Welcome to the BroBible New Music Round-Up, where we see what new music has been released this week or in the case of Kanye West, what has yet to be released. Although now it seems we have an idea why that is. Follow me @ryanoconnell79
Do you know how many rappers there are that have names that start with Lil? My best guess is that it has to be close to 600, although that’s not based on much legitimate fact finding. One of those Lil rappers is Atlanta’s Lil Yachty, who dropped Nuthin’ 2 Prove on Friday. It’s the rappers first release since the Birthday Mix 3 EP, which was released in August and based on an Instagram post from earlier this week, the new joint is packed with cameos, including “Who Want the Smoke?“, a song that he released this summer featuring Cardi B and Offset. Yachty heads out on tour with Bhad Bhabie next week. The two teamed up on Bhabie’s “Gucci Flip Flops” earlier this year and Yachty has been a staunch defender of Bhabie, telling TMZ “suck my dick, she is [a rapper].” That may be true, but we’d feel a lot better about things if she went by Lil Bhabie. Just saying.
Khalid is back with new music, the Suncity EP. It’s his first new release since his 2017 breakthrough album American Teen. Do you want to feel old; maybe a tad bit unaccomplished? Dude, Khalid is only twenty years old. What were you doing when you were that age? Probably not getting nominated for Grammys and winning American Music Awards. Although if you were doing that at twenty, I apologize for making assumptions. Back to Khalid though, he is one of the most promising acts in R&B today and it’s refreshing to see him getting back after it so quickly. It’s also impossible not to listen to “Young Dumb & Broke” and not have it stuck in your head for the rest of your day.
Elle King is back too. You remember Elle King, right? She had that song “Ex’s and Oh’s” a few years back. To get a real idea of what King is like, I’d strongly recommend checking out her set from the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Woman can sing. She has one of those surly, attitude-soaked voices that sounds like a vengeful eff bomb smashing against a brick wall. It’s gnarly and soulful as all hell. And that voice is back with her second album Shake The Spirit. “Good Things Gone” has her taking a stroll down the memory lane of vintage R&B, complete with the swinging rhythm and quick strike guitar notes.
Real talk, King is low key making the kind of albums I wish Adele would. King’s voice obviously isn’t as strong as Adele’s, but the style of music she is making would lend itself so well to Adele’s vocals. Adele if you’re reading this, just think about it. Also, my dad loves your music. My mom too. They say hi.
I’m a sucker for a good live album and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit have dropped a beautiful one, with Live From The Ryman. The album pulls from six shows the band did at the Ryman, the famous Nashville venue, since 2013. During that time Isbell has released two solo albums and a third with the 400 Unit, the excellent 2017 release The Nashville Sound. Speaking to Billboard, Isbell talked about how the live album has been part of the plan for a while now.
“The plan was to get these three records recorded and released and then make a live album that documented this period of time,” he says.
Wow. Hannibal would be proud.
Last week, Isbell and company released a cover of “Wooden Ships,” featuring David Crosby; a taste of what the live record has to offer. Isbell also continues to be a solid follow on Twitter, making points that are just flat out hard to argue against.
It’s true. It’s very true.
Speaking of lost gems from the 1990’s, Semisonic, the dudes behind “Closing Time” released a deluxe reissue of the album that song appeared on, Feeling Strangely Fine. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the album’s release. Wilson has actually had a pretty interesting career in the twenty years that have passed since the album’s release, having produced records by Adele, Chris Stapleton, My Morning Jacket, Taylor Swift and more.
Other classic albums being reissued this week include The Cranberries’ Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? and all four of the solo albums the members of Kiss released back in 1978. Kiss: The Solo Albums — 40th Anniversary Collection is a four disc box set that also includes four posters you can hang on your bedroom wall, which all things considered, might be a little weird at the stage in your life you most likely are at if you’re buying a box set of Kiss solo albums.
Okay, now back to new music being released.
Greta Van Fleet have been making noise for a little bit now and on Friday, released their debut album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army. It’s their first full length, with the group having previously released two EPs. Ladies and gentlemen, if you like good old, big time sounding rock ‘n (expletive deleted) roll, the kind of rock ‘n roll that no one seems to be making anymore, then Greta Van Fleet are right up your alley. Wicked guitar solos, thundering drums and soaring vocals – the band is a throw back in the best possible way. Hey, if you’re out there spending a bunch of money on a Kiss box set, do yourself a favor and snag this album is well. It’s a win/win.
It has somehow been over ten years since Peter Bjorn and John released the album that featured “Young Folks” on it. I just wanted to share that because frankly, it blew my mind. But the past is the past and the Swedish pop group have released Darker Days, their first new album since 2016. A few weeks ago they released three new singles on the same day. Yeah. Three. On one day. We haven’t been this surprised by something Swedish since we were shopping in IKEA, were checking out decorative bamboo plants and without realizing it, were suddenly in the children’s section. Don’t laugh. It’s happened to all of us.
Cleveland indie rockers Cloud Nothings have a new record out. It’s fast, loud and frenetic, which is apparently just how the band intended it to be, with frontman Dylan Baldi saying “that’s how I thought of this record: seven short, and one long, bursts of intense, controlled chaos. I wanted to make that come across in a way that can actually be felt.”
Sir, you had me at eight songs. Albums are too long nowadays. Yes, I’m talking about you, Drake. No one has time for twenty five songs. No one.
Rapper Open Mike Eagle has been plenty busy doing things other than rapping, namely wrestling and working on a show for Comedy Central. But he still has time for music. What Happens When I Try To Relax is his latest effort, a new EP that is his first batch of new music since 2017’s Brick Body Kids Still Daydream. OME calls his style “art rap” and of his new music, says that “it’s too complicated for a quick explanation….It’s about expectations of form, anxiety, middle age and middle class. and that’s just the parts I know how to put into words a couple months after writing it.”
For the reggae heads out there, the legendary Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry has released a new album, The Black Album. For a second, I thought it was his take on Jay Z’s classic album of the same name, but after some extensive Internet research, I have found this not to be the case. Regardless, the 83 year old reggae icon is still making quality music and on The Black Album he pulls from old school, vintage techniques as well as new school tricks. Do yourself a favor and watch Perry’s fantastic appearance on Desus & Mero. In the opening minutes he says “life is good” and “I’m a fish.” Nothing else needs to be said. Perry is God.
Finally, if you’re looking for something interesting to read, I’d strongly recommend Slate’s “New American Songbook,” in which they enlist a slew of experts to determine what hit songs from the past twenty five years are built to last. You should check out the individual ballots as well, especially for write-ups like this from Chuck Klosterman:
Mariah Carey – “All I Want for Christmas Is You”
It’s already locked into the annual Christmas rotation, and Christmas will remain popular. It’s also a very good song that does not seem particularly married to the year it was recorded.
I would say that of the songs in the running, I’m all in on “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show, anything by Beyonce, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele and “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. I think “Single Ladies” should be number one and I’m not sure I could be convinced otherwise.
Here’s this week’s playlist: