New Music Mondays | 1.28.19

We tried not to put James Blake on this playlist, but James Blake is on this playlist. #NMM

‘Old Man’ – Stella Donnelly

Since the release and re-issue of Thrush Metal via Secretly Canadian, Stella Donnelly is ready to release her debut LP, Beware of the Dogs on March 8th. Her new single, ‘Old Man,’ gives listeners a glimpse of what to expect from her upcoming album.

The track is fun and refreshing, with dreamy chords and a playful blend of bass and drums, but the lyrics are raw and provocative, bursting with bottled up emotions. Donnelly calls herself a ‘self-proclaimed shit-stirrer’ and isn’t afraid to speak her mind about the troubling issues of today on racism and abusers. ‘Old Man’ is as modern as it gets, a heartfelt response to the #MeToo movement, and an anthem for ‘sticking up for yourself, your friends, and what’s right.’ The song is delightfully soothing and whimsical, channeling an empowering message to remind young women of their strengths and reclaiming their freedom from oppressors.”

– Victoria Tan

 ’23’ – Elizabeth Colour Wheel

“’23’ is Elizabeth Colour Wheel’s first single since signing to the Flenser, leading up to the release of their full-length Nocebo on March 15. The single is a whirlwind that showcases all the band has to offer with their doom and shoegaze influenced rock sound. It starts out aggressive and straightforward, with a tight verse-chorus structure, before dropping off into a soft slow bridge that builds into a cacophony complete with blast beats. They then give us one more go around of the chorus, before bringing the track to an end. Elizabeth Colour Wheel will be performing at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston on March 23 with Sea, as well as performing with labelmates Have a Nice Life and Planning For Burial at Brooklyn Bazaar on March 16.”

– Ryan Busse

‘Petrol Bliss’ – Choker

Choker’s newest release is a three-song EP named Mono No Moto, his first project out since the 2018 release of Honeybloom. It has no features and ranges in genre and musical technique, perfectly showcasing Choker’s unique abilities as an artist. At age 24, he has released three amazing projects (the final titled Peak) and is finally touring in 2019. Each project showcases his ability to bend genres and create music comparable to few, especially with the extremely few features on those projects.

‘Petrol Bliss’ starts with quiet ad-libbing and a quick flurry of repeating notes which breaks out into melodic synths and Choker’s rapping. It turns into a smooth and warm beat paired with singing and rapping. The song is a take on who Choker is, and reads as a beautiful diss track to anyone that isn’t truthful in who they are, ‘Drop my phone at the beach/ let the surf in don’t need it ’cause I’m pretty in person.’ It has a soulful energy that keeps in rotation every single day.”

– Vana Pistoftzian

‘Mile High’ – James Blake ft. Travis Scott

After their critically acclaimed cut ‘STOP TRYING TO BE GOD,’ Travis Scott and James Blake return with another quietly vibrant and drugged-out cut. ‘Mile High’ features Scott’s smooth baritone voice leading off the track, setting the moody, passionate tone for the rest of the song. Blake brings his typically angelic vocals, floating dreamily over the top of the song. Although the track is minimal in production and vocals (especially during the choruses), the sugary vocals and contrast in the two singers’ voices maintain depth and vibrancy in the track that keeps bringing me back. ‘Mile High’ is an intoxicating cut that brings out the best in both Blake and Scott.”

– Ryan Drew

‘Tuesday’ – Malibu Ken (Aesop Rock & Tobacco)

“Aesop Rock and Tobacco recently teamed up for their first full length collaborative effort as ‘Malibu Ken.’ The two make a perfect pair as Tobacco’s psychedelic production combined with Aesop’s unique and complex lyricism make for an aesthetic like no other. ‘Tuesday’ is a paradigm case. As Tobacco’s buzzy, lo-fi synths drive the beat forward, Aesop Rock describes his disgusting yet somehow hilarious living situation. This is not a track for the faint of heart or squeamish, as you’ll be encountering cysts, spiders, and black mold. Aesop wraps up the theme of the song with one of the best lyrics of the project: ‘I can’t even keep a cactus alive when I’m present/ When I’m gone, it’s a groundbreaking botanical epic/ From desolate to Little Shop of Horrors in a second/ It’s weird knowing life thrives more when you exit.’ Only Only Aesop Rock could manage to turn gross out humor into commentary on life and death.”

– Isaac Shur

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