11 New Songs For A Lazy Weekend
On the West Coast, Labor Day isn't quite the end-of-summer event it is on the East Coast, as warm temps can linger into October and people wear white year round. But that has never stopped me from using it as an excuse to get outside or to enjoy a mid-afternoon beer on a patio somewhere.
For Christy and me, Labor Day has another special meaning: we are usually celebrating our anniversary (we got married on September 1st and it's nice to have a built-in three-day weekend around our anniversary). This year, our marriage is old enough to drive on its own—16 years, baby! It's also, apparently, the year the magic stops, as we have yet to make plans for Saturday (just kidding! I love you!).
Jade Bird - "Uh Huh"
This U.K. singer-songwriter is on the rise (She's playing a sold-out show at the Troubadour in LA in September—my #1 early indicator of a breakout). This song has a raw rock-and-roll energy and feels too short—I listened to it twice on the way into work this morning.
Dennis Lloyd - "Nevermind"
This song is all about checking out and getting into the groove (which is exactly what I want to be doing this weekend). I am thrilled that this global breakout is finally making some noise stateside.
LANKS - "Man"
The drums make this song feel primal (I picture the ape and obelisk scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey) yet the song is about opening up emotionally. This track starts out slow, with soft piano and mellow guitar, before adding drums and building up to a stomping peak.
Joan As Police Woman - "What Was It Like"
This is a slow-burning song that wouldn't be out of place in a smokey lounge. The song sounds vintage and modern at the same time, sort of like Billie Holiday singing over a drum machine and distorted guitar.
EZI - "Redemption"
"Redemption" grabs me with its first line, "Damn I haven't washed my hair for days ..." and then pulls me all the way in with the chorus: "I guess it's just what I got ... no redemption for a weak heart." Give her EP a chance—she could be the next Lorde.
Mura Masa - "Move Me" (feat. Octavian)
His track "Love$ick" was one of my favorite tracks of 2017, and "Move Me" is currently in the running for my best-of-2018 year-end list. With a danceable beat and a heavy bassline, this song reminds me of some of the solo work of Jamie XX. This is the type of summer jam that will carry you will into fall.
Empress Of - "When I'm With Him"
Los Angeles-based Empress Of (Lorely Rodriguez) weaves together a mournful track that suggests all is not well when she's with him, hammering in this point by switching from English to Spanish (she's said that she can express certain emotions better in Spanish, even though it takes twice the number of syllables).
LUI HILL - "The Storm"
Finger-picked guitar and sharp drum programming open up into a wave-like groove, in which the singer recalls his youth in South Africa. He has described his music as a "sort of futuristic jazz-trio." The song is about opening up, when one's naivetes first bump up against the difficulties of life.
Luluc - "Kids"
This folky song deserves to be listened to on headphones while alone, but the sound can fill up a room as well (the duo added drums and bass to their usual stripped-down sound). Like "The Storm" above, this is another song about youth and the boredom of growing up in a small town—which may be why I'm drawn to it so much.
The Internet - "Come Together"
Try Googling this band. Impossible. Fortunately, these nuggets help: The Internet is the experimental outlet for super-producer Syd, who came up in L.A.'s hip hop collective Odd Future but was always destined for much greater things. With its funky baseline, it recalls '70s R&B viewed through the hazy sunlight of Southern California.
OTR - "Dawn"
A glitchy synth-inspired instrumental. Nearly perfect.