Are you hyped for Shrine yet? If you answered “no” I’m gonna go ahead and guess that you only said that because you have yet to read out interview with Tay Devenny and you have yet to heard the first single for Shrine “arabian seas (ft. Danny Watts)”. Let’s all fix that. While it definitely is hip-hop, “arabian seas” lives up to Tay’s goal creating “hip-hop in different shades of sounds and feels”. I’ve probably said it before but “arabian seas” is just further proof that Tay is one of the only rappers right now who can actually pull off singing on his own hook. Closing the track, Danny Watts offers ups a wide-eyed hook that fits perfectly into the world Tay has constructed. Shrine drops in two days and after listening through I can promise it’s not something that should be overlooked.
Yeah, Deity Gang isn’t all dudes. I didn’t actually know that until I had the pleasure of meeting Keiya at the Deity Gang Paxico Take-over a few weeks back. Keiya is not only the sole member of Deity Gang who sings but she’s a fine singer on her own right as well. ”Due Time” isn’t in your face and probably isn’t the kind of song that would have Keiya winning American Idol but I’m cool with that and I don’t think Keiya has any desire to be on American Idol anyway. Instead, “Due Time” is a bite-sized and highly intimate taste of the kind of atmosphere Keiya can conjure with nothing more than her voice and a jazzy beat from the man Jay Curry. Try not to fall in love.
“Then I & Eye Set” is just one of those tracks that hits instantly. There is no excess, just a blissfully hypnotic beat looped behind Sol Galeano’s mature and dense word flow. ”Then I & Eye Set” is a collage and Galeano’s words initially act as unintrusive parts of the greater vibe. Effortlessly, Galeano struts between demanding rapspeak to melodic crooning without ever stumbling or over extending. When the beat cuts away at the end of the track, however, it becomes clearer that Galeano is content with allowing her words to fade to the background. She has a lot to say and “Then I & Eye Set” sounds like she’s really starting to tell us what’s on her mind.
Of all the words we use to describe music on The Up-Turn one I don’t know if I’ve honestly ever used is ambitious. I usually assume ambition in songwriting is for rappers who have already proven themselves to the wider world and no longer need to have the ambition to make it. So while I expect Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar to be ambitious I don’t expect that from up and comers like Sidewalk Kal, Chef the Chef and Tay Devenny (just to be clear though “Paranoia” is one of my favorite songs of the year and I’m incredibly psyched for the music Chef has coming in 2014). Despite my predispositions, “vancouver/Palme” is an incredibly ambitious track. Unfolding over a gorgeous and sprawling beat provided by Lux Natura, Tay Devenny’s vision reaches nearly 12 minutes in length making it the second longest rap song I’m pretty sure I’ve ever listened to. But like the longest rap song, “vancouver/Palme” pushes and blurs the boundaries between R&B and hip-hop with Lux Natura’s beat slow burning like a wood stocked fire place. It’s the perfect backdrop for Tay Devenny to postulate, question, coo and do everything else that makes him one of the most exciting rappers recording right now. When I first wrote about him I claimed that Tay Devenny validated a place in hip-hop for an emotionally in tune rapper and more recently I described him as one of the most softly poetic rappers I knew. After “vancouver/Palme”, Devenny is clearly becoming the rapper he’s always known he could be.
If you don’t think abhi//dijon are the most exciting new artist emerging right now, you probably haven’t listened to their music yet. The duo have been sporadically releasing incredible singles since the beginning of the summer, and are now prepping to release their first EP. I don’t know if these two songs are from the upcoming EP, but they are absolutely stunning and possibly their best work to date. ”Experimental RnB” has been around for a while, but recently it has mostly just meant “RnB with way too much reverb on some shitty falsetto vocals”, but abhi//dijon’s music sounds much more thought out than that. The beats they put together perfectly meld past RnB ideas with new up-to-date styles and even though they are incredible, their songs don’t rely on them, with Dijon’s vocals still managing to sit front and center without ever sounding overdone. If you can’t already tell, I’m extremely excited about these guys and I’m sure this won’t be nearly the last we hear of them.
I’ve known for a while that Young Fathers were from Scotland, but I didn’t think I would ever really hear it in their music. Young Fathers have always incorporated musical ideas from all over the world into their music, but this track immediately recalls their home country as soon as it begins with an arpeggiating synth over a drone note that sounds like a futuristic bagpipe. As usual, Young Fathers complement this awesome instrumental with some incredible vocals, alternating between singing and chant-like rapping, this time with a political message at the forefront of their lyrics, which perfectly ties in with the patriotic instrumental. This track comes from their upcoming album set to release in early February on Anticon.
For people that don’t know, Yung Gud, one of Yung Lean’s excellent producers, has been around making more than just futuristic spacey trap beats for a while. His soundcloud page has a huge catalog of different work which you wouldn’t expect if you only listened to his music with Yung Lean. This track is a really good example of his versatility. This time Yung Gud is working with UK artist littlecloud, who we have featured in our Eat Your Beaties before, but I had no idea had an amazing voice. Yung Gud’s beat is subtly spaceous with a huge amount of different textures, and littlecloud’s emotive vocals perfectly match it. Yung Gud’s work with Yung Lean is great, but I also want to hear more of this.