Sometimes, you start the work week, and the next thing you know, it’s already Thursday. This week felt that way around here, as it was packed with great new releases and standout songs. Heck, this year has felt that way — it’s already May, with a third of the year clocked away. But, to ease some of the anxiety that comes with the calendar pages flipping by, we’ve got some new tracks from a bevy of heavy-hitters. We’re psyched on the return of Titus Andronicus, grooving with R&B crooner Gallant, and riding with young rap phenom Bishop Nehru. And that’s less than a third of the list.
10. Bishop Nehru – “Harmony in a Glass”
After releasing a project with MF DOOM in the form of last fall’s NehruvianDOOM, 18-year-old New Yorker Bishop Nehru is now showing that he doesn’t need a big-name collaborator by his side to progress as a rapper. In fact, once he begins his first verse on the silky “Harmony in a Glass”, he’s too zoned in to even let the beat breathe, much less invite a guest rapper into the fold. That’s not to say the song is tensely introspective, although Nehru’s opening lines (“Not a day passes that the glass doesn’t spill/ Because my happiness and sadness interact before the thrill”) do set up the track to be a reflective one. Still, he eases up to give it a youthful tint: “Blowin’ doja so the aroma’s in the coat stuck/ Showin’ no fucks, I just stroll with the funk.” Find the song on Nehruvia: The Nehruvian EP, out May 11th via Mass Appeal. –Michael Madden
9. Ten Walls – “Blue Orphan”
Hailing from Lithuania, Ten Walls is still a relatively unknown force in the deep/tech house community. A producer’s producer, he packs the same disorienting/enchanting melodies and bassoon undertones into the fresh “Blue Orphan” that first tantalized dance floors during the rise of 2014’s “Walking with Elephants”. With plenty of organic and sci-fi textures to break the repetition of the bass line, this is a deep house single ready for those transitioning from dark big room to the underground groove. “Blue Orphan” arrives as the B-side to “Sparta”, out May 2nd via BOSO. –Derek Staples
8. Valkyrie – “Wintry Plains”
If Virginia doom band Valkyrie is to be considered a side project of Baroness guitarist Pete Adams, then “Wintry Plains” makes it seem absolutely crucial that he doesn’t let seven more years pass before putting together another album with this group. Spanning nearly seven minutes, the first four are soaring and monstrous, but then the song falls back into a gorgeous psych-folk drip, ultimately launching into a titanic groove once more. It’s a thrill ride of a song with impeccable pacing, and you can find it on Shadows, the first Valkyrie album since 2008’s Man of Two Visions, out May 19th via Relapse. –Michael Madden