Now Hear This is a daily dive into the standout songs of the day. Today, Lido Pimienta bursts back onto the scene, Kaytranada makes music to meditate to, and M83 gets grand again.
Lido Pimienta, "Agua"
It's hard to believe it's been six years since Lido Pimienta dropped an official track, considering how much of a fixture she's become in the Toronto music and art scenes. The Colombian-born singer has been an important activist in Toronto's slow and painful march towards a more inclusive, less racist music scene, and she's created spaces for boundary-pushing performance for herself and other like-minded artists.
Pimienta tells Club Fonograma her upcoming album La Papessa (no release date yet) is a response to the damage done to the indigenous population in Canada — "the narrative of a girl who was living in a dream world, but then life made sure she got shaken, woken - and I am now at last, more than ever: Woke."
"Agua," more specifically, is inspired by her days swimming in La Guajira where, among other parts of the world, there is currently a water crisis. "This song is about rescuing water, giving her a song - canto - al - agua - to protect her, so that she can protect us," she says. Those gorgeous vocals and flowing, liquid synths will have you hitting repeat until it drains off SoundCloud (like water, the limited-time single is a resource you shouldn't take for granted).
Kaytranada ft. Karriem Riggins and River Tiber, "Bus Ride"
Montreal-based producer Kaytranada joined Benji B at the BBC to discuss his forthcoming album and offered a sneak preview with "Bus Ride," a breathing, luminous Dilla-esque number made in collaboration with countryman River Tiber and acclaimed American jazz drummer Karriem Riggins. It grows and shifts and just rolls along, little figures and objects of interest flitter past and catch your attention. Good music to stare out windows to. - Chris Hampton
Kaytranada's 99.9% will be out May 6 on XL Recordings.
It's funny that in so many record stores, Classical files right next to Children's. Such might also be the case in the musical storehouses of Anthony Gonzalez's brain. The first song we heard from M83's forthcoming album was a candy-coloured cartoonish romp; the second is a grand orchestral melodrama. "Solitude" is wound tight with theatrical tension, then bowed into a sorrowful, graceful routine, a synth ballet begging for dancers. - Chris Hampton