Now Hear This is a daily dive into the standout songs of the day. Today, Toronto whiz kid Daniel Caesar goes acoustic, Destroyer is the Anti-Springsteen, and Willow Smith goes to Mecca.
Daniel Caesar, Acoustic Break EP
As if we need another reminder that the most exciting music is a conversation, not a statement, Toronto psych-soul up-and-comer (who honestly can't come up fast enough) Daniel Caesar has recorded a new EP, three-quarters of which are remade live-in-studio versions of his Praise Break EP. In her glowing Chart Attack review of that EP, Anupa Mistry called the production "refined, and almost suspiciously good." That might seem like something you wouldn't want to mess with, but these new, certified organic versions (plus the new track "Japanese Denim") emphasize another side of the young north Frank Ocean-ite. Namely, that voice. It's like velvet melted into a pile of butter heating in a silk farm. If that sounds like a room you'd want to be in, this EP takes you right into it. - Richard Trapunski
Destroyer, "Dream Lover"
Destroyer's first in four years blasts forth with Springsteenian zeal — saxophones blazing, piano keys not tickled, but spanked. It's motored by a similar sense of triumph. But Bejar is the anti-Springsteen. He isn't the blue-collar laureate; he's the soft body, the man of leisure, our Bacchus. "Dream Lover" doesn't toast quitting time, rather it says what a pity that the sun has to go and crash our party. - Chris Hampton
Destroyer's Poison Season is out August 28 through Merge and Dead Oceans.
Crystal Mecca and Willow Smith, "WEEPINGWILOUGH/LETSOTOMECCA"
Willow Smith and her gang of friends are not like most teens. They are like their own hybrid of adolescence. This week the hippie internet teen made a song about going on a pilgrimage to Mecca with friend Mecca Kalani aka Crystal Mecca, because of course she would. "WEEPINGWILOUGH/LETSGOTOMECCA (Prod. Daniel D'Artiste)" is a pun on Willow and Mecca' s names, featuring their smooth vocals that echo lines like "let's pray with the blonde haired blue eyed Muslims." Produced by Daniel D'Artiste the song is really about nothing, sounding like an interlude, and somehow managing to keep up for the 3 minutes and 33 seconds it runs. - Ebyan Abdigir