Friday, September 25, 2015

TGIF: 5 Essential New Songs For Your Weekend

What a week for new music. As I'm sure you can imagine, In The Round is a special kind of organized chaos. Some (very rare) days I go to bed or wake up with absolutely nothing to write about and scramble or just give up, but 99 per cent of the time I have an extensive content calendar lined up detailing new albums, singles, live shows, surprise album rumours, etc. But, alas, I can't plan for everything - because in this free-for-all digital age, people can release music wherever and whenever they please. And I'm not complaining.

Needless to say, this has been one of those weeks when so much new shit has dropped that I find my calendar getting pushed back and rearranged so that I can prioritize new, important, (in some cases) unexpected releases that are whipping on to my radar at lightning speed. 

SO. I'm just going to kill five birds with one stone and dish out a handful of new gems to start the weekend. These are five songs that were getting lost in the mix and need to be brought to your attention now, if they aren't already. Enjoy!

1. Live From The Gutter - Future & Drake: You know, I had planned a much more comprehensive breakdown of these two rap Gods' (relatively) surprise mixtape What A Time To Be Alive, until the days passed and I realized it was unlikely I'd write something you hadn't already read 10 times elsewhere. Straight up, this is Future's album. By way of his too-cool-to-care mumbles, we all know that. Drake shows up a little, but comes out mostly undermined while talking about girls and the throes of success next to Future's blasĂ© honesty about about drinking lean and fighting demons. We love you, sweet Drizzy (especially on the dope "30 for 30 Freestyle") - but Future has actually been in the gutter, and it makes his WATTB glory all the more powerful. (You can listen over at Apple Music or iTunes - the whole thing is worth it.)

2. No Time To Crank The Sun - EL VY: Well, shit. Just when I thought EL VY, the new side project from The National's Matt Berninger, might produce a little less heartwrenching music than his famed band, they go and drop their second single which is a bonafide drink-wine-and-reflect tearjerker. All they've released so far is the live acoustic version, featuring Berninger hanging off his mic while Brent Knopf (of Menomena and Ramona Falls) plays twinkling keys, and we all know those things have historically sent us to sob city. Looks like there's no chance of drying your Berninger-induced tears any time soon, but it's fine, because the song is beautiful.

3. Shadow - Chromatics: As we swing into the cooler weather, a dreamy nighttime ode from one my favourite synthpop bands fits the bill perfectly. Although we already heard a demo of this song last year, the finished version is so much more lush. Ruth Radelet's echoey vocals and those nostalgic pulses of synth leave this one feeling like it's 30 years too late for the slow dance scene in a Molly Ringwald movie.

4. Nelly - Isaiah Rashad: Yes, the boy is back. Isaiah Rashad, one of rap's most promising young stars, has remained relatively low-key since his debut album Cilvia Demos was released on Top Dawg Entertainment a few years back. Yesterday, Rashad resurfaced with "Nelly," a mellow lookback on his life where he talks about being the jam, even if not number one, over a slow bump and doo wop bellows. No one knows when the new album will drop, but Rashad has recently tweeted that it's finished, so, fingers crossed.

5. Weak - Wet: No surprise here; Brooklyn indie-pop trio Wet released another tender ballad that will leave you weak in the knees. And, it's fittingly called "Weak." While Kelly Zutrau's most sincerely heartfelt vocals yet plead "Baby, please don't leave me/ You are all I ever need," the notes soulfully pluck away in the background - which isn't an offbeat formula for the skilled balladeers, but one that never fails to make you want to feel feelings and share them with someone. Now, can this debut album finally drop, please?

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