October ’18 Favorites

  1. Tints (feat. Kendrick Lamar) — Anderson .Paak

They really did it to us. Anderson .Paak has released the first single from his sophomore album, Oxnard, with a feature by Kendrick Lamar. I, for one, immediately knew the song would take the month’s top spot, and indeed, the pair have delivered a groove-saturated tribute to their funk forefathers. This record received ample criticism from Pitchfork, but honestly Pitchfork is kind of a hating ass bitch for a website that is so constantly plagued by glitches. Paak’s technical excellence and Lamar’s Pulitzer-winning lyricism are well-known in the music industry, and together they produce terrifically complex flow. The song manages to encapsulate the perfect amalgamation of their brands without forfeiting either man’s classic melodic signatures. It’s the kind of musical synergy that produces only complete and total bangers. So, if you see me bopping around in public, the culprit is almost certainly this song.

2. KAYTRANADA_WAITIN_115 BPM — Kelela, Kaytranada Remix

Kaytranada really knows his way around sound, always charging into new territory, always making it distinctly his own. “KAYTRANADA_WAITIN_115 BPM” is at the top of the list if not for its sheer complexity. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m largely unfamiliar with electronic music production, but even I can ascertain that these nuances were incredibly difficult and time-consuming to produce. Kelela’s infectious vocals only add to the song’s graceful boom and bust.

If Kaytranada’s next album is anything like his last, we all need to hold onto our hats.

3. Treasure — Sampha

Sampha wrote this song to be featured on the Beautiful Boy Motion Picture Soundtrack, which I know because I, like everyone else, am forthrightly obsessed with Timothee Chalamet. But Chalamet aside, what Sampha has delivered here is an exquisite and transparent piano ballad, singing, “I used to live my life in the wind / And I would fly wherever you would swim.” Sampha hadn’t put out any new songs himself in two years, instead lending his talents to the likes of Solange and Frank Ocean, amongst others. I’m hoping this release kickstarts a steady flow of new music from him, because in Sampha’s search for treasure, he has gifted us with a small, but monumental piece of our own.

4. Feeling Lonely — boy pablo

I have been waiting for Soy Pablo, boy pablo’s newest album project, for forever ( just under 3 months). boy pablo is a massively underrated band, as they simultaneously transport you back to your indie high school years while instilling their songs with an unmistakably modern edge. They accomplish this, in part, by displacing the content of their songs from the underlying instrumentals. “Feeling Lonely” is an irresistibly upbeat jam incorporating breezy electric guitar and bright synths. Though Muñoz sings, “I miss you so bad / A thought of you makes me sad / I’m going mad,” his lighthearted and bubbly vocals never falter, radiating an alluring hopefulness. boy pablo’s music just feels good, and we could always use a little more of that.

See also: Losing You

5. Beauty & Essex (feat. Daniel Caesar & Unknown Mortal Orchestra) — Free Nationals

I never could have expected to see this collaboration happen, and I thank my lucky stars that it has. This song is smooth and effortless with the combination of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s psychedelic guitar and the buttery vocals of Daniel Caesar. It seems there is no limit on what or who the Free Nationals can accommodate. We are officially on HIGH ALERT in anticipation of Oxnard.

6. Aurora Borealis — Colin Stetson

If anyone could make something sound like the Aurora Borealis, it’s Colin Stetson. This one’s for your own good.

7. I Am Not a Robot (Clock Opera Remix) — Marina and the Diamonds, Clock Opera

Marina Diamondis is our generation’s most iconic diva. Period. And, while I haven’t traditionally been a fan of Clock Opera as I’ve felt his songs can be a bit crowded, I can get behind this reverberating, orchestral backdrop. If you ain’t wid it get wid it.

Also: if you’re interested in Marina and the Diamonds at peak sass, see Electra Heart or my personal favorite Marina bop, “Oh No!”

Honorable mentions:

Henry — Soccer Mommy

Gallipoli — Beirut

What Does It Take — Miijon