beats, ‘Bad Chick Bad Dude’ lets you know straight off that it’s T for Timeless. Sounding as though Flatbush Zombies and Death Grips collaborated to create a Frank Ocean remix, industrial hip-hop meets videogame electronica fighting it out with experimental R’n’B on EXUM’s latest. The self-proclamation of ‘Bad Chick Bad Dude’ from the start as T for Timeless is all you need to convince you that the track slaps.
Angelique Kidjo – Dignity ft. Yemi Alade
‘Africa’s premier diva’ Angelique Kidjo teams up with Nigerian afro-pop singer Yemi Alade on her latest track ‘Dignity’. Inspired by youth-led movements in Nigeria against SARS (special anti-robbery squad), Angelique Kidjo utilises her renowned musical skills as guest vocalist Yemi Alade delivers a faultless performance, as the pair crafts sublime afro-pop that packs a punch with both its message and musicality. Explaining the message behind ‘Dignity’ Kidjo shared: “Many people think that police brutality only happens in America, but it’s everywhere. This song is against brutality, but it’s also about how we need to treat each other with dignity, treat nature with dignity, and treat ourselves with dignity. Because if we can’t see the dignity that Mother Nature gave to all of us, then how can we walk tall?”.
Max Bloom – Pedestrian
Formally a member of Yuck, now disbanded, Max Bloom shares the title track of his upcoming LP due for release June 18th. A slow burner that explores aspects of humanity, ‘Pedestrian’ ascends from calm yet thought-provoking piano work into a glorious blaze of indie synth-pop throughout its bountiful near six minutes. Speaking about the track, Bloom explained: “I was contemplating a lot of things when I was trying to come up with the lyrical themes. I listened to this instrumental a lot when I was out running, and I remember seeing the word “Pedestrian” on a road sign. It made me contemplate what a pedestrian is, and what the word represents. As pedestrians, we’re all trapped in our own individual worlds but when something cataclysmic happens, we’re all brought together. I think about death a lot, and I think about what humans are and whether we are the only intelligent life in the universe. So I guess this song explores both of those feelings at the same time.”
Communions – Learn to Pray
With just over a week until Communions second LP “Pure Fabrication” is out, the Danish duo share ‘Learn to Pray’. Following up previous single ‘Cupid’ (which admittedly I enjoyed so much in my own time, I forgot to write about it on Velvet), the brothers’ latest track diverges from the sweeping, indie rock of their past singles. Going for a sound that feels closer to the Madchester era, although much cleaner and crisp in sound, ‘Learn to Pray’ tells the story of cultural disintegration, casting itself as both a pivotal moment on Communions new album as well as their entire career.
Sprints – Ashley
Lastly are Dublin-based group Sprints with ‘Ashely’ taken from their recently released “Manifesto” EP. If you caught Sprints last time on Velvet with ‘Swimming’, you’ll know that this punk outfit comes ready with a heavy snarl and reality check of the shortcomings of Dublin’s wealth inequality. New single ‘Ashley’ continues with this misinterpreted reality, focusing on social media and the ideas of others we create from their online content. ‘Pop-ier’ in sound, with a more alt-rock Blood Red Shoes vibe, on ‘Ashley’ Sprints show that their punk sound is far from one note.