Over the past couple of months, there has been a significant change in the way people consume music. For example, Spotify added subscribers during the first quarter of this year, but that isn’t the only modifications it’s seen in its consumers’ routines. Patrons of the digital platform are now listening to more music on the weekend than in pre-pandemia times, and relaxing genres are rising in popularity across the board. But there’s no need to rely on corporate streaming service algorithms for your bliss. We put together a column of new music that mirrors this new inclination towards chill that we are calling Good Things. Enjoy!
Andrew Ashong and Kaidi Tatham — “Washed in You”
A chance DJ set in Belfast with British Ghanaian soul artist Andrew Ashong on the decks and UK broken beat legend Kaidi Tatham jamming along on synths and flute was the catalyst for the duo’s collaborative EP Sankofa Season, out November 13th. It’s the inaugural release for Kitto Records, a new label based in Belfast and London. Lead single “Washed In You” is filled with keyboard coloring from Tatham, and the right vocal complements from Ashong. This is a blessed collaboration.
FELIVAND — Nerve EP
The 21 year old Brisbane, Australia-based producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer-songwriter Felicity Vanderveen a.k.a. FELIVAND sounds beyond her years. A presser touts her as combining “the smooth, neo-soul stylings of Jorja Smith with the DIY, bedroom-pop approach of Still Woozy or Gus Dapperton.” I guess that’s one take. “Trajectory,” the lead song from her Nerve EP, packs good-eating Rhodes chords, evaporating layers of bass, and steady percussion into a kiss-off song. The track sounds mysteriously like Orion Sun, via light touches that shuttle between low slung house and laissez-faire R&B. Hazy enough for multiple repeats plays, “Trajectory” is gateway Choon. You’ll be going down the Youtube hole seeking this young artist with her multifunctioning Swiss Army knife deftness. Supposedly, she’s is a studio rat, always found with her head wedged inside her makeshift closet or vocal booth, if not hunched over her laptop producing. We can only hope that more of this is on the way.
SunPalace — Rude Movements (Moodymann & Kenny Dope Remixes)
Culture champions Moodymann and Kenny Dope revisit one of electronic music’s foundation records, Rude Movements by SunPalace, honoring the release with two brand-new remixes. Two of the modern scene’s most consistent innovators and elevators, Moodymann and Kenny Dope were selected by SunPalace producer Mike Collins himself to rework the track. Sadly, Mike passed away in late 2018 before either version was completed. Nonetheless, between Moodymann’s stretch-out version, which employs stellar flute, sax, and piano solos over the groove, and Kenny Dope’s Dancefloor Powder version, with breakbeat swag by way of Afro-Latin accents, it’s clear that Collins would approve of the contemporary touch.
Maylee Todd — “No Other”
Maylee Todd makes the experimental type of soul music that the whole world needs to hear. The Toronto-based musician, performance artist, and producer employs themes inspired by science fiction and conceptual art. Her version of soul infuses non-linear symphonic ideas sure to make people scratch their head, and ponder; “Maybe I had it all wrong before?” We’re so stoked to see her signed to Stones Throw—her frequencies can only be expanded over at Peanut Butter Wolf’s imprint. According to the label’s site, “Her first single ‘No Other,’ accompanied by visuals created by Kyvita, display the Tenori-on, an electronic interface that Maylee frequently incorporates into her sound.” So on-brand.
Eris Drew — “Reactiv-8”
Partners Octo Octa and Eris Drew hold down the latest Fabric Mix in an all-vinyl session recorded at their New Hampshire cabin during quarantine. The session is scheduled for an 11-track vinyl, CD, and digital release on November 27, and will include a new original song from each artist. For anyone not familiar with Drew’s in-the-red, turned-up, Motherbeat “rave until you drop” energy in full DJ revelry … bring a case of bottled water. When the physical version of their mix drops, you should be prepared to pay witness to the two T4T LUV NRG founders blending 21 tracks over 70 minutes, their sound spanning house, bassline, UK hardcore, and trance. For those who can’t wait for the full drop, Drew’s contribution “Reactiv-8” is now available.
Yaeji — “When In Summer, I Forget About The Winter”
Originally featured on Yaeji album What We Drew 우리가그려왔’s exclusive Korea and Japan CD release earlier this year, “When In Summer, I Forget About The Winter,” is a lo-fi diary entry, a meditation on the changing of seasons, and the ups and downs of life and love. The producer and vocalist returns with that off-kilter dopeness that kicked off her authentically uncanny career. This track is a nice reminder of her strengths.
Benny Sings feat. Mac DeMarco — “Rolled Up”
Wearing Birkenstocks and contemplating life whilst staring down brown liquor in a ginormous snifter, Benny Sings a.k.a. Tim van Berkestijn still makes grown-ass melancholy numbers that feature an existential take on the human condition. Look, sometimes love runs out the door for a pack of masks. Benny is still cooking up those ’70s-sounding jams that feel good while cruising Walgreens, stocking up on toilet paper, making sure the cashier records all your points. Dude teamed up with Mac Demarco (yes, I shat myself too) and the result is another dope, sad banger—the only way van Berkestijn knows how to do it. “The song is about being in the dumps without a particular reason,” he says. “Things can be pretty good, but still you feel like shit. Sometimes leaving it all can be a cure. We wrote this together last year in Mac’s studio. I think Mac went out to get some coffee, and he heard someone use the phrase ‘rolled up, tossed out,’ talking about a cigarette. So that was the start of it. It felt pretty effortless, I think we both come from the same place songwriting-wise. Was a dream to work with him. A true artist.” Go on Benny. We see you, playa.