OOOOOOH WE BACK. I’m spending my summer in the lovely garbage-smelling New York City and I’ve needed some good music to distract myself on my commute to work from the fact that I’m standing centimeters away from complete strangers on a crowded, hot, smelly aluminum box zooming underneath a city only to walk through Times Square and get chased by people dressed like Elmo and the Hulk on my way to work five days a week. No, I promise it’s a lot better than it sounds. Anyway, so far we’ve gotten to FINALLY hear some new Florence, the debut album from Jamie xx, and the very highly-anticipated project by Chance the Rapper and Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment. So far summer 2015 has been very good to us.
I can go on for thousands of words raving about this album. If you know me and my taste in music or at least have been reading enough of these Music For Your Mondays, you know that there’s a special place in my heart for sad and depressing songs. Therefore, it should come to no surprise that “Various Storms & Saints” is one of my favorite songs on How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. The first time I listened to this song my jaw literally dropped. I mean literally in the Webster dictionary definition. The heartbreak and sadness in this song is palpable and if you’ve ever just been so heartbroken that you never thought you could recover, the kind of heartbreak where you’re just in this fog for weeks and your chest actually aches, you know how Florence feels. The buildup towards to end of the song starting with “you had to have him/and so you did/somethings you let go in order to live” is just delivered with such with this feeling that is easy to identify with, making the song just so special to me on so many different levels, as a music listener and as a human being capable of love. As so goes the rest of the album, Florence’s voice just carries you through every aspect of her breakup and the subsequent recovery; even better, her band (the machine) sounds the better than ever.
In movies when the couple is at their peak and there’s that nice montage of their love and happiness to be physically near each other the outside world is blurred and their in focus. Visually, that’s how I interpret this song. When you’re at that level with someone that you can just be with them, like you’re physically there in the same moment, that’s what this song is trying to represent. The rest is all noise because what matters and what is important is right in front of you. Besides what I’m interpreting the meaning to be, this is an incredible song. It’s multi-layered and uses so many different sounds to take the listener on a journey from a classical piano to a buildup that morphs into something you would hear at a swanky club around 12:45 on a Saturday night. But from there, it takes an intergalactic turn, with distorted sounding bells and sirens. Not a recommended listen while driving for that reason.
Do you hear that sound? It’s the entire female (and male) (and anyone with ears and a pulse) swooning over Leon Bridges. It’s the soul music that we didn’t know we wanted but now know that we deserve. My favorite part of the comments on the video is everyone saying “this is real music!” Our societal concept of “real” or “authentic” music is so interesting, just because it’s pure soul music doesn’t mean it’s real or authentic, but it’s so interesting that the genre is automatically connected to the authenticity. Maybe I’ll write an article about it. Anyway, if you liked this song, you’re in luck. Bridges’ album is set to come out on the 23rd.
A$AP Rocky’s AT.LONG.LAST. A$AP is a loooooong album. It’s good though, just a shame that it’s released in a year that has been full of great releases; it’s going to be overlooked. “Jukebox Joints” is my favorite on the album and not just cause of the Kanye verse. Ok it’s not even that good. But that’s not the point. The beat and rhythm in this song is so cool and connects all the verses into one cohesive, smooth sounding song. The jazzy sax during Kanye’s verse underscores him talking about how much him and Kim do it and also he rhymes with “fomo” but besides that it’s a good song. But really Kanye, you’re better than rapping “fomo” with “four more.”
Bless BBC1 for introducing me to another great band, Catefish and the Bottlemen. This is good rock music (think if the Foo Fighters and The Strokes had a love child) and they’re currently touring the in the U.S.! “Kathleen” is a great song, but also be sure to check out “Cocoon” and “Hourglass” while you’re at it. To make it even better, two of the band members have great names. Van McCann plays guitar and is the lead vocalists and Billy Bibby is the lead guitarist.
The worst/best part of listening to a song is when you think “zomg these lyrics are so relatable!” Granted, Bethany Consentino is definitely not known for her lyrics, however, when I first heard this song I did have that moment of yes this girl gets me at this very moment. California Nights, the most aptly named Best Coast album ever, has it’s highs and lows, but it’s definitely and ideal album for hazy summer days and “Feeling Ok” is the best one on the album. Between the rocking guitars and steady drumming, this is the female-driven fuzzy alt-rock that I want to be listening to this summer.
Oh by the way Surf *finally* is out.