Highlights from spring music drops

The Music Editors of The Concordian share their most-listened releases from March & April.

Tabéa’s Picks:

Mount Kimbie – The Sunset Violent

Composed of Kai Campos, Dominic Maker, Andrea Balency-Beérn and Marc Pell, the glorious British band Mount Kimbie released their sixth album on April 5. This new project runs for 37 minutes and is a magnetic, cohesive, immersive and atmospheric body of work. The alternative, electronic and groovy flare of Mount Kimbie’s sound flows seamlessly over each song and its production quality across all nine tracks is stellar. The contrast of hearing different members singing the same song, for instance on “Fishbrain” with Andrea’s singing and Kai’s vocals, adds a lovely depth to the album. Moreover, being able to hear King Krule’s involvement in two separate songs is a delightful surprise for all listeners.

Trial Track: “Empty and Silent” (feat. King Krule)

Vegyn – The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions

Joe Thornalley, better known as Vegyn in the music industry and to electronic music lovers, dropped his sixth album on April 5. The London-based producer put together a beautifully 45-minute curated endeavour through 13 tracks. I love how some songs are solely instrumental and let Vegyn’s beat-making shine while others feature vocals from the likes of Léa Sen and John Glacier that only push the energy and meanings of the songs further. Some tracks play with the willful duality of lower and higher tempos and heavily charged production, while others are more minimalistic with ambient sounds. 

Trial Track: “Trust” (feat. Matt Maltese)

Mayfly – Killed My Innocence

Montreal-based duo Mayfly, composed of singer-songwriters Charlie and Emma, shared their latest project with the world on March 29. Labelled under Indie Pop, this EP includes five tracks and delivers moody, airy and pungent production style. The growth and decrease of the cadence and elements in the track “See Through” captivated my attention and encouraged total immersion from the very beginning, all the way till the end. The calculated but experimental and cohesive project of these fellow Montrealers is definitely to be added to your music library!

Trial Track: “See Through”

Stefano’s Picks:

Tyla – TYLA

Following the breakout success of “Water,” Tyla returns with her self-titled debut album, a full offering of tuneful Afrobeats tracks. The album is filled with infectious instrumentals and alluring vocals from the South African starlet, many of which are Amapiano tracks with the same foundation as “Water.” The Skillibeng and Gunna-assisted “Jump” is exceptionally catchy, with its heavy Amapiano bass stabs combined with traditional Afrobeats percussion. From the high notes on the bridge to the understated chorus, the song succeeds as a bouncy, tropical, summery cut. Tyla is poised for success, and her debut album fully displays her capability to make catchy hits characterized by angelic, harmonious singing.

Trial Track: “Jump” (feat. Gunna & Skillibeng)

MIKE & Tony Seltzer – Pinball

Pinball sees underground rapper MIKE taking a stylistic leap away from his usual, abstract hip-hop style, instead opting for a mainstream sound by teaming up with producer Tony Seltzer. The project is an upbeat, fun listen that combines trap, drill, West Coast and Detroit hip-hop production with melodies that are lighthearted and ethereal. “On God” is a moodier cut that boasts a feature from Earl Sweatshirt who provides an addictive hook with his deadpan, hypnotic delivery. Tony Shhnow and MIKE perfectly match his energy, and the trio offer an addictive, atmospheric cut that is short, sweet and guaranteed to get repeat listens.

Trial Track: “On God” (feat. Earl Sweatshirt & Tony Shhnow)

Bryson Tiller – Bryson Tiller

Bryson Tiller’s self-titled effort is his fourth studio album, his first since A N N I V E R S A R Y in 2020. The project is brighter and more rhythmic than some of his signature, moodier projects, dabbling in a series of genres. The album combines R&B balladry with melodic takes on drill rap and Jersey club, plus ventures into Afrobeats. Per usual, his singing performances are intact and balanced with his brand of melodic rapping. “No Thank You” is a personal favourite, with a light, dreamy, bouncy hip-hop instrumental that Tiller sings and glides over effortlessly.

Trial Track: “No Thank You”


Honourable Music Mentions from Early 2024

The Music Editors of The Concordian share their favourite releases of the year so far.

Tabéa’s Picks:

Little Simz – Drop 7

British MC Little Simz is back with a seven-track EP where she encapsulates catchy and invigorating beats and melodies. Drop 7’s electrifying sounds seamlessly blend from song to song to give all listeners a memorable experience. The artist even incorporates Portuguese in the second track “Fever” which propels its energy to a whole other level of passion and power. If you are seeking to discover a project full of a high level of energy and fun, definitely add Drop 7 to your music library!

Trial Track: “Fever”

Brittany Howard – What Now

Singer, guitarist, and songwriter Brittany Howard from the American band Alabama Shakes dropped her second solo album in early February. What Now is a collection of 12 tracks with a runtime of just under 40 minutes that mixes R&B, alternative and rock elements to create an alluring and warm project. Its second track titled “I Don’t” is such a lovely song that any music lover would immediately connect with it. Its timeless but also beautifully calculated melodies and production incorporate touches of neo-soul that create an aura of peace and mellowness.   

Trial Track: “I Don’t”


Back in January, French band Papooz released their fourth album RESONATE composed of 11 tracks. Based in Paris, members Ulysse Cottin and Armand Penicaut continue their classic indie-pop sound and catchy tunes with a cohesive album that evokes a sunny and bubbly day. The witty harmonies and songs feature groovy bass and synths along with bright guitar chords. I notably love the vocals on the third track “IT HURTS ME” which merges into the warm-sounding production, especially moments right before the chorus where they are beautifully layered and the melody smoothly transitions into the snappy chorus. 

Trial Track: “IT HURTS ME”

Stefano’s Picks:

Nicholas Craven & Boldy James – Penalty of Leadership

Nicholas Craven returns with Boldy James for Penalty of Leadership, their second joint mixtape. The Québécois producer provides Boldy James with a new assortment of soul sample-based instrumentals, this time with a heavier tone. The mixtape marks James’ first release following a near-fatal car crash, and its lyrical content revolves around life and experiences. It chronicles the cold realities of gang life in Detroit, all over an orchestral backdrop. James is a vivid yet blunt descriptor, which leaves his compelling lyricism style unparalleled.

Trial Track: “Formal Invite”

Yeat – 2093

Yeat’s latest record 2093 is a full-fledged dive into worldbuilding. He blends his unique brand of hip-hop with electronic influences to craft a dark, dystopian, industrial soundscape with a Cyberpunk feel. The production is layered, cinematic, and versatile. There are explosive, moshpit-ready ragers (“ILUV”), danceable electronic cuts (“Breathe,” “Team ceo”), and everything in between. 2093 is Yeat’s latest creative leap, pushing boundaries that have yet to be explored by most mainstream hip-hop. 

Trial Track: “Team ceo”

Bad Gyal – La Joia

Released at the end of January, Bad Gyal’s debut album La Joia is an upbeat project with loads of mainstream appeal and a variety of influences. The Catalan singer offers a handful of bright reggaeton bangers while incorporating different genres into the tracklist. Afrobeats, dancehall, house, and dance music are all present, with some of them being intertwined with reggaeton. Her distinctly bold voice is unique and, when combined with autotune, results in a unique tone that sets her apart from her contemporaries. At just 40 minutes in runtime, La Joia is a fun and easy listen that you should have in your rotation, especially when summertime rolls around.

Trial Track: “Perdió Este Culo”


Honourable music mentions from October

The Music Editors of The Concordian share their top picks from the past month’s releases.

Tabéa’s Picks:

Blasé – Pourquoi Blasé?

Trial Track: “Number One”

Based in Paris, France, artist Blasé released his debut EP Pourquoi Blasé? on Oct. 13. Running for 12 minutes, this first EP features two tracks in French and the second half in English. As put on the singer’s Bandcamp profile, his project merges New York disco, British rock, French chanson, hip-hop and indie pop. One of my favourite moments on the 4 track EP is the tune “Number One.” The snappy guitar riffs and warm-sounding bass are the perfect background for Blasé’s voice and lyrics to pop. The catchy melodies accompany Blasé’s realization that he only seeks a certain person and that they’re his number one—and one’s enough. It’s lighthearted and playful while also being very sincere through Blasé’s tone. 

L’Rain – I Killed Your Dog

Trial Track: “New Year’s UnResolution”

On Oct. 13, the Brooklyn native Taja Cheek, under the name L’Rain, presented her third album I Killed Your Dog to the world. The “anti-break-up” record contains pensive and attentive moments. The final track “New Year’s UnResolution” comes off as a mellow but steady and smooth song tackling messages of getting used to no longer being in love. The singer’s lush vocals close the track by repeating, “Will you forget me along the way?” in both a hopeful and despairing tone, accompanied by a rhythmic but dreamy instrumental with faint reverb vocals. L’Rain ends on a vulnerable note but stays rooted in reality and acceptance in order to move on. 

Stefano’s Picks:

Ken Carson – A Great Chaos

Trial Track: “Fighting My Demons”

Released on Oct. 13, Ken Carson’s sophomore album A Great Chaos is his most consistent and exciting project to date. Many tracks on the record are coated with layers of sugary-sweet video-game synths, which give it a melodious and animated vibe. The bass-heavy sound of the rage rap style is equally present, making for an offering of electrifying tracks that are moshpit-ready. This is especially the case with “Fighting My Demons,” which kicks off with an electrifying beat drop and continues to sprinkle additional layers of synths all throughout the track. The song has already blown up on TikTok and is destined to be explosive in a live setting—especially when Carson joins Playboi Carti on the Antagonist Tour later this month.

Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist – VOIR DIRE

Trial Track: “Sirius Blac”
Veteran producer The Alchemist and rapper Earl Sweatshirt released their collaborative album VOIR DIRE at the beginning of the month, on Oct. 6. Sweatshirt comes through with his usual nonchalant and mellow delivery, combining witty wordplay with poignant, introspective affirmations. Alchemist provides a handful of smooth, slow-tempo instrumentals using string, keyboard, and guitar samples. The soundscape is equal parts soothing and entrancing, which perfectly complements Sweatshirt’s contemplative rapping style. “Sirius Blac” is an especially sunny and slow track with bright xylophone notes, whose cadence Sweatshirt matches with the swing of his delivery. On VOIR DIRE, Sweatshirt and The Alchemist craft a concise project that is smooth and hypnotic all throughout.

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