Featuring new songs from Pabllo Vittar, Chance the Rapper, Rico Nasty and more!
Fresh Music Friday is here to give you a breakdown of new singles, EPs, and albums to check out as you make your way into the weekend.
Get ready to jam out with some of our favorite up-and-coming artists, plus celebrate new releases from those you already know and love.
1. Pabllo Vittar - "Flash Pose" (Feat. Charli XCX)
Brazilian singer, songwriter and drag performer Pabllo Vittar tapped Charli XCX for a new song called "Flash Pose," a fun and clubby cut about looking really hot and posing for pictures––and feeling confident while doing it. As was to be expected coming from two of pop's biggest icons, "Flash Pose" sounds instantly infectious. The last time Charli XCX and Pabllo Vittar put out a song together, it was for Charli XCX'S 2017 excellent album Pop II on the song "I Got It"––you know, the one that goes, "I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it" ad infinitum.
2. Chance the Rapper - "Do You Remember" (Feat. Ben Gibbard)
Reader, the day is here. Chance the Rapper just dropped his long-awaited official debut album, which features a whole host of guest appearances from Bon Iver to Nicki Minaj to Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard. As a veritable Death Cab fanatic and Chance the Rapper enthusiast, this is the collaboration I never asked for but absolutely needed.
"Do You Remember," is a nostalgia trip of a groove where Chance wistfully raps about past summer memories and features Ben Gibbard's distinct, melancholic voice on the chorus: "Do you remember how when you were younger / The summers all lasted forever? / Days disappeared into months, into years / Hold that feeling forever." At this point, I will forgive BG for never putting out the other Postal Service album he promised. Some ideas for a future supergroup include: Chance Cab For Cutie. Alternatively, Death Chance The Rapper.
3. White Reaper - "Real Long Time"
White Reaper is gearing up to put out their fourth album after recently signing to Elektra Records. A few months ago, the Louisville rockers shared the forthcoming album's first single "Might Be Right," which marked the band's first new music since 2017's The World's Best American Band, and this week they unveiled a new power-pop track called "Real Long Time."
While the guitar tones on the new songs can lean into '80s rock revivalism, both "Might Be Right" and "Real Long Time" show White Reaper continuing to hone their instantly recognizable brand of flashy, energetic power-pop—both vintage and novel—by blending together garage rock scuzz and Thin-Lizzy-approved riffage.
4. Rico Nasty - "Time Flies"
Hot on the heels of her latest project with Kenny Beats (Anger Management), Rico Nasty is back with a new track, and this time she's adopted a (slightly) pared-down vibe from her usual rapid-fire style verses. Her new song, "Time Flies," is a little less incensed and shows off a more melodic approach, with Nasty waxing introspective on a sing-songy hook: "I don't wanna be on the ground when the time flies / Had so many friends goin' / Wonder when it's my time / I live every day like I'll die by the night time / It took me so long getting back to my right mind."
5. Loving - "Vision"
This week, Canadian indie rock trio Loving unveiled a new single called "Visions" via Last Gang Records. Loving is made up of David Parry, Lucas Henderson, and Jesse Henderson, and together they create lovely, easy-going tunes that pair well with the sunny stretches of late July afternoons or aimless drives. On "Visions," drowsy guitar slides and warm acoustic strumming take shape around soft percussion as Jesse Henderson muses about the "strange prison" of how we envision our futures.
6 + 7. Caroline Polachek - "Parachute" and "Ocean of Tears"
Last month, Caroline Polacheck (formerly of Chairlift) shared "Door," the first single she's released officially under her name, marking both a return and a new beginning. Polachek previously put out songs under the moniker Ramona Lisa and went on to explore more ambient territory in CEP before shifting to her latest project. This week, Polachek followed up "Door" with two new songs: the sparse slow-burner "Parachute" and the pulsating, R&B-tinged "Ocean of Tears."
8. Palm Haze - "Almost Soon"
Vancouver-via-Brazil shoegaze duo Palm Haze released a new track today called "Almost Soon," which comes off of their upcoming album Rêve Bleu (out August 30th via YHS Records). With a sound that's reminiscent of gaze-y heavyweights like My Bloody Valentine, "Almost Soon" is a stunning display of control of texture as the band strikes the perfect (maybe even Lynchian) balance between sounding heavy and dreamlike. Vocalist/bassist Anna Wagner's cool-toned voice curls around waves of anesthetic, foggy distortion as she assures the listener: "Whatever you do, whatever you say, it's okay."
9. Germano - "Lost Crowd"
Brazilian-born pop artist Germano isn't sure of what the future may hold, but he's taking it in stride. Today he's sharing his first single, "Lost Crowd," a moody electro-pop tale that reckons with feeling lost and finding comfort in the unknown and celebrates the beauty of contradiction. The song kicks off with Germano's magnetic vocals and eases into a lush swirl of electronic instrumentation and settles into a laidback chorus that perfectly balances Germano's introspective lyrics with the song's wistful melody. The song is accompanied by cinematic visuals featuring Germano and three others dressed in matching white t-shirts and jeans as they go through synchronized acts of hanging out in empty loft apartments and parks. Germano's debut EP is expected out later this year.
10. Alexander Noice - "Affectation"
Alexander Noice wears many hats; the LA-based composer, guitarist, producer, and bandleader is known for his experimental, often genre-defying compositions that dip into minimalist art-rock and jazz. His latest, "Affectation" welcomes you into Noice's eclectic menagerie of sounds through a flurry of layered of vocals and eerie harmonies—the result is wholly mesmerizing. Alexander Noice's forthcoming LP, Noice, is out August 23rd.
Cats in tuxedos are here to lend you their strength.
2020 is on fire.
From the COVID-19 pandemic to the racist police epidemic to freaking murder hornets, let's just throw 2020 out. Yes, the entire year.
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MUSIC | Their second album moves the band away from punk and toward the pop rock of decades past
White Reaper's second LP bursts forth with the shouts of the crowd and the roar of guitar.
Gone is the punk adrenaline of songs like "Half Bad," off their debut, replaced by stadium-ready riffs and echoing pop vocals. The band from Louisville has put together an album of guitar rock throwing back to Brian May. Over ten tracks, big rolling drum fills back up the vocals from Tony Esposito that are like an impression of "Twist and Shout" John Lennon doing an impression of Buddy Holly.
The opening three songs are a trip through the sunniest place you can imagine in the convertible you drive in your dreams. The title track opens with the noise of an excited stadium crowd as it introduces its huge guitars. It tricks you into expecting a breathless explosion of sound but it surprises when it quiets down for the verses. The song balances its sound between those beautiful, loud swells and the light-footed verses between them.
On "Judy French," Esposito and bassist Sam Wilkerson play an opening that half reminds you of Blondie and the other half, Guitar Hero. It's quickly become a fan favorite with its cheerful rhythm, though I'm not sure what a concert will sound like with the over-the-top screaming of Esposito replacing some of the actual singing. "Eagle Beach" goes back for the poppy, chirping six-string melody with a playful bass groove to complete the album's best sound. Where some of the later songs recycle simple riffs for quick bursts of excitement, "Eagle Beach" captures the most energy in its careful melody.
"The Stack" doesn't do anything special with its music but there's something undeniably happy about the chorus: "If you make the girls dance / The boys will dance with her / If you play the right tracks / The stack will get bigger." The melody of those words is nostalgic and dreamy and hopeful and picturesque.
There are hints of the Clash on this album, too. "Party Next Door" could have Joe Strummer sitting in a director's seat behind the drummer. But while Esposito sounds, somehow, British, the guitar has an American sound—less compressed and fully utilizing that large-room chorus effect to fill out the tracks.
The songs lose some of their novelty by the end of the album. The World's Best American Band becomes a bit repetitive, where the riffs are different but the sound is the same. "Daisies" starts with a fun videogame jingle but falls quickly back into the groove. By the time the LP closes with the almost-straight-punk track "Another Day," it's been too watered down for the song to hit hard enough.
White Reaper are in the same line of stadium rock revivalists as Foxy Shazam and the Struts, though each band has its own idea of what this revival should sound like. Foxy Shazam goes for the grand sound of Queen while the Struts prefer more grounded rock theatrics.
White Reaper signed with Polyvinyl in 2014 and put out their debut, self-titled EP. With Esposito and Wilkerson are Ryan Hater on keyboards and Nick Wilkerson on drums. Their debut LP, White Reaper Does It Again, followed in 2015. Their second full-length album sees them building their sound even further but to keep an album interesting for more than six songs is going to mean leaving their comfort zone and taking all of that noise to new places.