Snakehips & MØ, "Don't Leave"
You can count on Snakehips and MØ to deliver the year's first banger. Described in its accompanying press release as a "forward-thinking ballad" (which, in all honesty, makes it sound more like a new Toyota than a pop song), "Don't Leave" comes hot on the heels of the London production duo's recent collaboration with Zayn and seems set to pave the way for albums all round in 2017. Come on, MØ, we've almost burnt this one out with repeated listens.
Dirty Projectors, "Little Bubble"
As a follow up to the heartbreaking "Keep Your Name," the bearded and only remaining half of Dirty Projectors reconnects with nature and reflects on bubbles: cultural, technological, and the cozy ones that come with long term relationships. Sure, it's comfy... but when does it all become too insular? Left outside alone, things are looking bleak but sounding sweet.
Silent Riders, "I See You"
Hang on, this isn't hygge? Great Danes Silent Riders deliver the complete opposite of coziness and conviviality with a pulsing piece of moodtronica that wouldn't sound out of place on the upcoming Twin Peaks revival. It's not all sitting around the fireplace eating cinnamon buns, you know folks.
The Great Undressing, "Jenny Hval"
Anyone who binge-watched John Berger's 1972 series Ways of Seeing after his passing on Monday will have learned the difference between being naked, and the nude. While being naked is simply a person's natural state, the (female) nude's nudity is almost a costume — worn and positioned just-so for the male gaze. In Jenny Hval's new video for "The Great Undressing," a woman goes about her day: waking, working, shopping, exercising, entertaining friends — naked, but observed just as a person, not as an object. It's like a fantasy future where the male gaze doesn't exist. Director Marie Kristiansen (who has previously made fashion films for Phoebe English) plays with ideas of exposure through a shot of three veiled women snapping selfies, while Hval's lyrics muse on what it means to really be seen.
The xx, "Say Something Loving"
While a handful of keyboard warriors seem a bit miffed that The xx aren't sounding depressing enough these days, we've got nothing against a bit of positivity. In fact, that seems to be exactly what we all need! With just seven days until the release of new album I See You, we're excited. "On Hold," with it's Alasdair McLellan-directed video accompaniment, is already noted as a proper modern classic. Check out this home movie of Romy, Oliver, and Jamie doing xx karaoke when they were in Tokyo the other week.
Ace Tee, "Bist Du Down"
Bist du down for some serious nostalgia? You came to the right place. Ace Tee is the Berlin "Producer/Artist/Hairdresser" driving people wild with her 90s RnB style and sound. With the promise of more music coming soon, she took to Instagram to share that the track is about being "down for honesty, love, the new sound and vibe."
Noodle, Kick-Ass Women Mixtape
Gorillaz bass player and global ambassador for Jaguar Racing, Noodle may be a cartoon character but she certainly knows her way around a mixtape. Blending some of the world's most "kick-ass women" — Grimes, Abra, Mica Levi, and Fatima Al Quadiri — into a half hour mix, her aim was to celebrate the females "who in their own individual ways are true pioneers in the writing, production and creation of MUSIC," adding, "they have inspired me, and I hope they inspire you too!"
Seal, "Kiss From A Rose" (Murlo Refix)
Well, isn't this nice? While you were lazing around in front of the TV, Murlo spent his Christmas vacation working on something very special and totally essential. Finding a midi file of the 1994 silky smooth and sexy date night ballad online, the producer transformed it into a video game instrumental that's crying out for a grime vocal. You can catch him DJing throughout Asia this month.
Peanut Butter Wolf, RIP 2016 Mix
The planet's collective annus horribilis is, thankfully, dead and buried. What better way to celebrate than with this RIP 2016 mix from L.A.'s Chris Manak aka Peanut Butter Wolf? "Tastefully done," writes one commenter. "Quite nice of you to put this together," posits another, while a certain Bed Elze writes, "Mr. PBW that's a well conducted Mix from beginning to end, and what a great respectful concept for one. Thnx and the best wishes for 2017". If there's one thing we learned this week, readers, it's that Peanut Butter Wolf has the friendly fans in the ENTIRE WORLD.
British Sea Power, "Bad Bohemian"
Kendal's second biggest export British Sea Power continue its almost 15-year run of being quietly brilliant with this Springsteen-indebted lead from upcoming sixth album Let The Dancers Inherit The Party. "Musically, it's our most direct album and maybe the first one where we maintain a coherent mood from start to finish," the band says. "Perhaps a little clarity isn't a bad thing at this point."