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New Music: 6 new songs by Angel Olsen, the Radio Dept., Sampha and more

This week's most urgent and new streaming cuts.


Kristen Hubby


Posted on Sep 3, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 2:44 am CDT

Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen’s third full-length album, My Woman, has left critics’ indie-rock expectations in the dust. Olsen channels her attitude toward life and love, producing a retro LP packed with emotional and fearless confessions. 

While the album’s opening song “Intern” is produced with pops of synth and a heavy organ, Olsen redefines her image throughout the rest of the track list. “Shut Up Kiss Me” is as sassy as the title, opening with a whiny bravado racing towards a powerful chorus with a revving guitar and Olsen demanding exactly what she wants.

“We could still be having some sweet memories,” Olsen croons assertively. “This heart still beats for you why can’t you see.” My Woman is a roller coaster of an album in the best way possible.

The Radio Dept.

The Radio Dept. recently announced its first full-length album in six years, titled Running out of Love. The Lund, Sweden natives shared the forthcoming album’s lead single, “Swedish Guns,” on Friday, breaking nearly a year of silence.

“Swedish Guns” is a hypnotic, reggae-influenced track, with bold synth notes ricocheting throughout. While the song sounds dreamy, the lyrics are anything but.


Sampha is perhaps best known for his notable collaborative acts with SBTRK, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean’s Endless. The British R&B artist goes it alone with the release of his third solo track “Blood On Me,” which dropped on Wednesday.

The track is anxiety ridden, Sampha’s earnestness running counter to its steady beat backed by percussion and piano notes. “Blood On Me” climbs to a passionate chorus, repeating the same pattern with coos of anticipation. 

Sampha is making 2016 his year, as he made his first solo appearance on Late Night with Steven Colbert on Thursday to debuted “Blood On Me.” He also released additional solo material. “Timmy’s Prayer” and “All I Need” will appear on his forthcoming solo album titled Process.  

M.I.A. and Zayn

A week before the release of her fifth studio album AIM, M.I.A. unveiled her collaboration with ex-One Directioner Zayn Malik. “Freedun” debuted on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show on Thursday. The single is the fourth tease for the upcoming album, along with singles “Go Off,” “Borders,” “Foreign Friends,” and “Bird Song.”

“Freedun” is a level pop cut and a carefree departure from previous material. The song is laid back, as M.I.A. delivers steady verses while Malik can be heard ethereally crooning. “Freedun” closes out with the continuous, hypnotic beat that makes it so catchy allowing space for M.I.A. to flex her own singing muscles. 


SOHN released his new single “Signal,” giving us a sign he is creating in the same beautiful state-of-mind as his soul-tinged 2014 debut album, Tremors.

“Signal” rises and falls with a melding of synth and R&B beats, as SOHN’s vibrant vocals remain at the forefront. A clatter of percussion pops up throughout the progression of the track, which ends with a tangle of electronic wheezes and diminishing vocals.

Isaiah Rashad

Isaiah Rashad dropped his debut studio album, The Sun’s Tirade, after two years with Top Dawg Entertainment. The album is a 13-track tour-de-force featuring appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, and SZA, all of whom are also part of the label. 

“Wat’s Wrong” throws it back with a total ’90s R&B beat, layered with Lamar and Rashad’s fast verses while Zacari provides the holiest of melodic choruses. The track is surprisingly enigmatic, with gripping lyrics. Zacari proclaims “sometimes I get so ahead of myself,” as the back choir interrupts with “feel like I’m running in circles.” “Wat’s Wrong” may be the sweetest case of introspection to hit airwaves.

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*First Published: Sep 3, 2016, 8:00 am CDT