Welcome back to The Verge’s weekly musical roundup. I’m Jamieson, I’m still your host, and I promise you this is a prank-free space. I’m not sure what exactly would constitute a prank here — every SoundCloud and YouTube embed points you towards Rick Astley’s greatest hit? — but I can assure you I’m treating this week’s jam selection with the usual amount of gravity. It’s serious business! At least for the four people around the world waiting on these picks with bated breath.
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Babeo Baggins ft. Drake, “Things I Forgot to Do”:
It sounds like C-rate 6 God fanfic, I know — Drake covering Nico’s “These Days” with someone named “Babeo Baggins” of “Barf Troop” — but this is real. Is it spectacular? It’s not exactly Views from the 6-worthy, but I’d still like to hear him take a crack at “Pale Blue Eyes” when he has a little more time on his hands.
Brian Eno, “The Ship”:
Ambient godfather Brian Eno is releasing a new solo LP called The Ship on April 29th, his first in four years. The title track is one of the record’s two songs, and it takes over 21 minutes to fully unfold. Eno is just as capable a writer as he is a musician, and he’s shared his thoughts on the album on his website: “I wanted to make a record of songs that didn’t rely on the normal underpinnings of rhythmic structure and chord progressions,” he writes. “I want to place sonic events in a free, open space.” Sounds like it’s perfect for your next house party or neighborhood BBQ!
Chris Cohen, “In a Fable”:
I loved Chris Cohen’s humble, woodsy 2012 debut Overgrown Path, and I’m hoping more people find their way to his follow-up As If Apart. (It’ll be released on May 6th.) “In a Fable” is the album’s second single, and it’s a great introduction to Cohen’s gentle psych-pop. The melody meanders, the tempo shifts, and Cohen floats above it all.
Gold Panda, “In My Car”:
I wrote about the lead single from Gold Panda’s new LP just over a month ago, and “In My Car” is just different enough — and good enough — to merit a second lap around the track. It’s slower and stickier than “Time Eater,” and it has more room for potential guest verses. The instrumental version is fine, but I’d love to hear an adventurous rapper weaving in and out of these samples like a boxer ducking punches.
Margo Price, “Hands of Time”:
“Hands of Time” opens Margo Price’s new album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, and it’s one hell of an introduction: “When I rolled out of town on the unpaved road / I was 57 dollars from being broke.” That’s how she kicks off six minutes of self-mythology, all of it delivered over a lush country-soul arrangement with a bright, broad voice. It’s a familiar origin story, but it’s still fulfilling.
Precocious Catalonian punks Mourn are releasing their new LP Ha, Ha, He. on June 3rd, and “Storyteller” is the second track they’ve revealed to date. (Something about that staccato comma placement makes me feel like the band’s laughing at me, not with me.) “Storyteller” is abrasive and off-kilter, but it’s still pretty catchy, and it strikes me as a little more detailed than the music on the band’s debut.
River Tiber ft. Pusha T & Kaytranada, “Illusions”:
This new single from Toronto producer River Tiber (aka Tommy Paxton-Beesley) premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show earlier this week, and it’s the first taste of a debut LP that’s supposed to drop later this year. It’s woozy, amorphous R&B given a little jolt by Pusha’s presence. It’s not his most clever or most imaginative verse, but it keeps a dreamy song from turning somnambulant.
Snakehips ft. Anderson .Paak, “Money on Me”:
I can see “Money on Me” turning into a sleeper hit once the weather gets a little warmer. It’s got a feature from a rising star in Anderson .Paak, a hyper-trendy sound (all hail dance-R&B), and a fun central hook: “Put the money on me!” At the very least, it’s a fun new way to collect the various debts your friends owe you. Dinner was cash-only and you had to cover the table? The bar’s making you pay for cover and coat check? Put the money on me!
Steve Gunn, “Conditions Wild”:
Steve Gunn is part of the same circle as bands like The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile — he used to play in the Violators, Vile’s backing band — and he’s renowned for his precise, relaxed guitar work. “Conditions Wild” was inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s essay collection A Field Guide to Getting Lost, and while it certainly meanders, it’s also one of the most straightforward songs he’s put together. The directness makes sense when you consider it’s the lead single from Gunn’s new album Eyes on the Lines, his first for Matador. (It’ll be out on June 3rd.)
Young Thug, “Digits”:
“Digits” may be the highlight of Thugger’s new mixtape Slime Season 3, but that doesn’t mean it’s new. If you believe producer London on da Track, a good chunk of the tape was recorded in a single session almost two years ago. “We was high as hell as we was just turning up and making music like we always do and Thug pulled up,” London told The Fader. “Me and Thug’s chemistry is so good, it’s immediate every time.” He’s really just confirming something we already knew: Young Thug’s music is timeless. There’s a reason he gets along so well with Elton John, right?
Here’s the running This Is Your Next Jam playlist — have a great weekend!