July’s finest, from Babeo Baggins’ DIY treasures, Miguel’s ode to good sex, and essential DJ Rashad picks from the vault
BABEO BAGGINS - POSI+IVE
If you haven’t heard of Washington's hardest DIY-er Babeo Baggins or her six-strong collective of self-proclaimed “filthy girls” AKA Barf Troop then you probably haven’t spent enough time down a late-night Tumblr wormhole. Her latest mixtape sounds as if the Internet has been distilled into 11 tracks, and she heads it up with those cream-voiced vocals and the odd, quick-fire rap. Also, keep your ears open for an array of producers, from Harlem’s Gobby to Cali polymath Childish Gambino (below).
LONDON O’CONNOR – O∆
“I was a virgin until about a couple months before I turned 21,” London O’Connor tells us alongside the YouTube clip of “Love Song” (below). “My mom dated this military guy and he cheated on her. About a week later, I wrote this song.” It’s this sweet, confessional quality, delivered over slow-drifting synth patterns and neat, spectral twists, that makes this album feel like buried treasure. It’s effortless and blissful, like falling asleep in the grass.
THE INTERNET – EGO DEATH
Sometimes all you want come mid-July is a cold glass of water and some chill sounds to lean back to. Odd Future’s Cali soul collective The Internet give us just that and much more in this glistening collection of spaced-out R&B gems, all pinned together by singer Syd Tha Kyd’s no-holds-barred lyrics, travelling through every corner of love, lust and loss.
LOLAWOLF – EVERYFUCKINDAY
When Zoe Kravitz isn’t taking photos of Miley Cyrus’ butt, starring in throwback LA movie Dope or calling Hollywood out for their institutional racism, she’s fronting trap-pop trio Lolawolf, who have just dropped their new mixtape, a concoction of off-beat rhymes and wavy daytime party anthems. It’s best summed-up in the words of Lolawolf themselves: “Beats, instruments, fly to the Bahamas, chill, vocals, mix.”
MIGUEL – WILD HEART
While you were busy waiting on that Frank Ocean release, Miguel dropped his third album and it’s incredible, from the heady, sweeping falsetto of “Flesh” to the slow, airless distortion of “Coffee” and the dazzling melodies of “Face the sun (feat Lenny Kravitz)”. Miguel knows how to write about good sex, and it’s essentially an ode to just that.
LA PRIEST – INJI
The evolution of LA Priest AKA Sam Dust has not happened overnight. It’s been eight years since his last solo effort, five years since he left Late of the Pier and the last we heard, he’d been burying himself in geomagnetic interference recordings in Greenland. Anyway, the pop oddball’s latest odyssey is a pure shot of woozy, funk-squelched joy that fizzes and sparkles like popping candy through the speakers.
FUTURE - DIRTY SPRITE 2
How Atlanta’s auto-tune king Future has time to bang out three releases within the space of half a year, we’ll never know, but nobody’s complaining, lest of all #FutureHive (yep, his fan base has a name). The album itself lands in a flurry of luxuriant, sticky beats and bass that can swallow you whole. Turn it up.
VINCE STAPLES – SUMMERTIME ‘06
Long Beach rapper Vince Staples takes us back to the long, hot summer of 2006 in a dark swarm of introspection and storytelling. “What means the world to you? Is it a fast life, money and clothes? Probably fuckin’ these hoes,” he raps in “Señorita” over a far-away, off-key piano line and a cold, brittle beat, before asking: “What would you murder for?”
DJ RASHAD – 6613
Chicago’s legendary footwork pioneer passed away last year (read our tribute to him here), and now Hyperdub have delved into what is probably an endless vault of unreleased material to release 6613, a collection of disorientating, bright-eyed 808-laden tracks that make you want to drive through the night and dance forever. The EP is available to stream here, but in the meantime listen to the gritty, dismantled beats of 2013's "I Don't Give a Fuck" (below).
YEARS & YEARS – COMMUNION
Olly Alexander’s tearful tones dance across the lines of doubt and longing like a 3am fever in Years & Years’ drama-soaked debut. “I remember us alone, waiting for the light to go, don’t you feel that hunger, I’ve got so many secrets to show,” he sings in “Shine”, a song that embodies the claustrophobic lust of a new relationship.