7 songs you don’t want to miss this week

This week’s list includes new music from rap newcomers like Van Buren Records and an elite instrumental from Kenny Beats’ latest album, “LOUIE.”

Larry June – “Don’t Check Me”

Larry June returns with “Don’t Check Me” from his new album, “Spaceships on the Blade”. The David Camarena-directed video follows Larry June in his hometown of San Francisco. June drives around in an old-school car while rapping to a retro-style beat, providing a refreshing summer feel.

Van Buren Records – “FAULT”

The up-and-coming collective from Brockton, Mass., are making noise after releasing their 2021 debut album, “Bad For Press.” Their new single “FOUL” plays over the intro to “The Brady Bunch,” where each rapper appears in front of a blue square as they collectively rap the hook. Each rapper showcases their unique style with every verse, showing the versatility of the group.

Joji – “YUKON”

“YUKON” is the second single from Joji’s new album, “SMITHEREENS”. Joji sings about aimless driving to distract himself from someone he was previously caring for. The music itself is somewhat dramatic. An acoustic piano carries the melody, chords and bassline. Halfway through, the song shifts to a more energetic tempo, adding drums and catchy vocals.

Kenny Beats – “That Third Thing”

“The Third Thing” is an extremely fluid instrumental from Kenny Beats’ debut album, “LOUIE.” The instrumental has an incredibly jazzy feel, with bass that touches your soul. The album has familiar collaborators including Vince Staples, JPEGMAFIA, Thundercat and more. Listen to “That Third Thing” with headphones.

JID and Yasiin Bey – “Stars”

JID’s new album, “The Forever Story,” marks his most impressive work to date, filled to the brim with psychedelic production and unique wordplay. The beat selection isn’t something you’ll hear every day, and the song “Stars” featuring Yasiin Bey is no different. The instrumental has freeform jazz elements and has layers upon layers of beautiful sound.

Ari Lennox and Summer Walker – “Queen Space”

In preparation for her highly anticipated second album, “Age/Sex/Location,” Ari Lennox has teamed up with Summer Walker for her latest single, “Queen Space.” Ari Lennox expands on being grounded in self-love and not wasting your time or energy on the wrong people. The music isn’t overly complex but is exceptionally smooth, while the track focuses on acoustic piano and a bass line that deserves more sparkle.

Noah Cyrus and Benjamin Gibbard – “Every Beginning Ends”

With Noah Cyrus’ new album ‘The Hardest Part’ due out in less than two weeks, the singer has released a new single, ‘Every Beginning Ends’, featuring Death Cabs For Cuties’ Ben Gibbard. The stripped-down single features dark acoustic guitar and the singers swap lines back and forth. Cyrus talks about his relationships with his parents and friends and the difficulty of maintaining these relationships. If you’re feeling down, this song might be for you.


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Grace D. Erickson