We recommend: The best new global music
Editor’s Note: We’ve pulled together the best new tracks and albums—both international and Indian—that dropped in the last four weeks. Tune into November’s playlist on splainer’s Spotify.
Here are the best new tracks released in the past month:
‘Now And Then’ by The Beatles: The ‘fab four’ released their last track with the help of John Lennon’s original composition including piano and vocals from 1978 and George Harrison’s rhythm guitar parts of 1995. These parts from the late musicians were then layered on top with Sir Paul McCartney’s vocals on the chorus. Ringo Starr and McCartney finished the song in the studio last year with a lil’ help of AI that helped lift Lennon’s vocals to the top.
‘Big Dog’ with Lil Wayne by Benny The Butcher: The veteran rappers’ bars flow effortlessly on menacing trap beats by producer Alchemist. This one’s a whole lotta fun and makes for an effective addition to your workout jam or commute playlist.
‘Houdini’ by Dua Lipa: The zillenial queen of contemporary dance-pop returns with a psychedelic and ‘Thriller’-esque twist on her 80s inspired choice of synth-pop. Kevin Parker of alternative psychedelic act Tame Impala and PC Music affiliate Danny L Harle have helped produce this track which makes it sounds an awful lot like their left-leaning sonics accidentally aligned themselves into a mainstream pop banger. Hey, we couldn’t be happier for this musical crossover!
‘Stop calling me’ by Kayan, Yashraj: Mumbai musicians—singer-songwriter and DJ, Kayan and rapper Yashraj—collaborate on this bilingual RnB ‘breakup’ track. Kayan’s honeyed vocals and Yashraj’s confident Hindi verses paired with lil help’s production are a cocktail for some cathartic and gratifying easy listening. Listen up for the sample of Nelly and Kelly Rowland’s iconic ‘Dilemma’.
‘Ninidya’ by Komorebi: The Delhi-based electronic artist lulls us into a languid state with her candied crooning and meditative beats. Komorebi has contributed to several television projects as a music composer including Zoya Akhtar’s Made In Heaven and her cinematic influence comes through in this Hindi track.
‘thicc’ by Shygirl, Cosha: If you’re not already on the Shygirl bandwagon, now’s a good time to join. The English rapper’s music never fails to make you wanna groove and her dedication to club aesthetics is steadfast. Cosha adds a pop feel to the electronic track. This one’s one of those you’d wanna loop—all day probably.
‘Breath of Life’ by Maharani & ItsyaboiKay: Netherland singer-songwriter Maharani plays to her multi-genre strengths and Tamil roots on this electro-soul track. Carnatic vocalisation, a trap beat, flute solos—all fraternise to a fruitful fusion on the bilingual offering. Add this to your jamming playlist for a refreshing sonic experience.
‘It’s Just a Broken Heart’ by Joel Culpepper: From his EP ‘Happiness Is Only A few Miles Away’ Culpepper crafts an emotive journey on this standout track that overwhelms with all the soul possible from one artist. Stuttering saxophone and incredibly delicate vocals will make you root for the neo-soul revival and add a feel-good spunk to your day!
‘He's a Man’ by Bob Vylan: This cheeky composition is the punk-rap amalgamation you never knew you needed! Electrifying guitars, hardcore drums, and British-accented bars make a critique of toxic masculinity (by the male artists) in the most cheery way. We’d love to catch the English duo live one day after listening to this.
‘Sun Girl’ by Julia Holter: The piccolo and keys carry this chamber pop song which follows a nursery rhyme simplicity. Holter then surprises us with bagpipes and drum machines for an ambient segue into a lullaby coming of age. A relaxing listen, let its ephemeral quality transport you to open fields and sun-drenched rainbow sights.
‘Slime’ by Marika Hackman: Brooding and yearning, stomping and melodious, soft and angular—Hackman cultivates the full spectrum of songwriting to produce an indie-folk composition that calls for head banging and focussed listening at the same time. A love song, its clever layering never feels too cloying.
November’s best new albums
It isn’t always about a single. Below are the album releases of the past month that are worthy of your extended time and attention:
PS: Standout tracks from each album have been added to the November playlist on Spotify!
‘New Blue Sun’ by André 3000: The eight-track album clocks in at about one and a half hours and has been praised by music critics as the best new music around. The rapper turns flautist on this neo-jazz exploration with ambient play. If you’re a fan of iconic hip-hop duo Outkast (which the artist is one half of) don’t expect any rapping. In fact, there’s no vocals throughout the record. A deeply spiritual journey—the only verbosity is in its playful song titles. This album makes for great focus music or possibly even a night-time routine soundtrack.
‘Intiha’ by Ali Sethi and Nicolas Jaar: The Pakistani singer lilts Urdu ghazals over Chilean-American producer Nicolas Jaar’s abstract beats for a truly global body of work. Jaar reached out to Sethi over email, after a mutual friend showed Jaar the ‘Pasoori’ hitmaker’s experimentations with the beatmaker’s spliced loops. The moving textures of Jaar’s production cautiously carry Sethi’s exquisite alaps in a complementing waltz of balance and intimacy. Crackling in its eight-track treatment of pre-colonial traditions—‘Intiha’ is the future of South Asian legacy you’d want to tune into asap!
‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ by Sandunes: The Mumbai-hailing, LA-based music producer and composer released her third full-length album last weekend. The 13 track record is synth-led electronica with orchestral arrangements including a marimba, harpsichord, cellos, a quena (a traditional Andes flute), mandolin, clarinet, string sections, a double bass and more. The album treads dancefloor-friendly beats and vocal pop featuring indie songwriters such as KAVYA and Ramya Pothuri, equally—contending it to be one of the most versatile and finest electronic records from the country for this year.