An R&B and funk band from the 70s and 80s, The Gap Band is sure to make you groove. I heard this song “Burn Rubber On Me (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” while watching an episode of one of my favorite shows, Insecure. From its motorcycle-noise intro to its funky synth melodies, this song’s a jam! One day, I hope to have a dance party like the one in this music video.
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“Witness” is an awesome gospel tune featuring the great Mavis Staples. Her voice combined with the soulful raspiness of Benjamin Booker makes for an awesome song.
Chance the Rapper has been a collaborator since the start of his career. Kids These Days, an indie hip hop group from Chicago, includes among its members Nico Segal (later known as Donnie Trumpet) and Vic Mensa, both of whom frequently collaborated with Chance after the band split in 2013. “Wasting Time” features Chance crooning between horn interludes with typical emotional eloquence, “Damn I love you/ Don’t know what the means now/ but I love you.” The sobering lyrics and rich variety of sound and tempo make the track incredibly potent.
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Before there was MF Doom or King Geedorah, there was Zev Love X. Rapper Daniel Dumile got his start as a part of the group KMD, which he formed with his brother in 1988. The group released their first studio album in 1991, when Dumile was only 17 years old. For longtime Doom fans, the rest is basically history.
Hearing a young Dumile spit on a track like “Peach Fuzz” is one helluva trip. Zev Love X’s raps have the same unique timbre of a typical Doom song, but the high-pitched pubescence makes it something entirely unique. You can hear the same savvy rhyme schemes, wacky references, and vintage samples on KMD’s music as you would on any of Dumile’s recent work, but with a distinctly old-school vibe. So kick back, revel in the ’90s slang and bump this blast from the past on repeat.
This little gem of a song popped up on my Discover Weekly this week, and the vocals instantly charmed me with their Frankie Cosmos-like easiness; if I were to describe Melina Duterte’s (the mastermind behind Jay Som) voice with a motion, that motion would definitely be floating, softly and lightly just above the melody. The guitar, especially in the solo near the end of the song, seems very reminiscent of Mitski, and since her and Frankie Cosmos are two of my favourite artists, it’s no surprise that this song caught my eye (or, I guess, ear). Plus, the self-proclaimed “most trusted voice in music” and our overall most favourite website, Pitchfork, gave Jay Som’s new album an 8.6 and oh-so-highly coveted Best New Music title, so she must be great. (But, seriously, give this song a listen).
“My War” is so much more genuine than the Green Day/Blink 182 teenage bullshit you listened to when you were crying in your room in middle school (not speaking from experience). It transcends basic teenage angst with raw, unthrottled emotion. Henry Rollins’ voice is haunting and the straightforward lyrics cut to the bone. Rollins sings, “I might not know what a friend is / All I know is what you’re not / ‘Cause you’re one of them.” The feelings of betrayal, alienation and rage are all palpable. I’ll admit that I am a relative neophyte in the world of Black Flag fandom so I cannot appreciate this song as a part of Black Flag’s entire body of work. However, the raw emotion of “My War” speaks for itself.
– Jake Golbus
Although I love Grimes, I think I’ve listened to Art Angels and Visions a bit too much. As a result, I’ve been listening to Grimes’ older music recently. “Weregild” is off of her 2010 release Halfaxa. Pieces of Art Angels, however, are reminiscent in this song especially in her sound looping throughout the track, a technique she has kept consistent throughout her work. The song as a whole seems a bit darker than her newer releases. In addition, the song is much more experimental, something I hope she doesn’t’ lose with her rise to fame.
For some reason Neil Young’s piano riffs are often a kind of muted cornflower blue. That, combined with the rhythm and his cream-colored voice, makes this song wonderfully soothing (and, since it’s Neil Young, melancholic). It makes me feel like I’m rocking back and forth in a hammock. Listen before you go to bed for peaceful, restorative, Neil Young-filled sleep.
Future Islands’ new single, “Ran”, off their upcoming album, “The Far Field”, is pretty sweet. In standard Future Islands form the song revolves around lead singer Sam Herring’s rather unique voice. Backed by a hazy synth and bass but rather crisp drum beats, this song fits in with previous albums of Future Islands. I’m fairly confident that this new album will seem more like a continuation of their progression as a band rather than an evolution of their sound and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’ve come to love Future Islands, especially their last album, “Singles”, and I’d be bummed to see that sound go. They’re a distinctive sound in a sea of indistinct indie bands (due in part to Sam Herring’s voice) and for that I’m thankful.