This week, This Is Our Jam is all about atmosphere. We've got tracks from nostalgia-loving Brooklyn bands like Selebrities and Tempers, a new claustrophobic piece of production wizardry from Kode9, and a single from alt R&B dudes Lemonade. That said, we start things out with track from Chance the Rapper that shows the Chicago MC is capable of face-melting verbal fireworks if its over a relatively chill soul-inflected beat.
Chance the Rapper
"Good Ass Intro"
Chicago up-and-coming MC and psychedelic enthusiast Chance the Rapper dropped a fantastic new mixtape this week titled, what else, Acid Rap. With "Good Ass Intro," Chance shows off his dextrous flow, recalling everyone, from Eminem to Weezy to Kendrick, while carving out a style all his own. Keep your eye on this dude.
Dark, but not dire, Tempers own a goth-glam sound that's equal parts thick atmosphere and catchy melody. "Strange Harvest," with its pulsing New Wave beat and emotive lyrics may be the band's best release to date. We don't know whether to hold a seance or start a dance party.
Hyperdub boss Kode9 is finally releasing new music again, which is a big deal for anyone tuned into the electronic music world. "Xingfu Lu" sees the producer at his most inward facing, creating a misanthropic, anxiety-inducing landscape of rapid-fire drum machines and queasy synths. Headphones required.
Selebrities — Lovely Things
Swirling fog, spiked punch, and slow dances are the bread and butter of Brooklyn four-piece Selebrities. The band's new single from the upcoming Lovely Things shows them in full-on promcore mode, with a song that would likely bring a tear to Molly Ringwald's eye.
When it comes to silky-smooth synth-saturated R&B, Lemonade does it better than most. "Perfect Blue" is the first single following last year's Diver, and it's got all the late-night grooves you'd expect from the Brooklyn band.
Pure X — Crawling Up The Stairs
"Thousand Year Old Child"
With every new single, Austin's Pure X has made us more excited for its new record Crawling Up The Stairs. "Thousand Year Old Child" sees the band in resigned-but-not-totally-bummed-out mode, with sweetly sung lyrics about about an imminent breakup.
Austra — Olympia
We know, we know, we already posted "Home" a few weeks. That said, there's a new video for the song, and the track is so good we'll take any excuse to give it another spin or three. Still one of our favorite singles of the year, "Home" is a high watermark for Katie Stelmanis and co.
Photos (clockwise from above left): Courtesy of Selebrities; Chance the Rapper; Lemonade; Austra