In these trying times, we all need an escape. Sometimes, nothing helps more than shutting off the TV and letting some magical new music get you out of your head whether it be for a moment or an afternoon. This weekly column will highlight music that can do just that. I will focus on noteworthy releases, innovative sounds and new artists. Welcome to the Sunday Sesh.
This week, we were blessed with a lot of new music. Three of the four highlighted releases were dropped as a part of Bandcamp’s fundraising campaign, which shows what amazing things can happen when artists come together. The vibe this week is very spacey, relaxing and introspective. We start things off with the new album from The Weekend, go on quite the sonic journey, then end with a little bass heavy fun from Skream. Enjoy!
After Hours – The Weeknd
The Weeknd is all the way back and his new album After Hours could not have come at a better time. The synth-heavy ‘Alone Again’ kicks off the album in utterly epic fashion. The Scarface vibes pave the way for trap drums and for The Weeknd to fully deliver his signature style.
Each track on this album flows smoothly into the next, allowing listeners about an hour where they can just exist and experience the comprehensive work. A personal highlight, aside from the aforementioned ‘Alone Again’, is the drum & bass influenced ‘Hardest to Love’. Everyone who listens to this album will have their own favorite as there is not one song that is clearly miles ahead of the rest. Thank you, Abel, we needed this. You can stream the full album above via YouTube.
Virtue – KOAN Sound
KOAN Sound are two extremely talented producers from Bristol, England. Their sound design is immaculate and their whole discography is mind blowing. While quarantined in their hometown, the duo “wrote ‘Virtue’ as an emblem of positivity and strength for uncertain times.” They achieved that goal ten times over. This is an extremely powerful song that ebbs and flows over its run time thanks to the group’s intricate song writing.
‘Virtue’ is a testament to the fact that you do not need vocals to convey emotions and that electronic music can be so much more than just dance. I’m not crying. You’re crying. Go buy this from KOAN Sound’s Bandcamp page.
Lys – Christian Löffler
Christian Löffler’s new album, Lys, is truly a comprehensive work of art. The melodic deep house and ambient techno vibes from the German artist encapsulate a melancholic beauty that is difficult to grasp. The full album is simultaneously uplifting and somber. The project has many companion pieces in the form of paintings, such as ‘Noah’. The painting captures the sublime feelings that are conveyed in the heavy and spacey electronica work of the same name.
The album’s title track, ‘Lys’, is a smooth and punchy deep house tune featuring the delicate vocals of Menke. We included the captivating and borderline hallucinogenic ‘Lys’ music video for your viewing pleasure below. You can grab select tracks, or the entire release, off of Löffler’s Bandcamp page.
Unreleased Classics Vol 1 – Skream
If you love old school dubstep, then you are probably already very aware of this release. Skream blessed us with this collection of tracks from that time long ago when the term dubstep had yet to be coined. The dubstep pioneer rediscovered these unreleased gems thanks to his friend — and legend in his own right — Plastician. All of the tunes, which range from dark 2-step garage to grime beats, are available on Skream’s Bandcamp page.
You can hear the roots of the spacey UK dubstep sound in the heavy wobbles on ‘Kontrast’, in the drum samples and spacey pads on ‘Depth Charge’ and in the mid-range synths on ‘Mash Up’ and ‘Konga’. Frankly, the entire collection of tunes serves as a crash course in the sounds that would make up the dubstep blueprint. This is only volume one, so rejoice bassheads! More is on the way. You can listen to the full compilation and buy it on Skream’s Bandcamp page.