Patrick Murphy/Northern Star
Weekly Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/68wGx0ILhPIqesBuvAbigo
Code Orange – “In Fear”
Knoll – “Callus of the Maw”
Scarlet Demore – “Peaches”
Hardcore band Code Orange evolved their sound to new heights with their 2020 album “Underneath.” This was either a good or bad thing for fans, but there were still several standouts from the album, like the eviscerating song “In Fear.” The instrumentation is pungent, and the production is industrial and glitchy as hell. Vocalist Jami Morgan is simply on another level on this track.
Grindcore up-and-comers, Knoll creates a nihilistic assault onto the ears with “Callus of the Maw.” The track wastes no time getting started but soon stops to give the listener a quick couple seconds of breathing before the rest of the song. “Callus of the Maw” is obliterating, and with the band only on their first full-length album, Knoll is a band to watch out for. Vocalist Jamie Eubanks’ vocal range is astonishing, ranging from grindcore screams to grizzly death metal gutturals.
Riot rock band, Scarlet Demore out of Des Plaines, released their new single “Peaches,” and it’s pure fun. The track strikes a nice blend of overall tone throughout, from more relaxed sections of instrumentation with a catchy chorus to more loud and heavier sections that would be really fun to experience live. The vocals are especially fantastic.
JJ Lin – “Lose Control”
Playboi Carti, Skepta – “Lean 4 Real”
Måneskin – “I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE”
Usually, movie soundtracks are lackluster, with only one or two hits from the entire album. The soundtrack for “Shang-Chi” is better than it has any right to be. It’s filled with catchy, head-bopping tracks that can make you relive some of the best moments from the movie. “Lose control,” composed by JJ Lin, embodies the calm, casual vibes of the opening scenes with a killer lofi vibe. A must listen for all who enjoyed the movie.
“Lean 4 Real” by Playboi Carti is already a certified banger from the get-go. Right out the gate, it swings with unbridled aggression and grabs you by the collar as the beat swings you back and forth before slamming you back down like nothing ever happened.
“I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE” by Måneskin is frankly a pretty good rock song. I haven’t had that much experience with rock, but I know that the killer guitar riff and catchy chorus might make me start listening to more.
Hazel English – “Combat”
Vansire – “That I Miss You”
Foster The People – “Waste”
“Combat,” which comes off of English’s 2020 album “Wake UP!,” features a heavy guitar and breathy vocals about a couple that has issues communicating with each other. Singer-songwriter English’s voice is beautifully haunting on this track.
Vansire is an alternative pop duo that formed in Minnesota in 2015. The band’s single “That I Miss You” currently has almost 26 million plays on Spotify. This song has a bright, catchy rhythmic beat throughout that is reminiscent of a groovy 70s hit.
Indie rock band Foster The People might best be known for their hit song “Pumped Up Kicks,” but they truly show their talent on “Waste.” The lyrics convey a message of unconditional love and encouragement along with an upbeat electronic instrumental track.
Rex Orange County – “Face to Face”
PinkPantheress – “Pain”
Choker – “Petrol Bliss”
“Face to Face,” a song featured in the album “Pony,” is mostly recognized in video edits on Instagram. Rex Orange County brings high vibrational energy into his music, and with this single, it stands out as a song to boost someone’s mood. The song’s chorus has a catchy melody for anyone to sing along to and a beat that’s rather attention-grabbing.
“Pain” by rising musician/TikToker PinkPantheress is a released single that caught many people’s attention. The charismatic pop beat brings a lot of attention to an audience born in the early 2000s era.
The soul music pop song “Petrol Bliss” is not well known. It has a little over 400 thousand views on YouTube, but it’s alternative from most soul music. The contrast in the melody drives motivation, especially when the rhythm and beat come together. It’s best to listen to this while doing some activity work, such as working out to feel the energy of the music playing.
Kanye West – “Ok Ok pt 2”
Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Lil Durk – “Sharing Locations”
DaBaby, Lil Wayne – “Lonely”
With an energetic bass, West’s verse in “Ok Ok pt 2” hooks the listener with betrayal and comebacks being the front-and-center theme. Although featured artists were left unlisted on the album “Donda,” this song features Shenseea and Rooga, who both bring their own unique flair to compliment the song, most notably a passionate third verse from Rooga.
Superstars Lil Durk and Lil Baby team up yet again, this time to assist veteran rapper Meek Mill on “Sharing Locations.” Lil Durk’s melody seals the deal on the chorus as Lil Baby shares a similar rap flow. Meek Mill’s verses are energetic and higher pitched but don’t overshadow the other rappers on the track.
DaBaby brings awareness to depression in “Lonely.” His flow is brutal yet delivered with onward momentum that then changes pace when met with a repetitive chorus that gets the message through. Lil Wayne features to provide a laid-back, slick verse.