Following up last week’s thrilling installment, featuring the likes of new music from June, Knxwledge, and Dua Lipa, we’re back for part three of the Sideline’s Quarantunes, your source for fresh music in these stale times. Check out our playlist on Apple Music and Spotify, highlighting new releases from Little Dragon, Thundercat, and Beez & Gonzo.
Little Dragon ft. Kali Uchis — Are You Feeling Sad?
A remix of a track from Little Dragon’s new album, “New Me Same, Us,” the group’s sixth album since their formation in 1996. The redux features Kali Uchis bouncing around the Little Dragon beat in a similar manner to usual front singer Yumiko Nagano, flowing through the beat like a fleet-footed fox. It’s a head-bopper that’ll provide a burst of energy to your day.
Little Dragon — Another Lover
This song’s another cut off “New Me, Same Us” and helps display their adaptable talent. They dropped a Colors Show performance with Nagano going blue for the emotionally-needy track — one that begs for common understanding and empathy. “Another Lover” is just another reason why Little Dragon has grown in their following for almost 25 years — their interesting electronic arrangement and vast sonic landscapes mean there are few dull moments in their discography.
Beez & Gonzo — Rearview
“Rearview,” off their impressive “None the Wiser,” opens with a personal verse from Gonzo, as the young MC shares some nostalgia for his upbringing. Addressing sweeter times as a youth, Gonzo encourages listeners to take a look back at their own pasts over an instrumental driven by a simple guitar loop. “Damn I miss all that mischief, there was bliss in that spliff mist / All that innocence slipped quick, even as a kid was a misfit / Shit, that’s probably why I spit so sadistic.”
Beez taps in with the line, “I’m just starvin’ and askin’ how to be a baller like Lamar-velous Jackson.” He picks up the tempo a little but keeps the message the same with some disses at social media and its impact on social interaction. Pop on the track if you’re looking for a hug about not being able to see your friends anymore.
Los Hermanos — Corre Corre
Their first release since 2005, “Corre Corre” is an understatement of Los Hermanos’s lengthy hiatus from recording studio music. But understatements don’t have to be a bad thing, as proven by the smooth subtlety of “Corre Corre.” With this track, Los Hermanos take their listeners to a large field on a beautiful spring day to sit on a comfortable blanket, and they even brought a Crazy Creek for your comfort. Lean back and enjoy the track.
Nina Simone — I Sing Just to Know That I’m Alive
Old-school jazz and blues fans are being treated to more music from Queen Nina Simone, one of the most inspirational and influential artists of the 20th century. “Fodder on My Wings,” an album formerly difficult to access, was just released on streaming platforms and is spurred by its first track, “I Sing Just to Know That I’m Alive.” The song bursts at the seams with excited energy, blaring horns, and driving drums. In the same vein as Little Dragon’s “Are You Feeling Sad,” Simone’s track is a great pick-me-up singalong, perfect for any dull moment that needs to be enlivened.
Thundercat — Black Qualls
Featuring Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, and Childish Gambino, “Black Qualls” is one of Thundercat’s most enthralling tracks from his latest release, “It Is What It Is.” With some upbeat characteristic Steve Lacy guitar instrumentation and the soulful vocals from Steve Arrington, this track comes together beautifully. With powerful energy and fun-loving spirit, this song stands as one of my favorite tunes to be released so far this decade.
Thundercat — Unrequited Love
On a more subtle and elegant note, “Unrequited Love” is the star shining track from Thundercat’s brand new project. From sly percussion to low-lying strings and keyboard, Thundercat takes this track as the opportunity to express numerous directions of emotion. Following a funky improvised intro, the solo bassist provides himself the space to display his singing abilities and lyricism at the forefront of this track. Turn it on to allow a beautiful man to serenade you with world-class bass and gorgeous vocals.
Masego, Ta-ku & matt mcwaters ft. Please Wait — Flight 99
Masego is a man of many talents, and he shows his dynamic array of skills effectively on “Flight 99,” a floating track that gives off a vibe of waking up after somehow having a nice nap on your plane ride home. It’s like settling in to your favorite reading or music-listening spot at home with blankets, a pillow, and a warm cup of tea. The track isn’t particularly sad, but it’s comforting if you’re feeling that way. You won’t find “Flight 99” on any top charts, and maybe that’s a good thing because it can stay a secret between us.
Little Simz ft. Syd — Shotgun
Jumping and bouncing around a boom-bap beat, Syd provides a beautiful harmony for Little Simz’s hyperactive flow on “Shotgun” off Little Simz’s 2017 album, “Stillness in Wonderland.” Fans aware of Simz’s flow will find no surprises on this track. Her world-class wordplay and clever delivery are in full effect, and the only thing that could’ve improved the song would be a larger presence from Syd; she serves little purpose other than singing the refrain.
Buddy – Guillotine
Fresh off Buddy and Kaytranada’s joint EP, “Ocean & Montana,” Buddy flexes a fast flow over a beat that could have been produced for a GTA soundtrack — the piercing instrumental sounds like a speedy chase away from the police. This track should be a reminder of the EP as a whole; while “Guillotine” might be the most memorable track, the project is impressive, combining Buddy’s many talents between singing and rapping, and Kaytranada’s great ability to match any vocalist and their skill.