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Happy Monday, y’all. Is this going to be a new thing?! Music Monday? Maybe. 

When a new year changes over, despite not really doing much with resolutions or other arbitrary new year things, I do start obsessing about “the best new music of the calendar year.” It’s in my nature for some reason. And, like, if we hit January 7th and there haven’t been several incredible tracks and a top-shelf album or two, I start panicking. 

“Is this the year that music is just gonna suck and go away? Have we reached the end? Is this what death feels like?”

But, invariably, that’s just self-inflicted negativity. By the end of the first month of the year, there is always some dope new shit to listen to and share. 

First, a plug: go follow my 2018 Spotify playlist, which is my running collection of new music, new (old) finds, and . Last year’s iteration got up to about 350 songs and I want this year’s to be more free-flowing and real-time, so hopefully, it gets up to about 600 songs. Yeah, it’s gonna be fucking lit. 

OK, now… some of the best stuff from 2018, so far. 

Khruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo

I wrote in Newsletter 054 that 2018 was going to be the year of Houston-based Khruangbin. They just dropped their latest album last Friday, and it’s a banger. I mean, it’s a banger in the sense that it’s, like, perfect, mostly instrumental, dusty, Texas psych-funk. Whatever that means. This will certainly make for a wonderful Sunday afternoon soundtrack if you want to sit down and write or work or do whatever. It’s good as feature listening and it’s good in the background. 

(Sidenote: sometimes I struggle with writing about music because it ends up sounding so cliche, pompous, self-righteous and even goes so far as to take away some of the magic of a piece or album. Typing “dusty, Texas pysch-funk” hit everyone of those notes. I hate myself. Maybe next time I’ll share the music reviews I wrote for my college paper, which range from decent to cringeworthy.)

Fishdoll - Noonsense

Fishdoll is Beijing’s Yuyu Feng, a singer-songwriter-producer. Her album Noonsense is a dope mix of downtempo electronic, beat music. Kind of like a mix between Little Dragon and Flying Lotus. It’s stuff that sounds fresh (although it’s a testament to how innovative Flying Lotus is that Noonsense manages to pull out some vibes a la FlyLo’s 1983 (2006) and Los Angeles (2008) and sound new). 

Chris Dave & The Drumheadz - Chris Dave & The Drumheadz

Chris Dave has drummed for a lot people. Adele. Robert Glasper. D’Angelo. Justin Bieber. Maxwell. Anderson Paak. John Legend. Questlove called him “my worst nightmare,” in the best sense - he’s fierce. And he’s one of those elite-level session and tour drummers who finally dropped his own project. 

And, if you’re like me, the artist guest list in the tweet above will blow your mind. Chris Dave (he’s got one of those names where you kinda have to say or type the first and last name, every time) helms an album that makes the R&B/hip-hop old-head in me ecstatic, but he also brings in the new class (Anderson, Anna Wise) along as bonafide stars of the show. 

Yeah, give the drummer some. 

Copyright © 2018 Greg's Newsletter, All rights reserved.

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