7/9/17: Parov Stelar, Charlie Heat & Ant Beale, Dirty Nice, Tyler, The Creator

Parov Stelar – Everything of My Heart

Parov Stelar is electroswing. Sure, others such as Stereo Express and Tape Five mix electronic beats with classic swing music, but no one melts the two together nearly as gracefully as Stelar. And audiences have taken notice. The Austrian DJ’s 1.7 million monthly listeners are nearly double his closest electroswing companions, Caravan Palace and Gramatik. His albums have consistently landed high on the charts across Europe since 2012, and his latest world tour is going strong.

Yet after five years of dominance, Parov Stelar has not gotten lazy. He could’ve followed Kygo’s tropical house path: bring a genre to prominence, enjoy a monopoly on listeners for a year or so, release new hits with the same beeps and bops as the last ones, and then slowly let others catch up as tropical house integrates with radio pop. Instead, Parov Stelar continues to morph with every new album, recognizing the nuances of swing, jazz, and blues in the process.

“Everything of My Heart,” off his new album The Burning Spider, is a pivot away from swing, and into the realm of blues. The fanfare and the drops associated with Stelar are still present, but they are enveloped by a darker tone. A lone trumpet blares a troubled melody, and I’m reminded of warning sirens signaling caution before an impending tornado.

Parov Stelar’s early work, like “The Paris Swing Box,” incorporated joyful swing dancing into the electro world. It was fun, upbeat, and great for a party, but had no soul. With “Everything of My Heart,” Stelar adds the soul. The addition is a welcome evolution in a genre I honestly thought couldn’t go any farther three years ago. Parov Stelar has proved me wrong. I can’t wait to see what’s next. 

Charlie Heat & Ant Beale – Pardon Me

Alright, I’ve got a question for you all: Have you ever been having some fun, dancing to Polish folk music in your living room, and then stopped and thought, “You know what? This would make a pretty decent rat beat!” Ok, probably not, but I’m imagining that’s how Charlie Heat came up with his new song, “Pardon Me.”

On his new project, the Very G.O.O.D. Music producer teamed up with some fresh talent, Ante Beale, to create the most fun E.P. released in months. Every song is stuffed full of laughs and smiles, presented through simple, early 2000’s hip-hop vibes. The collab’s best work, “Pardon Me,” escapes some of the simplicity, but retains the fun. Plus, we get the line, “Cropped out your face, cause I’m way, way litter.” Whether that’s a dig at Kendall and Kylie Jenner, or just a reference to everyday snap-cropping at parties, it’s relevant, and I’m glad someone’s put words to the common practice of cropping out those less lit than you.

Ant Beale will be playing at this September’s “Day N Night” festival in LA. If the headliners (Travis Scott, Chance The Rapper, Kendrick Lamar) somehow haven’t convinced you to go, maybe Ant Beale will.

Dirty Nice – Zero Summer

Dirty Nice introduced their new single, “Zero Summer,” with the statement, “Welcome to the zero-sum game.” The track sounds at times like a hopeless belief that your gain is another’s loss, while at other times, it sounds like a sweet anthem for your mellow summer nights. Maybe it’s both. Maybe it’s meant to be enjoyed on a warm, breezy night, while staying cognizant that with every high comes lows. It’s possibly a call to give up, and let the highs and the lows whirl you through this zero-sum life. Through peaks and valleys, Dirty Nice has stopped caring. The chorus, “Say it like you need something,” is so muffled and meek that it’s hard to believe Dirty Nice needs anything at all. It’s like their parents are forever screaming, “Stop mumbling” at them, but they have nothing to say worth more than a mumble. Fortunately, they care enough to make music because if I’m going to be whirled through life, this is the type of accompaniment I want. 

Tyler, The Creator – Who Dat Boy

This Sunday’s Bests would be incomplete without Tyler. Tyler is back, and even more Tyler than ever-Whatever that means. Years have passed, and I can’t figure this kid out, which is what makes him so refreshing. He’s gone from eating cockroaches to dancing among cherry blossoms, and he’s done it with a bundle of excitement and a tinge of insanity. The character development, as Neon Black explains below, is uncanny.

He’s right. Tyler had dark times, and sometimes it’s necessary to go back to that music, but right now, he’s in a good place, and he’s showing it. “Who Dat Boy,” and its video are celebrations. The blown off face, the Golfwang outfits, the Action Bronson reference, the flowers at A$AP’s place, and the blossoms in the final scene are all so refreshingly Tyler. His new album drops on July 21st, and I’m quite ecstatic!

Happy Sunday y’all! I hope your week is as colorful as “Who Dat Boy’s” music video.

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