Nic Harcourt’s Best New Music: Helado Negro’s “La Naranja” + More


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It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Spark’s music expert and legendary L.A. radio DJ Nic Harcourt to weigh in on what new music he’s got on repeat at the moment. Below, he shares his newest picks added to his Spark Radio playlist and shares a spotlight on his favorite earworm of the week.


Helado Negro: La Naranja
Sunshine Boysclub: Right Out The Window
The Regrettes: Monday
The Rolling Stones: Troubles A’ Comin
Sitcom: Kiss My Baby
Loose Buttons: First To Know, Last To Understand
Illuminati Hotties: The Sway
Wet Leg: Wet Dream
Courtney Barnett: Write A List of Things To Look Forward To

Helado Negro: La Naranja

When South Florida native, (born to Ecuadorian immigrants and now based in Brooklyn) Roberto Carlos Lange, the musician known as Helado Negro, began writing songs for his new album Far In immediately following the release of his acclaimed 2019 album This Is How You Smile, he could not have predicted that we would soon need to learn how to stay at home and be the stars of our domestic dance floors with intimates and online communities. Roberto and his partner, the visual artist Kristi Sword, had planned to visit Marfa, Texas for an early 2020 residency to work on their collaborative project ‘Kite Symphony.’ Once the pandemic hit, they decided to stay in Marfa through the summer, inspiring Roberto to write a significant amount of songs for the upcoming album which is due out on 4AD records October 22, 2021. Check out an advance taste with the new single “La Naranja” new on the playlist this week.

“Escape is never out there, you have to go inward,” Roberto reflects on developing an epic Helado Negro double album during these extraordinary times. Driving back to Brooklyn in the fall, inspired by his work in the desert, Roberto auspiciously purchased a Rhodes from a friend who 20 years earlier gave him his first synthesizer, an Arp Odyssey 2800. The electric piano was a catalyst that guided much of the remaining songwriting for the album. After time apart from a changed city, his base for fifteen years, album tracks “Hometown Dream” and “Outside the Outside” unapologetically look forward to new places and possibilities.

Also new to the playlist this week: The Rolling Stones have shared a previously unreleased cover of The Chi-Lites’ “Troubles A’ Comin” from their upcoming Tattoo You 40th anniversary box set. The song was recorded in Paris in 1979 and is one of the nine rarities found on the Lost and Found bonus disc. The original is from The Chi-Lites’ 1971 album (For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People.