We recommend: The best new global music
Editor’s Note: We’re trying something new this month. We’ve pulled together the best new tracks and albums—both international and Indian—that dropped this month. Tune into September’s playlist on splainer’s Spotify.
Here are the best new tracks released in the past month:
‘Nadie Como Tu’ by Ambar Lucid: This thumping Latin-R&B track will leave you yearning for more. The Dominican-Mexican origin songwriter creates dreamy and sensual soundscapes and this new track is no different. The glitched vocal loop really adds that zing to this short and sweet composition.
‘Slow Dancing’ by V: Kim Taehyung aka ‘V’ is a member of the world famous Korean boy group BTS and has released his first solo album ‘Layover’ this month. While the vibe of the album is about slow love and combines soulful ballads with addictive beats, ‘Slow Dancing’ shows off his more romantic baritone. The track also has a music video which you can check out here. Another fave of ours from the album: ‘Love Me Again’.
‘Fever’ by Nas: The East coast hip-hop pioneer put out his seventeenth studio album ‘Magic 3’ this month and this opening track from the album samples one of his older songs (1994’s ‘Represent’). The strong soul and R&B influence and sprightly beat make it a perfect balance of the old and new. It’s refreshing feel-good hip-hop—unlike the grimier, monotone output of the genre—that’s currently ruling the charts.
‘Balut’ by Doja Cat: A lead single from her brand new album ‘Scarlet’—this one sees Doja Cat rap over eerie beats and a piano loop. She took to Instagram to explain the title of the song: “I named the song Balut because it signifies a bird that's being eaten alive. It's a metaphor for twitter stans and the death of twitter toxicity. The beginning of ‘X’ and the end of tweets.” The menacing track is a slow burn of low-tempo, slinky hip-hop and is one of many palettes off the new album—which also features the fun, cheeky hit ‘Paint The Town Red’ that was released in August.
‘My Love Mine All Mine’ by Mitski: Indie rock’s favourite sad girl returns with another ballad and angst heavy album about loneliness—‘The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We’—and this is everyone’s favourite track off the new record. Learn to be comfortable with your solitude with its timeless band arrangement, stirring harmonies in the chorus and vocals of ease from Mitski who sounds (and looks, check out the music video!) like she’s made peace with her inner world. There’s no more frenetic pining as on her breakout hit ‘Nobody’—and we couldn’t be happier:)
‘Angry’ by the Rolling Stones: The rock legends are all set to drop their album ‘Hackey Diamonds’—their first album of original music—in 18 years. Electrifying solos, Jagger’s unwavering gusto and a simple chorus structure make its lead single a nostalgic rock ‘n’ roll celebration to add to your morning jam! FYI: Sydney Sweeney features in the song’s vintage homage music video.
‘A Barely Lit Path’ by Oneohtrix Point Never: Composer-producer Daniel Lopatin uses the moniker Oneohtrix Point Never to make cinematic and experimental electronica. This new single in the run up to his new album ‘Again’ sounds like an extended version of a ‘Stranger Things’ score. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as Lopatin has been the man behind the music of films like ‘Uncut Gems’ (2019) and ‘Bling Ring’ (2013). You can really see the rich textures of the track come alive in the music video—what some might call as ‘seeing music’ which really seems to be made for the screen—but is a poignant experience if you’d like to simply just listen to the music.
‘Will Anybody Ever Love Me?’ by Sufjan Stevens: This is the latest single released by Sufjan Stevens as part of his upcoming album ‘Javelin’. The song evokes feelings of longing and sadness. The arrangement consisting of piano, strings and Stevens’ beautiful voice all come together really well. Of course, the lyrics will punch you in the gut. You should also check out ‘So You Are Tired’, which came out a few weeks earlier.
‘From The Start’ by Laufey: Be transported to European summers, a lazy brunch or a coffee-by-the-window reverie with this jazz infused pop track by the Icelandic-Chinese artist. Listen up for the Ella Fitzgerland influence—another winsome quality apart from the charming lyricism—as Laufey (pronounced Loy-vay) takes over the internet with her viral hits. We couldn’t be more ecstatic to see this jazz revival:)
‘Lifestyle’ by AP Dhillon and Shinda Kahlon: AP Dhillon is an Indian-Canadian artist who shot to fame in recent years for his sing-song rap style. This song is from his latest album and is a collab with Shinda Kahlon who is also an Indo-Canadian Punjabi. The song is a typical hip-hop rap track where the artists brag about their popularity and lifestyle. FYI: They have previously worked on the popular song ‘Brown Munde’.
September’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 September playlist on Spotify!
‘Guts’ by Olivia Rodrigo: Pitchfork writes “Rodrigo makes acting stupidly sound so fun you wonder what’s the point of being smart” and we concur. The album went straight to no.1 in the US, the UK and most of the world. The perils and plights of being a young woman—petty behaviour, name calling, revenge plans, feelings of unworthiness, loving illogically—all tied in a pretty pop-punk bow make ‘Guts’ a strong contender for several album of the year honours. The candid confessions of ‘bad idea right?,’ rueful riling up of ‘get him back!’ and the seething storm that is ‘vampire’ are unmissable highlights.
‘Playing Robots Into Heaven’ by James Blake: This record from the British producer belongs equally to the dancefloor and a solitary listening session. Blake’s knack for making saccharine love songs club-ready and tip-toeing around sappy tropes really comes through in the new album. An outstanding example is the track ‘Tell Me’ that features 90s techno and house cuts built over the artist’s earnest vocals and a zigzagging synth line—that turns to a lush pad in closing. Recommended for fans of sound manipulation through electronic output—the album is an ever-changing, hypnotic journey.
‘Akela’ by Ankur Tewari: The indie icon released his first album in 6 years—and for fans of his acoustic sound and Hindi-Urdu interpolation—’Akela’ is a matured and evolved offering, retaining the poetry and repackaging it in suave new production styles. Tewari’s vocals are roomier, the drums are more evident and ambient basslines are employed. The classic songwriting is romantic, the guitars stylised and the lyricism accessible—marks of sonic progress while retaining an artistic core. Tune into refreshing opener ‘Parwaana’, the title track ‘Akela’ and hawaiian guitar featuring ‘Doobay’ for a flavour of the record.
‘Tension’ by Kylie Minogue: The pop savant is back with a 14 track raucous record of dance-pop and fun, spontaneous lyrics. Minogue always offers cursory storytelling through her music and is highly guarded about her personal life—yet, this never stopped the legendary hitmaker from entertaining us for over three decades. Finessing the craft of ‘good time music’—on her sixteenth album Minogue offers stiff contest to even gen z popstars—from singing-rapping on ‘Hands’ to nasal vocalisations on ‘Hold On To Now’ and the cooing seduction of ‘10 Out Of 10’ featuring Oliver Heldens. The title track—with varied vocal stylings over house beats—is a testament to what makes Minogue a master recording artist.