On this week’s Must-Hear Music podcast, strange musical crossovers seem to be the unofficial theme. We chat about British dance duo Disclosure producing a song for Mary J. Blige, Fall Out Boy sampling folkie Suzanne Vega and former hair-whipper Willow Smith covering indie fave King Krule.
New tracks from Banks, Interpol, Jazmine Sullivan and Beyonce producer Boots round out this episode. Sadly, a cold prevented Jason Lipshutz from joining the Must-Hear Music podcast this week, but happily, Chris Payne was able to fill in for him, joining Erika Ramirez and Joe Lynch.
Listen to the full podcast below! Or if you want to skim some highlights from our discussion — as well as listen to the tracks we talk about — check those out below the podcast. Mary J. Blige (Produced by Disclosure): “Right Now”
Joe: Her last two releases were a soundtrack and a Christmas album. I think she might have needed a little direction, and she gets it from Disclosure.
Erika: It’s Mary singing about things we want to hear her singing about — heartbreak. And the beat fits with this.
Willow Smith (King Krule Cover): “Easy Easy”
Erika: Willow did a great take on this. I also like this because I can never understand what King Krule is saying.
Joe: It’s almost like when you hear another artist cover Bob Dylan, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s what he was saying.’ He does have a pretty thick accent. Banks: “Alibi”
Chris: Like FKA Twigs, Banks released a lot of singles leading up to her album. But unlike FKA Twigs, this album, Goddess, is mostly stuff we’ve heard before. And at an hour, it’s a little long.
Erika: Like Jhene Aiko, Banks has a tone I like — but I am a little nervous about diving into a full album.
Joe: I’m kind of in love with this song. Boots produced a ton of Beyonce’s last album, but this song is exciting for him as an artist in his own right. It starts slow and moody, and then it breaks into a full-on garage rocker with handclaps and warped sirens. There’s a willingness to throw genre caution to the wind that I love. Interpol: “My Desire”
Chris: It’s a great live track, especially because Sam Fogarino is a fantastic drummer. He’s got a freeform vibe and the band’s guitars careen around that. There’s a cool groove at the beginning — this song does what you want from Interpol.
Fall Out Boy: “Centuries”
Joe: They’re incorporating a little Queen and even hair metal on this. Also, they’re directly sampling Suzanne Vega’s signature hit “Tom’s Diner.” If they’re moving toward the realm of smirking, self-aware, over-the-top rock band, I’m into it.
Chris: A lot of pop-punk bands don’t know where to go with their sound these days. But here, Fall Out Boy head to the arena, which makes sense. They’ve been playing arenas for a minute.
Jazmine Sullivan: “Forever Don’t Last”
Erika: This is a stripped-down guitar song from a big-voiced vocalist about heartbreak. Which says a lot about me — it’s what I love. Emo heartbreak.