“Not Above Love” – AlunaGeorge
“After a three year wait AlunaGeorge are finally back with a new album, ‘I Remember’. The album is a perfect snapshot of female fronted electropop-R&B, with vocalist Aluna Francis’ breathy vocals floating ethereally over the bass heavy, rhythmically complex tracks laid out by George Reid. While their slower tracks can get lost in their own introspection, the album touches on various aspects of female sexuality and modern dissatisfaction throughout without sacrificing their signature aesthetic. The track “Not Above Love”, which follows the seamless introduction to the album laid out by “Full Swing” and “My Blood”, is particularly resonant in terms of lyrical content – with a narrator exhausted by the emotional toll of a relationship who has nothing left to give but is still snidely apologetic at the end. The song, which features an exasperated Francis singing cutting lyrics like, “I know you’re thinking the worst of me but I hope one day you’ll see – I’m not above love, I just ran out of it”, is toned down by her breathy delivery and grounded by pop-R&B sensibilities of the track. It’s an anthem for the emotionally weary who still want the last word.” – Kara K.
“Mother Emanuel” – Local Natives
“Mother Emanuel is a song inspired by the Charleston church shooting, with lyrics describing the fear that radiated throughout the country at the time of the violence. The song itself combines a light guitar riff with choirs and a piano melody that plays off of the dark subject matter, as the chorus demands to know “Where is the dawn?” This song is catchy and heartbroken, demanding answers to questions that should never have to be asked. All the while, harps and rising synths fill the gaps in between verses, keeping the song almost playful at moments. The song is much poppier than other Local Natives material, but it is still an introspective take on the violence that has plagued our country. Also, super catchy.” – Harry Q.
“Certainty” – Temples
“The English psych group Temples has released the first single off their anticipated sophomore record, entitled “Certainty”. Sounding a bit more produced than on their debut, Sun Structures, the band still maintain their almost wavy and ethereal aspects whilst simultaneously adding depth, maturation, and a whole lot more hype for 2017.” – Andrew G.
“Face Like Thunder” – The Japanese House
“The Japanese House released their new song “Face Like Thunder” on September 26, and it is a new direction for Amber Bain. This new sound for Bain is more upbeat and includes more song elements, but this doesn’t mean sacrificing the underrated beauty of her songs. This chorus-driven song comes ahead of the release of her next EP, “Swim Against the Tide”, to be released on November 11.” – Jillian F.
“Tomorrow” – Shakey Graves
“Shakey Graves has released a new single, Tomorrow. The song, despite recent release, has been on paper and performed in bits and pieces for a while. Lead singer Alejandro Rose Garcia wrote the song at age 16, unaware of his bright musical future and naive, despite what the risqué lyrics may portray. Having just finished the second half of the song ten years later, Garcia released the full version at the beginning of September 2016, complete with his distinct, passion infused vocal. Tomorrow’s cover artwork displays the Dualtone label, also home to renowned artists Ivan & Alyosha and the Lumineers. Tomorrow being Shakey Graves’ first song release since 2014 hints to fans that they may be releasing a new album soon.” – Lauren K.
“Drowning” – Mick Jenkins
“Straight off of his debut album, Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins begins the song “Drowning” with a celebration. “We gon’ need some drugs for the situation / Shout out to my plug, it’s a lituation.” The song ends with Mick’s rarely heard falsetto slowly fading away as he says, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” Providing a smooth instrumental, Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD helps Mick slide through one of the most politically charged tracks he’s released, and that’s saying a lot for Mick Jenkins. His past work has not been afraid to make a statement, and this track proves he isn’t backing down anytime soon. Alluding to Eric Garner’s final words of “I can’t breathe” and characterizing himself as a slave in the music video, Jenkins brings to light a feeling of helplessness, and presents listeners with a grave situation that never manages to find a resolution.” – Christian T.
“WALLS” – Kings of Leon
“The single, “WALLS” from Kings of Leon’s upcoming seventh studio album, was recently released along with a corresponding video. The video matches the song flawlessly, both being simple and calm. The minimalistic video is just what the band needs to balance out their powerful lyrics. “You tore out my heart, you threw it away,” conveys a sense of heartbreak that listeners will surely relate to. “WALLS” has a soothing piano and guitar rhythm enabling it to be the type of song that will bring tears to your eyes. The full album, “We Are Like Love Songs,” is scheduled to drop October 14th.” – Emily G.
“How Can You Tell When It’s Done?” – Baauer x CZ
“How Can You Tell When It’s Done. A colorful, fun, EDM track. Juxtaposing 180 bpm drill breaks with silky smooth breakdowns, this track is as far as possible from the chiche that drum and bass has become.” – Ryan G.
“Same Old Lie” – Jim James
“Same Old Lie is the first single off the My Morning Jacket frontman’s upcoming album “Eternally Even.” James has always been vocal about his views on social issues in his music and this song is no different. Between his hushed singing and repetitive chorus James shoves his commentary into the listener’s ear with, “You best believe it’s the silent majority, If you don’t vote it’s on you not me.” If the glaring social lyricism doesn’t get to you then the creaking violin mixed with the drawn out synth will. Around the four minute mark the track gives way to a more psychedelic feel with the heavy use of hand drums and synths that give the outro a major primitive vibe. If this first single is any indication as to what his new album will be like then stay tuned for “Eternally Even” as James takes on the issues of our present society in between acid trips.” – Parker B.