We’ve got another playlist this week! Check out the tracks below and let me know what you guys think! Hope you find something you like!
1. “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” by Arctic Monkeys
My lab band is preparing to cover another great song off of AM, “R U Mine?” and while I’ve been going back through and listening to this record, I was brought back to this gem. Arctic Monkeys always have a knack for dirty guitar licks and some really groovy bass lines, and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” is no different. The bass is so slinky, and the chorus’s melody just has a way of getting stuck in your head, and you’ll probably find yourself humming it long after you listen to it last. And I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something so satisfying listening to Alex Turner’s distorted vocals that I’ll never get tired of hearing. It also hit me after listening to this it’s been WAY too long since they’ve put out new music, so I’m very much looking forward to hearing a new record from them.
2. “Fantasy” by Alina Baraz & Galimatias
Now, typically, I am not the world’s biggest fan of the indie style of singing. You know the one I’m talking about, where the singer sounds like they’re barely opening their mouth, and the vocal fry is at an obnoxious level. However, though Alina Baraz tends to gear towards that vocal style, this song doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Quite the opposite. Thanks to my friend Sam, who is always showing me great new music, the semi-tropical and mellowed-out production to this track along with the whispery tone of Baraz’s voice makes for quite the pairing. It’s a great example of electronic music being able to be what it is without having to fit the box of being a club banger or formulaic in it’s creation that it bores you. It’s got a beat for you jam too, but it’s also laid back enough that if you put it on while sitting under the sun at the beach, you’d feel right at home.
*Shout out to Sam for showing me this track, and really, for always showing me good music!*
3. “The Cure” by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga made my week by deciding to drop a brand new song, AND returning to the synth pop she is SO good at. I woke up to see this on Twitter on Sunday morning and just about lost my sh*t. It’s not as exotic as many of Gaga’s dance hall tracks normally, and though I didn’t hate Joanne or any of it’s attempts to show off the span of her talent, going for a more rock feel than dance or electronic, I was really looking for her to return to form with a proper pop record, and I got it! Yes, it could have had some more shock factor to it musically, but the surprise release definitely caught my attention. Now, whether or not she’s doing this to remind people that she’s a bonafide pop force to be reckoned with after Joanne didn’t perform to expectations, or if I was right in my theory that she had planned all along to drop two albums in close proximity to each other as she did with The Fame and The Fame Monster still remains to be seen. However, I’m going to keep jamming to this in my car with the windows down and the summer breeze blowing no matter what!
4. “Hard Times” by Paramore
Another surprise drop! After four years, Paramore is back, kids! Following in the footsteps of The 1975 or MGMT with an 80s infused track, “Hard Times” is an interesting example of how bands can change their sound over the course of their careers, but still maintain their individuality. Though the teen-angst is not as present in their sound as it was when they were first gaining traction from Vans Warped Tour, they are always easy to jam to, without fail, and Hayley Williams never seems to be out of form as a vocal standout in what can be cluttered industry of female power singers. I can’t help but think this might be subtly political? I’m just saying, it can’t be a coincidence that so many artists are releasing songs about tough times and getting through them until things get better. Either way, it’s a feel good song that you will have you tapping your foot by the chorus even on the first listen. Also, not for nothing, but the music video is pretty freaking cool.
5. “Runnin’ (Lose It All)” by Naughty Boy feat. Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin
I’m not all that familiar with Naughty Boy’s music outside of “La La La” with Sam Smith (I also knew there was apparently some beef with the boys of One Direction, but I don’t really care that much to go look into it, if I’m being honest). However, I heard this track in the trailer for the movie Everything, Everything and as per usual, heard Beyoncé’s angelic voice and was enamored. It amazes me just how sonically pleasing her voice is. Even when she’s not belting her heart out for the entirety of a song, the gentleness to her high notes is really gripping sometimes. I don’t mind Arrow Benjamin’s voice on this track either, since any partner to Bey’s solid opener needs to have soul. He might not have been my first choice to go head to head with Bey, but then again, it’s not my song. Also, I like the production, although I kind would want to hear an acoustic version of this…and maybe with just Beyoncé on it. Still, a really interesting song about introspection and about dealing with fear holding you back from doing something.
6. “Nothing” by The Script
Once again, ‘Shuffle’ threw a great throwback at me today while I was working. I sometimes forget about The Script since I haven’t been a big a fan of the new music they’ve put more recently. But every time I’m reminded of one of the many great songs from either their self titled album or Science & Faith, I let myself get sucked back into their music. I remember first hearing this song six (YEAH, SIX, like, where has the time gone?!) years ago and having it just break my heart in half. It’s only gotten more heartbreaking as I’ve lived more of my life and realized how much love and matters of the heart can really thoroughly hurt. It was absolutely worth revisiting this song, and then remembering how I was 14 when it came out, which scared me almost half to death.
7. “Don’t Be A Fool” by Shawn Mendes
Still, one of the biggest surprises of 2016 for me was how much I enjoyed Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate. I respect John Mayer, though not all of his music really grabs me and as a person, I’m not entirely sold that he’s not a douchebag, so Shawn Mendes offering up an album of John Mayer-esque tracks without coming off like just like him on every song had me intrigued. “Don’t Be A Fool” has to be one of my favorites. I loved the 6/8 feel when I first heard it, and the chord structure is quite reminiscent of one of my favorite Adele tracks, the 21 bonus track “I Found A Boy”. But what also really gets me is how well Shawn is able to put into words one of the hardest things to do when you’re in a relationship that’s reaching it’s end, when he’s only at the ripe age of 18. Having to tell someone that you’re just not right for them, and that they’ll be able to find someone else that can love them better is not easy, but he writes quite an ode for that incredibly hard choice to make.
8. “Stone (feat. Sebastian Kole)”
Alessia Cara has been a really interesting find for me. I loved her album Know-It-All, though I’m sure I’ve talked about that in a couple of my other posts on this good ol’ blog of mine. “Stone” is a gorgeously sung duet with Sebastian Kole about life and how it refuses to stop changing day by day, but at least the one she’s in love with is the one constant she can depend on. With minimal production, a catchy melody and some really beautifully crafted harmonies, Cara is another young writer who shows a serious knack for being able to write really well thought out stories for being so young and having so much of her life yet to live. She’s really got a bright future ahead of her in this industry in my opinion.
9. “I Don’t Believe You” by P!nk
Anyone that knows me personally knows that I am a major P!nk fan. Hell, if you’ve read anything on my blog, you’ll know I’m a big P!nk fan. Funhouse, in my opinion, is the finest album of her career. It’s raw and emotional, and I just love an album with a fleshed out theme like Funhouse has. “I Don’t Believe You” HAS to be the most heartbreaking song of her catalogue. It’s so poignantly written. Having someone you’re in a relationship with tell you that they don’t care about you anymore like the way they used to has to break you to pieces, and though P!nk is a badass, she’s not afraid to show her wounded, human side on this song, refusing to believe that the love she once had with this person just simply disappeared. And if you think the record version is soul-crushing, look up any live rendition of the song and buckle in, my friends. Truly one of her finest songs.
10. “Holding Onto Heaven” by Foxes
I first heard about Foxes probably in the way most people did: through Zedd’s hit “Clarity”. I thought she had a unique tone to her voice and was interested what her solo sound would be like. For me personally, her songs are hit or miss; I either really like them or I really don’t. She makes songs in an interesting vein of organic pop. There’s not a lot of synths or anything, just basic instrumentation, which I can appreciate. On “Holding onto Heaven”, her slightly mournful voice soars over a deceptively danceable beat and some gorgeous strings, and even breaks down at the bridge for you really let lose, you know, bang your head around a little. It’s a pretty free-flowing song, which is why it’s the perfect way to end this week’s playlist!
*You can listen to this playlist on Spotify!*
That’s it for this week, y’all! Hope you enjoyed my picks, maybe even found something new to listen to! Check back next week for another playlist!