By ALEX LYALL

 

In this edition of the Haul we ponder, what is a playlist? We also look at new music from Blondie, Perfume Genius and Harry Parsons and the new video from Mzwetwo.

 

What is a playlist?  

Drake’s new work More Life is in many ways just Drake – overly emotive, brilliant and self-aware but there are two key differences. The first is that it’s not actually an album; it’s called a playlist. I don’t actually know what this means, the comments box is at the bottom of the page if anybody else does though.

That aside, the other notable thing is some of the beats on this album. Get it Together centres around a deep, glitchy bass while Free Smoke sounds like it was recorded in Durban. The features aren’t out of this world but it does have Kanye on Glow singing, “Started from the bottom now we here,” so it’s not all a loss. Drake has made another great album… or whatever he calls it.

Blondie – Long Time

While the new Drake may not be the have-all of amazing guest features, it seems Blondie are. The new album boasts collaborations with Johnny Marr, Charli XCX, Nick Valensi from The Strokes, Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio and here on Long Time, Dev Hynes AKA Blood Orange. Blondie in their prime made some of the best songs of the time, and Blood Orange has in a way carried that torch, releasing amazing music tinged with soul and politics. In short, this is a collaboration from a higher place and even though it’s not the greatest thing I’ve ever listened to, the thought of Debbie Harry and Dev Hynes jamming is just fine with me. 

Perfume Genius – Slip Away

It begins with creeping drums and ends with blaring keys and symbols: It’s a banger. Of course, it’s the voice of Mark Hadreas that steals the show, and it’s all perfume, all genius delivering a wobbly yet ferocious ode to love. 

 

Harry Parsons – Crown MST 2.0

Slow jammers are good, but they need the musical richness to back it up. Enter Harry Parson with Crown MST 2.0 which does exactly that; simmers gently but wows with a thick guitar strum and heartfelt vocals. The title is odd, but it does show how Harry doesn’t make music for an audience. He doesn’t tell you he’s an emotional guy, he lets the music do it for him. 

New music video: Mzwètwo – Young Stunna

Mzwètwo is an Auckland rapper, but it’s hard to tell from this gloomy dystopian vid mainly set in a very big steel garage. Despite the darkness and the shadows of the music video, Mzwètwo has a very very bright future ahead of him. His flow reminiscent of a young Jay Z, Young Stunna packs a bouncy rhythm underneath the catchiest hook heard in New Zealand hip hop for a while. Simply incredible.

Click here if you missed last week’s explosive Music Haul with ALEX LYALL!

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