What I’m Listening To: Week 2

by Stephen

1. Drag Queen – The Strokes

The Strokes are back at it again with the release of the Future Present Past EP, a four song compilation that coincided with their appearance yesterday at Governor’s Ball. “Drag Queen”, one of the EP’s singles (if you can call it that), starts off moodily with a crisp drum beat and then a groggy electric guitar riff. As Julian Casablanca’s nasally vocals join in, we feel an eerie mix of the familiar combined with the song’s subtly nefarious sonic undertones.

Watch the 80’s inspired lyric video for “Drag Queen” below:

2. Pain – De La Soul, Snoop Dogg

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never listened to De La Soul prior to this song. The hook, line, sinker for me was due to the song’s guest feature, Snoop Dogg, for whom I have a undying soft spot for. Nevertheless, “Pain”, the first single off of De La Soul’s ninth full-length album, And the Anonymous Nobody, plays so effortlessly, so smoothly, so coolly that I want to drink this song up in the heat of the summer with a small umbrella.

3. Dying to Know – Tegan and Sara

Are Tegan and Sara underrated? I’ve pondered this question when asking my friends if they’ve ever listened to them. Unfortunately, their ignorance of the power ballad duo only further confirms my suspicions. Nevertheless, there is hope. Tegan and Sara’s newest album Love You to Death is a pop triumph that will, at the very least, get the critics lined up in formation. “Dying to Know”, their to-be-destined second single (I’m calling it now), is a behemoth of a hit summer song just waiting to be unleashed.

4. Dynasty – Vic Mensa

The first drop in “Dynasty” is good enough to warrant a listen to the entirety of Vic Mensa’s new EP There’s Alot Going On. An incredibly emotional work from start to finish, Vic Mensa will take the hordes of new fans he’s well earned from the EP’s release and channel those vibes into his upcoming full-length album. But if the energy in “Dynasty” isn’t enough to convince you to listen, maybe the child of the 90’s era references to Fresh Prince of Bel Air (“Now I’m the Fresh Prince, I think I know how my uncle feel”), Harry Potter (“Get your priorities straight like Hermione Granger”) and Outkast (“Drop bombs over Baghdad on these Soundcloud outcasts”) will tip the scales in Vic Mensa’s favor.

5. Kiss It Better – KAYTRANADA Remix – Rihanna

We’re all fans of KAYTRANADA at this point, right? In a release of the Kiss It Better (Dance Remix), KAYTRANADA’s remix of the fan favorite off of Rihanna’s Anti makes for an effortlessly danceable track by focusing on RiRi’s vocals and taking a (nearly) minimalist approach to the elecro-funk beat.

6. Doing It To Death – The Kills

Playing like the flower child of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and Queens of the Stone Age, The Kills fully embrace a grit and grind style in “Doing It To Death”, the first single off of their newest album, Ash & Ice. Plucky, edgy and simple, the single leans on Alison Mosshart’s vocals while taking in the influence of a bluesy, folksy yet very rock and roll vibe.

7. All Night – Chance the Rapper, Knox Fortune

Another song produced by our dear artist, KAYTRANADA, “All Night” strongly plays to the title of its album, Coloring Book, by Chance the Rapper. The song is incredibly vivid and prismatic with its party-like groove coursing, bumping, pulsing through the entirety of the song. Cole Carter take notes because a beat like this is how you’ll really get the people up and dancing.

8. Sweet Fascination – Ladyhawke

I just couldn’t let another weekly playlist go without the inclusion of the synths. So, I’ve decided to make it count by including Ladyhawke’s “Sweet Fascination” off of her newest album Wild Things. Bubbly is the way I’d describe this song. The synths here snap, crackle and pop as Philipa Brown’s bewitching voice urges you to just give in.