BadBadNotGood – IV
BadBadNotGood have made some savvy choices. Saxophonist Leland Whitty has joined the band as a permanent member, and they build on Sour Soul (last year's collab with Ghostface Killah) without once retreading old ground.
That record was as close as the jazz-trained Canadians may come to a straight-served hip-hop record, and IV explodes that experience into glamorous, gold-leaf-covered shards. Fiery hip-hop instrumentals, creamy rhythm and blues balladry and classic lounge vibes are explored with equal excitement – and pulled off with equal panache.
IV has a weighty guest list; Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands) guests on Time Moves Slow with understated, breathy elegance – as intimate as any time-honoured crooner. Wunderkind producer Kaytranda's feature meanwhile explores the addition of a beatmaker to BBNG's instrumentals, and the result is a freefall down a rabbit hole.
Colin Stetson uses his legendary sax skills to melt brains on Confessions pt.II while Toronto's r'n'b star Charlotte Day Wilson lacquers In Your Eyes with faded glamour. Mick Jenkin's turn on Hyssop of Love is as lush and cinematic as a Kendrick release, offering a "different kind of high" with a seductive hand.
The band don't rest on these invitations, though: tracks like opener And That, Too and Cashmere are opulent, and just the right amount of oddball. Chompy's Paradise sounds like a blazed Mac DeMarco track, if you replaced Mac's dazed vocals with a murmering sax section.
Every single instrument used is listed with pride on the record's cover, and the four of them stand chests bare, towels around waists, bro-ing out. BBNG are showing off – but they've more than earned the right.