This week, Chance the Rapper comes through with what he’s calling his debut album — The Big Day — with plenty of surprises in store, like the appearance of Death Cab for Cutie on “Do You Remember.” Plus, Bryce Vine releases a new EP, Carnival, of catchy singsong rap. Canadian indie duo Tegan and Sara recall teen years and grapple with frustration on “I’ll Be Back Someday.” SAINt JHN starts a party with “All I Want Is a Yacht.” And British alt-rock trio Friendly Fires dabble in disco on “Run the Wild Flowers.”
“Do You Remember,” Chance the Rapper feat. Death Cab for Cutie
The Big Day, Chance the Rapper’s official debut album, is here — and it’s stacked with unexpected guest appearances. On “Do You Remember,” a laid-back, nostalgic jam, rock band Death Cab for Cutie shows up to set a dreamy, throwback mood. “Do you remember how, when you were younger, the summers all lasted forever?” Ben Gibbard asks in his distinctive tenor. “Days disappeared into months into years, hold that feeling forever.” He seems to be speaking directly to all of us mired in this sweltering summer, one that’s flying by. Chance comes in to deliver a few verses rich with references to the past year, immortalizing this moment in the late 2010s, his voice comfortably crackly atop the unhurried melody.
“Classic and Perfect,” Bryce Vine
Bryce Vine, a New York singer-songwriter-rapper with stints in Boston and L.A. under his belt, has perfected the art of the low-key banger. “Classic and Perfect,” off his debut EP Carnival, is understated and catchy, following up on the style of his previous hits “Drew Barrymore” and “La La Land.” Everyone wants to be told the compliments that Vine rattles off with easy sincerity. “You got it all even when you don’t,” he says: “You’re kinda different from the rest.” It’s a song that doesn’t have to work too hard to win you over.
“I’ll Be Back Someday,” Tegan and Sara
Canadian twin indie-rock duo Tegan and Sara are now on their ninth album, Hey, I’m Just Like You. But to make their newest music, they dug into their past, rediscovering and recording songs they’d initially written back when they were teens. “I’ll Be Back Someday” has that adolescent sense of energy: a punk-rock insistence and straightforward lyricism that’s still prescient. “I wanna call and ask, ‘what’s up?’ / Gonna dial, but then I stopped,” they sing — just kids figuring it all out, running away and ultimately coming back together again.
“All I Want Is a Yacht,” SAINt JHN
Brooklyn-by-way-of-Guyana singer-rapper-songwriter SAINt JHN has been around behind the scenes for a minute, writing songs for the likes of Usher and Kiesza, but he’s finally making his play for the spotlight this summer. He’s already gotten the Beyoncé nod, featuring on the tender “Brown Skin Girl” off of her The Lion King: The Gift album. “All I Want Is a Yacht” shows his other side: direct, party-ready, eminently quotable over a sinuous beat. “All I Want Is a Yacht” is a flex and a goal — a song suggesting where he wants to be and what he’ll get once he’s there. For a few minutes, listeners can join in for the ride.
“Run the Wild Flowers,” Friendly Fires
British band Friendly Fires make the kind of music that exists outside of clear genre boundaries; “Run the Wild Flowers,” off of upcoming album Inflorescent out Aug. 16, is both a disco dream and a rock tune. Kicking things off with warm percussion, it escalates into a synth-y dreamland that would be equally at home at a cool basement club and on your favorite driving soundtrack. This is the trio’s follow up to 2011 album Pala, and suggests a new commitment to a spaciousness in sound that puts them in fresh creative territory.
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