By DYLAN BROWN
of Inland 360
“Counting,” by Autre Ne Veut from “Anxiety”
Random bursts of saxophone reminiscent of something under Sun Ra’s “arkestration,” belied by a wrenching Prince-like falsetto is then overcome by a smoldering rhythm and blues chorus.
“Hold On, We’re Going Home,” by Drake from “Nothing Was The Same”
Up from the bottom, Drake is tasting the lofty air of mainstream stardom, while miraculously maintaining an awestruck critical following. This silky-smooth hit shows why he is a king of microphone love-making.
“Get Lucky,” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams from “Random Access Memories”
Luck had little to do with the Daft Punk machine cresting the pop charts, but their groovy pairing with Pharrell Williams intoxicates even those not out “a courting,” red-solo cup in hand.
“Home Recording,” by Mount Kimbie from “Cold Spring Fault Less Youth”
It starts deep in a moody, ghostly jungle, soulful vocals echoing through the trees, while danceable bass lines and drums split the canopy like sunshine.
“The Sing,” by Bill Callahan from “Dream River”
Two words: “Beer” and “thank you.” OK, three, but Callahan still does more with just the two of them and his arresting bass then most musical storytellers ever could.
“Turn Around,” by the Postal Service from “Give Up: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition”
Marking 10 years since “Such Great Heights,” the re-release of “Give Up” featured the Postal Service’s first new music in years. Fatefully, this excellent track is the last the disbanding band plan on making.
“Calls,” by Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Jill Scott from “Black Radio 2”
A rainy torch song that has Jill Scott harkening back to tortured singers of old — Billie Holiday, et al. — and Glasper, a jazz pianist, keeps the quiet rain falling skillfully.
“Step,” by Vampire Weekend “Modern Vampires of the City”
It’s tough to tell if they’re mocking pop, pushing its boundaries or just getting their white boy groove on, but the snarky lyrics are undeniably them and part of their most nuanced album to date.
“Easy, Easy,” by King Krule from “6 Feet Beneath The Moon”
The 19-year-old Brit with the red hair and freckles is no Ron Weasley in disguise. His coarse growl is right at street level, capturing the struggle and helplessness of working-class London life.
“Retrograde,” by James Blake from “Overgrown”
Overlaying a somber piano with cold-soul vocals, the best track from Blake’s second album “Overgrown” lights the bedside candles and keeps them burning, slow.
Brown may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2278. Follow him on Twitter @DylanBrown26.