Sounds like: His latest LP is a funky-as-hell batch of his one-man-band antics with some retro rhythms and jumpy, danceable beats to match his soul.
Free association: Anything a la Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis for Janet Jackson is bomb.com.
For fans of: Raphael Saadiq x Beck + Mark Ronson, British soul, beatboxers.
& the Bad Seeds
Push The Sky Away
(Bad Seed Ltd.)
Sounds like: The 15th from the Aussies via London, and this one takes a calm, dark and literary turn with stream-of-consciousness and riffs on poems.
Free association: There isn’t much here to blast from open windows. Bummer.
For fans of: Leonard Cohen/Patti Smith/Neil Young, Calexico, indulgence.
A Love Surreal
(Entertainment One Music)
Sounds like: A totally thrilling statement from Bilal; breathtakingly engaging and soulful songs that use all kinds of thematic, musical and sonic tricks.
Free association: Another champion! Sickening R&B and soul comes out of Philly.
For fans of: Prince/Funkadelic/Marvin Gaye/Jill Scott/the Roots, sexy sultry times.
Sounds like: The Danish punks aren’t teens anymore on their equally strong sophomore as they pummel drums, rip on guitars and scream with more maturity.
Free association: These guys rule this genre with piss and vinegar. It’s awesome.
For fans of: Lightning Bolt/Abe Vigoda/Fucked Up/Xiu Xiu, evolving punk music.
Sounds like: Brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged deliver a stunning debut that channels essential soul and R&B vibes while reflecting the great artists they’ve been working with.
Free association: Did Frank Ocean open up a weird R&B-catalytic virus? Praise be.
For fans of: Maxwell x How to Dress Well, the Weeknd, soul, baby-makin’ music.
We Will Not Harm You
(Big Dada Recordings)
Sounds like: The U.K. Soul II Soul producer who’s collabed with Björk, Tricky and Massive Attack does solo stuff that’s bright, far-reaching dancey house.
Free association: Samples, congas, drum ‘n’ bass, morse funk, beats—it’s all here.
For fans of: K-os/Daphni + Fatboy Slim, Le1f’s beats x Black Box, ‘90s house music.