Welcome to another edition of Weekly Assembly, where we compile a list of fairly recent, and some fresh out the oven, songs that we thought are worth checking out from all over the world.
This week we’re featuring new indie band Reinbo, the hip hop supergroup Left Hand, King Gizzard’s new metal track, and the incomparable popstar, Yuna.
Lukisan - Reinbo
GENRE: INDIE ROCK / TWEE POP
RATING: 4 / 5
Yes, the video is corny, but the song deserves a chance. The track itself is corny with the right mixes and the right attitude can be endearing. Reinbo shows that in their latest single Lukisan, a very inspired, heartwarming track. You can hear twee influences from bands like Alphabeats & Hey Ocean. You can also hear the laidback lyricism and vocalisation reminiscent of some of the romantic songs from the KAMI OST. The KORG synths on this thing is bright and poppy, and the production percolates into areas of dream pop too. Reinbo is still a band freshly formed, and if they keep to this charming twee atmosphere, they’ll have a special place in our hearts. Plus the drummer’s a girl in a hijab. That’s pretty badass.
Left Hand - Beast Coast ft. Flatbush Zombies, Joey Bada$$, Nyck Caution, Kirk Knight, CJ Fly
GENRE: HIP HOP
RATING: 4.5 / 5
With all of this Avengers: Endgame going around, the music world is churning out some awesome crossovers of their own too. One of our favourite ones is the hip hop supergroup Beast Coast, featuring the likes of the name mentioned above. They’ve performed as a collective since 2013, but Left Hand is their recording debut. The track is menacing and gritty, and seeing all of these talented people come together to drop some firey bars is a force to behold. (The government told me, I don't give a fuck/The media told me, I don't give a fuck). We probably can’t bring back the hard-hitting political rap like Zach De La Rocha, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, N.W.A. but the Beast Coast comes close enough.
soft.tides - lost spaces
GENRE: LO-FI / INDIE / POP
RATING: 3.5 / 5
The mood is in the synths. The reason why soft.tides is lost spaces’s best track yet is because they’ve embraced a more overt synth-based sound that’s filled to the brim with groovy vibes and dreamy milieus. Slowly, lost spaces is discovering their own sound and moving away from being a cookie-cutter copy of bands like The 1975 or bland sadboi R&B. They’re finding their own way in their own space.
Planet B - King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
GENRE: THRASH METAL
RATING: 4 / 5
All genre belongs to King Gizzard, goes the saying. This non-album single (it’s not included in the tracklisting for their fourteenth studio album, Fishing for Fishies), is just straight on heavy metal goodness with dramatic, flashy riffs and hardass, moshable aggression. They pull it off well, despite not having gone this hard. In true King Gizzard style, there’s more than meets the eye, since this heavy metal song is a wakeup song for our dying world. Remember, this is all we have - there is no Planet B.
Forevermore - Yuna
GENRE: POP / R&B
RATING: 3.5 / 5
Traditional Malay poetry syair blossoming into an electronic pop track. Drums that kick in the chorus as Yuna declares that she’ll be reaching for eternity and nothing less. Forevermore gives a peek into the potential of Yuna’s songcraft as an international pop artist. The music video seals the deal as she puts Malaysian culture in the spotlight, especially the country’s smallest state, Perlis.
Dai Hatsumei - Tricot
GENRE: MATH ROCK
RATING: 4 / 5
On 20th March, Japanese math rock band Tricot released a 5-track mini album called Repeat. They’ve been in the radar of fans from around the world for a couple of years now due to their sense of aesthetic, poppier approach to math rock that combines tight mathy signatures with earwormy hooks and vocal harmonies. Dai Hatsumei is a good introduction to that sound for new listeners, especially with a chorus breakdown that kinda songs like a good old-fashioned post-punk revival cut.
Mahu Kemana - Noh Salleh
GENRE: INDIE ROCK / FRENCH POP / BALLAD
RATING: 4 / 5
The single after Debu Bercahaya could come straight out of Noh Salleh’s 2017 album Angin Kencang. It maintains that new romantic sound, polishes it up a bit with much-needed string sections, all in the name of love. Unlike Debu Bercahaya, a song about embracing the humility of smallness of our human lives and making the best out of it, Mahu Kemana is a more straightforward love song that will make you feel tingly inside.
Nina - Crumb
GENRE: PSYCHEDELIC / R&B RATING: 3.5 / 5 I was introduced the Brooklyn-based band Crumb by both a friend and the trippy music video that was made for their song Locket at the same time. There is something about thae mellow R&B vibes that gets you hooked, but it’s the wayward journey the song takes that makes you stay. Nina abandons any delicious groove for a more spacey experience. It doesn’t feel as big of a standout as Locket was but is interesting enough for me to wait and check out what they have in store in their next album, Jinx, which comes out on 14 June. Bangsa RD - Kwala Bĕrlumpor
GENRE: POST-HARDCORE / POST-ROCK / MATH-PUNK
RATING: 3.8 / 5
The bright side to Zulhezan leaving his old post-rock band Dirgahayu is the more open-air, unrestrained madness that he expresses through the Kwala Berlumpor Project. If the prior single Cross St / Market Sq was a non-stop artillery bombardment, Bangsa RD is a well-paced surgical strike. The chopped up guitar riffs, drawling bass lines, tight drumming, explode into a satisfying chorus of shouts. The stabbing guitar passage builds up the suspense before Bangsa RD enters into a noisy spiral. The only drawback to the increasing presence of breathing room is that Bangsa RD doesn’t catch your attention as much as the previous release did. Still an interesting listen!
Make It Better - Anderson .Paak (ft. Smokey Robinson)
GENRE: R&B / SOUL RATING: 5 / 5 Anderson .Paak bringing in Smokey Robinson into this track is a stroke of genius. The iconic Motown singer who released such great hits like The Tracks of My Tears influenced R&B tremendously with his 1975 A Quiet Storm album, solidifying jazzy roots with slick chart-topping R&B. Anderson .Paak’s song Make It Better is both a throwback and a tribute to this. The song is beautifully performed and produced, with a touch of schmaltzy soul that makes me miss the late 90s - early 200s R&B. Like John Legend at his rawest. God bless Anderson .Paak’s diligence, releasing his new album, “Ventura”, after having only released “Oxnard” last year. It’s coming out tomorrow (12 April 2019) actually, and it features the likes of Andre 3000 and Nate Dogg. So far, all of the tracks teasing to Ventura have been more soulful and more wholesome than the often satirical tracks in Oxnard. It’s exciting to see what other side Anderson .Paak can show us.