With so much good music, it's easy to miss out on some great tracks. So we've rounded up the best songs from the past week. Here are the songs you can't afford to skip, in no particular order.
Frank Ocean - “Chanel”
Frank Ocean’s got twoooooo versions. Last week, the reclusive singer shared a surprise release called “Chanel” and an A$AP Rocky-assisted remix on his Beats 1 show, “blonded RADIO.” He played both versions of the new track on loop for an hour following the unexpected debut.
In keeping with his other recent material, “Chanel” is centered around the concept of duality, led by the refrain “see both sides like Chanel.” Over the course of the song, Ocean covers a wide range of thematic terrain, diving into heavy topics such as bisexuality and gender norms as well as lighter subjects like fame, fashion, and wealth. A muted piano and simple, shuffling drums create an austere sonic backdrop, providing plenty of space for Ocean’s voice to soar. One of his most confessional and subversive releases to date, “Chanel” showcases Ocean’s innate ability to create entire worlds with his vivid songwriting.—Charlotte Freitag
Smino - "Wild Irish Roses"
In the time we've come to know Smino, he's shown the versatility of his sound time and time again. The St. Louis rapper can fit just as perfectly on a hard-hitting beat as he can on a smoother one. On his debut album blkswn, Smino carefully kicks things off with a love note titled "Wild Irish Roses."
The Monte Booker production sets the mood while Smino paints the full picture with his words—turning a simple search for backwoods and wine into an intimate occasion. Smino has a special way with words, and he continues to prove a fact we already know. "Wild Irish Roses" seems like a private love letter to his girl, but the uniquely relatable subject matter makes it a fitting addition for anyone's late night playlist.—Adrienne Black
Mabel ft. Kojo Funds - "Finders Keepers"
Mabel is the future of pop music. She can pull off slow ballads or uptempo pop songs, and on "Finders Keepers" she introduces a bit of a dancehall influence. The production isn't overblown though, and Mabel and Kojo Funds float over the beat. Look out for both of these London-based artists in 2017.—Alex Gardner
Actress - "X22RME"
When Actress released Ghettoville back in 2014, he implied that he had reached a logical endpoint. Now, revitalized, he's back with perhaps the most immediate music of his career. After the broken, sketch-like tracks of his previous project, "X22RME" is exactly what's needed. The invigorated, but suppressed propulsion of the track pulls that distinct Actress fuzz into view more than ever without compromising the song that lays beneath.—Joe Price
Nok From The Future - "Relaxation"
Most of the time, when you see an artist with a brand that looks extremely cool you can almost guarantee that the music will not be as impressive. That isn't the case with Nok From The Future.
"Relaxation" is just another example of Nok's ability to make polarizing music as this tracks slaps from the very beginning. The song is short but there's no doubt that both the audio and video will keep you tuned in.—Eric Isom
Busu ft. Yemi - "Curse on You and the Clique That You Claim"
It takes considerable audacity to sample Blink-182, but Swedish rappers Busu and Yemi are more than eager to take risks with their increasingly exciting music. As the last single before he drops his debut album next month, "Curse on You" promises that Busu is capable of more surprises yet. It might not be as immediate as the infectious "116 RIP," but after a few spins it'll be stuck in your head all the same.—Joe Price
Smino - "Amphetamine"
Smino's album blkswn has hits from front to back, but he saved the best for last. "Amphetamine" is nearly eight minutes long, and features heavenly piano laden production for the first half. Things take a more boisterous turn in the second half—the back end was previously referred to as "Krash Kourse," and features Jean Deaux, Bari and Noname. Production from Monte Booker, Phoelix, and J. Robb makes this something of a Zero Fatigue posse cut, a fitting conclusion for the group leader's biggest album to date.—Graham Corrigan
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