Essential Tracks This Week: dazy & Militarie Gun, Flasher and more

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This week’s best tracks include a punk rock super team, the best kind of jazz fusion, and the return of some indie rock favorites. Read about them and hear them all below.

Plus, catch up on our favorite tracks of the year thus far and listen to our ongoing playlist of 2022 Essential Tracks.

dazy & Militarie Gun – “Pressure Cooker”

Los Angeles’ Militarie Gun and Richmond’s dazy each released some of the best rock records of 2021, so it feels only right to see the two acts teaming up on the perfect punk pop of “Pressure Cooker.” Driven by an infectious bassline and a soaring chorus, “Pressure Cooker” has all the makings of an undeniable summer jam, even though it’s still three months away. But it’s so catchy, so fun, and with lots of blazing, distorted guitar that it feels like exactly the anthem we need for tearing the sleeves off our denim jackets and savoring the sunlight. 

Out now

Daniel Villarreal – “Uncanny”

Chicago group Dos Santos released one of the best albums of 2021 in City of Mirrors, a psychedelic blend of cumbia, rock, jazz and psychedelia that put elements of traditional Latin music into vibrant new contexts. And the group’s Daniel Villarreal is delivering even more music only eight months later with his upcoming solo debut, Panamá 77. Its first single, “Uncanny,” is more of a pure jazz-funk groove, steeped in the bass-heavy echo of dub and swirling with heady effects, tense blasts of horns and vocal loops that reverberate in the background. At just over two minutes long, it feels like it could jam forever and never be enough, but as a taste, it more than whets the appetite for what’s to come. 

From Panamá 77, out May 6 via International Anthem

Flasher – “Sideways”

Did anyone else miss Flasher as much as I did? The Washington, D.C. band’s 2018 album Constant Image was one of that year’s best, if more underrated records, a jangly and hook-laden approach to post-punk that felt like a spiritual kin to their home city’s ‘90s era greats Unrest and Air Miami. New single “Sideways” feels a little more spacious and groovy, strutting with a sense of confidence and unhurried cool laden with gorgeous washes of guitar and a light-touch funk—all converging in a triumphant chorus. Yeah, I missed this band like crazy, but I can’t begin to tell you how enthusiastic I am about their return.

From Love Is Yours, out June 17 via Domino

Fly Anakin – “Class Clown”

Richmond’s Fly Anakin has been releasing music for a long time, recently collaborating with Pink Siifu on last year’s $mokebreak EP and now delivering a full-length Lex Records debut with Frank. The last pre-release single from the album, “Class Clown,” is a hypnotic juxtaposition between his animated lyricism and Foisey’s nocturnal, jazzy production, a gorgeously rendered track that somehow seems to work perfectly with its contrast of immediacy and ambience, Anakin pondering “Why when n*ggas die they need a go fund but flexing when they on earth?” against mesmerizing sustained chords and vocal loops. 

From Frank, out now via Lex

Kokoroko – “We Give Thanks”

London-based Afro-jazz group Kokoroko released their debut EP in 2019 and followed that up with a handful of singles that showcased their blend of contemporary jazz sounds with West African Afrobeat, funk and highlife. And with their highly anticipated full-length debut on the way, they have a lot more for us to hear. “We Give Thanks,” one of two singles released in anticipation of the upcoming Could We Be More, is an expectedly undeniable funk frenzy, spindly guitar licks and urgent rhythms driving an anthem that both sounds and feels good. It’s the most joyous kind of fusion.

From Could We Be More, out August 5 via Brownswood

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