Songs of the Week: 4/17/2020

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 4/17/2020.

  • Artist: Fiona Apple
  • Song: “Heavy Balloon”
  • Album: Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  • Genre: Art Pop
  • Notes: My tastes change all the time but if there’s on thing I’ve been consistent with, is that I like unique artists and while I will fully admit that I all of Fiona Apple’s quirks aren’t fully appreciated by me, there’s no doubt she is a unique bird and has created a fascinatingly unique record. Reading up about this one a bit – most of it was recorded in her house with Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing), Amy Aileen Wood and my old buddy Davíd Garza picking up various percussive instruments, running around her house and banging them on things. And it seems her vocals were recorded with no edits, so you get this kind of raw, percussion heavy pop record – both accessible and really quirky at the same time. The album is getting praise from everyone everywhere and it’s very good. I’m not the person that’s going to keep this on repeat but it’s a good, good record.
  • Artist: Soul Asylum
  • Song: “If I Told You”
  • Album: Hurry Up and Wait
  • Genre: Rock
  • Notes: Hurry Up and Wait is the 12th record for Soul Asylum, a band that has been off my radar for years but will always have a special place in my heart thanks to the amazing Grave Dancer’s Union record. And this album is exactly what you’d expect from a Soul Asylum record – catchy pop songs and fierce rock tunes.
  • Artist: Milky Chance
  • Song: “We Didn’t Make It”
  • Album: Stay at Home Sessions EP
  • Genre: Alt Folk Rock
  • Notes: We need to see more of these types of records. Bands recording new songs or even new versions of their tunes while isolated at home in the world of the Covid. I do expect to see more of these if the lockdown continues for many more months and if they are like these four songs, fantastic home renditions of songs from their November-19 release, then bring ’em on.
  • Artist: Jeremy Zucker
  • Song: “Not Ur Friend”
  • Album: Love Is Not Dying
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: Do you like Justin Bieber? Do you lie Lauv? If you said yes to either one – then Jeremy Zucker is also probably for you.
  • Artist: The-Dream
  • Song: “Fuck My Brains Out”
  • Album: SXTP4
  • Genre: R&B
  • Notes: The-Dream is a not a subtle man, as evidenced by the title of this song and the album (Sextape 4). I would have chosen a different song just to get slightly cleaner for this post but this song sounds like vintage Prince. So I couldn’t avoid it.
  • Artist: The Black Dahlia Murder
  • Song: “Verminous”
  • Album: Verminous
  • Genre: Melodic Death Metal
  • Notes: The blistering new album from Michigan’s Black Dahlia Murder is fantastic from start to finish including this headbanging title track.
  • Artist: Rina Sawayama
  • Song: “STFU!”
  • Album: Sawayama
  • Genre: Pop / Electropop / Nu-Metal
  • Notes: On a pretty brilliant debut from this 20-year old Japanese singer, she moves between pop and electropop deftly and includes a nu-metal song now and again – and somehow, someway, I chose to spotlight the nu-metal track. Hey, good is good.
  • Artist: Shabazz Palaces
  • Song: “Chocolate Souffle”
  • Album: The Don of Diamond Dreams
  • Genre: Alternative Rap
  • Notes: This is off the 5th album from this duo – one half of which is Butter Fly from 90s one hit wonder, Digable Planets. I had no idea any of them were still making music! And this is certainly more alternative than that was even back then.
  • Artist: Berner, B-Real, f/ Everlast
  • Song: “Just Breathe”
  • Album: Los Meros
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Notes: A collaboration between CA rapper Berner and B-Real from Cypress Hill, the album is decent but a bit underwhelming but there are a couple of great tracks like “Just Breathe” that surely shows some chemistry between the two of them.
  • Artist: The Ditch and the Delta
  • Song: “Maimed”
  • Album: The Ditch and the Delta
  • Genre: Sludge Metal
  • Notes: Killer riffs all over the second album from this Salt Lake City, UT trio of metalheads. “Maimed” is just a riff heavy beast.
  • Artist: Abysmal Dawn
  • Song: “Coerced Evolution”
  • Album: Phylogenesis
  • Genre: Death Metal
  • Notes: The 5th album from Los Angeles, CA’s Abysmal Dawn is a killer death metal record with ventures into a more technical style now and again.
  • Artist: Carpenter Brut
  • Song: “Blood Machines Theme”
  • Album: Blood Machines Soundtrack
  • Genre: Snythwave
  • Notes: Awesome synthwave soundtrack from the French master known as Carpenter Brut. Would love to see Carpenter Brut work with Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor to collaborate on a sound
  • Artist: Shelby Lynne
  • Song: “Love is Coming”
  • Album: Shelby Lynne
  • Genre: Country / Folk
  • Notes: Despite being around since the late 80s, I don’t know much about Shelby Lynne as it’s only been in recent years that I’ve gotten into country music and the album doesn’t do much for me but this track is a simply fantastic ballad.
  • Artist: Jungle Brothers
  • Song: “Get Dirty”
  • Album: Keep It Jungle
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Notes: This is the first album in 14 years for the Jungle Brothers – who had no real hits in the US but made a name for themselves as part of the Native Tongue collective with De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and others. And this is certainly a throwback to the golden years of hip-hop.

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