Rico Nasty teams up with Guwop; Slayyyter sounds devilish: your Press Play-list for the week of Oct. 26

Bart Carmody, Arts Editor

Halloween is inbound this weekend and for the past week, artists have been dropping everything from spooky anthems to Halloweekend bangers and everything in-between.

With Gorillaz dropping their long-awaited first installment of “Song Machine,” a series that assembles a wide and diverse team of artists to seamlessly shift between several genres, Jean Dawson impressively scoring a feature from A$AP Rocky for his sophomore album and experimental popstar Slayyyter making a tremendous 2020 return, this week’s list is chock-full of treats, no tricks. Here’s your Press Play-list for the week of Oct. 26.

Buddy Ross – “Bored Again!” (feat. Gabriel Delicious)

For an artist with such a short discography, Buddy Ross has certainly had an impressive career. After touring with Frank Ocean on his 2017 Blonded festival tour, and producing several instrumentals on the R&B artist’s 2016 release “Blonde,” the talented producer was quiet for a bit about his solo works. However, his new single “Bored Again!” featuring Australian obscurest-pop singer Gabriel Delicious shows that Ross has more to his name than just his Ocean co-sign. The track is an upbeat & merry pop ballad complete with elation-inspiring synths and vocals, accompanied by Delicious juxtaposing a couple of cheerful-sounding hooks & verses with rather grim lyrics alluding towards anxiety and existentialism. These lyrics are more appropriately met with an utterly messy symphony of horns at the song’s conclusion, before fading into the single’s B-side “Green Light,” an ambient track that we would delve into if you didn’t have to hear it yourself. Both tracks perfectly capture the controlled chaos of Ross’s music, and we’re hopeful that more is to come.

Gorillaz – “The Valley of the Pagans” (feat. Beck)

An album consisting of features from artists such as Robert Smith, ScHoolboy Q, Elton John and Goldlink almost sounds like a fever dream. But in the absurd year of 2020, this ensemble is a reality thanks to the Gorillaz’ newly-released project “Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez.” One of the standout tracks from this release is a collaboration between the cartoon icons and the ever-experimental rockstar Beck, titled “The Valley of the Pagans.” The song is something reminiscent of Gorillaz’ older works, and sounds like it could be a long-lost B-side from their 2010 release “Plastic Beach.” Through disco-esque synths, groovy basslines and a couple of distant guitar-shredding refrains scattered throughout, the collaboration makes for a monumental track in both artist’s careers, perhaps one of their catchiest tunes in years. And if that’s not exciting enough, the two recently took to the in-game Animal Crossing talk show “Animal Talking” to perform the track “live” – what’s more 2020 than that?

Wallows – “Talk Like That”

Coming in with one last hint of summer this year is the LA-based indie band Wallows with their new EP, “Remote.” Their debut album “Nothing Happens” in 2019 was a huge breakout for the group, and with a standout feature from super-popstar Clairo and a remix from producer Mura Masa, the album had fans anticipating the announcement of a sophomore album. “Remote” is a little something to hold fans over, consisting of six tracks that capture the summery sound that was so perfectly delivered on their previous release. Perhaps most like their previous sound is the song “Talk Like That,” an unmistakable California-rock jam that brilliantly uses marimba-like chord progressions and effortlessly catchy clap sections over one of Dylan Minnette’s trademark choruses that you can’t help but sing along to. It isn’t until a little after the one-minute mark that the song explodes into a mind-melting orchestra of Minnette’s vocals, crashing drums and a wild guitar refrain. Between calmer songs like “Virtual Aerobics” and the lo-fi-driven “Nobody Gets Me (Like You),” Wallows has done it again on this new short, but sweet, EP.

Slayyyter – “Self Destruct” (feat. Wuki)

Just in time for Halloween, the daddy-af experimental popstar Slayyyter has returned with a scary, sexy, loud and in-your-face banger of a track, “Self Destruct.” The cover art, complete with Slayyyter in bright red devilish makeup, looks just as the song sounds, as the singer alternates between smoothly proclaiming lines like “Look but don’t touch/I eat boys like you for breakfast, dinner and lunch” in her verses and all-out screaming during the song’s hook. The song’s tumultuousness is brought even further with Wuki’s raucous production, as walloping drums and abrasive synths are scattered throughout the song for Slayyyter to glide over like butter. “I made this song a while back with Wuki in LA,” Slayyyter recalled in an interview, “He started making this crazy icy sounding trap beat and I just started writing nonsense to it. I felt kind of angsty that day which is why the chorus is so aggressive, probably wrote it in about 20 or 30 minutes.” And the popstar’s angst went a long way, making for a entrancingly nightmarish trip of a song that is sure to catch some streams this Halloweekend.

Rico Nasty – “Don’t Like Me” (feat. Gucci Mane & Don Toliver)

On her most recent single “Don’t Like Me,” sugar-trap star Rico Nasty claims she feels as icy as Gucci Mane – and the song sounds just as cold. Over Buddah-Bless-produced bubblegum synths and playful autotune, the rapper/singer trades verses & hooks with the recently Travis-Scott-signed Don Toliver and even Gucci himself. Despite the song still holding some classic Rico punch to it, “Don’t Like Me” features some of the rapper’s more easy-on-the-ears vocals comparative to her usual in-your-face delivery, a rarely-heard style from Rico that Gucci’s verse compliments perfectly. The trio makes for an unexpectedly perfect bubblegum trap tune, and we can only imagine which sounds Rico is going to venture into next.

Jean Dawson – “Triple Double” (feat. A$AP Rocky)

Jean Dawson is more than just a rapper/singer; the artist has his hands in many baskets of music. His impeccable blend of hip-hop, trap, indie rock and punk music has been apparent since his 2019 release “Bad Sports” and his flair for versatility has accumulated fans from across genres. The rockstar has made quite a name for himself early on in his career, but what almost no one expected was a feature from hip-hop and genre-defying New York legend A$AP Rocky. “Triple Double” marks Dawson’s first officially-released feature ever, the song itself having a vibe similar to driving down Sunset Blvd on a warm breezy day, windows down and palm trees swaying. The simplistic yet effective Californian production makes the listener nostalgic for something they may have never even had, and after Dawson finishes belting the first melancholic chorus, the drums drop out and Rocky delivers a rap verse over percussion-less guitar strums and subtle ambient background synths. While Rocky is no stranger to experimenting with new genres, his single “Sundress” featuring Tame Impala being a notable example, “Triple Double” marks one of the rapper’s most impressive moments of crossing between genres, and although the track is quite possibly the star of Dawson’s new album “Pixel Bath,” the full project is certainly one you don’t want to miss.