Soundcheck: The 16 Best Music Releases Of The Week


Junglepussy, Blood Orange, + many more

Every weekend, we bring you #SOUNDCHECK—your new destination for the best of the best new music that hit the web over the course of the week. Because you should always be prepared when someone passes you that AUX cord. This week’s round features 16 of our favorite emerging and established artists including Junglepussy, Blood Orange, and so many more. Turn up, tune in, and tune out.

"State of the Union" - Junglepussy

Attention! Attention! We have a new State of the Union address. Nothing but respect for OUR president, Junglepussy.

"Christopher & 6th" & "June 12th" - Blood Orange

Blood Orange gifted us with two trippy, lo-fi hits in honor of Black History Month, and we couldn't ask to ring in this glorious time in a better way. 

"Open Invite" - Prince Fox

It's February, but Prince Fox's latest has us dreaming up summer parties. You don't need to tell us to "come through" twice with a drop as moving as "Open Invite" has.

"Thanks 4 Nothing" - Nilüfer Yanya 

Finally, a music video that speaks to the witch in our hearts.

Break Apart - Tenderfoot

Do yourself a favor and take some time to sit with Tenderfoot's new album. It's an album that forces you to ask yourself the big questions, to reflect, and to rebuild. Dreamy doesn't even cut it when describing their sound.

Black Panther Soundtrack - Kendrick Lamar

At long last, the Black Panther soundtrack is here and it's as glorious as the film's near-perfect reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Lamar handled this record as one of his own and it shows—it's tenderly treated with a mix of club-ready hits and laid-back feels that'll get you even more pumped for the film's release next week. 

"Leave Me Now" - Devault

This SoCal producer has more tricks up his sleeve than "Leave Me Now" suggests, but my god are the tricks he plays here transcendent. 

Only Having A Laugh - Isabelle Brown

Not to play the age card, but at just 14-years-old, Isabelle Brown has a sound that's bursting with the soul of a seasoned woman. Friends, we have a prodigy on our hands.

"Volcanic Love" - The Aces

Another week, another pitch-perfect love song from The Aces. The vibes are strong with this one.

"Bad Fun" - courtship.

For a song called "Bad Fun," courtship. certainly knows how to make a fun video.

"Ode to Joe" - Wetware

On a darker, but necessary note, the Brooklyn band Wetware released their sophomore album this week on Dais Records. The modular synth is intricate and subtly complex like the early avant garde British band Throbbing Gristle. They really come into their own on the fourth track "Ode to Joy" which has a calculated restraint.  

"Wild Horses" - Ekaruz

Now this is how you make a debut. Ekaruz is the fast-rising duo about to take over all your playlists with their wonky, warbled take on anthemic electronic pop.

"Kiss Me Now" - UPSAHL

Valentine's Day is coming; do you have someone to kiss? Regardless, here's a musical one just for you. 

"Blue Angel (feat. Clairo)" - Danny L Harle

Even Danny L Harle's sadder songs are huge. Huge, Danny! Huge!

"Don't Wanna Know" - RIVVRS

Don't let that cosmic album art fool ya. RIVVRS' packs a homegrown grit that's grounded in rock and the blues and man, does he make it well.

"Doing Better" - Jamie Isaac

Rising artist Jamie Isaac makes music for the soul. And you'll be remiss if you don't indulge in his new downtempo track. Thank us later.  

Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video)


This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.


Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.


Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

"I am honored to share this bonding experience with my own daughter"

In a heart-warming Instagram photo, Serena Williams shares the history of hair braiding and the importance of the tradition. The tennis player shared a photo of herself braiding her daughter Olympia Ohanian's hair and spoke about how "honored" she was to be able to "add another generation" to the tradition of the practice.

The photo shows Williams attentively braiding her daughter's hair while Olympia smiles, obviously loving the experience. Williams noted that hair braiding was created by the Himba people in Namibia, Africa, and that "we have been braiding our hair for centuries." "In many African tribes braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe," she continued.

Williams pointed out that braiding is a bonding experience. "People would often take the time to socialize," she wrote. "It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. The tradition of bonding was carried on for generations, and quickly made its way across the world."

Williams closed her post with a sweet message about her daughter, saying that she's "honored to share this bonding experience" with her.

See the post, below.