submerge soundtrack

End the year with some of the best tunes to come out recently.

The explosive opening to Gambino’s funky new album – Awaken! My Love. Donald Glover channels 70’s rock n’ roll and modern R&B in this wild 6-minute rollercoaster, with sweeping guitars and fuzzy but gritty bass, Me & Your Mama is no doubt a banger.

“Girl you really got a hold on me
So this isn’t just puppy love”

Julia Jacklin sings with a weary heart in this sweet soulful slow-jam about love and addiction. The powerful and scene-setting opener to her debut album Don’t Let The Kid’s Win, Jacklin’s honest storytelling paired with her heartfelt voice gives this song a sad sway and hits you like a punch in the stomach.

“My heart is heavy when you’re high
So for me why won’t you try”

Nothing like Pharrell’s song, Happy is perhaps one of Mitski’s bleakest songs yet. The first song off her new album Puberty 2 deals with depression and personifies happiness as a man who comes for a brief moment of joy but then goes as quick as a train and leaves you the mess. The repeating drum machine juxtaposed with the almost dying saxophone riff gives this track a heavy yet bittersweet feeling.

“And if you’re going, take the moon
Then maybe I will see you, in the night I’ll see you”

Flume returns to his roots with this airy instrumental. A punchy and eclectic drum sequence repeats throughout the track while layers and layers of different electronic elements build up, but it never feels busy or overcrowded, Flume’s ability to create a spacious atmosphere through his arrangement of sound is displayed brilliantly on this track from his new Skin Companion EP.

The XX is back with a banger of a single. Usually the type to shy away from upbeat and vocal driven tracks, On Hold begins with soft voices of Romy and Jamie singing about a bittersweet romance while the instrumental bubbles in the background, launching into a dancy bassline and a geniusly placed Hall & Oates sample. With their next record only a month away, On Hold is the perfect sad summer song to keep you enchanted.

“When and where did we go cold?
I thought I had you on hold”

Bic Runga injects some heart into this Kanye West original, the live acoustic feel contrasts the cold isolation of West’s version but doesn’t lose the eerie honesty of the original song. When asked why she chose to include this cover on her latest record Close Your Eyes, Runga say’s “Wolves walks this great line between strength and vulnerability which is a theme I’ve always been interested in, it’s just a really heavy song, a really beautiful melody.”

“You too wild, you too wild
You too wild, and I need you now”

Liam Dargaville, otherwise known as one half of NZ duo HEAVY, has just released his debut project Power Chuck under the name DBLDBL and we have it on repeat. Liam raps about depression and his unhelpful friend over a dreamy electronic beat that transforms into a trippy synth banger towards the end of the track. With floaty vibes and quirky lines such as “I’m moving slower than a Game Of Thrones winter”, this track and the rest of the album is well worth checking out.

After reappearing at The Others Way festival in Auckland, Cut Off Your Hands have launched themselves back into the New Zealand music scene with their new single Hate Somebody, an upbeat, funky indie pop tune about a friendly neighbourhood turned upper-class snobville, or to use that dirty word – gentrification. Hopefully this is a sign of more to come from the four-piece post-punk band.

Another curveball track from rapper, comedian, writer, director and now soul-funk singer Donald Glover, Redbone is a synthy smooth jam that captures the soulfulness of a Bootsy Collins song, the modern production and groovy basslines of a Tame Impala song and the funky essence of a classic Funkadelic record. Gambino again uses his voice in a way he’s never done before and the song finishes off in a harmony of guitar solo riffs, booming synth bass chords and a touch of piano accents. Definitely the highlight of his latest album Awaken! My Love.

“I wake up feeling like you won’t play right
I used to know, but now that shit don’t feel right”

British DJ and electronic artist Bonobo creates a mellow and moving vibe with his latest track from his upcoming album. Airy and dreamy, it features softly sung falsetto vocals by Canadian singer Milosh of the R&B duo Rhye. The plucking strings rhythm and background drums are restrained and give an emotional touch to the song.

“You’re my favourite, you’re my favourite
But we’re phasing, but we’re phasing”

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