What I’m Listening To: Week 8

by Stephen

*Apologies about the delay on Week 7’s installment. I was in Iceland for a week but we are now back to our regularly scheduled programming.*

1. Go Off – M.I.A.

M.I.A. is back with an electrifying single called “Go Off” featuring beats by both Skrillex and Blackstar. There’s heaps of energy found in this song, shoveled in exuberantly by all three artists involved. But here, M.I.A.’s rap delivery stands out amongst the rest, even when paired up against Skrillex’s chaotic synth production. Drum beats, echoing vocals, and alien-like sound effects pervade the sound space. However, M.I.A.’s vocals remain first and foremost here while sounding laid-back at the same time. There’s an incredibly deft comfortability in the way that her written words are spoken. They don’t impose their presence on the listener’s ears. They rather slink past smoothly in tandem with the beats and sounds. This is an addicting hit of a single, one that’s sure to boost the hype for her upcoming (and reportedly final) album AIM, out on September 9th.

Watch the music video for “Go Off” by M.I.A. below: 

2. Superlove – Tinashe

Listening to “Superlove” by Tinashe is like taking in a compressed hit of all the top songs from pop stars such as Katy Perry, Fergie and Nicki Minaj. Cop that with a quick dash of early 2000s R&B and you have “Superlove’. There’s an alluring feature to be heard here as Tinashe keeps the song’s tempo fast, the lyrics bubbly and the aura super sweet. This is a song undeniably oriented towards a female audience, meant for the ladies to proudly karaoke to. It’s an “celebration to happiness” as the artist describes herself and a solid attempt at nabbing a radio hit single for the summer. But who can blame her when she’s this good at crafting a mix as light and sugary as the pop idols who’ve come before her?

3. Silhouette – Goldroom

I’ve categorized dozens of songs throughout these past eight weeks as quintessential songs for the summer of 2016. Goldroom’s newest installment “Silhouette” should be proudly shelved amongst those already labeled and stocked. There’s a hipness to the single, in the way that it makes your body parts move to its graceful and electro-pop beat. There isn’t much thematic material or grand ideas to dive into here. Just a few repetitious lyrics, “Without you I’m a silhouette” and “Without you”, draped in an cloyingly fresh beat that’s prime material to be driven, partied or danced to. “Silhouette” is another textbook example of songs that’ll carry you through the long and hot summer nights.

4. Fever – Roosevelt

One of my favorite songs off of this week’s playlist. “Fever” by Roosevelt is just a cool-sounding song . But there’s nothing too extraordinary or out of the norm to be found here. It’s just that the song contains all the trappings of a solid take on summer electronica. Soft beats, light vocals and cresting synths. Try to not get addicted to the repeat button as the song fades into a light, airy and all-too-quick conclusion.

5. Library Magic – The Head and the Heart

Simple and melancholy. “Library Magic”, The Head and the Heart’s newest single plays like an up-tempo Simon and Garfunkel track. The self-reflective tone of the voices singing here only further cement that sentiment. Moreover, fans of the band will be delighted to hear the folk genre still running strong with this band. As the paired vocals insist on some vague hope for the future. Lines such as “There will always be better days” and “It’s easy to begin and hard to end” signal that longing for something better and yet a ways before they’ll reach that point.

6. Welcome To Your Life – Honne

“Welcome To Your Life” by Honne is a controlled take on an electronica song. There’s a certain level of restraint exhibited here even as the chorus vocals climb higher and higher. That aural hold-back keeps the listeners locked in and waiting for the moment until that restrictiveness is released. The push and pull between the verses and chorus displays a nice dynamic in vocal delivery. Muted then loud and back again, that pattern induces a soothing effect, keeping us hooked into its roller-coaster-like flow of plateaus, ups and downs.

7. Catching On – Elephante

Elephante has gifted her listeners with a sleek and catchy EDM single called “Catching On”. The song features beats crafted by Nevve that features an excited house tinge to its sound. That combination of the heavy percussion, a slight tropical vibe and the catchy hook makes Elephante’s  “Catching On” worth listening to during the hot season.