Fruit Bats — “Rips Me Up”
Fruit Bats has announced a 20th anniversary compilation, “Sometimes A Cloud Is Just A Cloud,” due for release on Jan. 28. This two LP compilation album will track a prolific career, from songwriter Eric D. Johnson’s earliest music to brand new material like “Rips Me Up.” “Every once and a while, you’ll record a song for an album and that song feels really great but also vibes like an emotional and/or sonic outlier from the others,” says Johnson of the song. The rhythmic elements provide an infectious groove to Johnson’s pitch here, which conjures up images of John Lennon without ever being derivative or lazy about it.
Little Simz — Introvert
British-Nigerian rapper Little Simz (Simbi Ajikawo) has justifiably received a fair amount of recognition for her unique style and hard-hitting lyrics. That skill is on full display in the track “Introvert,” where her confessional revelations and unapologetic bars take on government corruption while bouncing off of wonderfully untethered, undulating beats. The song kicks off her fourth album, “Sometimes I Might Be An Introvert,” which came out in September.
DARKSIDE — “Liberty Bell”
DARKSIDE is the downtempo project of producer Nicolás Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington. Found on the duo’s album “Spiral,” which was released this summer, “Liberty Bell” is an atmospheric joy. Jaar sings with an ominously melodic tone, coloring the song with an irresistibly dark brush as the music builds in anticipation of a payoff that arrives with frenetic punctuation.