Friday Five: Paul Epworth's space-funk boogie, Buju Banton teams with John Legend, and more
The five best things we heard this week.
Every Friday, EW’s music team runs down the five best songs of the week. In today’s edition, the Dirty Projectors release a single from their forthcoming five-EP project, Paul Epworth recruits Jay Electronica and Lil Silva, Buju Banton teams with John Legend for a cross-genre collab, Utada Hikaru drops a fusion-fueled gateway into easy summer listening, and Lil Durk builds a bridge between Chicago and Atlanta.
“Lose Your Love”— Dirty Projectors
The new Dirty Projectors single is a bit like coffee. The various dings and plinks peppered throughout feel like a caffeine kick, while keyboardist Felicia Douglass’s silky smooth delivery — "Just hold on, let yourself be found” — provide that warm feeling only a good morning beverage can provide. "Lose Your Love" is the lead single off Flight Tower, the second of the indie band’s five EPs they ambitiously plan to release this year, each highlighting a different member of the group as lead singer, with the fifth and final one having the four bandmates trade verses. –Marcus Jones
"Love Galaxy" – Paul Epworth, Jay Electronica, Lil Silva
After a decade-and-a-half of producing and co-writing hits for the likes of Adele, Coldplay, and Florence + the Machine, Paul Epworth has decided it’s finally time for a solo venture. Last year he quietly dropped an eight-minute cosmic disco cut called “Voyager," and now he’s back with a new song featuring singer Lil Silva and the mighty rapper Jay Electronica. “Love Galaxy” is a total space-funk boogie that beckons listeners to “come with us” on an extraterrestrial journey into the cosmos. Musically, it’s rooted in the George Clinton multiverse, but Silva’s English croon and Electronica’s regal delivery recall the funkiest moments on Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach. It’s a trip. —Eli Enis
“Memories”— Buju Banton & John Legend
John Legend has yet to find a music genre he wasn’t willing to test out. The man has dipped his toes in everything from country to K-pop— not to say that his newest collaborator Buju Banton hasn’t been expanding his horizons as well with his recent appearance on dvsn's A Muse In Her Feelings. The juxtaposition between the veteran artists takes listeners on a ride that starts with a melodic R&B groove from Legend, then ramps up with a live-wire verse from the dancehall icon, who spits bars like “Treasure yuh body but I, cherish yuh mind/Even though it's complicated, which is most of the time.” –MJ
"Time" – Utada Hikaru
Outside of Asia, many know Utada Hikaru as the Madonna of Japan, but such comparisons ignore the individual lane she’s carved for herself on the global music scene. Her signature refusal to indulge classification both sonically and lyrically (she once compared a manic romantic binge to Winona Ryder shoplifting) is ever apparent on “Time,” the first single from her forthcoming (currently untitled) album. Recalling both the hip-hop spice that launched her career on early singles like “Automatic” and the electronic pop that recently seeped into her sound on “Michi” and last year’s Kingdom Hearts 3 soundtrack tune “Face My Fears,” Utada’s latest is a smooth, fusion-fueled gateway into easy summer listening. Even if you don’t speak Japanese, the desire in Utada’s voice as she pines over a lost lover needs no translation. —Joey Nolfi
"3 Headed Goat" — Lil Durk, Polo G, Lil Baby
Although “3 Headed Goat” appears on Lil Durk’s new mixtape, Just Cause Ya’ll Waited 2, the song feels like a gift to his guests. The Chicago drill pioneer now lives in Atlanta, and he brought on two budding icons from each respective city to build a bridge between the two hotspots. ATL star Lil Baby slurs like his mentor Future on the woozy hook, while the rising Chi-town hero Polo G delivers one of his meanest verses yet in the track’s second half. Durk’s verse splits the difference; beginning with stone-cold spitting and switching to melodic crooning halfway through. However, it’s Baby’s opening flex, “These ain’t no Guess jeans,” that takes the W. —EE