Exciting new stuff – incl. Kid Cudi, MGMT & Ratatat tie-up & first Julian Casablancas solo song

Several very exciting songs have surfaced in the last few days – here’s a rave run-through from a frothing London blogger:

Kid Cudi – Pursuit of Happiness (Feat. Ratatat & MGMT)
My chum Adrian and I were discussing in a rare quiet moment at Bestival a few weeks back that it’s hard to see where hip hop can go; it seemed to us a genre that had strict limitations.  Perhaps this is the answer though.  Never afraid to surf styles and sounds – see his Little Boots collaboration at SXSW  – upcoming star Kid Cudi has recorded a song with the daddies of our electro pop revolution, MGMT, and also the Ratatat duo (pictured below with Cudi), who remix this. 


The result is an engaging and ultimately uplifting five-minute flux through various moods.  I like this particularly as it seems to my uneducated ears that (unlike so many an unexpected link-up) no-one has compromised their style.  Cudi gets to MC smooth rap lines with characteristic swagger and lyrical straightforwardness; MGMT drop a cheery, singalong chorus laced, and a synth-tastic guitar section midway through; and Ratatat begins with big, undulating digital hoops and brings proceedings to a close via a distorted fade-out.

MP3: Kid Cudi – Pursuit of Happiness (Feat. MGMT & Ratatat) (zSHARE)

Devendra Banhart – Baby
Known for his quirky folk, often beautiful and always alluring, Devendra’s latest marks a step in a different, chirpier destination.  He even mentions “choo choo trains”!  Baby is far from rock’n’roll, but it’s faster and less frank than songs like Heard Somebody Say, if less satisfying in the long run.  The first track from new EP, What Will We Be, it has backing singers “ooh-ooh-oohing”, a kicking bass imprint and a glossily romantic sentimentality.  Banhart has always looked like a happy hippie, and now he’s finally sounding like one!  I suspect some devoted fans will be a bit put out, but I rather like this, if only because it’s nice to hear the bearded one lighten up a bit.

For a more , much more expert consideration of whether Baby “represents the watering down of a musician ditching his independent (or if it’s) illustrative of an artist continuing to broaden his horizons”, check the One Track Mind blog here.

MP3: Devendra Banhart – Baby (zSHARE)

Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension
I mentioned a while ago that Strokes lead singer Julian was recording solo material, and here’s the first dribble from that.  If you’re expecting a Strokes-lite sound, think again if this is anything to go by.  Anchored around humorously-used 80s bounce-pop (think Phil Collins at his cheesiest) beats, this is fast, frantic and rather fabulous in a camp way.  There are high-pitch squeals, whirring motor-like vrooms, organ samples and a sudden cut-off ending, and that’s just the electro effects.  Casablancas’ vocals are slightly softer than in his Strokes mode but just as passionate; the mentality is, if anything, perkier still.  Passing by in a furious, blurry flash, this is an expected pop pleasure.


The album, Phrazes For The Young, comes out on 19 October.  You’ll be able to order it on Julian’s website here.  That’s the confirmed cover above.

MP3: Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension (zSHARE)

The XX vs. Don’t Wait Animate – Fantasy
I blabbered excitedly about this one a while ago too, so no need for details.  Suffice to say it’s now available… and here it is:

MP3: The XX vs. Don’t Wait Animate – Fantasy (zSHARE)

~ by ripamel on 27/09/2009.

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