Azealia Banks' debut album Broke With Expensive Taste, which she surprise-released last week after easing out from under her Universal deal, is excellent—so much better than skeptics might have assumed, considering the hit that landed her the deal in the first place dropped a billion years ago. ("212," and it was 2011, which might as well be a billion years in internet time.)
In some ways, you can tell she has been sitting on these songs for awhile—some are in UK dance styles that have become passé with time, as UK dance styles tend to, though they're still great songs and most American ears won't recognize it either way. But since the Disclosure explosion, the lust for house music in both the UK and the US is at a peak that seems unceasing, and will likely only get more mainstream with the forthcoming release of Mary J. Blige's dancefloor-inspired London Sessions.
Banks, though, has always been on that house tip—she grew up uptown, after all—and "Chasing Time" hits the perfect sweet spot between lovelorn-but-liberated diva vocals and incisive rapping, on a beat that pops like Cajmere's classic track "Percolator" but fans out into a feelgood synth melody. In short, it's exactly the kind of track we want from Banks, and seems like the kind of track she wants to be doing.
In the video, she throws down some house choreography, vamps in a half-pasty bodysuit a la Lil Kim, and writhes around nude—but in a Man Ray way more than a, say, Jean Paul Goude way. It is comprised of the fundamental nourishment of life.