New Music Roundup: Leaf, THEY. & Billy Early
Creep-hop hits and rock-R&B hybrids.
Leaf, “Nada” Feat. Lil Yachty
I’d never heard of Leaf before this and I tend to tire easily of songs that are all about bitches and bragging, so the fact that I like this I’m going to credit to its creep-hop beat (full of eerie piano keys and rattled hi-hats) and to Leaf’s delivery which intrigues me because, for a song on which she spends most of the time threatening, challenging, and calling the bluff of her haters, she does it without a cliché growl or grunt. There are no “Bitch Better Have My Money” screams here. In fact, Leaf finishes each rapped-sung lyric line with a cutesy lilt. But it’s because she sounds so calm that you shouldn’t want to cross her. Like a silent but deadly type. Lil Yachty’s on the song too, but I never get to his verse which says a lot for Leaf who (as I just learned) is signed to Fool’s Gold, has an EP titled Magnetic Bitch, and is expected to drop her full-length Trinity this fall. Plus, that artwork is so ’90s dope, how could I not be on board?—Danielle Cheesman
THEY., “Deep End”
THEY. is back with another R&B/rock-infused single. The genre-bending infusion is very much similar to their last “Say When,” however, this time around “Deep End” is more aggressive. The vocals are just as gritty as the guitar riffs and the drum kicks, compared to the smoother production work on their last track. But, hey, they’ve been true to their sound. Consistency…I like it.—Erin Ashley Simon
Billy Early, “Watch Out”
I can’t lie, what instantly drew me to Billy Early’s song “Watch Out” was the fact that it was produced by !llmind. However, that wasn’t the sole reason why I hit the play button again and again. Of course, !llmind graced listeners with instrumental elements of boom-bap rap, but Early’s edgy flow added another layer to the production work, especially when he switched up the flow. Considering this track premiered with Roseville Music Group, which is owned by the producer, it shouldn’t be a surprise how well all of the pieces fit together.—E.A.S