Now Hear This is a daily deep dive on a standout song of the day, plus a streaming roundup of other songs we think you should hear.
Mykki Blanco, "New Feelings"
New York's Mykki Blanco has brought a singular volatility to the rap game from the jump. For casual pushers of boundaries, her music can seem unnecessarily grim, even sadistic, not dissimilar to the margins Death Grips used to occupy. Unlike Ride and co., Blanco has never shied away from a more traditional vein of icon status, but only on her terms.
"New Feelings" comes with a release date for Mykki Blanco's new album Gay Dog Food: Fem Slick: October 14. And implied on the track is the hope that by then the world will have caught up enough to take Blanco's career to the next level. Whether in the warbled hook "I'm too freaky for niggas/I'm too freaky for bitches" or the spoken word confessional on her need to exit her own mind, Blanco is taking stock, and the EQ'd "Steal My Sunshine" beat (CanCon!) lends some hope.
Throughout, Blanco matches the freaky highs and the actual tenor of Ol' Dirty Bastard on the beginning of "Raw Hide." It's not unlikely Blanco sees ODB as an ideal career trajectory. When she hits those low wails, it's like she's fully channeling his spirit.
Mykki Blanco's new project Gay Dog Food: Fem Slick is out October 14.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, "Give Us A Kiss"
"Give us a kiss," the slogan of English grandmothers everywhere, has been rendered creepy and murderous by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (while still retaining the original scent of peppermints and lemon disinfectant). It's released by the band in celebration of the Cave pseudo-documentary 20,000 Days on Earth, listen to another freebie here. It's a live performance of "Jubilee Street" which you'll remember from their last full-length Push The Sky Away.
20,000 Days On Earth hits North American cinemas on September 19.
Kindness, "This Is Not About Us"
Kindness's new album Otherness is out October 14 via Female Energy/Mom + Pop; pre-order it here.
Sicko Mobb, "Range Rover"
Everyone's talking about Drake's verse on iLoveMakonnen's "Tuesday," but for me the most exciting hip-hop star cosign of 2014 of a regional act came from A$AP Ferg on Sicko Mobb's "Fiesta." The teenage bop duo push the Chicago sound way beyond the city's borders, and it's helped land them a deal on Atlantic/Polo Grounds. "Range Rover" doesn't stray from the formula - especially what we got on "Maserati," probably Lil Durk's most likeable verse this year. With the pace of a Carnival float and the glittering mark of a Lex Luger ancestor, it's another wild and vaguely melancholy night out.
Karen O, "Day Go By"
Crush Songs is not really a "new" album from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader: Karen O wrote it seven years ago. Listen to the lo-fi track above and decide for yourself if it's held up through all that time.