Three new tracks to get lifted to.

We’re off and running with a new year of music, and if the beginning of 2018 is any indication — it might get weird. Here we are, just five days in, dealing with Justin Timberlake’s risqué imitation of Bon Iver in announcing Man of the Woods, his very artsy looking new album. More surprising still, the first single is funky and good? There’s a lot to unpack. Here are three tracks to help get you through a very strange, very cold first week of 2018.

Justin Timberlake – Filthy

Not one to miss a good self-marketing opportunity, Timberlake has returned from a four-year absence to announce a new album to go with his Super Bowl halftime appearance. The art of Man of the Woods is, as I said, perplexing, but first single “Filthy” is not. This is Timberlake doing the best impression of himself ten years ago, with the beat seemingly lifted from a “Sexyback” outtake. There’s a bit of tech house going on here too, bringing the sound to a new decade for satisfying results. Maybe the cabin backsplash was a fake-out, or maybe “Filthy” is an outlier. Either way, it’s a fitting re-introduction for one of pop’s most bankable stars.

SACRE – Lovesick (Mura Masa Cover)

Paris duo SACRE have a singular weapon: their ability to take modern blogosphere electronic and add some retro flair. They did it on last month’s “Stereo”, which made it into our Best of Winter mix, and have it again on their cover of Mura Masa’s “Lovesick”. Where the original had the typical breathing room and beat breakdowns of a great Mura Masa track, SACRE fill the void with lyrics, turning it more into a call-and-response pop track. They kept the wub though, which makes it extra nice.

Lane 8 – Coming Back to You (feat. J.F. July)

Originally strictly adhering to deep house, American producer Lane 8 has spent the last couple of years branching his sound slowly into the mainstream. He’s managed it by taking his core warmth and expanding it into more intricate chord progressions, as beautifully displayed on November single “Atlas”. With new single “Coming Back to You”, he may have a breakout moment coming — the “four on the floor” beat is offset nicely by vocal samples and J.F. July, the song never exploding but staying calmly in the centre lane. It’s a nice bit of warmth on a cold day.