Every Friday, we highlight the best (and, sometimes, worst) new music of the week in The Playlist. This week: New tracks from South African agitators Die Antwoord and the teenage wonder from Down Under (technically, from New Zealand) Lorde.
Die Antwoord – “Ugly Boy”
Awash in blood, obscenities, and Aphex Twin references, Die Antwoord’s latest video may be a clear-cut grab for viral success, but it’s also entirely on message for the South African hip-hop duo. Their celebrity guests here only reinforce their edgy status with Marilyn Manson, Flea, Jack Black, Dita Von Teese, and Cara Delevingne all showing up for gruesome/gorgeous cameos.
Lorde – “Yellow Flicker Beat”
As the soundtrack curator of the new, penultimate Hunger Gamesmovie, Lorde has already shown she’s got great taste, having roped in not just classy old-timers such as Grace Jones and Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon, but also hot up-and-comers such as Stromae, Tove Lo, and Tinashe. The starring role, however, is all Lorde’s here, as she embodies the embattled Katniss in this explosive new track and video.
Kendrick Lamar – “i”
This first new video from Lamar after his astonishing good kid, m.A.A.d city debut from a little over two years ago confirms his status as one of the strongest rappers out there, and might mean his crossover into the mainstream. Sampling the Isley Brothers’ classic “That Lady,” “i” is a celebration of the self, dedicated to both Lamar’s imprisoned friends and to his young fans battling depression.
Owen Pallett – “In Conflict”
One of the year’s strongest, most visceral albums now has its first video, “In Conflict”, and it beautifully matches the deeply personal tone of the album of the same name. Pallet, who was nominated for an Oscar last year for composing the Her soundtrack with the Arcade Fire, stars himself in the cryptic, cinematic video, which, fittingly, premiered at Nowness.
José González – “Every Age”
After seven years in which González only released music as part of his rockier band Junip or in the form of the occasional soundtrack contribution (last year’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), this gorgeously spacey video offers an understated first taste of the Swedish folkster’s new record, out February 2015.