Essential Tracks This Week: Peggy Gou, Kamasi Washington, and more

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Peggy Gou

Three months of the year down, and we’ve already stacked up a long list of Essential Tracks to keep on repeat. This week’s no different; among our favorite new songs this week are a jazz track from two MVPs, an upbeat dance track from a producer on a hot streak, some trashy throwback electroclash, and more.

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

Peggy Gou – “1+1=11”

Korean-born, Berlin-based producer Peggy Gou is on a streak of bangers at the moment, having delivered one of last year’s best songs with the infectious “It Goes Like (Nanana)”. The first single from her upcoming debut album I Hear You only turns up the tempo with a pulsing trance anthem that evokes bygone eras of beachside hedonism. It’s all buoyant beats and driving bassline, twinkling with a piano melody that’s caught somewhere between Orbital’s “Halcyon” and M83’s “Couleurs.” And yeah, it’s most definitely a banger. – JT

From I Hear You, out June 7 via XL

Kamasi Washington – “Dream State” (feat. André 3000)

Since releasing his debut album of flute instrumentals, André 3000 has certainly been making the rounds, appearing on records from the likes of Shabaka Hutchings, Carlos Niño and Friends, and this deep groove of a song from Kamasi Washington. The second single from the jazz bandleader’s upcoming album intertwines the funky with the ethereal, slowly building up steam and delving into a hypnotic pulse as Washington’s saxophone and André’s swirling flute build helical patterns around each other. It’s a gorgeously epic composition, less a showcase of individual performances—despite some great soloing from Washington—than a magnificent whole coming into focus. – JT

From Fearless Movement, out May 3 via Young

Snow Strippers – “So What If I’m a Freak”

Electroclash trash is back! Or at least, there’s a revivalist yearning to experience the hazy basement parties and questionable fashion of yore (i.e. The Dare, Frost Children). Detroit duo Snow Strippers recreate the sweat drenched high fructose hyper-hedonism for those who remotely experienced it by watching Skins UK, with deepened vocals and mellow piano backed by a buzzy voluminous synth and random samples. It hypnotizes with its repetitive lyrics and brain frying beat drops that provide a euphoric effect. No thoughts, only party. – ME

From Night Killaz Vol. 2, out May 8 via Surf Gang

Sumac – “Yellow Dawn”

The evolution of Sumac’s musical arc over the past decade has been fascinating and thrilling to watch, the abrasive sludge of their early records slowly morphing into something more loose and improvisational and amorphous—yet still crushingly, colossally heavy. “Yellow Dawn” is a slight swing back in the other direction—it’s still loose, still finding the trio choosing untread paths and seeking out uncertain journeys, but with an intensity and urgency that feels more controlled and urgent. They cover a lot of ground in 12 minutes, opening “Yellow Dawn” as a psychedelic dirge heavy on organ drone and mesmerizing guitar licks, tumbling into an abrasive churn, and ultimately achieving transcendence via hypnotic noise rock punch. What a fantastic band. – JT

From The Healer, out June 21 via Thrill Jockey

The Drin – “Tigers Cage”

Cincinatti post-punk outfit The Drin are preparing to release their fourth album in three years, keeping up a streak of thrillingly atmospheric, dub-laden psych-punk that also includes last year’s Half Eaten By Dogs by The Serfs (who have several members in common). Their latest, “Tigers Cage,” is a bit dreamier and dronier, a somewhat mellower but no less invigorating permutation of The Drin’s hazy pulse, complete with a saxophone to carry out the ending. It’s merely the latest in a long line of great songs from an increasingly prolific act. – JT

Out now

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