“Neptune” — Azealia Banks
Our favourite up and coming Princess of Hip Hop, Azealia Banks, is at it again, this time releasing a new track “Neptune,” off her underwater-themed mixtape Fantasea. “Neptune,” featuring English rapper/songwriter Shystie, is a charming track that mixes Banks’ Caribbean influences with R&B, her laidback, sultry vocals, with Shystie’s feisty rhymes. All accompanied by a whimsical beat and production that makes the whole jam sound like it was recorded underwater. Check out Fantasea for 19 new Banks tracks.
“It’s Only Life” — The Shins
The Shin’s second single off their newest album Port of Morrow comes in the form of a post-apocalyptic music video. “It’s Only Life” is a slower ballad about overcoming inner demons and troubled times, and The Shins knocked it out of the park with this unconventional video. We see a young boy and his dog being the last survivors in the area, taking advantage of their lonely surroundings, while Mercer slowly gets dragged away by a group of creatures that look like a way scarier version of the monster from M. Night Shymalan’s The Village. The song is sublime and the metaphoric video works perfectly.
“Runaways” — The Killers
Alternative rockers The Killers finally returned from the almost falling-off-the-face-of-the-planet with their first single in four years. The boys haven’t released any new material since 2008’s Day & Age, which I personally found extremely confusing since it sounded nothing like their previous work. “Runaways” brings back The Killers’ Americana theme reminiscent of Sam’s Town with Brandon Flowers’ soaring vocals telling the story of a young couple’s broken relationship. Backed by dramatic guitars and a hook with frantic synthesizers, it’s clear that four years later, The Killers can still command attention. Catch “Runaways” on The Killer’s new album Battle Born, to be released on Sept. 18.
“I Can Only Imagine” — David Guetta ft. Chris Brown and Lil Wayne
Say what you will about David Guetta, the man makes some catchy music and pretty much every single track he releases turns into a smash hit. For “I Can Only Imagine,” off Guetta’s latest album Nothing But the Beat, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne dress up as futuristic dancing, rapping robots while Guetta plays with some holograms and makes sweet music with a big computer. The video isn’t exactly the most profound thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s not like any of the three artists need the backing of an intelligent video to entertain the masses.
“Octopus” — Bloc Party
With Steve Aoki’s remix of Bloc Party’s Helicopter amazingly still being played at clubs, I almost forgot the band hasn’t released any new music in three years. But British indie-rockers Bloc Party have made a comeback after their hiatus, with their first single Octopus off their upcoming album Four (aptly titled since it will be their fourth studio album to date). The single is pretty Bloc-Party-esque and die-hard fans will be glad to hear the band hasn’t changed their distinct funk/synth/rock style. Octopus features a great continuous guitar riff courtesy of guitarist Russel Lissack with lead singer Kele Okereke offering his energized vocals as usual. Four will be released on Aug. 20.