James Blake – Assume Form
When James Blake began performing several new songs on his tour in 2017, we knew a new album was imminent. With last year’s releases of his incredible cover of Don McLean’s “Vincent” and “Don’t Miss It”, Blake created quite the speculation that the new project would most certainly be released in 2018. Well, today is finally the day us fans have been waiting for.
Assume Form is Blake’s fourth studio album and he has enlisted a stellar cast of collaborators to mark the occasion. André 3000, Travis Scott, Metro Boomin’, KCRW favorites Moses Sumney, and Rosalía (our best new artist pick of 2018) all make appearances on the new full length. One of my personal favorite tracks is “Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” which samples the old R&B group The Manhattans. It’s a modern sensual song produced only the way James Blake can craft. Unfortunately, there are no visuals for that one, at least yet, BUT Blake just released the latest single “Mile High” which features both Travis Scott & Metro Boomin.
Toro y Moi – Outer Peace
Chaz Bundick aka Toro y Moi has returned with the release of his sixth solo studio album today. Since 2013’s Anything In Return (which was my number album that year by the way, I highly recommend you check it out) and the release of Michael in 2014 (under the moniker Les Sins), Chaz has consistently made albums that diverge from his lo-fi, chillwave origins. Outer Peace continues this trend.
This album pursues many themes and sounds. Bundick said he drew influence from the likes of Daft Punk, the innovative synths of France’s Wally Badarou, as well as trips to Mexico City and Northern California. All of those touchstones can be heard through the record. It ranges from Parisian house to atmospheric R&B to modern auto tuned laced pop on the final track of the album “50-50″(which he has stated is his favorite on the record). In an interview Bundick stated, “Technology is allowing people to become creative at home and become almost like entrepreneurs just from their desks.” He continues, “I felt like that’s who I really wanted to connect with [on this album] – the people that are grinding behind the computer in a creative way.” Check out the second single from the release “Ordinary Pleasure” which is one of the more uptempo tracks on the album.
James Blake photos c/o Amanda Charchian