New Music Roundup: Abra, Azad Right, Masego, & D∆WN
Summer-ready tunes and sax solos.
Abra may call herself the “Darkwave Duchess,” but this track feels anything but. In fact, the beat almost seems unapologetic in its urgency. There is no warning or easing introduction into its bouncy, ’80s-inspired skittish synths. And though Abra sits on the roster of the Atlanta-based Awful Records, a lo-fi rap collective, this song is pretty polished, full of shiny pings. She’s singing about heartbreak—”Do you remember when we first kissed?/ How did it get this far, to a place like this?/ Oh, why are you so cold to me?/ Why you acting like we ain’t nothing?”—but when it’s set to such a reminiscent dance-ready beat, it’s hard to feel like, well, a crybaby. Abra’s new EP PRINCESS, on which she wrote and produced every track, is due next month. And rumor has it she creates all this musical magic from her closet. Get familiar.—Danielle Cheesman
Azad Right, “Special”
Los Angeles-based artist Azad Right has re-emerged to drop his latest single “Special.” The song’s varying pace is what makes it so interesting, starting off with a slower hook, then building to faster verses. It’s an instrumental depiction of the ups and downs of making someone feel “special.” Prior to this release, Azad had jumped out of the dark with single “Enough of You,” but has placed most of his attention on his work as VP of the music label Mind Of Genius. Hopefully, we will see more from Azad before he goes back behind the curtain.— Erin Ashley Simon
Masego, “Send Yo’ Rita!”
In addition to it being Kanye West’s birthday, it’s also another musician’s special day. Masego turns 23 today and to celebrate his “Jordan” year, he let go an 11-track collection of demos titled Loose Thoughts. This standout track draws inspiration from Justin Timberlake’s 2002 hit “Señorita” with a trap/house/jazz-hybrid twist. After displaying a full range of his talents—rapping, singing and instrumentation—Masego tops off the bouncy flip with a saxophone solo. Make sure to check out the full project and wish Masego a “Happy Birthday.” —Trisha Cummings
D∆WN, “Serpentine Fire”
At just two-minutes long, I had a feeling this track would leave us wanting more, and I was right. As the third release from Adult Swim’s ‘Singles Program’ series, D∆WN (Richard, of Danity Kane and Dirty Money fame) offers up a thumping tune that feels equal-parts tropical and tribal. Her vocals are airy and echoey before briefly being distorted, but what remains intact is the song’s summer-ready vibe. Your chest can’t help but pump, and your head can’t help but nod. D∆WN’s third solo effort REDEMPTION, the final installment in her album trilogy, has yet to receive a release date, but being held over with this track doesn’t feel so bad. Download it for free here.—D.C.