Run The Jewels – ‘A Few Words For The Firing Squad (Radiation)’
By the time you get to the final track on Killer Mike and El-P’s fourth album, you’ve already gone head-to-head with a series of blistering rap anthems, big name cameos, and expertly deployed samples. Just because things are coming to a close doesn’t mean they’re going to let you go quietly, and ‘A Few Words For The Firing Squad’ offers a sharp, tense final bout with RTJ. The song grows almost claustrophobically, the fire in the rappers’ voices glowing brighter with each verse, backed by strings and sax that constrict and contort around them to make something undeniably powerful.
Dua Saleh – ‘Body Cast’
Artists are often praised for their ability to be in touch with the zeitgeist when they release timely tracks but, sometimes, it’s less about serendipity and more about a problem that the world refuses to solve. That’s the case with Minnesota singer-songwriter Dua Saleh and their latest track ‘Body Cast’, a musing on police brutality written a year ago but still relevant now. It might be a little quieter than most songs written in protest of something, but the track is no less impactful, Saleh playing with the subtle theatrics of their voice and the dark poetry in their words to make their anger and pain viscerally felt.
Jungkook (BTS) – ‘Still With You’
In many ways, BTS’ youngest member is nothing like us – that is, after all, why he’s one-seventh of the world’s biggest boyband. But in others, like his love of the emo aesthetic and his reaction to being separated from the people he loves by a global pandemic, we’re kindred spirits. ‘Still With You’ is evidence of the latter, Jungkook softly and sentimentally longing for a reunion “when this fog clears” as rain-splattered double bass and brass transport you to a smoky, intimate jazz club. It might just be a Soundcloud offering outside of the promotional cycles of albums, but don’t bet against it becoming one of BTS’ finest deep cuts.
Terrace Martin and Denzel Curry, featuring Daylyt, G Perico, Britney Thomas and Kamasi Washington – ‘PIG FEET’
In a direct reflection of the mood in the US right now, this response to the death of George Floyd and the continued killing of Black people at the hands of police is the most urgent track you’ll hear this week. It begins with the sounds of gunshots, helicopters, sirens and Britney Thomas crying: “He didn’t even have a gun.” It ends with Kamasi Washington’s sax melody frantically darting around before collapsing. In between, Denzel Curry, G Perico and Daylyt go off on the effects of systemic racism, taking no prisoners with their rightfully rage-filled verses.
Msftz – ‘Bye Bye I Finally Disappear From Your Life’
The title of Msftz’s latest single might remind you of that person who ghosted you but now insists on texting you every six months just to remind you they still exist. In reality, it’s far more devastating than any Tinder fuckboy could ever be. “I’m a waste, I should be incinerated,” sighs Msftz over mournful piano, attacking our tear ducts and taking the crown for Most Self-Deprecating Lyrics. It’s a beautifully sad tale of screwing up in love and being left with nothing but your own guilt and shame to flagellate yourself with that will almost make you grateful that spectre of internet dates past didn’t let you get to that point.
Hear more new music by following our BRAND NEW 2020 playlist below.