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“Yellow Flicker Beat” isn’t just the new Lorde single and video — it’s also the lead track from part one of the final Hunger Games film, Mockingjay. Lorde curated the film’s soundtrack, and she enlisted artists like Chvrches, Charli XCX, Haim, Q-Tip, Pusha T and Kanye West.
Kanye didn’t hit the studio to rap, though. Instead, he’s done an atmospheric flip of “Yellow Flicker Beat.” Yeezy’s touch is sparse — he didn’t throw in a big soul sample or a “That shit cray” one-liner. He mostly added some ominous synths (touches of “Clique”), some light keys (slightly “Runaway”-ish), and a bass thump and echo effect that would make James Blake and Kanye’s buddy Bon Iver smile. The farther the song progresses, the more Kanye turns up his additions. Toward the end, there’s some eerie, Yeezus-y feedback.
“Yellow Flicker Beat” was originally produced by Paul Epworth and co-written by Lorde and Joel Little, who also collaborated for the entirety of Pure Heroine. That debut album sold its 1 millionth copy back in February, five months after being released.
This article first appeared on Billboard.com.
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