It’s almost too easy to like a ditty when it contains a hook that comes at your ears like a beat-burdened missile. It does all the work, offering a you-shaped saddle to hop upon. But some weeks should be easy; some thoughts needn’t be too wordy.
Cataldo – “Little Heartbeat”
Because: The hoppiest and most bongo tinged of the tunes on the Seattle native’s sophomore album Keepers, “Little Heartbeat” surpasses the malady the video is; where all the wrong advice is given: never give the girl a flying car ride on the first date. Save it for the third.
Toulouse – “Reach Out”
Because: A pretty voice is a pretty voice and well and fine, but it’s nothing if not matched with nuance. Nigerian-born and New York-based singer and producer Toulouse (Tu-Lose) takes some time to craft his decor around his centerpiece songs, throwing up eaves/lightning balances to color and support his work.
Nilüfer Yanya – “Golden Cage”
Because: Sometimes the U.K. exurbanites can be altogether too musically urban; afraid to leave the street and tastes they were raised on. But Ms. Yanya slips to the outskirts of the city, to the jazz clubs and the windiest of the parking garage quarters.
KMD – “True Lightyears” (feat. Jay Electronica & DOOM)
Because: Through an Adult Swim singles run, KMD has released the remnant group’s first new piece of music in more than 20 years – and it is a whole lungful of fresh air. “True Lightyears” is a sneak preview of what’s to come when A Crack In Time drops never-soon-enough. Kause Much Damage is an unladen lark in the current darkness of societal deserts. Hip-Hop needs some sturdy beams and girders for a better foundation rather than the tin nuggets and foil dogs it seems to be on.
Norwegian Arms – “West Queen West”
Because: Keith Birthday traveled from Peru to Washington state to Toronto to New York and his hometown, Philadelphia seeking inspiration for his newest collection. Here though, on “West Queen West”, he does the same thing Panda Bear frequently does; lets his obsession with that one fish scene from ‘The Sword In The Stone’ get the better of him.
Wolf Alice – “Don’t Delete The Kisses”
Because: Good relationships aren’t a step by step process, where you only get better and never worse and always closer together never apart; instead, they’re more of a muddled mess of the same behavior in new scenarios. The key then, is obviously to find someone who loves your idiocy despite seeing it for the twelfth time when they specifically sat you down on the couch and ‘splained how it gives them the jitters when you don’t make the bed the right way. Wolf Alice knows this.
S. Carey – “Brassy Sun”
Because: There is no peer of S. Carey when it comes to light-peeking-through-leaves-above-you kind of tunes. His newest single seems to take pride in this; laying upside-down train tracks in the canopy, so he can just barely brush his fingertips amongst them. Cheeky fellow. We also changed the color of the SoundCloud player so it looks more brassy. NBD.
WebsterX – “Everfeel”
Because: Mr. X likes to breathe all his breath every time he huffs a line. It gives his songs a rushed, dizzy feel that edges and cusps on anxiety-inducing. But when you’re mad at the inexorable crawl of society and its lack of eyes and ears and only grabby hands, you need that warm wind behind you to get out of the mire.
Tristen – “Glass Jar” (feat. Jenny Lewis)
Because: Tristen is one of those artists that can take the bits you throw away after making lunch, and make a multi-course meal of it. “Glass Jar” is only four moving parts of harmony, guitar melody loop, snare rhythm, and some keyboard, but each is full of flavor and ordered just right with desert and salty lyrics paired just right.
Tiny Ruins – “Feathers”
Because: Wow, you made it down this far down the page, well done! Way to scroll with an open mind. As a reward, here is a quiet song. It’s the only kind Tiny Ruins does. And while others might find such things dull, you rather, being of such integrity, will actually hear her voice, and the spell she’s casting. After hearing it, you’ll get a buff of +3 wisdom and see the beauty in a resting butterfly.