The biggest surprise of the week came today, with the first new album of original music from André 3000. Surprising because 1) We weren’t expecting it and 2) Because the record does not contain a single bar of rhymes.
Read more about the flute-forward New Blue Sun and listen to a single from the record and five more tracks below.
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The Smile – “Wall of Eyes”
Recommended If You Like: Radiohead, Blonde Redhead, Weyes Blood
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood return with new not-Radiohead music; though “Wall of Eyes,” the second single since the band’s 2022 debut, A Light for Attracting Attention, sounds very much like a Radiohead song – as does most of the band’s catalog so far. To be clear, that’s a compliment. A kind of acoustic number that grows bigger and bigger with orchestral accompaniment and Yorke’s haunting vocals, there’s also a nice video for the song by director Paul Thomas Anderson, who has worked with Johnny Greenwood on scores for films like The Master, There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread.
André 3000 – “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album But This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.”
Recommended If You Like: Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Steve Reich
Fans of both Outkast and the duo’s idiosyncratic cofounder André 3000 have been begging for new music. And with New Blue Sun, he’s delivered. Though it’s probably not exactly what we’d all been pining for, the flute-forward instrumental album is experimental and engaging, and in many ways transcendent.
Madi Diaz – “Don’t Do Me Good” feat. Kacey Musgraves
Recommended If You Like: Phoebe Bridgers, Waxahatchee, Mitski
Though not as well-known as the Billboard-chart topping Mitski or the supergroup Boygenius, Madi Diaz long ago established herself as perhaps the best songwriter of the now-notable crop of talented, reflective songcrafters. On the mournful “Don’t Do Me Good,” a new single from a forthcoming full-length, Diaz duets with the country singer Kacey Musgraves
Hovvdy – “Jean”
Recommended If You Like: Big Thief, Whitney, Slow Pulp
The beloved Texas-bred indie-pop duo Hovvdy (not to be confused with Jax country-tinged singer-songwriter Howdy, who we also adore) has a new jangly, enjoyably lofi sounding tune, which belies the complexity of the duo’s maximalist approach to production.
J Mascis – “Can’t Believe We’re Here”
Recommended If You Like: Dinosaur Jr., Wilco, The Replacements
Guitar god, and maestro of the Marshall stack, J Mascis goes full jangle-rock on the new single, “Can’t Believe We’re Here,” from the Dinosaur Jr. frontman’s first solo offering, What Do We Do Now (out in Feb on Sub Pop). Similar to John Mulaney’s intervention, the music video for “I Can’t Believe We’re Here” features an all-star cast of alt-comics.
Culture School & Bright Purpel – “Purpel”
Recommended If You Like: Anderson Paak, Chance the Rapper, Free Nationals
A collaboration between Duval new-soul and hip-hop artists Bright Purpel and multi-instrumentalist and producer Culture School is the three-and-a-half minute track “Purpel,” which features an unhurried chromatic keyboard riff, with Culture School (Quinn Spencer) and Bright Purpel (K.UTIE and Jeremy Ryan) trading off lyrics and rapid-fire rap-flow intent on coaxing a prospective future lover. Read the review.
More New Music
All the tracks from our New Music Friday series are spinning on our music discovery radio station The Independent 89.9 HD4 and on our Fresh Squeeze playlist on Spotify.