Songs of the Week: 5/8/20

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 5/8/2020.

  • Artist: Hayley Williams
  • Song: Sugar on the Rim”
  • Album: Petals for Armor
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: For the third time since February, he’s a recommendation for Hayley Williams – frontwoman for Paramore. She released the first five songs of this back in February, the second five in April and now the full record with five more in May. I’m supposing this will be the final time you see her recommended this year but who knows at this point. Overall, you get music nothing like her band – this album is filled with pop, rock, R&B and various other styles, so her solo career is providing her the chance to branch out a bit.
  • Artist: Hailee Steinfeld
  • Song: “Man Up”
  • Album: Half Written Story
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: Another EP from Ms. Steinfeld, five years after her first EP. Interesting that she’s so loved musically with such little output but she deserves it. This EP is more mature than her first, which makes sense. She’s 23 now and was 18 when that one came out. But it’s still the catchy pop you’d expect from here.
  • Artist: White Denim
  • Song: “Matter of Matter”
  • Album: World as a Waiting Room
  • Genre: Garage Rock / Indie Rock
  • Notes: Despite this being their 9th studio album, I’ve never heard of these dudes from Austin, TX. Now they are labeled as psychedelic garage rock on Wikipedia and that’s not my wheelhouse, so that’s likely the reason but at least this record is so enjoyable. It’s super catchy, yes, psychedelic at points and very much a garage rock base but it’s toe tappin’, head-bobbin’ fun and that’s what matters to me the most for this.
  • Artist: Kehlani
  • Song: “Bad News”
  • Album: It Was Good Until It Wasn’t
  • Genre: R&B
  • Notes: This is nice. Wonderfully written and sung R&B from a great artist that has given us an album with no filler. Fifteen tracks in a nice 40-minute package that feels more like 20. More please!
  • Artist: Forgotten Tomb
  • Song: “Iris’ House, Part II”
  • Album: Nihilistic Estrangement
  • Genre: Black / Doom Metal
  • Notes: I’m a big fan of Forgotten Tomb, especially after they moved out of their black metal period and into a more melodic, goth/blackened doom phase. This album encapsulates their sound perfectly. Melodic but heavy, catchy but dark.
  • Artist: Chris Brown & Young Thug
  • Song: “Say You Love Me”
  • Album: Slime & B
  • Genre: R&B / Hip-Hop
  • Notes: A full collaborative mixtape from Chris Brown and Young Thug turns out to be a pretty damn fantastic pairing and unlike most of Brown’s albums, this is nice and concise at 12 tracks – making it extremely digestible.
  • Artist: Butch Walker
  • Song: “6ft. Middle Aged American Man”
  • Album: American Love Story
  • Genre: Pop/Rock
  • Notes: I am a huge Butch Walker fan but this album is widely inconsistent – with sparkly pop songs, dark introspective tunes, tracks with pretty silly lyrics and then “Out in the Open” which sounds like a late period Genesis song. There’s some interesting tracks but upon first listen, this is Walker’s worst record – maybe by a long shot.
  • Artist: Terror Reid
  • Song: “Say No Mo'”
  • Album: Hot Vodka I
  • Genre: Rap
  • Notes: Yeah, I shouldn’t like this. It’s probably lame white rap but I’m grasping for good rap these days and well, this takes me back to the 90s. This is the rap persona of dubstep DJ Getter and again, it’s probably not that great in the end but fuck it – it’s not trap.
  • Artist: Lack of Afro
  • Song: “Not a Problem”
  • Album: I’m Here Now
  • Genre: Soul / Funk
  • Notes: This is the 7th album from a somewhat nerdy looking white guy out of England that plays a mixture of soul and funk with lots of saxophone mixed in. The album has some great soulful tunes on it but I’m always more interested in the funk.
  • Artist: Fake Names
  • Song: “Being Them”
  • Album: Fake Names
  • Genre: Punk / Power Pop
  • Notes: A punk rock supergroup of sorts featuring Brian Baker (Minor Threat; Bad Religion), Michael Hampton (S.O.A.) and Dennis Lyxzén (Refused), this is a melodic punk record at heart with a very healthy dose of power-pop throughout.

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