Skip to main content

5 songs you need to hear this weekend

kendrick lamar and labelmates to release new material in 2016
Kendrick Lamar/Facebook
Every week, there are hundreds of thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves. It’s too much for just your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks worthy of the thumbs down button. Don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you what ones are worth using your bandwidth on.

Kendrick Lamar – King Kunta

Kendrick Lamar made his major label debut in 2012 with good kid, m.A.A.d city, a critically acclaimed concept album that tackled Lamar’s own childhood growing up in the roughest parts of Compton. The record burned so bright it seemed like it would be tough to sustain. Every artist goes through a sophomore slump, especially coming off a huge hit, but Kendrick’s always been a little different.

On his latest record To Pimp a Butterfly, he’s back to bucking convention, while still producing music so undeniable that it breaks through regardless. The record as a whole is ambitious, and it’s chock full of guest spots that don’t feel cheap or superfluous. For every address to inequality and racial tensions, he backs it with beats that make the tough themes easily digestible. No track better captures his ability than King Kunta, a funk-powered jam with a backing track that packs a James Brown bass, while Kendrick gets tough about his come up, telling the world, “Look at me now.”

Earl Sweatshirt – Grief

Like Kendrick Lamar, it’s hard to believe that Earl Sweatshirt is so young. At just 21, he’s already at the front of the class and might as well be giving the lecture. On Grief, the first single from his upcoming album, he’s nervous, paranoid. It sounds like he feels trapped, and it’s not clear what’s keeping the door locked on him from the other side. He airs out his issues, and introduces each of his demons in a scatterbrained way, over the top of a gunky, lo-fi beat that seems as clouded and worn down as Earl himself.

Allison Moorer Tear Me Apart

Not all country music fits into the stereotypical mold. It’s a genre at its best when the artist is honest, stripped bare, and willing to share their pain. Allison Moorer has no problem doing that on her latest album Down to Believing. She discusses everything from her recent divorce, to the difficulties of raising a child with autism, and she does it over guitar riffs that lean more rock than country, like the ones found on the raw and angry Tear Me Apart.

Of Monsters and Men – Crystals

Following 2011’s debut album My Head Is an Animal, Of Monsters and Men had a lot to live up to. If Crystals is any indication, the Icelandic indie folk duo are up to the task. The teaser from upcoming album Beneath The Skin produces about as big of an athematic buildup as the two-person outfit is capable of, with rolling drums and crashing cymbals that deliver at an impressive scale, leading up to the chanting chorus, “Cover your crystal eyes/And let your colors and blend with mine.”

Alabama Shakes – Future People

Alabama Shakes has been on the promotional trail, working up hype for the group’s forthcoming release Sound and Color. Helping them get the word out is new single Future People, a track full of a tasty blues licks beat driven by a funky bass line. Lead vocalist and guitarist Brittany Howard soars as she sings, and you can feel some of the notes touch the sky. If you’re looking for some soulful rock to jam to with the windows down, look no further.

AJ Dellinger
AJ Dellinger is a freelance reporter from Madison, Wisconsin with an affinity for all things tech. He has been published by…
The best laptops for music production, chosen by experts
best laptops for music production

The world has gone pretty far when it comes to the processing power that we carry around with us, and if you're big into music production, then you're the luckiest of all. Some of the best laptops on the market have high-end CPUs for relatively low prices, which means that if you want to do music production on a laptop, you have a huge number of choices. Of course, that does also mean that it can be hard to navigate and pick the best laptop for your budget and needs, which is why we've done the legwork for you. We've collected our favorite picks below in various categories so that you can pick them with ease. Plus, we've even thrown in a quick guide on what to look for so that if you don't find what you want here, you can check out these other laptop deals for alternatives.
The Best Laptops for Music Production

Best overall laptop for music production:
Best Windows device for music production:
Best portable laptop for music production:
Best large-screen laptop for music production:
Best for 2-in-1 laptop for music production:

Read more
The most common Spotify problems and how to fix them
How to fix common Spotify problems

At any given time, Spotify is probably the most popular music streaming service with countless listeners tuning in to songs, stand-up, podcasts, and even audiobooks. However, between an AI-driven DJ and clients for iOS, Android, and PC, a lot of things can go wrong with the entertainment system. And that's not even including problems with your iPhone or headphones.

To make sure you get to spend as much time as possible listening and as little time as possible sorting through errors, we're providing expert tips and tricks for the most common Spotify problems. Everything from the app simply not working to aspects of Spotify glitching out. Is your Spotify not working? Try these fixes and see if your problem gets better.

Read more
How to add family members to your Apple Music subscription
Apple Music Browse screen.

Apple Music is one of the go-to streaming services for all things melodic and melody-adjacent. Hosting over 88,000 million subscribers globally and featuring upwards of 100 million tracks from the leading artists of today, Spotify's nemesis has plenty to love.

If you're a new subscriber, Apple Music gives you a break-in period of one free months of service. After the trial period, memberships are billed on a monthly or yearly cycle with the most popular Individual plan coming it at $11 per month / $109 per year. While that's on par with the average cost for other music streamers, saving a buck here or there is never a bad thing. While college students can get Apple Music for $6/month, another way to save on your subscription is with an Apple Music family plan for $17 per month.

Read more