Earlier this month, Towkio released the Chance the Rapper featuring “Heaven Only Knows” as a lead single to .WAV Theory. The fantastic track was chock full of jazzy sounds, finger snaps/claps, and a gospel choir, but it was a statement from Chance at the end of the track that got people’s attention. Just before the track ends, Chance says .WAV Theory would be the hottest mixtape of 2015, and anticipation for the tape skyrocketed. Thankfully, we now know he wasn’t wrong. With help from The Social Experiment, Vic Mensa, Kaytranda, and others, Towkio has created a tape that beautifully merges the disparate threads of Chicago rap into a cohesive (if experimental and maybe a little overstuffed) whole, that is most certainly the tape of the year so far. Download it for free here.
Raekwon has been in the news the last few years mostly for his disagreement with the direction RZA is taking the Wu-Tang sound. Happily, on Fly International Luxurious Art, the Chef is fully in charge and able to cook up the fire he feels is currently missing from RZA’s production. Featuring guests from A$AP Rocky to Snoop Dogg (and of course the yin to Rae’s yang, Ghostface Killah), FILA‘s beats bang (for the most part) and Rae brings his distinctive storytelling flow. Lyrically, the album largely stays in Rae’s lane with stories from the streets, but also features lifestyle of the rich and famous type lines. FILA isn’t going to rival Only Built 4 Cuban Linx in Rae’s discography, but it is a strong entry nonetheless.
An indie pop trio out of Montreal, Deep in the Iris is Braids’ third full length album following 2011’s Native Speaker and 2013’s excellent Flourish//Perish. Those earlier albums were heavily influenced by 90s shoegaze acts, but with the departure of guitarist Katie Lee after the recording of Flourish//Perish, the band has shifted on Deep in the Iris to a much more synth based sound with lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston (also the lead singer of Blue Hawaii) taking on an almost singer-songwriter role. The result is a lovely album in the vein of bands like Tennis and Eternal Summers.
Also out today: Blur – The Magic Whip, George FitzGerald – Fading Love, and Colin Stetson/Sarah Neufeld – Never were the way she was.
An author and editor at MiG, Craig lives in Minnesota with his wife and son and is an attorney in his real life. Once upon a time Craig played the trumpet and spent four years in the Hawkeye Marching Band and pep band. These days Craig finds himself most often listening to experimental rock, hip hop, and post punk, but you can see everything he's listening to at: www.last.fm/user/cafreema Craig is not ashamed to admit the first concert he ever attended was New Kids on the Block.
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