This week's Freshly Spilt Milk has a hefty New Orleans contingent, along with more new Erykah Badu, soft rock from Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, and electronic music from around the world.
[Updated] 1. “Do Your Thing” (feat. K-Maxx) - Computa Games: A classic, old school funk groove from Austin’s Computa Games on an EP co-released by Quickie Mart’s Supermart Produce and Austin Boogie Crew.
2. “This Lonely Rose” - Atmosphere with Blueprint and Aesop Rock: Minneapolis hip-hop duo Atmosphere remain relentlessly serious, but the groove is solidly funky, and guest spots by Blueprint and Aesop Rock mitigate the relentlessness Atmosphere can sink into on its own.
3. “Over It” - Junior Boys: Canadian electropop duo return with a new single from their upcoming album, Big Black Coat, due out February 5, 2016. Junior Boys will play One Eyed Jacks March 24.
4. “Phone Down” - Erykah Badu: Another great track from Erykah Badu’s upcoming mixtape, But You Cain’t Use My Phone, due out this weekend. She boasts, “I can make you put your phone down,” and you believe her.
5. “Right Next Door” - Intergalactix feat. Spencer Ludwig: The two members of Intergalactix came from Australia but didn’t meet until they moved to Los Angeles. Cash Money Records are among the clients for whom they’ve made synth funk tracks.
6. “U Already Know” - Keys N Krates: Toronto electronic trio Keys N Krates return with this ‘90s rave-inspired track from their upcoming Midnight Mass EP, due out January 15, 2016.
7. “White Rabbit” - Sander Van Doorn and Pep & Rash: A very silly, high energy remix of the Jefferson Airplane classic.
8. “Toca Tu” - Ckrono & Siesh: Italian DJs Ckrono and Siesh effortlessly reference Afro-House with a skittering groove on this track from their Slang EP.
9. “Papaoutai Bounce Mix” - Raqi Lily: The Delaware-native came to New Orleans to record and came away knee deep in bounce.
10. “Shout Out Gaia Beat” - Sam Blans: Dutch producer Sam Blans’ salute to Angolan DJ Gaia Beat echoes bounce for me with its stutter-stepping snare and a bells sample that isn’t from “Drag Rap,” but sounds like it could be. It’s also awfully close to an 8-bit approximation to the theme to Halloween—also a positive in my books.
11. “Lemme Feel Real” - off.white: One of a group of New Orleans producers who currently speak to me despite their self-conscious obscurity. On his Facebook page, off.white refers to his genre as “Paint Chips,” and it does have a beautifully atmospheric quality. But I’m 90 percent positive that I’m making a connection he didn’t intend and finding meaning where only whimsy exists.
12. “Take Me Back” (prod. by Spctra) - Chris Savor: I’m into the spare, slightly lonely synth funk of this London-based producer and singer. “Take Me Back” could easily be the inner monologue of someone walking a rain-shiny city street at night with all the neon signs reflected at his feet.
13. “The Feelin’ It Stomp” - Jason Alexander: I can’t find evidence of Jason Alexander’s online existence beyond Soundcloud, but his loping bass, spare handclaps and electornic percussion that grows denser and more complex keep this track moving as a voice struggles to get a thought beyond the phrase, “and it feels.” The high-speed vocal sample at the end recharges the song and finds it new energy just as it’s wrapping up.
14. “There” - Fro-Yo Ma: I can’t get through a Freshly Spilt Milk playlist without a new Fro-Yo Ma track. This is what a good Prince hip-hop beat would sound like if Prince understood hip-hop.
15. “From the Bed” - The Holydrug Couple: When I saw The Holydrug Couple at SXSW, they were billed at Chilean space rock. Either Chile has a Hawkwind-free definition of space rock, or someone misheard the band. Most of what I’ve heard is closer to this lovely new track—unhurried in its groove and fundamentally melodic. Here that melody is played on the bass end of a squiggly synth.
16. “Reveal” - Plum: Sydney guitar player Caleb Jacobs has taken a holiday from his band The Cathys to record a new EP, Black Doris. The relentlessly melodic rock comes with its own melancholy cloud cover and brings to mind the heyday of Scotland’s Creation Records.
17. “30th Century Boy” - Drug Train: Montreal’s Drug Train is a studio band first, and they’re working on an album of covers. Here they visit arch-mope Scott Walker and replace his stentorian enunciation with the airy, slightly haunted vocal. Like labelmate Plum on France’s Beko label, the haze of Creation’s psychedelia hangs over Drug Train.
18. “That’s Why” - The Cave Singers: Rock band The Cave Singers will release their fifth album, Banshee, February 19.
19. “Death Bed” - Val Hollie: Recently, New Orleans’ Val Hollie released his debut EP—a series of richly textured, semi-fi song fragments that say what they have to say and move on sooner than you’d like. “Death Bed” is a great example.
20. “Artpop Intro” - DJWS: DJWS—DJ White Shadow—produced Lady Gaga’s Artpop album two years ago this week, and in honor of the occasion released this track for download.
21. “All About Us” - TEEN: TEEN’s Teeny Lieberson says “’All About Us’ is a song about the underplayed, quiet misogyny that women experience too often. The theme explores a situation that I have dealt with many times; if sexism is not in your face and one isn't saying it outright, then it couldn't possibly be happening. If I then react, it is incredibly easy to be dismissed as a silly, overreacting woman. The song evaluates this exact power play and, in turn, makes fun of the perpetrator; because, quite frankly, it's insane that it is still happening in this day and age.” The album it comes from—Love Yes—will be out February 19.
22. Follow Me” - Kid Froopy: “Follow Me” from Kid Froopy’s new EP Bend effectively shifts tempos and modes—alternately warm and cold, particularly when the electronic snare sounds the snapping of frozen branches.
23. “Want You” feat. River (Le Flex Remix) - Cesare: Retired Brazilian soccer star Cesare taught himself to use vintage synths and drum machines to make his own pop music for France’s Kitsuné label. Here is a track from his recent remix EP by ’80s electronic dance rock enthusiast Le Flex.
24. “Mirage of Us” - Cocovan: It’s hard for a female singer making electronic dance pop to not evoke Madonna unless she deliberately goes another direction. French singer Cocovan (great name!) runs with open arms to Madonna like a mother she hasn’t seen in years, down to her image.
25. “Ride the White Lightning” - Chrome Sparks: This track builds beautifully from a simple, one-note, hypnotic rhythm to a rich tracks that swells to introduce all the sonic textures producer Jeremy Malvin will play with, then he rides them in and out dub style, but less obviously and attuned to creating movement in the track.
26. “Gentle and Soft” - The Blue Jean Committee: Soft rock band The Blue Jean Committee began as a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Fred Armisen and Bill Hader have reunited to cut an EP, Catalina Breeze and be the focal point for a faux rock-doc, Documentary Now! on IFC. Is it funny? You make the call. Is it eerily close to sound they’re parodying? Absolutely.
Updated 3:26 p.m.
The spelling of Raqi Lily's “Papaoutai Bounce Mix” has been corrected since the story was published.