This week, full of its news of tiki torches and white vans, can best be described by one resultive adjective; CLenchED. Wendy Roby, one of our favorite recovering music journalists, aptly describes music as medicine, and your music catalog as a bathroom cabinet to choose your best curative from. Our pills this week take the form of cantering and sometimes wordless moments, that allow you to toss your mind off like a bobbing lure in a green-lit pond, as to better forget condescending women at the library help desks, jabbing at you to return your fictional novels on time. Let’s stretch.
Kiasmos – “Blurred”
Because: It’s like being out on a quiet, gusty day, but with your best red windbreaker on and a sea of grass to walk through like a wheat field in Gladiator ahead of you. Half of this group is Ólafur Arnalds.
Jamila Woods – “Holy”
Because: There is no disagreement here, this is the most courageous of the encouraging songs. She also did a new bit with Chance The Rapper that’s quite good.
Grizzly Bear – “Mourning Sound” (NSFW)
Because: Fleur Delacour is never getting away from that one time she showed up at Hogwarts like a brilliant pop idol, but then shattered like a distressed damsel so a scarred shorty could save her and little sis. Also, bathing suits shouldn’t exist in a world of magic. There are spells for that kind of business.
Forest Swords – “Raw Language”
Because: This is the sound of soldiers on horses throwing themselves headlong into meat grinder of a battle, but then a raven-haired sorceress flashes in and parts the tide of silly men and their beards.
Run Rivers – “Lost Love”
Because: When you lose someone you took for granted, finding a thread from one of their old dodgy sweaters in the corner of your room, you tear at that piece of string and worship it until the thing itself becomes more important than what used to be real. Chris James, formerly of Stateless is back as Run Rivers, and wears his cabin full of loss around his shoulders well.
Shout Out Louds – “Oh Oh”
Because: THE SHOUT OUT LOUDS ARE BACK AND NO ONE WROTE ME ABOUT IT.
Son Little – “Blue Magic (Waikiki)”
Because: “Never wanted to be a bad man, but I’m a bad man just the same.” Cut to Son Little strumming an acoustic by a night fire and handing the intro and expo of his new single to a bitty child. Maybe you’re an proper guy after all Little. Maybe there are degrees of bad, such as the alright kind of guy that would give a hip-shuffler of a tune in the midst of his theft of a shade of the arcane.
Jenny O. – “People”
Because: Whispering and velvet curtain of a musician Jenny O. is more Fleet Foxes sometimes than Fleet Foxes would be if they teamed up with Midlake right as the latter was releasing their The Trials of Van Occupanther album. She stole both their heydays and ran off with them until just now. Her new Peace & Information contains all of it and some of her life savings.
MURS – “Lemon Juice”
Because: Every syllable of this song is utterly self-aware and the more ridiculous for it. On the other hand, if MURS and Curtiss aren’t aware that they’re at the height of cringe here, then “Lemon Juice” is hilarious in a whole other way.
Camel Power Club – “Ventura”
Because: This is the sound of the story of a bloke on a road trip, but it’s not about him, it’s about his ’89 Ford that just ran out of steam and watched her owner walk away. She’s towed, stowed, then salvaged, getting her old bits installed next to new bits, and a whole anthropomorphic car part party occurs in strobe and neon as the Verdana font credits roll.
Faye Webster – “She Won’t Go Away”
Because: “She Won’t Go Away” has a autumn leaves kind of melancholy, that’s for certainity, but if you didn’t want to go to the library stack at the end of the fifth floor where this song was leading you, the saving buoyant grace of the tune is the slide guitar sparkles and spattering of string work that take Faye Webster up on their hands and parade her right down the more popular audio/visual section of that biblioteca.