Songs of the Week: 6/26/2020

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 6/26/2020

  • Artist: Prince
  • Song: “Witness 4 the Prosecution”
  • Album: Sign o’ the Times (Super Deluxe)
  • Genre: Funk
  • Notes: Pig in shit! God daayyyyyummmm. Always amazed how fucking great Prince vault songs are. Every artist should strive to scrap songs that are this good. This is the first “new” track released of the 45 studio tracks going to be on the Super Deluxe reissue of Sign o’ the Times in September and heavens, what a great fucking tune.
  • Artist: Haim
  • Song: “Don’t Wanna”
  • Album: Women in Music, Part III
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: Holy moly – the highly anticipated third Haim album is fantastic! Pop hooks for miles and truly something that sounds unique in 2020.
  • Artist: Khruangbin
  • Song: “Pelota”
  • Album: Mordechai
  • Genre: Various
  • Notes: This is a three piece band out of Texas, that change up their style with each album while maintaining a semblance of a psychedelic soul base. This album features a lot of Spanish influences.
  • Artist: Jessie Ware
  • Song: “Soul Control”
  • Album: What’s Your Pleasure?
  • Genre: Disco/Electro Pop
  • Notes: A throwback to 1978, mixed with Robyn! Take Robyn’s recent electro-pop records and alternate them with disco tunes and you have a super fun record.
  • Artist: Ray LaMontagne
  • Song: “Strong Enough”
  • Album: Monovision
  • Genre: Folk/Rock
  • Notes: Although he’s never been “my thing” – I respect how talented Ray LaMontagne is and while I’ve never liked a full record, he has some great songs. And I surely understand if you like folk / 70s rock / even yacht rock, how you’d love him. I feel like LaMontagne is somewhere between my generation’s John Fogerty, Eagles and James Taylor.
  • Artist: Arca featuring Bjork
  • Song: “Afterwards”
  • Album: Kick i
  • Genre: Experimental Electronic
  • Notes: Who can resist Bjork, even if she’s singing in Icelandic? This is a great new track off the fourth album from this Venezuelan non-binary producer. The album is a mix of English and Spanish hyper-spazzy electronic tracks.
  • Artist: Remi Wolf
  • Song: “Photo ID”
  • Album: I’m Allergic to Dogs! – EP
  • Genre: Pop / Funk ?
  • Notes: A bit of an oddball, this 5-track EP seems to have been self-released, then maybe picked up by Island records, though if so, it’s the most low budget major label release I’ve seen. Wolf is 24, looks like 14 and seems to be a pretty quirky artist. She also seems to have tried out for American Idol in Season 13 and got through the auditions but didn’t make the live shows. Either way, this is an oddball (the video will show you that) and I’m wondering if she’ll get more than 15 minutes of fame. She should but I’m stumped a bit on her target audience here.
  • Artist: G-Eazy
  • Song: “Stan By Me”
  • Album: Everything’s Strange Here
  • Genre: Alternative Hip-Hop
  • Notes: I’m not sure that hip-hop is really the right genre for this record as most of this album is pretty slow and sung rather than rapped. But it’s not pop and not R&B, so I feel like alternative hip-hop might be the closest thing. It’s certainly different than the G-Eazy we’re used to. Now this song in particular might be the closest to pop on the disc.
  • Artist: Hum
  • Song: “In the Den”
  • Album: Inlet
  • Genre: Alternative/Post Rock
  • Notes: Hum’s last album was in 1998 and while they had a bit of an edge, they were an alt-rock band. Twenty-two years later, they have gotten much heavier and pushed their sound into the post-rock world for the most part. The interesting thing is that all the guitar tones sound right out of 2002, as if the band never broke up. And yet, it’s still exciting from start to finish.
  • Artist: Bad Moves
  • Song: “Local Radio”
  • Album: Untenable
  • Genre: Pop-Punk
  • Notes: Sweet pop-punk album with tight riffs and super catchy hooks. Lots and lots of fun!
  • Artist: Louis the Child w/EarthGang
  • Song: “Big Love”
  • Album: Here For Now
  • Genre: Electronic / Pop / Future Bass
  • Notes: This is the debut album for Louis the Child, a DJ duo out of Chicago, IL. The record is a mix of electronics, pop, hip-hop, funk and more – reminding me a lot of how eclectic Mark Ronson is.
  • Artist: The Rentals
  • Song: “Shake Your Diamonds”
  • Album: Q36
  • Genre: Rock/Nu-Wave
  • Notes: For their first album in six years, Matt Sharp and gang have put this out without a label and without a lot of consistency. There are some great rock and pop songs on this disc but at 16 songs, it’s way too long and way too inconsistent in quality to make much of an impact on me. But I’ll cherry-pick tracks out for sure.
  • Artist: Grey Daze
  • Song: “Sometimes”
  • Album: Amends
  • Genre: Post-Grunge/Rock
  • Notes: A very interesting album, Grey Daze was one of Chester Bennington’s first bands and he was working on re-recording some of their catalog when he took his own life in 2017. So this record is Bennington’s original vocals with the rest of the band re-recording the music so that the tracks sound more updated than the originals which were mid-to-late 90s tracks.
  • Artist: Evening Hymns
  • Song: “Heavy Nights”
  • Album: Heavy Nights
  • Genre: Indie Folk
  • Notes: Indie folk is how this is labeled and I’ve never heard the band before to know one way or another but I’ll tell you what this song reminds me of… David Bowie’s Blackstar. Blackstar was darker than this for sure but the composition and the use of horns is a very similar structure and every time I hear the horns through the album, it takes me back to Bowie’s final record. Again, not to say this sounds like Blackstar but those horns, man, that’s where my mind keeps going.
  • Artist: Ego Ella May
  • Song: “Table For One”
  • Album: Honey For Wounds
  • Genre: Neo-Soul
  • Notes: Honey for Wounds is the debut album for this London based singer who has a smooth and silky voice – very similar to Erykah Badu.
  • Artist: Will Hoge
  • Song: “The Overthrow”
  • Album: Tiny Little Movies
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: This is Will Hoge’s 11th album and he continues to rock with each consecutive album. He’s got a great voice and is one of the better songwriters in the genre and what I love is that when he chooses to rock, he really rocks – like on this song.
  • Artist: Tenille Townes
  • Song: “Holding Out for the One”
  • Album: The Lemonade Stand
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: It’s been seven years since Tenille Townes’ last record, which is a long time considering she was a young and upcoming artist. But the wait was worth it as this is a very good country album featuring the usual mix of heartfelt ballads and feel good upbeat tunes.

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