Songs of the Week: 3/6/2020

I only have two goals for this series: 1) Introducing the masses to great new music and 2) Giving myself an excuse to listen to every single new release on the Tidal streaming service so I can stay up with new music. Doing this on a weekly basis means that I have a one week window to get this up before the Tidal feed flips to the next set of records, so by posting song reviews rather than full album reviews, it allows me to get more out there and then if you choose to dig deeper, you can.

So… songs of the week for the release date of 3/6/2020.

  • Artist: Phantogram
  • Song: “In A Spiral”
  • Album: Ceremony
  • Genre: Electronic Rock / Dream Pop
  • Notes: This duo from New York is all over the map. Cool electronic rock/pop music like the track here, dream pop, some trip hop, maybe some R&B influences – so they are eclectic for sure. Ceremony is their 4th record and from what I’ve heard so far, their most polished – definite exciting music and worth a full listen.
  • Artist: Lauv
  • Song: “Billy”
  • Album: ~how i’m feeling ~
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: I feel like I’ve been talking about Lauv for ages now due to the fact that he’s been releasing singles from this album for more than a year. In fact, there’s been 10 of them released before the album came out, which is simply fucking ridiculous. But they’ve all been good too – some of them really good and really any one of the whopping 21 tracks here could be released. The only song of his that you might know him for is “I Like Me Better” which was a hit a few years ago but he’s been mainly a songwriter for other established artists until now. But this album definitely shows he can do this on his own. It’s pretty awesome from start to finish. While this may sound odd to say, picture Justin Bieber but maybe a bit cooler? None of the 10 singles have made a dent on the charts, which is weird but now that the album is out, I wonder if that will change. With 10 tracks already released, it feels weird recommending something from this as new – but “Billy” was not a single and since none of them were hits, I suppose unless you were really in tune with new music, you probably haven’t heard most of them anyway.
  • Artist: Body Count
  • Song: “No Remorse”
  • Album: Carnivore
  • Genre: Heavy Metal/Thrash/Hardcore
  • Notes: Very few things in the music industry surprise me any longer but the fact that Body Count is not only still together, but releasing albums and getting better as they go, is a shocker. When Body Count released released their self-titled disc in 1992, they were controversial. Then the next four albums seemed almost like a joke. Guys that don’t belong anywhere near metal music. Then Bloodlust happened in 2017 and it was actually a solid enough album. Respectable at least, if not actually good. And then Carnivore is actually pretty decent. Musically something happened before Bloodlust – it’s hard to explain but it’s like the band just flipped a switch and started playing like they knew how to. Ice-T says that he doesn’t rap in this band but his lyrical delivery is very close to it, to which you’d think it’s a lot of rap-metal but it’s somewhere between Thrash and Hardcore. You know, except their remake of “Colors” here (which is actually decent – it’s not Vanilla Ice turning “Ice Ice Baby” into a Hardcore song. Lyrically, it’s not really much different from any Body Count record, as you’ll hear in “No Remorse.” Ice-T writes pretty straight forward lyrics – basically, “if you don’t like it, fuck you, I ain’t here to give a shit about you” and other pretty poetry. But all of a sudden, I like Body Count. So be it.
  • Artist: Mandy Moore
  • Song: “Easy Target”
  • Album: Silver Landings
  • Genre: Pop / Country
  • Notes: Oooh, weeee! Rebecca Pearson for the win. For Mandy Moore’s first album in 11-years, she’s matured into a sound that you might actually hear her sing on This Is Us. A mid-tempo to upbeat country-pop sound with quite a few tracks like “Easy Target” and “I’d Rather Love” having a very distinct vintage Fleetwood Mac sound. It’s a brilliant record and a perfect sound for a 35-year old Mandy Moore to make a comeback if she so chooses. She was popular back in her younger dance pop days but I guarantee you more people will come to shows now that she’s an award winning actress.
  • Artist: Overcoats
  • Song: “Fire & Fury”
  • Album: The Fight
  • Genre: Electropop
  • Notes: Granted, the song I’m putting up here isn’t really all that “electro” in the end but the album surely is. But “Fire & Fury” is simply a great pop song from this New York duo, off their second record. Keep this name in mind, as they have a sound that has an actual shot at breaking through to the mainstream.
  • Artist: Thick
  • Song: “Mansplain”
  • Album: 5 Years Behind
  • Genre: Indie Rock / Punk
  • Notes: Man, this is vintage yet modern female indie rock at its finest. This trio of ladies has finally released an LP after a bunch of short EPs and it rocks like crazy. Fun and vicious riffs at the same time. Biting commentary about fake news and being women in rock n roll mix with punk rock that hits you over the head like a hammer. And with most songs under three minutes long, you get in the pit and then get punched right out.
  • Artist: Allen / Olzon
  • Song: “Worlds Apart”
  • Album: Worlds Apart
  • Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal
  • Notes: Russell Allen is the singer from Symphony X and Adrenaline Mob while Anette Olzon is the ex-Nightwish singer. Put these two together with Magnus Karlsson from Primal Fear on guitars and you have a beast of a heavy/power metal record. Hooks for days, tons of melody and great vocals. Once again, another record on Frontiers, my favorite heavy metal label.
  • Artist: Ross the Boss
  • Song: “Fight the Fight”
  • Album: Born of Fire
  • Genre: Heavy Metal
  • Notes: 4th solo album from Ross the Boss, original guitarist of Manowar and co-founder of The Dictators. Solid heavy metal with tons of quality riffs.
  • Artist: Renee Blair
  • Song: “Handsome”
  • Album: The Ones to Slow Dance To EP
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: First time I’ve heard of Renee Blair and she’s a very typical country crossover artist but all three songs on this EP are pretty catchy – this one being the most. I can see her being a hit in the future.

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