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Showing posts from February, 2021

"Why Must a Building Burn?" - Maximo Park

 On February 26th, British rock band Maximo Park released their seventh album, "Nature Always Wins." The album is a good listen for the two-decade-old band; it's reminiscent of their earlier efforts - like "A Certain Trigger," which is by far their pinnacle work - but it feels more mature, more grounded. "Why Must a Building Burn?" is classic Maximo Park, but more restrained and more pensive. Lead singer Paul Smith says about this track, " "Why Must A Building Burn? is a snapshot of ordinary lives touched by tragedy in different ways. I think the heavy subject matter is alleviated, and made more resonant, by the effervescent music. I was thinking of how Prince does that brilliantly in 'Sign O' The Times' when we wrote the song.” Although it might fly under your radar, give the entirety of "Nature Always Wins" a listen. While it may not be life-changing, it's a solid album nonetheless. Check out "Why Must a Build

"Good Morning Heartache" - Billie Holiday

First of all, this is one of the best songs to wake up to in the morning. Even if you're not heartbroken, which I sure hope you're not because that's a crap space to occupy, it still has a sort of quiet magic about it that is a wonderful way to start the day. I would implore you - if you haven't listened to much of Billie Holiday's work, do yourself a favor this weekend and revisit her catalog. She truly shines among the expanse of American music - a Black jazz legend who has been revered by generations for good reason.  I felt like sharing some Billie Holiday in honor of the film "The United States Vs. Billie Holiday" which arrived on Hulu yesterday. The film seems to be receiving good to mixed reviews (it holds a fairly middle-of-the-road Rotten Tomatoes score by accounts of critics and audiences), but mostly Andra Day's performance as Billie Holiday is garnering attention (and a Golden Globe nom). While the movie may not fully capture the legend th

"King of Letting Go" - Sondre Lerche

I haven't posted about Sondre Lerche in a minute, but this song was too enjoyable and catchy not to share with the greater world. Sondre is an awesome person - I interviewed him a few years ago and he was fantastic; I met him in person many moons ago and he was super sweet. So I'm a little biased.  With a career spanning several decades, Sondre's work ethic is impressive AF. Few musicians have that dedication to consistency, and I think Sondre is sometimes overlooked for his efforts (at least stateside). I haven't kept up that carefully with his career, which is written with a pang of regret, but what I have listened to I've enjoyed (although his Britney Spears cover made me a little too emotional). "King of Letting Go" was just released a few days ago, and boy would I say hands down it's one of his top songs. It's instanteously hooking - serious powerpop from the let go that vaguely recalls some of the poppier tracks from his "Faces Down&quo

"Holocene" - Zella Day featuring Weyes Blood

Want something sleepy and gentle to listen to this Valentine's Day? Do I have the song for you; it's "Holocene" by Arizona-bred Zella Day featuring Weyes Blood. It's a step back into the lush folk of the '60s and '70s; their voices blend together almost magically. The refrain of the song is haunting: "Time forgets no one." Also, despite having the same title, this not a Bon Iver cover. Zella Day and Weyes Blood are formidable talents on their own though, and worth listening to. Below are my favorite songs by each singer: ' Both singers will be featured on Lana Del Rey's upcoming "Chemtrails Over the Country Club," due out on March 19th. They'll all be covering Joni Mitchell's classic "For Free," and see below for a taste of things to come back from when live concerts were a thing . Remember those days?  

"Run" - Anna Akana

If you're not familiar with multi-talented YouTuber/actor/singer-songwriter/writer Anna Akana, get familiar. I've recently been introduced to her, and she's a bona-fide pop star in the making. The video for her latest single "Run" gives me strong "Queen of the Damned" vibes - and considering how much I adore Aaliyah, that's a high compliment.  The song itself is a strong pop song about a toxic relationship, with a ferocity that would make it stand far out from other tracks dominating Top 40 currently. Anna definitely puts her heart in to what she's singing.  Watch the stunning video below: Anna's EP "No Longer Yours" drops on February 21st.

"Time to Walk Away" - Washed Out

I'm genuinely amazed by how enjoyable the latest Washed Out record, "Purple Noon," is. Some of the tracks do fall off into the background and don't retain much flavor, but the standout tracks REALLY stand out. Case in point: "Paralyzed," "Don't Go," and "Time to Walk Away." Now, you might be thinking chillwave is over (in my heart it'll always live on) and that three impeccable songs do not make a noteworthy album.  Well, those assessments are not inaccurate. But I've found "Purple Noon" a wonderful soundtrack to work lately. Smooth, rhythmic, lulling, hypnotic in the right moments. Even recalling Sade in some places. Just a quietly gorgeous work from 2020. Listen to "Time to Walk Away" below. 

"Nobody Knows" - POSTDATA

POSTDATA, a side project of Wintersleep's Paul Murphy, has just put out my first favorite song of the year. That is "Nobody Knows," an irresistable jangly powerpop song. In a perfect world, this song would have a central spot on the soundtrack of a delightful coming-of-age film.  In addition to Murphy, the Canadian POSTDATA's line-up consists of a miscellaney of talents: Andy Monaghan and Grant Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit, Murphy's brother Michael, and Simone Pace of Blonde Redhead. POSTDATA's third album, "Twin Flames," is set for release on March 5th. Murphy himself describes the upcoming "Twin Flames" as  “inward-looking and focused on creating and surrounding itself in hope and warmth.” If "Nobody Knows" is any taste of things to come, it seems like he perfectly managed to capture that feeling.