Soundcheck: The 23 Best Music Releases Of The Week

Photo by Justin Brown

Syd, SZA, Sampha + more

Every weekend, we’re bringing 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 23 of our favorite emerging and established artists including Syd, SZA, Sampha, and so many more. Turn up, tune in, and tune out.

"All About Me"- Syd
Allow Syd to reintroduce herself. The internet's frontwoman has gone solo, and it's working for her 100 percent. Syd's debut album, Fin, is slated for release on February 3 on Columbia Records.

"Drew Barrymore"- SZA
A first taste off of the singer-songwriter's long-awaited debut album, CTRL, this song has us feeling like we're back in the '90s—and the nostalgia is more than welcome. It'll have you pining for those crushes that broke your heart without even speaking a single word to you.

"(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano"- Sampha
Prepare to have your soul split wide open. As expected, this piano-driven ballad will fill you up with all the feelings. Sampha's debut album, Process, is out on February 3 via Young Turks.

"Damesfly"- Loyle Carner feat. Tom Misch
This collab is sweet ear candy. The combination of the smooth voices is like pairing Nutella with fresh strawberries. Loyle Carner's debut album, Yesterday's Gone, drops next week on January 20.

"Oslo"- Anna of the North
Anna Lotterud and Brady Daniell-Smith released a dreamy visual for one of their best singles to date. It really does give us the urge to run away to the woods and never come back... Until we run out of snacks, that is.

"Do U Dirty"- Kehlani
Send this song to all the men that think they make the rules for the games of the heart. It's like Kehlani made a song inspired by that hat Rihanna wears from time to time that reads, "I came here to break hearts." 

Paranoid EP- Maxine Ashley
This Pharrell-approved artist's latest compilation is another masterpiece. Here's to hoping that she shares more of her creative genius with us this year.

I See You- The xx
Our expectations were high after four years without a new release from The xx, and they definitely did not disappoint. I See You may be the British trio's most danceable album, but it's just as restrained. 

"Far Off"- Letta x Ryan Hemsworth
Letta gave a sneak peek into his newest LP Redemption, out on 1/13, with the release of this powerful collab. 

"Say You Will"- Shy Girls
Shy Girls continues the gradual release of his upcoming album, Salt, with the premiere of "Say You Will." Even with Shy Girls' brooding falsetto, the driving bass keeps the song upbeat and danceable. 

"Tears In The Club"- Kingdom
True to its name, this single released from Kingdom's highly anticipated debut album maintains a wide-open sound with heavy percussion and a haunting piano melody. 

"Leotard"- Rome Fortune x Toro y Moi
Rome Fortune teams back up with producer Toro y Moi with a track that's ready for the club but has an undeniable jazz influence that offers a unique vibe. 

"Sweet F'in Love"- Alicia Keys & Kaytranada
Keys brings carefree, airy vocals to this disco-inspired track that you can't help but dance to. 

"Everything Single Thing"- Homeshake
Are you even paying attention to Homeshake right now? Because you should be. The light falsettos over this groovy track have us psyched about his upcoming LP, Fresh Air, due out on February 3. 

"Smoke Signals"- Phoebe Bridgers
Bridgers' warm orchestral sounds and melancholy vocals bring us right to the cozy Idaho cabin she wrote the track in. We can't seem to get her poetic lyrics out of our heads. 

"Funeral Pyre"- Julien Baker
From what was originally Sad Song 11, performed for a Tiny Desk Concert, came Baker's new single "Funeral Pyre." Baker's endearing vocals bring a certain lightness to the dark, discomforting lyrics. 

"Low"- TRACE
TRACE pulls our attention back to her 2016 single with a fresh music video, a single view of the artist's profile mirrored, her back to herself as she sings of a failing relationship and fighting for more from nothing.

THEY. continues to push the boundaries of genre, bringing a fun twist to the intricate new track with a mechanic-sounding instrumental bridge underneath the song's well-established hook.

"Tummy Ache" - Diet Cig
Vocalist Alex Luciano brings a lighthearted innocence to the band's newest angsty track, singing criticisms of the patriarchy in the most charming way, with lyrics like, "My stomach hurts, ’cause it’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt."

"Woman of Constant Sorrow (feat. Rhiannon Giddens) "- Sxip Shirey
Well, here's the sexiest reimagining of the American folk classic "Man of Constant Sorrow" we ever did hear. 

"Polaroids"- Josh Jacobson
God bless the trumpet. God bless its use in genre-bending dance music. God bless the harp. Josh Jacobson's falsetto is the icing on top of this sensual cake. Get lost in this atmosphere. 

"Trier"- Analog Candle
Can 2017 be the year dream-pop returns? And can we nominate Analog Candle to take the lead?

"Dance"- POWERS
You wanna dance? POWERS will make you dance.

Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.



Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.