The Beat Goes On: End of the World Setlist

Great records keep dropping despite our downward spiral.

By King Lars

Michael Kiwanuka // KIWANUKA

London native Michael Kiwanuka’s latest release, simply titled KIWANUKA, is a treatise on race relations in the chaotic socio-political space we currently reside in. Born to Ugandan refugees who fled the Amin regime, Kiwanuka and his family are no stranger to life under an oppressive government. The soulful and anthemic tracks on KIWANUKA, released under Polydor and Interscope records, tell the story of living as a social minority and the complications and misunderstandings that go with it. The arrangements have driving rhythms, introspective lyrics, and should be the soundtrack to your next house party. Some must-hear songs on the record include “You Ain’t the Problem,” “Hero,” and “Solid Ground.”

LA Priest // Gene

LA Priest is the psych-pop bedroom project of Sam Dust. Forming in the after the dissolution of his teenage band, Late of the Pier, Dust follows a unique path. Unlike other bedroom psych-rockers, LA Priest ventures into the weird and bizarre, heavily influenced by experimental electronic music. Four years after debut album INJI, the sophomore release Gene ventures into more cerebral territory. The album, released under Domino records, is the product of two years in isolation, created using 150 homemade electrical circuits constructed by the artist. Danceable, dreamy, and entrancing, some notable tracks include “Kissing of the Weeds” and album-closer “Ain’t No Love Affair.”

Darkstar // Civic Jams

British electronic music duo Darkstar has embarked on a new direction for their latest release, Civic Jams. The group, composed of James Young and Aiden Whalley, released their latest album under Warp records, and it is a far cry from their earlier, more DIY output. The tracks are dark and brooding, with creeping bass, blossoming sounds, and lush sonics that make each track grow in understanding with each listen. While there are many elements that you would expect, this release seems catered to soundtrack the current climate: disjointed with euphoric moments of emo bliss. Notable tracks include: “1001,” “Wolf,” and “Loon.”

Phoebe Bridgers // Punisher

Los Angeles-based Phoebe Bridgers has quickly become an American indie darling. With collaborations with Conner Oberst and the National under her belt, Bridgers has quickly established herself as a prominent name in the indie-folk scene. Her new record Punisher, released under independent record label Dead Oceans, Bridgers shows that she is not a one-hit wonder. The new record shows her growth as an honest, multi-dimensional, and soulful artist. Our favorites from the record include the single “Kyoto,” “Halloween,” and “Moon Song.”

Mononeon // Breathing While Black

The last bassist to collaborate with the late Prince, Dywane Thomas Jr., also known as MonoNeon, created his latest single in response to the Black Lives Matter protests that have erupted across the globe in the past month. Most known for his YouTube presence and Prince collaborations, MonoNeon, a Memphis-Native, is a self-taught musician who has been active since his young teens. “Breathing While Black” is a meditation on the condition of black Americans and the ongoing struggle toward recognition in an often uncaring society. The song is enveloped in detuned synths, punchy funk basslines, and poignant lyricism proclaiming the black perspective, and urging the listener: “Let’s sing about revolution, to start an evolution.” 

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