M.I.A. released a new track today, and it sounds almost nothing like you'd expect it to. It's not dancehall, it's not electro hip-hop, it's not really groovy. "Born Free" has a raw, punkish vibe to it - the vocals and the instrumentation are fuzzy, echo-y, and abstract, not pounding or pulsing in your face. It actually sounds a little something like Sleigh Bells, the Brooklyn band she just signed to her N.E.E.T. record label. Says M.I.A. of Sleigh Bells:
The new Sleigh Bells album epitomizes how kids are feeling in America -- so much energy, but nothing to do with it. Everyone wants you to be an apathetic consumer over there, so it's cool to have some weird discomfort going on.
"Born Free" definitely has that ragged, discomforting tone to it. I'm a little obsessed with it.