Songs of the Week: 4/3/2020

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 4/3/2020.

  • Artist: Empress Of
  • Song: “U Give It Up”
  • Album: I’m Your Empress Of
  • Genre: Dance Pop
  • Notes: I’m Your Empress Of is the third full length from Lorely Rodriguez out of Los Angeles, California. The album is filled with electronic dance pop that sounds ready made for the club.
  • Artist: Thundercat
  • Song: “I Love Louis Cole”
  • Album: It Is What It Is
  • Genre: Acid Jazz / Funk
  • Notes: This is the 4th solo LP from this prolific funk, jazz and hip-hop bassist. He’s a much sought after musician especially after being a major player on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly album. Jazzy and funky, this guy is a cool cat for sue and he oozes that coolness here.
  • Artist: Black Atlass
  • Song: “Night After Night”
  • Album: Dream Awake
  • Genre: R&B
  • Notes: Well, this is interesting. Black Atlass is signed to XO records which is the label run by The Weeknd. And this album sounds exactly like a record from the boss. I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference it I didn’t know I was listening to first. Very intriguing to sign your clone but hard to argue since it’s a very good album.
  • Artist: Ant Saunders
  • Song: “Pedestrian”
  • Album: Bubble
  • Genre: R&B / Pop
  • Notes: Here’s a brand new one for me, I believe. Bubble is the first EP from Ant Saunders who got his career launched with the song “Yellow Hearts” which he first posted on Tik Tok. I’ve listened to a few YouTube stars that crossed over and of course many soundcloud artists but I don’t think I’ve ever encountered one from Tik Tok before. But that track is on this EP as well as “Pedestrian” which is a really good R&B flavored pop track, so he’s on to something.
  • Artist: Everything is Recorded
  • Song: “03:15 AM / Caviar”
  • Album: Everything Is Recorded
  • Genre: Various
  • Notes: This is the debut album from Richard Russell who is the owner of XL recordings. With this, he created the songs, DJ’s and produced them while he let’s others do the singing and/or rapping. In this case, the mic is given over to Ghostface and well, Steed can’t get enough of Ghostface, ever.
  • Artist: Ashley McBryde
  • Song: “Voodoo Doll”
  • Album: Never Will
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: I constantly hear female country artists say that they don’t get the respect and radio play they deserve and yet I hear female fronted country music all the time. I’m not fully entrenched in that scene, so they may be right but to my ears only, I don’t get where they are coming from. That said, I think the real test is here. I first heard of her on one of what seems like 12,000 country music awards shows on TV a few years ago especially in 2019 when her last album was nominated for a Grammy. But this album should make her a superstar. But let’s see if it will. She has a different look than 90% of the female country artists of today. She’s not blonde, she’s not all leg and she’s not a young girl. Here you’ve got a 36-year-old bad ass, short and tatted up looking completely different than your standard country superstar and not making pop-crossover material but that’s likely better than almost all of her peers. She’s got a fantastic voice, writes her own tunes and should be a huge superstar, as long as there’s no discrimination based on the fact that she doesn’t look like Carrie Underwood.
  • Artist: Leah Capelle
  • Song: “Triptych”
  • Album: Triptych
  • Genre: Alternative Pop
  • Notes: Man, what a debut album from this Los Angeles, CA singer. Throughout an album about dating, breakups and female empowerment comes sparkling pop songs, riffy rock track and hauntingly powerful mid-tempo tracks that bring all the feels. It was honestly hard to pick one track to spotlight here as the whole album is fantastic.
  • Artist: Kakkmaddafakka
  • Song: “Moonshine”
  • Album: Ontas?
  • Genre: Indie Dance Pop
  • Notes: The name of the group just simply fascinates me more than anything else. It’s Norwegian, so you know, it might mean something in particular though Google translate doesn’t work on it – but if it’s pronounced as it looks, then I think the group is named Cockmotherfucker. The 16-year old in me laughs. But the music is pretty good too – it’s a indie pop EP overall with very danceable qualities to it.
  • Artist: Zuzu
  • Song: “Get Off”
  • Album: How It Feels
  • Genre: Electro Pop
  • Notes: The debut EP from this London, England based singer is a blast of electro pop with a bit of a vintage 70s power pop feel to some tracks.
  • Artist: grouptherapy.
  • Song: “Ice Chips”
  • Album: this is not the album
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Notes: I can’t find much out about these guys as using the google to just brings me to actual therapy sessions. And I don’t know why this isn’t the album because it seems like an album. But it’s all very mysterious. This is either two dudes or like 10 people – I don’t know – but it’s a great hip-hop record with some really catchy beats.

Songs of the Week: 3/27/2020

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 3/27/2020.

  • Artist: Pearl Jam
  • Song: “Who Ever Said”
  • Album: Gigaton
  • Genre: Rock
  • Notes: Well, I came into this not really liking any of the singles but blasting them in album form, I actually enjoyed all of them (“Superblood Wolfmoon” “Dance of the Clairvoyants” and “Quick Escape”) and combined with the rockin’ opening track, “Who Ever Said,” really got me quite excited that this album was going to be good. Then PJ mixed in the mellower tracks and my expectations slowly dwindled. It’s a decent record and has a half dozen really rockin’ tunes on it and it’s better than Lightning Bolt for sure but in the end, I only enjoyed a little more than half of it.
  • Artist: Dua Lipa
  • Song: “Future Nostalgia”
  • Album: Future Nostalgia
  • Genre: Electro-pop
  • Notes: Electro-pop baby! You know her from “Don’t Start Now,” the first single from this album, or one of eight singles from her debut three years ago, but this time around, she’s created a fun, dancey, electro-pop record, brimming with catchy hooks everywhere.
  • Artist: Clutch
  • Song: “Cyborg Bette”
  • Album: Monsters, Machines and Mythological Beasts
  • Genre: Rock
  • Notes: A complication of Clutch tracks about, well…monsters, machines and/or mythological beasts.
  • Artist: Vanessa Carlton
  • Song: “Die, Dinosaur”
  • Album: Love Is An Art
  • Genre: Pop
  • Notes: Never was a Vanessa Carlton fan but this album is pretty damn unique. I don’t know what she has sounded like since she fell out of the spotlight but this album is not what I expected, knowing only the hits. This is a dark, minimal pop record. Sparse instrumentation mixed with some minimal electronic touches, Love Is An Art ends up being a pretty beautiful record.
  • Artist: In This Moment
  • Song: “Fly Like An Eagle”
  • Album: Mother
  • Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal
  • Notes: I almost feel bad putting a cover song here when a band releases an album of originals, but they do have three covers on the record and “Fly Like An Eagle” is also the first song on the disc, so it’s clear they want to spotlight it – and so I am too. Never been a fan of the band (but what dude can argue with Maria Brink?) but the album is very good and this is a fantastic cover song.
  • Artist: Jeezy
  • Song: “Billions”
  • Album: Twenty/20 Pyrex Vision
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
  • Notes: Killer hip-hop track by Jeezy, nearly 20 years into his career.
  • Artist: Melt Yourself Down
  • Song: “Crocodile”
  • Album: 100% Yes
  • Genre: Avant Garde Jazz/Funk
  • Notes: 100% Yes is the third album from this London based avant garde funk/jazz/afrobeat band and there’s a quite a few really funky almost-rock tracks on this record, just like the one I’m sharing here.
  • Artist: San Cisco
  • Song: “Reasons”
  • Album: Flaws
  • Genre: Indie Pop
  • Notes: The first true EP from this Australian trio after three full lengths, brings sparkling pop music with some sweet psychedelic touches. But “Reasons” is a great pure pop song.