Playlist 06.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend

Playlist 06.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 06.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend
Playlist 06.23.19 : Five Songs for the Weekend

MUNA – Number One Fan

LA-based trio MUNA have accomplished a lot since 2015, when we named them a Band To Watch. For starters, the gloom-pop band have opened for Harry Styles, advocated for Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, and released a Bleachers cover. In 2017, MUNA shared their debut album, About U, which proved we were definitely on to something. Today, the trio is announcing their sophomore album, Saves The World, and sharing lead single “Number One Fan” along with a video.

MUNA are experts in the art of crafting hooks, and this track is no different. The song is catchy as all hell. Ripping synths with an ’80s like disco sensibility are given a freshness with a airy snare on the downbeat. An electrifying guitar solo in the bridge slows down the synth work before diving right back into the groove.

The video feels like what might’ve happened if David Lynch had let Lady Gaga direct an episode of Twin Peaks. It was actually directed by Isaac Schneider, and depicts lead singer Katie Gavin being followed by what looks like her twin. The twin wants to do everything that Gavin is doing, copying her move for move. She stalks her on a night out, creepily following her to an arcade. Gavin is chased all the way back to her house, and somehow they end up dancing together.

Here’s the band with more details on the song’s meaning:

“Number One Fan” is the first release from an album that we truly cannot wait to share with our fans. It is a song about recognizing the negative voices in your head and learning to speak back to them. It’s a joyful and surprising experience to recognize that, just as we can all be our own biggest haters, we can also decide to be our own biggest fans. We can choose to believe in ourselves, to take notice of all the little admirable things we do, to applaud every inch of progress and comfort ourselves through every pitfall. It’s an incredibly liberating process, learning to love ourselves this way. In this culture, we are almost taught to look to other people to fill up some void in ourselves. What happens when we accept that we are already whole? We become our own icons. We become unstoppable and un-buyable. We save the world. No, just kidding, sorry we got caught up in the moment. (But maybe!)

Read the rest of this article at Stereogum

Caroline Polachek – Door

Over the past decade, Caroline Polachek has led several artistic lives over. As half of beloved indie pop group Chairlift, she wielded her bright falsetto like a secret weapon, detonating their groove-based songs with blasts of vitality, sadness, or both. The laptop-bred alter ego Ramona Lisa allowed Polachek to turn inward, crafting melodic, pastoral pop songs that paved the way for CEP, an ambient side project of “useful” music for passive activities. Now, with the arrival of “Door,” a song simply credited to Caroline Polachek, a new sense of significance lingers—in what direction does a musical polyglot go when presenting a project attributed only to herself?

Airy and sprawling, “Door” is as elliptical and strange as Chairlift’s most unconventional moments, but shot through with a romantic open-heartedness that’s all Polachek. Her diaphanous voice flits through various processors, sounding like she’s singing from another room entirely at one point before returning to a liquid, cool delivery. The kaleidoscopic, essential video renders the song in surreal visions of endless mirrors, doorways, and warped fields, with Polachek and a pair of greyhounds as guiding spirits. Taking an understated, strange approach to the pro forma pop song, “Door” coasts on gentle programmed drums, finger-picked acoustic guitar, and synths as sharp as gasps. But it’s Polachek’s wistful, memorable hook, journeying through a series of doorways to someone forever on the other side, that pushes “Door” to its peak. Collapsing into an agile vocal solo, “Door” ends on an ethereal and emotive note, providing an off-kilter introduction to a new era of Polachek’s spare pop music.

Read the rest of this article at Pitchfork

Hope Tala – D.T.M.

There’s nothing like being stunned by a piece of art. And by that I don’t necessarily mean that you’re shocked – although good art can be shocking – but that you’ve been so taken aback by something on first listen (or watch or read or look) that it’s knocked you backwards. You’re present, you’re here, and you’re taking every moment in.

Musician Hope Tala’s debut single proper “Lovestained” produces a feeling like that. Introduced with a bossanova tinged, hand-plucked guitar, it softly places you in a late afternoon, golden-hour setting that’s likely several air-miles away from wherever you’re currently streaming it. Then Hope’s light but commanding vocal comes through, “I’ll make it better / I’ll make it better, you never have to worry about me,” coming in waves like a tranquilliser.

The song plucked the 21-year-old out of west London and nudged her into the spotlight, granting her international press from Rolling Stone as well as cross-coast collaborations (she’s worked with the outrageously soulful US singer Raveena). When Hope and I meet in a Soho pub for a quiet catch-up, her English Literature degree at Bristol University is sliding into its last moments, her final essay handed in. At this point she had a choice: carry-on from the success of “Lovestained” or follow up with a Masters degree, where she’d been accepted, to study English at Cambridge. In the end she chose the former.

“It’s fine if one thing is a bit more hectic than the other but when they both become hectic at the same time I find it hard to compartmentalise things,” she says. Just as well she’s focusing on music now, then, with new track “DTM” out today (premiering below) and a full EP of songs on the way, to follow 2018’s self-released Soundcloud EP Starry Ache. “DTM” comes from the same warm pocket of sound as “Lovestained”, and fits into the tonal canon of work by some of Hope Tala’s neo-soul faves. For more info on who those are, read on below for the next edition of our introductory Here’s The Deal With… series.

Read the rest of this article at Vice

jasper lotti – ur so vague

Jasper Lotti’s pop is as dark and chant-like as it is danceable and catchy – she calls it dystopian pop. After recently releasing her third single “Ur so Vague”, the LA/Maine-based artist is now preparing her upcoming EP and a performance art piece.

Do you think growing up in White Plains, New York, has affected you as an artist?
100% – White Plains is a suburb skirting NYC, and it had this raw immigrant energy when I was growing up. I have always thought about deep concepts, like the universe and purpose. Everyone in White Plains was on their hustle and routine; no one knew what I was talking about. Even now, I always feel like an alien, on the outside observing. That’s why I feel so strongly to be an artist and create the conversations that I can’t have.

When and how did you get into music?
When I was around four years old, my grandma noticed that I was always singing and picking up melodies from the radio, she insisted I start lessons. So I went to a woman in our neighborhood who taught classical Hindustani music in her living room. My school music teacher was this sweet West African man who also directed the local gospel choir, which he asked me to join. So I grew up singing both styles of music simultaneously.

Read the rest of this article at Coeval Magazine

Lord Felix – Baby Boy (feat. Leo The Kind) [prod. Rilla Force]

Looking to fill the void left behind by the absence of N.E.R.D. in today’s soundscape, New England solo act Lord Felix nails the alt-pop / hip-hop fusion on his new EP Ultraviolet.

The three track short-player, produced by a collection of able soundsmiths, kicks it off with “Baby Boy,” a collaboration that bumps a bass-laden bounce before turning it up and over to the final two originals “Girls Girls Girls!” and “Carry Me.” This trio of originals showcase the artist’s willingness to explore uncommon sounds and themes, a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale scene.

Read the rest of this article at Digital High

P.S. previous PLAYLISTS & more by P.F.M.