Mic-Check 🎵 Newsletter (08.09.21)

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35 years ago today, Freddie Mercury gave his final performance.

Click here for a Spotify playlist with the songs mentioned in this story.

BIGGEST Songs of the Week 📈

The Weeknd’s After Hours era has officially come to an end as the singer dons a black leather suit instead of his iconic fire-red blazer in the video for his latest single Take My Breath. Abel doubles down on his 80s vibes with this full-throttle disco banger which features heavy synthwave influences and French house accents, most likely inspirations from his 2017 collaboration with Daft Punk.

1. The Weeknd, Take My Breath (Synthpop) 👍👍👍

2. Aventura, Bad Bunny, Volví (Reggaeton)

3. Jack Harlow, Pooh Shiesty, SUVs (Black on Black) (Trap) 👍

4. KSI, Lil Wayne, Lose (Pop Rap)

5. blackbear, @ my worst (Pop Rap) 🗑️

6. Nas, Rare (East Coast Hip Hop) 👍👍

7. FINNEAS, A Concert Six Months From Now (Folk Pop)

8. Meek Mill, War Stories (East Coast Hip Hop)

9. Lil Tecca, Gunna, REPEAT IT (Pop Rap) 👍

10. Martin Garrix, G-Eazy, Sasha Alex Sloan, Love Runs Out (Dance Pop)

Honorable Mention: Jorja Smith, GuiltyBeatz, All of This (Afrobeats) 👍👍

Noteworthy 📰

  • Guns N’ Roses released the track ABSUЯD, the band’s first new material since 2008’s Chinese Democracy. More importantly, it’s the group’s first track to feature Slash and Duff McKagan since their departure in 1994.
  • In 2014, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga released their collaborative jazz standards album Cheek To Cheek. Last week, on Bennett’s 95th birthday, the duo announced their next project Love for Sale, including their take on Cole Porter’s I Get A Kick Out Of You.
  • YNW Melly, the controversial 22-year-old rapper currently on trial for the murder of his two “best friends,” ironically dropped Best Friends 4L, his long awaited collaboration with Lil Tjay.
  • Guitar god Tom Morello recruited Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder for a rendition of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, the first single from Morello’s upcoming all-star solo album The Atlas Underground Fire.
  • As part of the upcoming Metallica Blacklist covers album, Weezer unveiled their version of Metallica’s 1991 classic Enter Sandman.
  • Duran Duran teamed up with Japanese rock band CHAI and Blur guitarist Graham Coxon on their new single MORE JOY!
  • 2021 XXL Freshman Morray enlisted Polo G for a remix of Trenches, a track off his debut album Street Sermons which came out earlier this year.
  • Miranda Lambert made her first foray into dance music with the tropical house Tequila Does (Telemitry Remix).
  • WATCH: Ariana Grande shared her full animated performance from the “Rift Tour” event staged within the video game Fortnite.

BEST Songs of the Week 🔥

1. The Weeknd, Take My Breath (Synthpop) 👍👍👍

2. Victoria Monét, Coastin’ (Contemporary R&B) 👍👍👍

3. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, That Life (Psychedelic Rock) 👍👍

4. DON BROCO, One True Prince (Alternative Metal) 👍👍

5. Nation of Language, This Fractured Mind (Minimal Wave) 👍👍

6. Foster the People, Broken Jaw (Indietronica) 👍👍

7. ZEAL & ARDOR, Erase (Progressive Metal) 👍👍

8. One Step Closer, Chrysanthemum (Hardcore Punk) 👍👍

9. Aimee Mann, Suicide Is Murder (Chamber Pop) 👍👍

10. Hayden Thrope, Parallel Kingdom (Art Pop) 👍👍

Albums Spotlight 💿

Lingua Ignota made waves in 2019 when she juxtaposed classical and metal music on CALIGULA. She’s back with an equally foreboding record that explores righteous indignation and her tangled relationship with Christianity. The Appalachian instrumentation which she employs throughout creates a harsh, spine-tinging atmosphere. This is one of the most individually distinctive pieces of work in modern music.

Nas released King’s Disease II, the sequel to his 2020 Grammy Award winning album King’s Disease. The veteran MC celebrates his greatness with enough nostalgia to please the hip-hop heads of the 90s and luxurious enough beats from Hit-Boy to cater to the younger generation. The album notably features Nas’ first ever collaboration with fellow heavyweight Eminem and an always welcome feature from the elusive Ms. Lauryn Hill.

Lingua Ignota, SINNER GET READY (Neoclassical Darkwave) 👍👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Man Is Like a Spring Flower, Pennsylvania Furnace, Perpetual Flame of Centralia, The Order of Spiritual Virgins, The Solitary Brethren of Ephrata

Nas, King’s Disease II (East Coast Hip Hop) 👍👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Store Run, Nobody, Nas Is Good, The Pressure, Rare

Pink Siifu, GUMBO’! (Abstract Hip Hop) 👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: lng hair dnt care, Roscoe’!, Call tha Bro (Tapped In), Scurrrrd, Fk U Mean/ Hold me Dwn

Tinashe, 333 (Alternative R&B) 👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Bouncin, Pasadena, X, I Can See the Future, Undo (Back to My Heart)

Other Notable Projects: Abstract Mindstate Dreams Still Inspire, Foxing Draw Down The Moon, Fredo Bang Murder Made Me, Hobo Johnson Hobo Johnson Alienates His Fanbase, IDER shame, Kississippi Mood Ring, Laura Stevenson Laura Stevenson, Liars The Apple Drop, SUNMI 1/6 (EP), Ty Segall Harmonizer, Young Nudy Rich Shooter

WORST Song of the Week 🗑️

Nelly, BRELAND, Benny Blanco, High Horse (Pop Rap)

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