Action Bronson – “Actin’ Crazy”
Action Bronson’s Mr. Wonderful is set for release in late March, and one of the songs set to be on the record is the newly premiered “Actin’ Crazy.” On the track, Bronson gets help from Drake’s go-to producer, 40, who creates a minimal beat with wavy synths and drum machine that allows Bronson to comfortably serve lines like: “I’m in a robe dancing salsa on the top floor” and “all I do is eat oysters/and speak six languages in three voices.” These lines, along with the song’s artwork (which you will notice features a shark flying in space, Bronson riding atop said shark, with lasers, planets and missiles also making an appearance), give you a good sense of the type of artist that Bronson is. The guy is doing exactly what he wants to do, and he seems to be having the time of his life doing it.
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – “Ray Gun (feat. DOOM)”
One of the more exciting collaborations set to take place in 2015 is Sour Soul, which will be an album made by Toronto jazz trio, BADBADNOTGOOD and Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah. On “Ray Gun,” BADBADNOTGOOD construct a positive sounding instrumental with surf-rock guitars and soul-inspired keyboards. While it still takes some time to get used to Ghostface rhyming over a song of this sound, DOOM, who is featured in the track, is far more at home and works with the instruments, as opposed to trying to rap over them. Sour Soul is due out on Feb. 24, and will also feature appearances by Danny Brown, Elzhi and Tree.
Dan Mangan + Blacksmith – “Offred”
Throughout his discography, Dan Mangan has danced between simple folk songs and more complex arrangements that feature an array of string, brass and vocal harmonies. While both sounds suited him, his newest record, Club Meds, is where he truly finds his voice, and that often means letting the instruments take over. This idea is best exemplified on the albums opening track, “Offred,” which begins with a hip hop sounding introduction before segueing into angsty confessional, with Mangan claiming to no longer have the fight in him. With his backing band, Blacksmith, getting their first credits on an album with Mangan, it seems that, despite what he says, Mangan’s fight is just beginning.