Friday Music News

photo by Chad Syme (view set)

  • Singer/songwriter Billy Bragg is known for never shying away from political content in his songs. (As he sings on the track “Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards”, musing about music journalists who ask, “Mixing pop and politics he asks me what the use is / I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses.”) His most recent one-off single is titled “Saffiyah Smiles” and was inspired by a brave UK woman who stepped in to protect a woman wearing a hijab who was being harassed by members of the far-right group, the English Defence League. He elaborated for NPR:

    Following the shocking scenes of white supremacists marching through the streets of Charlottesville this past summer, my mind went back to an image of a young woman facing down a ranting fascist with nothing but a serene smile. Saffiyah Khan had been taking part in a counter-demonstration against the neo-fascist English Defence League in Birmingham, England, in April this year when she saw a woman being surrounded by taunting EDL supporters.

    Saria Zafar was targeted because she was wearing a hijab and when the police failed to intervene, Saffiyah stepped up and got in the face of the loudest aggressor, holding him at bay with nothing more than a smile until police eventually intervened. A press photographer (Joe Giddens) captured the moment and the picture went viral. Local Labour MP Jess Phillips memorably tweeted the image with the caption, ‘Who looks like they have the power here?’

    Listen below via Spotify. Bragg was recently a guest at KEXP, discussing his latest book, Roots, Radicals and Rockers: How Skiffle Changed the World. You can watch video from that Q&A on our Facebook page for a limited time. [ Stereogum ]

    • Denver indie pop band Tennis are releasing a new EP called We Can Die Happy due out November 10 on Mutually Detrimental. “I Miss That Feeling” is a new song from it, released today by the band. The song is a nostalgic slow-burner with easy-going vibes (Tennis’ forte). We Can Die Happy follows the full-length Yours Conditionally, released earlier this year. Tennis will be in Seattle on Friday, December 1 to play the Neptune. [ Stereogum ]

    • Los Angeles veteran producer Cut Chemist has announced his first album in 12 years, Die Cut. He’s also shared the song “Work My Mind,” featuring Chali 2na and Hynmal. Other artists featured on the forthcoming album include tUnE-yArDs, Deantoni Parks, Biz Markie, and Erika Christensen. Die Cut follows 2006’s The Audience’s Listening which, despite recording and producing music for over 20 years, was the producer’s debut album. [ Pitchfork ]

    • London producer Burial has shared clips of two new tracks, “Pre Dawn” and “Indoors.” Both tracks are set to be released on a forthcoming 12″ that will be released on Boddika’s Nonplus Records on October 26. Listen to the songs over at Bleep, where a description reads: “Pre Dawn/Indoors further mines the 2 step techno sound he made his own on his recent Hyperdub-plate, while traversing musical directions previously only hinted at ten years ago when he first unleashed this sound upon us with the game changer that was Untrue.” [ FACT ]
    • Ty Dolla $ign has released a new track with YG off Ty’s forthcoming album Beach House 3 called “Ex.” The two previously worked together on the songs “Dolla $ign” with DJ Mustard and “Only Right.” The new track is a funky jam about the difficulties of being loyal in a relationship. Beach House 3 will also include features from Lil Wayne, Damian Marley, and comes out October 27 via Atlantic. [ The FADER ]

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