Essential Tracks This Week: Mabe Fratti, Madlib feat. Black Thought & Your Old Droog, and more

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Mabe Fratti

Once you make it through the overflowing stack of today’s Best New Releases (or perhaps if you need a break from album-length deep dives), today’s Essential Tracks are here for your weekend listening. This week’s picks include a trio of songs with Spanish-sung lyrics, and it’s an eclectic batch of songs overall, ranging from elaborate art pop to garagey post-punk and even a brief but satisfying team-up from some hip-hop veterans.

Blurbs by Jeff Terich (JT) and Mia Euceda (ME)

Mabe Fratti – “Kravitz”

Just eight months after the release of Vidrio, her debut release as one half of Mexico City art-pop duo Titanic, cellist/vocalist/songwriter Mabe Fratti has announced her next solo album, Sentir Que No Sabes, with the release of two singles. “Kravitz” is the heavier of the two, with a surprisingly deep groove and a rhythmic strut juxtaposed against intricate trickles of piano and big splashes of horns—as well as Fratti’s gorgeous vocals, of course. Though it still carries traces of the more abstract electroacoustic music she’s made over the past half-decade, it likewise reaches for the heights of Kate Bush via avant garde jazz. “Kravitz” is one of Fratti’s best songs to date, and a thrilling sign of things to come. – JT

From Sentir Que No Sabes, out June 28 via Unheard Of Hope

Madlib – “REEKYOD” (feat. Black Thought & Your Old Droog)

Black Thought’s delivered a pair of back to back standout albums in the past two years—Cheat Codes with Danger Mouse, and Glorious Game with El Michels Affair. The longtime Roots emcee has teased a potential full-length LP with Madlib producing as well, the first taste of which is “REEKYOD,” which likewise features a verse from prolific hip-hop MVP Your Old Droog. On one hand, “REEKYOD” is exactly what you expect it to be: a team of rap veterans laying down some effortless lyrical showmanship over a hypnotic, analog beat. On the other hand: What else could you possibly want? This kind of old-school banger always hits the spot. – JT

Out now via Madlib Invazion

Angélica Garcia – “Gemini”

The budding Richmond-based singer-songwriter dropped a short-but-sweet single inspired by the psych pop sound of Chicano Batman this week. Featuring vibrant drumming and kaleidoscopic guitars from Chicano Batman members Carlos Arévalo and Eduardo Arenas, it brims with Garcia’s incandescent personality. Her short, scattered phrases take the spotlight here and are triumphantly assertive and fervid. Playing up to the astrological title, she captures the impulsivity and restlessness associated with Geminis. In Spanish she shouts out, “Listen to me! Or get out!” An appropriate response to those unwilling to attentively tune in. 

From Gemelo, out June 7 via Partisan

Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti & Frank Rosaly – “Turbulência”

Today sees the release of MESTIZX, the debut collaborative album from Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti and Frank Rosaly, both veterans of contemporary jazz, post-rock and experimental music. Ahead of its release, the duo released a video for “Turbulência,” whose visuals include twisted and contorted faces and bodies. Though the song itself is similarly frenetic and animated, an animated and electric samba—with an arrangement that echoes Jorge Ben by way of Fela Kuti—pairing meditations on liberation with rhythm and groove powerful enough to free both mind and posterior. – JT

From MESTIZX, out now via International Anthem

Sprints – “Help Me, I’m Spiralling”

After delivering one of the year’s first standout records with Letter to Self, garagey UK post-punk group Sprints this week followed that up with two more new songs, including this barnburner of a single. “Help Me, I’m Spiralling” is a cry for help from the depths of depression and anxiety, with the intensity turned up to 11. Vocalist Karla Chubb laments “another dim day, wasting away,” over squealing guitars and drummer Jack Callan’s pulsing beat. But it’s not long before it erupts into a furious surge of raucous, chaotic guitars. It kicks ass—what else do you need to know? – JT

Out now via City Slang

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