New Music Mondays | 9.25.17

Get back into the swing ‘o things with some funky fresh tunes! Check out WRBB’s #NMM below.

‘Good Old Days’ feat. Kesha – Macklemore

“If you’re like me, you have a sort of morbid curiosity every time Macklemore releases new music. You want to know if he’s stumbled upon another hit like ‘Thrift Shop’ or ‘Same Love’ but you’ll probably be disappointed. Macklemore doesn’t do anything new or exciting on ‘Good Old Days,’ But he does play to his strengths, which are nostalgia and suburban style rap. The song off of his newly released album GEMINI is far from groundbreaking, and if you weren’t a fan of Macklemore before, this song won’t change that. But at least it isn’t as cringe worthy and off-brand as his Lil Yachty collaboration, ‘Marmalade.’ Rather than bringing on another Soundcloud rapper, (that’s what the kids are into these days, right?) Macklemore opts for a more traditional chorus, courtesy of Kesha. Her performance is solid, but I don’t think the hook she provides will be getting stuck in my head anytime soon. All things considered, I’m just glad he set aside the autotune vocals for this one. But after listening to ‘Good Old Days,’ I suspect that GEMINI will be similar to eating a bowl of white rice without soy sauce: not necessarily bad, but certainly not great.” – Isaac Shur

‘Dum Surfer’ – King Krule

“King Krule has returned at last! He re-appeared first with the dreamlike sway of lead single ‘Czech One,’ and now follows it up with the drunken Halloween horror show of ‘Dum Surfer.’ The jazz-inflected guitars and deep, cavernous reverb that marked his older work are still there, but songwriter Archy Marshall seems to have taken a step away from the eerily sparse arrangements of his debut. A full band plays throughout the song, blending together distorted bass, R&B styled drums, and a barrage of spooky sound effects that creep in at the corners. With this song, Marshall has finally found a backdrop aggressive enough to match the fury in his howling baritone voice as he bellows about a terrible night at the bar (which may or may not involve vomit, terrible bar bands, and a mild car crash). Interviews have revealed that the forthcoming King Krule album, The OOZ, out October 13 via XL/True Panther, is about the often disgusting discharge, physical and emotional, that emerges from humanity every day. It’s hard to say what directions that might take, but I can say with certainty that if he releases another song half as nasty as this one, I’ll be very satisfied.” – Craig Short

‘Confessions Pt. III’ (feat. Colin Stetson) – BADBADNOTGOOD

“If BADBADNOTGOOD’s ‘Confessions Pt. II’ left you at a cliffhanger, begging for the next installment to the captivating series, I have good news: ‘Confessions Pt. III’ is here. Naturally, the Canadian jazz quartet paired up with saxophone legend, Colin Stetson once again; there is really no better guest for a series of sax-centric songs like these. Stetson is a hot commodity these days after appearing on Animal Collective and Bon Iver’s albums last year and dropping an album of his own this year. It is great to see him back with the boys for another ‘Confessions’. Each song in the series is longer than the last with this one clocking in at seven minutes, so make sure that you’re ready for a journey before clicking play. Throughout the song, the drums, bass, and keys keep it simple and hang in the background, letting Colin and Leland Whitty’s saxophones take the spotlight. Colin’s signature fast fluttering melodies send your mind spinning while at the same time, Leland’s drawn-out improvisations try to keep you grounded; the duality is magnificent. The release of this song marked the start of the band’s Fall/Winter tour, kicking off at none other than Royale here in Boston last week (it was a great show). With this song, BADBADNOTGOOD and Colin Stetson prove once again that they are at the forefront of contemporary jazz. If you have not already, be sure to check out their latest albums: IV and All This I Do For Glory, respectively.” – Spencer LaChance

‘Liger’ – Young Thug & Carnage

Young Thug is an enigma. It could be argued that he is the most uniquely entertaining rap artist that has hit a mainstream audience. And now, with the release of his collaborative EP with Carnage, he is acknowledging this novelty. In ‘Liger,’ Thugger raps, ‘Everybody got tigers, so I wanna go get a liger.’ Thug is in no way revolutionizing the lyricism of the rap game, and in a way, is doing nothing new. The novelty in his art manifests itself in the way he takes rap music, (which is so rooted in a very consistent style) upends it, and makes it his own. His versatility is also a major component in his appeal, and Carnage’s production on this song pushes Thug to adapt, and he does it flawlessly. This EP is only a taste of Young Thug’s permanence and permeation in the rap game, and ‘Liger’ is an assurance that he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.” – Christian Triunfo


“‘It starts like an anxiety attack, which might be a rude thing to say, but that’s how it felt,’ my roommate said upon listening to ‘TOKYO’, BROCKHAMPTON’s third track in their latest album, SATURATION II. The fifteen-man crew responsible for the genius behind the song and the album was founded in 2015 by Kevin Abstract (coincidentally TOKYO’s hook’s producer) and have built a reputation as a completely independent creative agency and record label. ‘JUNKY’, another track from the album, was featured in last week’s New Music Mondays, but where ‘JUNKY’ is darker with its heavy beat, ‘TOKYO’ is lighter with its jazz-esque instrumental production fused with rap. It starts like an Outkast song, with the high-pitched, fast-paced voice accompanied by a thick bass line– immediately you think, ‘Yeah, this is gonna be good,’ but then it goes into the chorus and it’s so good it makes you want to flail your arms around or at least bob your head along with a stupid smile on your face. From the first bass line to the background saxophone, this song is groovy. You’ll find it impossible to listen to only once. BROCKHAMPTON has me shook this Monday.” – Catalina Berretta 

‘Paola’ – Shout Out Louds

“Like their viking ancestors, Swedish indie bands are sending their music across oceans. The Stockholm-based indie-pop band Shout Out Louds released their fifth studio album on September 22. The second track, ‘Paola’, combines dominating elements of the Swedish indie pop scene with vocal styles reminiscent of The Cure and Joy Division. Lyrically, ‘Paola’ balances itself between themes of love and friendship. Singer-songwriter Adam Olenius sings it as a letter to the song’s subject, Paola, reminiscing about time they had spent together. The lyrics are a fun mixture of no regrets and us-against-the-world mentalities. Olenius sings, ‘Some might say, that we threw our lives away / But Paola they’re all just lies / Cruel and dark like the shadows under your eyes,’ which has the potential of engaging or inspiring its listeners. While fun and emotionally charged, it does not have a clear moment that would set it apart from other music in the genre. The song does not venture outside the band’s or genre’s comfort zone, creating a sense of familiarity. For the same reason, it acts as an accessible entry point for those interested in the Swedish music scene. The familiarity of the song lends itself well to bridging the sounds of American bands like Beach House and their Scandinavian counterparts such as The Mary Onettes.

Shout Out Louds will be at Brighton Music Hall on November 4th.” – Steve Hammerton

‘John the Gun’ – Hiss Golden Messenger

As the days get shorter and the sleeves get longer, Hiss Golden Messenger has distilled the bittersweet end-of-summer sentiment that sets in this time of year with his wistful new song ‘John the Gun’. The song was previously found as a B-side to Hiss Golden Messenger’s 2016 album Heart like a Levee, but was reworked with fresh instrumentation to make the cut on their new album Hallelujah Anyhow. The song comes on quietly, with just singer MC Taylor’s Carolina croon over sparse guitar phrasing. Atmospheric synths roll in like fog through an Appalachian valley, and before you know it, the whole band is playing. With a gentle reggae rhythm, country is rarely this danceable. The looping drumbeat carries the song forward into a blissful saxophone jam that transports you to a countryside drive, windows rolled all the way down. Guitars and keys chirp like crickets in the richly layered background, dense with sounds like the humid air of a doggy day afternoon. The song fades out after just three and a half minutes, a sunset come too soon.” – Robert Kerstens

‘Again (ft. XXXTENTACION)’ – Noah Cyrus

WARNING: Not so lit.

“Noah Cyrus’s career has been slightly puzzling to me. Her breakout single ‘Make Me (Cry)’ was a perfectly acceptable pop song that had a pretty good hook on it, but since then she hasn’t shown anything I found particularly impressive. Each single she released was less interesting than the last, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t tolerate listening through once. However, her latest single, entitled ‘Again (ft. XXXTENTACION)’, was the first song I heard from her that I genuinely disliked. It took me 3 tries to get through this song in its entirety, which is mostly due to several jarring and displeasing choices in the production and Noah’s vocal performance being the sonic equivalent of Melatonin. The song starts off with a generic Trap-Soul beat a-la ‘Pillowtalk’ by ZAYN. The first verse is lyrically pretty run of the mill, but before the pre-chorus we start to hear some strange electronic warps and beeps that will go on to plague the rest of this track. The chorus is particularly guilty of this, adding the ugliest sounding synthesizer wub this side of Skrillex after the exceptionally lame lyric ‘I wanna be your lover, I don’t wanna be your friend’. Noah continues into her upper vocal range to sing ‘You don’t know what you got till it’s gone my dear, so tell me that you love me again’. This hook comes across as uninteresting and cliche, which is made less bearable by a very poorly pitch-corrected vocal lead. The second verse is sung by 2017’s breakout underground rapper and human question mark XXXTENTACION. Honestly, it took me a few tries to even hear his voice. Running the vocals through an entire island of effects makes it sound more like an instrument then it does a voice, which is particularly problematic when the instrumental parts are sonically similar to and poorly balanced with the vocals. Overall, this track doesn’t do it for me. If you are itching for more white-girl trap, this could be a song you’ll enjoy. But personally, I will not be listening to it again.” – Matt Wikstrom

‘North Pole’ – Injury Reserve

“‘I can’t be the only one that’s feeling lost, right?’ says Stepa J. Groggs on rap trio Injury Reserve’s first single from their upcoming EP, Drive It Like It’s Stolen. The song is called ‘North Pole,’ and it is equal parts somber and introspective. In the past, Injury Reserve have shown an affinity for crafting fast, loud, high-energy songs with catchy hooks and clever lyrics. ‘North Pole’ is anything but fast and loud, yet it still keeps the signature Injury Reserve sound. The beat is airy, acoustic, and features some excellent use of distorted vocals by the group’s producer Parker Corey. Injury Reserve also trade their usually intense hooks for the soft murmur of Austin Feinstein, who you may recognize from features on Tyler, the Creator albums. This doesn’t make the chorus any less catchy, however. ‘Plastic confidence, I know you see-through,’ sings Feinstein, which fits perfectly with the juxtaposition of the song’s title. Parker says, ‘North Pole is the name we gave to our new house after moving to Los Angeles. It came from the location being so far north and on a weirdly Christmas themed street but as we were working on this song, it seemed to take on an interesting juxtaposition between the good tidings that come to mind when you think of the North Pole and the cold isolation of it as real, physical location in the middle of the Arctic.’ Ritchie With a T comes in for the final verse of the song with a heart-wrenching story about those who he has cared most about passing away. The verse seems to be Ritchie simulating a one-sided phone conversation with two people, his best friend and his father. The phone conversation plays perfectly into the idea of distance created by the song’s title and spacy beat. Ritchie feels so lonely and Stepa feels so lost that it is almost as if they are isolated at the North Pole.” – Grant Foskett

‘No Exit’ – Tennis

“Tennis is back with an infectious new single ‘No Exit.’ ‘No Exit’ is a track with an upbeat groovy sound perfect for dancing to. The bass line is the heartbeat of the song, giving it a constant rhythm under layers of fuzzy guitar and lead singer Alaina’s vocals. This track showcases Tennis’ ability to give a classic feel to modern pop, channeling artists like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper. While extremely catchy and upbeat, ‘No Exit’ has some darker lyrical content, the band themselves calling it, ‘a dancey 120 bpm sort of thing that appeals to [their own] persistent sense of malaise.’ This drearier sub-context is meant to challenge the carefree fun image of pop music. This is a track you can dance your heart out to without feeling like you’re betraying your inner angst. Considering the band released their fourth album, Yours Conditionally, in March of this year, this probably isn’t a single off an upcoming album. This track is just a gift to keep us dancing and smiling until they get back into the studio.They are continuing their Tours Conditionally shows through February of next year. Catch them back in Boston at the Royale in January.” – Dominic Yamarone 

‘Quarrel’ – Moses Sumney

“Expertly synthesizing the brooding aesthetics of Amnesiac-era Radiohead with his own jazzier tendencies (possibly as a callback to ‘Life In a Glasshouse’), Moses Sumney crafts an epic centerpiece with the 6 minute ‘Quarrel’. What begins as an investigation of dynamic voice and subtle drum machine quickly morphs into a fusion breakdown. The airy quality of his delivery collides considerably well with the muddy Moog bassline providing support throughout, creating a dense and layered experience for the lucky listener. This Aromanticism standout only furthers the mounting evidence that Sumney is one of the most innovative and magnetic songwriters working.” – Andrew Goldberg

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