Weekly Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5dbqtPrmw8QAReQDChzBAe
- Kanye West – “Come to Life”
- Kanye West, JAY-Z – “Jail”
- Rivers of Nihil – “Death is Real”
- Xibalba – “Cold”
“Come to Life” was a late addition to rapper Kanye West’s new album “Donda.” “Come to Life” is an instant West classic through extremely emotional vocal deliveries across the track discussing West’s relationship issues with Kim Kardashian and how it affected him. The instrumental itself is its own entity, feeling both tragic and eternally beautiful, especially the underlying piano track.
“Jail” is the spectacular return of the throne for West and rapper JAY-Z. The quotables off of “Jail” are ridiculous, West and JAY-Z both deliver clever wordplay with lines like “This might be the return of The Throne, Hova and Yeezus, like Moses and Jesus” and even the simple and charismatic delivery of lines like “Guess who’s goin’ to jail tonight? God gon’ post my bail tonight” that make the song one of the best tracks off “Donda.”
Technical death metal outfit Rivers of Nihil has only gotten better over time and the kickass track “Death is Real” is one of the band’s best. Technical death metal definitely lacks some of the brutality standard death metal has, but “Death is Real” is eviscerating and well-layered at the same time from a production standpoint.
Hardcore punk band Xibalba is at the top of the hardcore punk genre for a reason. “Cold” is an extremely pummeling hardcore punk track with not only great vocal work from vocalist Nate Rebolledo but a hilarious audio sample at the beginning of the track stating this track should be played loudly in a residential area.
- Ezra Vine – “Celeste”
- Hazel English – “I’m Fine”
- The Voidz – “Leave It In My Dreams”
- Alvvays – “Dreams Tonite”
Folk singer-songwriter Ezra Vine hasn’t released any new music since his 2014 debut EP “Celeste EP,” which features his song “Celeste.” This song is upbeat, extremely catchy and Vine’s clear voice makes this an easy listen. His voice on the backup vocals adds something extra that truly makes this song special, and the creative, imaginative lyrics in “Celeste” fit perfectly with the warm-sounding instrumentals.
Australian indie pop artist Hazel English’s voice is incredibly dreamy and light. “I’m Fine” is a sad song about her battle with anxiety. This is apparent in the lyric, “I, I don’t know why I’m terrified of everything / Just to call the doctor seems daunting.” The song is full of heavy synth, English’s beautiful voice as well as real and raw lyrics about the struggles she faces.
“Leave It In My Dreams” comes off of The Voidz’ latest album “Virtue,” which was released in 2018. The Voidz is a rock band that formed in 2013. Julian Casablancas is the frontman for The Voidz, and he is also the lead singer for rock band The Strokes. Every song by The Strokes has featured a heavy guitar rhythm and strained vocals. While “Leave It In My Dreams” has a similar guitar sound, the song’s rhythmic synth shows that The Voidz are not just copying the sound that The Strokes have.
Alvvays is an alternative dream pop and shoegaze band with over 60 million streams on Spotify for their song “Dreams Tonite,” and it’s no question as to why. The song keeps it simple for the instrumental aspect. Instead, “Dreams Tonite” is full of introspective, melancholy lyrics and lead singer Molly Rankin’s soothing voice.
- Turnstile – “NEW HEART DESIGN”
- Dxwnsides – “Iridescence”
- Pingegrove – “Orange”
- Hum – “I Hate it Too”
Baltimore hardcore band Turnstile released its much anticipated full-length album, “Glow On,” last week to much fanfare. There are no sleepers on this record, however, “NEW HEART DESIGN” was one of the tracks that was not a single for the album. The track is energetic and vibrant with shimmering guitars while also staying true to the gritty hardcore style with punching drums and the band’s signature vocals.
“Iridescence” is a dreamy and lovelorn track from U.K. hardcore band Dxwnsides. The song comes off their recently released album “I Will Never Be Enough” and provides a nice change of pace for the record, giving the middle of the record some breathing room. This track is so delicate and transformative that right from the start, it will have the listener fall into a state of self-reflection.
Alternative indie folk band Pinegrove released their latest single, “Orange,” in late August, and, oh boy, does it hit home. Titled “Orange” as a nod to the orange skies seen over the U.S. West Coast that have been produced by raging wildfires, and described as “a waltz about the climate crisis,” according to the song’s Genius Page, the track is a slow and thoughtful acoustic track that takes a look into the effects climate change is having on the world.
Alternative rock and shoegaze band Hum released their track “I Hate It Too” in the spring of 1995, and subsequently, it has climbed near the top of the band’s discography. The track starts as a plotting lyrical masterclass with lines like “Morning gray ignites a twisted mess of foreign shapes and sounds / I wish the ceiling was the ground” that signify the confusion and overwhelming emotional toll that losing someone can have. The track waits to pick up, building in tension, until it finally descends into a cacophony of droning guitars and crashing drums.