TheRoot.com recently published a stellar list of this fall’s biggest hip-hop and R&B releases. The lineup included new projects from rapper Drake and songstress Mary J. Blige, among others. We wanted to add a little multiracial (and eclectic) flare to the list and highlight lesser known artists like Dominican diva Maluca and Panamanian hip-hop duo Los Rakas. Here are eight new releases for your playlist that will help ease you into fall.
Asobi Seksu‘s melodies are driven by heavy guitar, bass and drums, but lead singer Yuki Chikudate’s voice somehow brings everything together and the band make beautiful songs you can get lost in.
Asobi Seksu is based in New York City. They’ll be releasing a digital single on October 11. (Also, they recently did a beautiful job covering The Walkmen’s "Little House of Savages.")
The French band M83, lead by musician Anthony Gonzales, create what’s often called "dream pop." And for good reason their sounds really do sound like a soundtrack to dreams. Listening to Gonzales’ songs electronic driven melodies will make everything in the world look better.
Their new single "Midnight City" for their upcoming album "Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming" is actually one of their faster songs. The track seems to be more dance-oriented, but the album will take you through what feels like a timeline of emotions. At one point in the song "Raconte-Moi Une Histoire," you have what sounds like a 5-year old rambling on about happy things.
"Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming" will be released October 18.
New York City’s Maluca (of "El Tigeraso" YouTube fame) recently released a new album titled "Massive Pow Pow" that combines global pop and alternative merengue to produce a series of certified dance hits.
Her single "Lola" sounds like a dance hit, but it’s bi-lingual lyrics are an ode to working women everywhere who are " tryin’ make that money, pay the bills" and "take care of the kids" Maluca says in the song.
Earlier this year, Maluca took a cue from Ol’ Dirty Bastard ‘s1994 move and took her own cameras to pick up "food stamps." Let’s hope the album does well because Maluca has been touring, but that hasn’t been enough to pay the bills.
The Icelandic singer Björk is returning from a five-year hiatus and bringing us "Biophilia." Björk turns what other people might disregard as noise into beautiful songs that push musical boundaries. The Queen of Pop, Madonna, even said that she doesn’t really look forward to other artist’s releases, except for one: Björk.
"Biophilia" will be released on October 10.
Shadia Mansour is Palestinian singer and emcee who was raised in South London and is regularly dubbed the "First Lady of Arabic Hip Hop." She’s recorded music with producer Johnny Juice of Public Enemy. And she just released her first single, "Kofeyye Arabeyye (The Kufiya Is Arab)", featured rapper M-1 of Dead Prez.
"Arabic is the language of poetry, a very classical language," Mansour told the BBC in an interview last year. "For me it’s all about originality. I am Arabic, my name is Arabic, and I believe I should rap in Arabic."
Influenced by the likes of D’Angelo and Stevie Wonder, along with Burial and Mount Kimbie, James Blake creates songs that include a mix of dubstep, minimalist techno and soul music. He’ll be releasing a new six-song EP "Enough Thunder" on October 10.
The song featured on the right is from Blake’s last album that was released in February 2011.
Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Calle 13 don’t have a new album coming out soon, but they recently released a video for their 2010 song titled "Latinoamérica." It features footage from several different Latin American countries, and is worth a look.
After years of releasing mixtapes the Oakland by way of Panama duo Los Rakas have finally released their own EP titled, "Chancletas y Camisetas Bordada", or "Tank Tops & Flip Flops" when translated into English.
"We listened to all types of music growing up, like Jamaican reggae, Panamanian reggae, Haitian music, soft rock, salsa," Los Rakas recently said in an interview with BallerStatus.com. "All those genres influenced us indirectly, but naturally because it was part of our listening lifestyle. From Tito Rojas, to Supacat, to E-40, to Nas, to Ruben Blades, to to to … the influences are endless."
"Chancletas y Camisetas Bordada" was released on August 23, 2011.