This week on the WERS 7 o’clock news, we heard a track from the power group liv, and a funky/bonafied summer jam from Toro y Moi. We also welcomed the return of Ariel Pink with a new track and got super classy with a lovely, yet upbeat ballad from Jidenna. Below you can find out what the WERS Music staff has to say about the artists and the tracks you’ve just heard and tune in next week for more music discovery!
Lykke Li had been quiet since her 2014 album I Never Learn, until her voice lit up liv’s first single “Wing of Love”, in the fall. The mostly Swedish supergroup features Li, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and Pontus Winnberg, Peter Bjorn and John bassist Bjorn Yttling. It also features American producer Jeff Bhasker, best known for his work with Kanye West, Fun. and Mark Ronson.
“Heaven” is liv’s (pronounced like LEAVE) third release from their debut full length album, which has yet to be officially announced. This takes them into even more ethereal territory than the other releases, but it features an impassioned vocal delivery by Li, backed by Wyatt. She’s nearly snarling in the desperate verses; “I got one more stop to make, and it’s a hundred miles away”. The chorus offers just the tiniest bit of relief: “I know it’s hell, I know it’s helpless, but it feels like heaven is waiting for us”. The result: an empathetic and shiver inducing song that you should save for moon lit drives or the early hours of the morning.
GIRL LIKE YOU
Toro y Moi
Chaz Bundick, better known as Toro Y Moi, has been constantly evolving as an artist since his first record in 2010. Though the Berkeley-based musician might still be thought of as a lo-fi artist, his more recent work has embraced more complex electronic sounds rather than fuzzy guitars, and leans more into trap beats and auto tuned vocals. This first track off his upcoming album Boo Boo, out July 7th, fully encompasses this sonic style, but pushes his music to an even weirder place. As distorted, meandering synths are joined by a driving bass beat, the song clearly evokes an 80s landscape. The music video for the song pushes the 80s theme even more with a blurry VHS recording of a neon pink-lit room overlaid with a smaller VHS video of Bundick casually singing in the middle of the frame. Whether or not it was his intention, Bundick has created the perfect mid summer song; you can imagine hearing it as the sun is just setting on a hot day quietly playing from an open bedroom window.
Bundick recently tweeted “I’m not touring the next record. bye bye” and that he will be “disappearing for awhile” after the showcase for his record label, Company Records, on July 8th in Oakland. Though you might not be able to catch him live for a while, you will at least be able to revel in the 80s soundscape of his imagination for the rest of the summer.
Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, or Ariel Pink, developed his heavily 70’s and 80’s pop influenced lo-fi sound while working in a record store. He got his start in music after passing his CD to Animal Collective and became the first non-Animal Collective musician on the Paw Tracks label. He released nine albums with his band, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and released his first solo album, Pom Pom, in 2014.
Earlier this year he worked with Weyes Blood on the folk-synth hybrid EP, Myths 002. Pink has announced a new solo album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. Bobby was an obscure musician from the 60’s who wrote a blog post in 2007 about his rise and fall in the music industry. His story resonated with Ariel Pink so much that he felt compelled to name his new album after him as tribute.
“Another Weekend” is the first single from the album - which beautifully mixes atmospheric techno with a chill pop melody. You can catch Ariel Pink at the Brighton Music Hall on November 1st and 2nd.
Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, otherwise known as just Jidenna, is an American-Nigerian singer and rapper. Jidenna grew up partially in Nigeria, where his father worked as a professor. This greatly influenced the sound and subject matter of his music. He is a sharp dresser with geographic connections ranging from his home to U.S. cities like Oakland, Atlanta, and New York. Jidenna arrived to the music scene in 2015 with a hybrid R&B/rap sound he called swank. The Stanford University graduate is signed to Janelle Monáe's Wondaland label and is always collaborating with a diverse array of artists to accentuate his eclectic sound.
“Bambi” is a track off of Jidenna’s new album The Chief. “Bambi” combines rhythms that can be heard in Nigerian “highlife” music (a genre of jazz and swing) but feels extremely fresh with its backing beats. Jidenna’s smooth voice is a beautiful compliment to this ballad of longing. You can catch Jidenna live at Brighton Music Hall in Allston on July 26.