Welcome back to Tunes Tuesday. I’m back again after a computer malfunction but I couldn’t let myself get down for too long. New music has been popping up all over the place so let’s take a look at what I have for you this week.
*For more information on these artists see the links in each song’s listing*
1. Sober II (Melodrama) – Lorde
“Oh, how fast the evening passes, cleaning up the champagne glasses.”
Lorde is something else when it comes to artistry. Her first album Pure Heroine made her every indie fan’s dream girl. She’s the girl who is too cool for school and that everyone wants to be friends with but they are equally afraid of her at the same time. She found more of a stride with her sophomore album Melodrama, which was more about her relationships with those around her. From partying to loneliness, Lorde hit all the points and this song is a solid combination of the two. Released back in June 2017, Lorde finally let us into the party that is her life. She referred to her first album as “enshrining our teenage glory” while she considers her second to be, “what comes next.”
2. Youth – Daughter
“Setting fire to our insides for fun.”
Okay, I admit that these songs aren’t exactly the newest on the charts but I’m pretty sure that they are new to all of you. If you haven’t heard of Daughter, they are an English indie-folk band that got their start in 2010. They pretty much have a similar sound to any other indie band out there but what I can say that makes this band stand apart is their lyrics. “Youth” is a personal favorite of mine, a song about relationships and realizing that not everything is as easy as it is when you are a kid. I definitely suggest this band for any of your “Lazy Sunday” playlists.
3. Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens
“How much sorrow can I take // Blackbird on my shoulder // And what difference does it make // When this love is over?”
Anyone who saw the movie, Call Me By Your Name, was aware of its pretty much spot-on soundtrack. A song like this, which incorporates images of love and religion can really help carry a story to new heights and to see in a different light. “Mystery of Love” is one of three songs that Stevens created for the film. His sound is a mixture of urban pop and folk with some interesting instrumentals. Stevens, originally from Detroit, Michigan, performed the song last month at the 90th Oscars celebration and was very much well received for the performance. Oscars aside, I’m sure a grammy award isn’t far off for Mr. Stevens.
4. Next To Me – Imagine Dragons
“There’s something about the way you always see the pretty view // Overlook the blooded mess, always lookin’ effortless.”
Imagine Dragons has been with us constantly since 2012 when they released their debut album Night Visions. The beat almost brings a kind of lullaby tone to a song about having someone by your side. One of the biggest bands in the world right now, Imagine Dragons seems to be reaching to new audiences and I personally hope that more people jump on the bandwagon. Being the opening track to their 2017 album, Evolve, this song carries the weight of the album almost as much as the singles “Believer” and “Thunder.” While it has a different vibe, you can see that Dan Reynolds has a voice like no other and the songwriting skills are there and continue to deliver one album after another.
5. Oh, What a World – Kacey Musgraves
“Did I know you once in another life? Are we here just once or a billion times? Well, I wish I knew, but it doesn’t matter ’cause you’re here right now, and I know what I feel.”
Fresh off the presses with a new album, Golden Hour (you can check out my review of the album as whole by clicking here), Musgraves gives us a new look into her perspective of this big scary world with that of wonder and awe. “Oh, What a World” is a fantastic track that has a kind of mystical feel to it as she ponders what lead up to us being here this very moment, and alongside someone we love no doubt. Something new in this track is that Musgraves used a synthesizer to enhance the experience of the listener. This album is full of top notch hits for the country princess but this track is one of the best.
6. Sex & Cigarettes – Toni Braxton
“At least try and lie to me, lie to me… Instead you come straight to our bed smelling like sex and cigarettes.”
Toni Braxton has had a consistant and steady career since the 80s not only in music but also as an actress on screen as well as Broadway. Her talents has been proven over and over again, and proving it an eighth time with her newest album, “Sex & Cigarettes,” that was released last month, on March 23. Dubbed the R&B Queen of Heartbreak, the album received fairly positive reviews, getting 4 out of 5 stars from The Guardian and a rating of 7 out of 10 from Exclaim!. For me, the album falls short compared to her earlier works but some of the songs (such as this one) could definitely stand alone and gain some praise.
7. Cigarette Daydreams – Cage the Elephant
“You can drive all night // lookin’ for the answers in the pouring rain.”
A classic song from this alternative band, “Cigarette Daydreams” is exactly what it sounds like, a daydream. It has a feel that really puts you in another world. With images of rain and a feeling of longing. The audio of the track makes you think of a jam session in a living room. Cage the Elephant is an American formed in 2006, but moved to London, England just before the release of their debut self-titled album in 2008. This track though, was part of the band’s third studio album, Melophobia, released in 2013. While not necessarily a new song, Cage the Elephant has a very modern sound to where they will always have a place in today’s music.
8. It Was Not Natural – Wye Oak
“It was not natural all along. Only human hands could give us something so unforgiving.”
If you haven’t heard of Wye Oak, I can’t say I’m surprised. I didn’t become aware of this indie band until I was trolling for music to put on this very list. The good news is I think I found a new band that I’ll keep around for a while. The band’s newest album, The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, is currently being featured as Stereogum’s Album of the Week, where writer Tom Breihan discusses the band’s originality with this album. He writes, “The new Wye Oak could sound like a mess. It’s certainly firing off ideas in enough directions without much considering how all those ideas might cohere together. But in Wasner, they’ve got one of indie rock’s great instinctive voices, and she grounds everything without even really trying to do it.” The album definitely speaks about lead vocalist’s Jenn Wasner‘s views on life in general come through perfectly with her raspy lower tone.
9. Nice For What – Drake
“With your phone out, gotta hit them angles // With your phone our, snappin’ like you Fabo”
If there’s one thing that everyone can get behind right now it’s supporting and uplifting women, and Drake is all about it. One of the biggest names in rap music right now, Drake’s music video for “Nice For What” is probably going to be one of the most talked about music videos of the year due to its featuring of a star studded femme fatale. While there is some praise for the empowerment of women, Drake did catch some flack for releasing the track at the same time Cardi B released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy.
10. You Gotta Be – Des’ree
“Stand up and be counted, don’t be ashamed to cry.”
Possibly one of the most positive songs ever written, our throwback track this week comes from Des’ree’s I Ain’t Movin’ album released in 1994 and was also featured on her Supernatural album in 1998. My favorite quality of Des’ree is that her live voice and her album voice are pretty much exactly the same, which brings a kind of validity and timelessness. “You Gotta Be” is definitely a song that can and has stood up to the test of time, being an anthem for keeping going and doing what you need to do to get by. It’ s song that, I believe, gains popularity due to its subtle lift of emotion and the simple fact that it’s Des’ree.
Thank you guys, for once again checking out Tunes Tuesday. Don’t forget that you can send in suggestions for songs to the Blue Ridge Report twitter account with #TunesTuesday. See you all next week.