Patrick Murphy/Northern Star
Weekly Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5nG1MNpjyrIDyRU1hbqFXD?si=TI1KjuwKQWmunx4wI4JoVQ
Paysage D’Hiver – “Der Baummann”
Kanye West – “Nah Nah Nah”
Lingua Ignota – “MAY FAILURE BE YOUR NOOSE”
Lil Uzi Vert – “Lotus”
Entombed – “Morbid Devourment”
Poppy – “BLOODMONEY”
“Der Baummann” is a massive Paysage D’Hiver highlight. Paysage D’Hiver is known for his long, layered and ambient black metal. All of that is here. Essentially, through Paysage D’Hiver’s sludge metal guitar riffs and beastly vocals, it makes the listener feel like they’re being stalked in a dense, snow-covered forest.
“Nah Nah Nah” has the signature Kanye confidence and charisma, dropping bars about his presidential run and instantly recognizable “Star Wars” references. It’s a great pump up track. Even with the positives this track wields, it does feel slightly unfinished in terms of mastering and some lackluster line delivery.
Lingua Ignota’s 2019 album “CALIGULA” is no joke. Mixing classical elements with noise and industrial, Kristin Hayter explores her own experiences of abuse, misogyny and vengeance. “MAY FAILURE BE YOUR NOOSE” is brilliantly written from both a lyrical and compositional perspective. Brutally honest and striking lyrics mixed with haunting bass and Hayter’s sublime voice in the second half are worthy of note.
At face value, “Lotus” is standard Lil Uzi Vert at this point. The production really isn’t anything special either, but Uzi seamlessly flows on this track rapping about fine women and expensive cars. It is an undeniably fun track.
The metal genre just lost one of its pioneers within the death metal movement, Entombed vocalist Lars-Göran Petrov. Entombed had this razor-sharp edge to their production, and paired with Petrov’s vocals, they created a unique cavernous sound. Entombed is some of the best extreme metal anyone can find, and “Morbid Devourment” exemplifies that.
Poppy has paved her way to be one of the most experimental artists within the pop and metal genre. “BLOODMONEY” utilizes aspects of pop, electropop, industrial, heavy metal and noisy electronics. Her songs are all over the place in a good way.
Manchester Orchestra – “Bed Head”
Narrow Head – “Stuttering Stanley”
Drake (Feat. Rick Ross) – “Lemon Pepper Freestyle”
Thank You, I’m Sorry – “Cell Phone”
Denzel Curry, Kenny Beats, Kenny Mason, Sango – “Pyro”
“Bed Head” is the new single track from the newly announced upcoming album, “The Million Masks of God,” by Atlanta indie rock band, Manchester Orchestra. The track is a bit experimental from what fans of Manchester Orchestra have come to expect, while still maintaining all of the familiar aspects that make the band great. Lead singer Andy Hull’s lyricism and vocals really shine through on this track with lines like, “You’re not who you were, but you can’t let it go / You’re not where you’re from, but you’re always alone.” These lyrics expertly drag the listener in for the entirety of the track.
Post-hardcore shoegaze outfit Narrow Head seemingly came out of nowhere this year, having just added their music to major streaming platforms in 2020. However, this band originated out of Houston in 2013 and has been killing it ever since. “Stuttering Stanley” is my favorite track from the band’s most recent album, “12th House Rock,” which is as visceral as it is nostalgic. This band truly does not miss.
Canadian mega-rapper Drake dropped the second installment of his “Scary Hours” series, “Scary Hours 2” last week. The track that really came through for me from this EP has been “Lemon Pepper Freestyle” feat. Rick Ross. The sampled beat for this track is absolutely phenomenal and provides a backbone for the track. Coupled with Drake and Rick Ross’s more low key and autobiographical lines it really sets the tone for the song. It feels like a late night, early morning drive with the windows down after a good night out.
“Cell Phone” is Thank You, I’m Sorry’s contribution to a split quarantine project, “Quarantine Comp,” which is a collaborative effort of several up and coming artists. The Minneapolis band marries elements of indie-pop and midwest emo on this track perfectly. The chorus and outro melody for this song is infectious and will be in your head for the rest of the week.
“Pyro” is a rework of the 2019 track that comes off of the new remix project from Denzel Curry and producer Kenny Beats. The project sees a plethora of artists from Arlo Parks to Joey Bada$$ featured. The new “Pyro” adds synthesizers and a Kenny Mason feature that takes it over the top.
Chicago D.I.Y. emo band Billow released their newest track titled “Low” in February of this year. This track is a visceral listen with lyrics that cut deep all back tracked by punching drums and driving guitars. Fans of bands like Modern Baseball, Mom Jeans and Sorority Noise will find themselves right at home with Billow.
Jose Feliciano – “California Dreamin’”
La La Land Cast – “Another Day of Sun”
Bruce Springsteen – “Glory Days”
Nirvana – “The Man Who Sold The World”
Led Zeppelin – “Going to California”
The Beach Boys – “Heroes and Villains”
This spring, I’ve been in the mood for some more relaxed, but peppy songs to keep my mind at ease during this particularly stressful time of year. I’ve also been looking towards the future, which I see in California, so many of the songs this week revolve around the sunny West Coast. “California Dreamin’” is a fantastic track by the Mamas and the Papas, but Jose Feliciano’s guitar skills really elevate this song to a whole new level.
“Another Day of Sun,” the opening song to one of my favorite films, “La La Land,” is a really inspiring song about chasing your dreams and pursuing happiness. It’s upbeat and bombastic with the right amount of jazz and Hollywood glory.
Speaking of which, “Glory Days” is, at its surface, a really upbeat song, but after looking at the lyrics, there’s more tragedy. Springsteen sings about the glory days of high school and how some of his friends have moved on to better things while others have gone down more tragic paths. It’s definitely a more reflective track that also makes for some easy listening.
While David Bowie is a legend, Nirvana’s acoustic rendition from the MTV Unplugged album proves to be a tragic song. Recorded less than a year before lead singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain’s death, his unraveling mental state can be felt in this track, resulting in some amazing vocals from a brilliant artist.
While other tracks on Led Zeppelin IV were more bombastic, Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” is a much more relaxed tune with spectacular fingerpicking skills from Jimmy Page and serene lyrics from Robert Plant.
“Heroes and Villains” goes back and forth from fast and slow-paced with Brian Wilson’s magnetic lyrics combined with the spectacular six-part harmony of the surfing rockers.