1. Fat P – Ed, Edd n Eddie
Considering it was put together by a guy named Fat P, this four-track EP feels like a meager portion. But it’s not the size of the meal, it’s the flavor: With a slurred, unhinged flow that skews somewhere between A$AP Ferg and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the self-proclaimed “immaculate immigrant” flips “Whatyouknow” into a woozy banger sprinkled with lines in Spanish and Creole, while his choppy delivery on “bbbomg” warps his words like a funhouse mirror you can’t quite look away from.
2. Build A Machine – The Desert Sessions
Available Now on iTunes
To record their first official release, the Boston-based reggae crew rented a house in the Southern California desert (near the Joshua Tree), and judging by the results, they should probably make that their thing. The sounds found here are both musically sophisticated and infectiously fun, spiking the hazy vibes of “Jah Jah Love” with an edgy spirituality, while “Free Your Mind” is a breezy slice of carefree summer.
3. Avenue – The Chandelier View
After an extended period of buzz building, the South End-bred rapper is poised to distinguish himself as one of the scene’s finest lyricists with his formal debut release. Backed by evocative instrumentals from HiFadility and others, tracks like “Kid With the Half Moon Haircut” and “Silent Prayer” capture both the adolescent appeal and fear of gang culture with eloquence and intelligence.
4. Krill – A Distant Fist Unclenching
Available now on iTunes
With Krill, it’s not a matter of if they will surprise, but merely how. This time it’s with a more muscular sound, at times obvious and in your face (the seven-minute cut “Tiger”) and at others not so much, as when the bass riffs on “Squirrels” boil over into a beefy chorus. While remaining rough around the edges, the bleak pathos of Lucky Leaves is distilled into more potent forms, most notably on “Brain Problem.”