Big Sean – “Blessings (feat. Drake, Kanye West)”
“Blessings” is set to appear on Big Sean’s upcoming album, Dark Sky Paradise, which is due out on Feb. 24. The track features appearances by some heavyweights in Drake and Kanye West and is produced by Boi-1da and Vinylz. Each rapper delivers a pretty strong verse, with Big Sean having fun with wordplay (“funny thing about talking behind my back is that it just keep coming back to me”), Drake claiming the crown (“stop worrying about whoever next”), and Kanye talking about condoms, Snapchat and home gyms. Common theme? They all feel blessed.
Death Cab for Cutie – “Black Sun”
When talking about the departure of former guitarist, Chris Walla, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard explained, “This is an opportunity for the band to become something it could only become by losing a founding member.” The band has begun life without Walla, and though the sample size is small, there are some differences in the sound of the band. On “Black Sun,” which the group premiered on The Late Show With David Letterman, there are more electronic sounds and an electric guitar. “In the West, if you break an heirloom, you either throw it away or you make the repair as invisible as possible,” bassist Nick Harmer said. “But there’s this artistic movement in Japan where the repair of it, the damage of it, is more important as part of the history of something than repairing it to its original state.” And with that idea in mind, Death Cab for Cutie moves forward.
Jeff Bridges – “Chimes for Dreams”
Jeff Bridges is best known for acting in films such as The Big Lebowksi and True Grit, but the actor’s latest project was a musical one. “While working on the Sleeping Tapes album we put in some long hours,” Bridges said of the recording process of his latest album, Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes. “Listening back to our day’s work, I’d often drift off. I’d wake up and smile saying, ‘This stuff works.’” The record sees the actor slowly talking over relaxing musical arrangements composed by Keefus Ciancia. For those in need of a nap, this is the album for you.
Will Butler – “Anna”
On March 10, Arcade Fire’s Will Butler will be releasing his debut solo album, Policy. Butler’s latest offering, “Anna,” is an electronic-heavy track that also features a piano and brass instruments coming in and out. The song bounces along with upbeat synths and Butler humming a catchy tune, and just like the unexpected instruments that come into the song, Butler has the ability to go in directions that you don’t anticipate. His voice certainly sounds similar to his brother Win’s, but Will is proving that he has the ability to make great music on his own.