It’s Friday, the Independence Day getaway beckons, and so I wanted you to feel special with a super-sized version of AMR, with all of the best rooftop-banger tracks to emerge from the alt world this week. Cue ’em up and get loose.
Moses Sumney – “Doomed”
There’s a cinematic magic to Moses Sumney’s voice, and while last year’s Lamentations EP presented a loping showcase for it, “Doomed” feels like his most successful work yet. The ambient but structured synths wave in and out, and Sumney takes turns surfing them and then submerging, locating a startling nexus between his vocal and his instruments’ sin waves. This is emotional stuff, and the video is adequately watery for a man with this much tearjerking flow.
Mal Devisa – “You Are My Sunshine”
Mal Devisa was born with the name Deja Carr, though there’s others that will come to mind in her fluid, heartfelt hip hop. Names like Lauryn Hill (for her genre-fused flow from rap to soul), or Sonic Youth (the alt.rock gods she casually name drops in the first verse). “You Are My Sunshine” takes a simple, bright-lit sample and makes it a showcase to her many talents. Like this? Check out her album Kiid on Bandcamp.
Half Waif – “Cary”
“Cary why’d you let me grow / why’d you let me grow up?” Lyrical recriminations and hypnogogic synths make quite a bed on this track by Nandi Rose Plunkett who is a member of the ascendant indie outfit Pinegrove and records her own stuff as Half Waif. If you remember Brooklyn indie circa 2010 you may hear some Twin Sister in this one (and that’s a great thing!), but Half Waif is a swooning gem of its own cut, all told, bringing together low-key dance elements and emotional curiosities in its own tidy bundle. Great track, keep an eye on Half Waif.
Liars – “Cred Woes”
Liars are the experimental project of Angus Andrew, who now runs this show alone after a slow attrition of the band’s other members over a run of incredible albums that have inspired everyone from Thom Yorke to, well, everybody who likes twisted rock sounds. Angus delivers the first track of Liars’ solo era in “Cred Woes,” a mix of syncopated lyrical snot, “My Sharona” guitars (find them at the 2:00 mark), and a modular synth arpeggio that will not leave its head, if you let it in. That last clause, by the way, describes most of Liars, so if you are interested in letting some twisted stuff into your head, please visit the full-length albums They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, Drum’s Not Dead, Sisterworld, et al. Those are old Liars albums. The new one, Theme From Crying Mountain, is out August 25th via Mute.
Toro Y Moi – “You And I”
Chaz Bundick aka Toro Y Moi has a soft-pop r&b side and “You And I” is that guy to the max. Chaz’s studio moves are an ’80s masterclass (keyboard sounds, a heavy dose of reverb, crisp percussion), and his dance moves are that special brand of nerd-sensual. I think maybe that’s a perfect descriptor for this whole project, which has given us so much goodness and clearly won’t stop anytime soon. Breakups rarely sound this good. Toro’s Boo Boo LP is out next week on Carpark.
The National – “Guilty Party”
Debonair crafters of late-night whiskey ruminations and AMR regulars, the National have a new album on the way. We’ve already heard, please welcome “Guilty Party,” an even more emotional cut about a relationship fizzling out. “Another year fizzles away…I don’t know why I care.” Man. That relationship is not one I’d want to be in, but being a fan of The National remains one of the most secure places to be in the music world. New album Sleep Well Beast is out September 8th. It will be big.
Matthew Dear – “Modofinil Blues”
If you’re into the “cognitive-enhancing drug” racket, you may know something about Modofinil. Matthew Dear didn’t know much about the pill before taking it one day, and he tells NPR that the comedown inspired this creepy electronic cut. It’s paranoid, sexy, creative, urgent, and strangely addictive, which is to say, it is a very successful song about being on drugs. Matthew Dear is a guy you should know if you like suited-up and eccentric synth works. As a leading light in the genre for years, he’s made released a few albums is own, and for the DJ Kicks series, and under his Audio alias. “Modofinil Blues” is a return to his name, and how.
inc. no world – “Living”
inc. no world used to be inc., and before that I fell in love with them as Teen Inc. The brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged have a special way in the studio, where they seem to capture the best of soul, funk, r&b, and slick session-cat styles into an own under-appreciated confection. “Living” is for you if you like D’Angelo, or Jamie Lidell, or any other artist who can flip a beat or an augmented arpeggio in the process of making an ear worm. There’s a warm glow at the center of this one, with “You change me” being an operative lyric. This is the title track from a new EP, out this August. More of this please.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.