Welcome back to The Verge’s weekly musical roundup. I’m Jamieson, I’m still your host, and I hope you didn’t miss me too much last week. I took a break from jam curation because I had my hands full with the Panorama festival, the celebration of music, art, and technology that gobbled up last weekend in New York City. We presented an ultra-cool (seriously, it was air-conditioned) collection of art installations called The Lab, and we also spent plenty of time backstage interviewing the musicians playing the festival on Facebook Live.
It was an awesome weekend, even when you take the triple-digit temperatures into account. And with that said, I’m glad to be back picking new tracks and sharing them with you from the comfort of my living room. I guess I’m an inside kid at heart.
Remember to subscribe to our Spotify playlist if you haven’t already — it’s updated weekly! Let’s go:
Balance and Composure, "Postcard"
Pennsylvania post-hardcore titans Balance and Composure are releasing a new album, Light We Made, on October 7th, and "Postcard" is the moody first single. The first time I heard this song I kept waiting for it to explode into something more riotous, but that moment never came — it just simmers, riding a rhythm like a kitchen timer and some atmospheric guitar work. Once you settle down and accept it for what it is, it’s really rewarding.
DIANA, "Slipping Away"
I spent a ton of time listening to DIANA’s debut Perpetual Surrender when it was released back in 2013, mostly because it was perfect late summer music: humid, sticky, and ready to soundtrack midnight pool parties. The band’s follow-up doesn’t have a title or release date yet, but it has a lead single in "Slipping Away." It strikes me as a little more ambitious than anything on Perpetual Surrender: the vocals are more forceful, the beat is more assertive, there are a few more distinct phases. Let’s hope we hear more where this came from soon.
Father John Misty, "Real Love Baby"
Father John Misty had a busy weekend, to say the least: a festival meltdown! An explanation for said meltdown! A beef regarding said meltdown! A disclosure regarding Chipotle, The Backstreet Boys, and a ton of money! I felt exhausted just reading about it; I can’t imagine making all of that happen. He finished the sequence by releasing an official version of the one-time SoundCloud loosie "Real Love Baby," and I can’t blame you if you feel like skipping all of the links above and getting right to the music. (It’s just good enough — breezy, sunny, and romantic — to justify all of the drama surrounding it.
How to Dress Well, "Lost Youth / Lost You"
"Lost Youth / Lost You" is the first track cut from melodramatic alt-R&B maven How to Dress Well’s new album Care, which is coming out this September. (It’s his first LP since 2014’s solid "What Is This Heart?") If Tom Krell’s music has a defining quality, it’s earnestness: he really, really wants you to understand how he’s feeling, even if it means embracing a sort of emotional nudity.
Footwork wizard Jlin released "Downtown" as part of Adult Swim’s Singles Program, a yearly event that usually yields a handful of stellar tracks and a dozen other worthy curios. My favorite thing about this song is the recurring vocal sample of some dude yelling "bullshit!" It’s light, surprising, and a little funny, and it gives a song that otherwise sounds like it’s meant to induce an irregular heartbeat a little jolt.
JoJo ft. Wiz Khalifa, "Fuck Apologies"
JoJo is one of contemporary pop music’s unappreciated underdogs, and "Fuck Apologies" is the first single from her first album in almost a decade, the forthcoming Mad Love. (Her complicated career in a sentence: after striking it rich with hits like "Leave (Get Out) and "Too Little Too Late" in the middle of the ‘00s, she spent the next ten years mired in label drama.) I could do without Wiz’s perfunctory guest verse, but "Fuck Apologies" is still a worthy reintroduction to JoJo’s strengths: a killer voice and a bold, natural attitude.
Mac Miller ft. Anderson .Paak, "Dang!"
Am I the only one whose mind is totally blown by the quality of this song? Mac Miller’s come a long way from his Blue Slide Park days, but "Dang!" is on a completely different level: it’s ultra-smooth, sunny funk, lent an expert assist by 2016 MVP candidate Anderson .Paak. (It’s also the first single from Miller’s new album The Divine Feminine, which is landing on September 16th.) Those horns! Those handclaps! When I throw this on, I feel like I’m gliding down a lazy river on a scorching summer day. It’s a late-breaking candidate for song of the season.
PARTYNEXTDOOR, "Not Nice"
I’m cheating a little bit here — this song came out last Friday — but I need to take a minute to recognize PND’s total mastery of the pop-dancehall that’s dominated the charts and inspired legions of imitators this year. "Not Nice" sounds like a Jamaican remix of a Beach House song, and it’s just as catchy as "Controlla," "Too Good," or any of the other Caribbean hits-in-waiting on Drake’s Views. (Who are we kidding? We can probably thank PND for the existence of those songs too.)
The Range, "True Value"
James Hinton (aka The Range) made one of the year’s best albums in Potential, and he’s following it up by releasing a documentary called Superimpose (and an EP of the same name) on August 4th. (The documentary focuses on the obscure YouTubers Hinton met and sampled throughout Potential: their stories, their dreams, their connections to the music.) "True Value" is one of a few new tracks on the EP, and it’s just as stunning as anything on Potential.
Yohuna, "The Moon Hangs in the Sky Like Nothing Hangs in the Sky"
Johanne Swanson is releasing Patientness, her debut LP as Yohuna, this September. "The Moon Hangs in the Sky Like Nothing Hangs in the Sky" is slow-motion pop-shoegaze caught somewhere between Julianna Barwick and Slowdive, and it’s absolutely bewitching.
Here’s the running This Is Your Next Jam playlist — have a great weekend!