Every week, before I start working on this column, I think, "How am I supposed to find six great new songs?" And every week, after I start working on this column, I think, "How am I supposed to limit this to just six great new songs?"
Kele — “Jungle Bunny”
The unshakeable track is Afropop with the postpunk jitters, all the better for the Bloc Party frontman to cast shade at the cartoonish hijinks of popular black artists (most specifically one K. West) while linking centuries of history to the struggles of contemporary life, thus: “Like cocoa from the Congo/Like gold from Senegal/Better get yourself together/Better get your money up.”
The Comet Is Coming — “Lifeforce Part II”
I was raving about this British power-jazz trio before their colossal June show at the Turf and even more so afterward.This track is an appetizer to the six-track “mini-album” The Afterlife, due later this month, and here, compressed to four and a half minutes, is everything they do best: King Shabaka’s sax blowing an assault of staccato shrapnel, Danalogue’s keyboard a woozy bass adding texture and retro-futurist vibes, and Betamax blamming out the heavy funk-rock patterns.
EarthGang — “Up”
Like the rest of this Atlanta rap duo’s wild new album, Mirrorland, this single is a brilliantly disorienting affair, complete with Funkadelicate hook-groaning, an unsettling toy-like melody, and Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot cramming an OutKast-worthy amount of syllables into the space allotted.
Pusha T (feat. Ms. Lauryn Hill) — “Coming Home”
“Sociopath,” a recently released Daytona outtake with a brief Kash Doll feature and a winning side discourse about charcuteries, is very much in Push’s lane and recommended. But I prefer this uncharacteristically empathetic shout out from Mr. T to the innumerable incarcerated, partly because it’s quite the experience to hear the coldest of rappers momentarily thaw and partly because Ms. L sings the hook with steely grace.
Kindness (feat. Jazmine Sullivan) — “Hard to Believe”
Adam Bainbridge, the producer who records as Kindness, has credits with Blood Orange, Solange, and Robyn, which triangulates his sound and his interests pretty succinctly. He’s also got Philly connections and good taste, which must be why he recruited under-recorded soul auteur Sullivan for this standout track from his new album, Something Like a War.
Danny Brown — “Dirty Laundry”
Brown doesn’t flow, he splurts, and his stories are as messy as his B-Real-with-a-perpetual-boner stammery yammery steez. Q-Tip’s production here is ruminative and lyrical. The contrast throws you off balance in the best possible way. And don’t worry, not a Don Henley sample within earshot.
Every week, music editor Keith Harris scours the vast musicscape for six worthy tracks to add to City Pages' ever-expanding 2019 playlist.