Staff Pixx 4/9
Looking for new tunes? The Music Staff submits their favorite songs of each week for the Staff Pixx radio show. If you can’t tune in Tuesdays at 4pm, check in to the Music Blog for a full playlist, along with notes from each of our writers!
A Lot’s Gonna Change by Weyes Blood
The slow moving “A Lot’s Gonna Change” opens Weyes Blood’s new album with dramatic pop authority that commands the listener to stop and search for the wavelengths in the space between the walls. Merring’s voice skates across a frozen pond of lovingly produced strings and vocal harmonies that densely permeate the mix. Her lyrical sentiment is an admission of powerlessness in the face of others actions and emotions, yet an appeal to perseverance. “If your friends and your family/ Sadly don't stick around/It's high time you'll learn to get by,” may seem dark (that’s because it is), but as it careens off Merring’s silver-tongue, it’s not hard get swept up and believe that every thing is going to be just fine.
Ivy’s House by Stepbrother
London powerhouse Stepbrother’s debut EP, Nearest & Dearest, was released on the 4th of January and despite the slight lag in my discovery of it, I’m beyond glad that I eventually did.
Single, “Ivy’s House,” is perfectly reminiscent of the style of girlish punk perfected by bands such as Cherry Glazerr, Wolf Alice, Fontaines DC, and Shame, among others. Unafraid to be aggressive and bold, even when discussing the topic of love, this track practically forces you to move in time with the hypnotic drumbeat.
N-Side by Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy, guitarist from The Internet, is back with a new solo single “N Side.” The song plays to Lacy’s strengths with its Lo-Fi recording style, simple, jangling guitars, and killer melody. Earlier this month Syd announced that there would be two solo albums from the internet in the next two months, presumably one from her and one from Lacy. This would be the first full length solo album from Lacy who has shown incredible potential as a songwriter from what little material we have heard from him. His own singles as well as his collaborations with a range of artists from Kendrick Lamar on “Element” to Vampire Weekend’s recent single “Sunflower,” indicate that Lacy is someone to watch.
Old Town Road by Lil Nas X
Now I know what you’re thinking: “James, you’re just doing this for the meme.” And you’d be right about that. Partially. While this song is a meme that blends two hyper contrasting genres, country and trap, it also has an undeniably catchy hook and a straightforward beat and nicely layered vocals that you can’t help but sing along to. The track has arrived at the perfect time, the sweet spot of the internet cowboy era, and has already sparked considerable controversy by being removed by the Billboard Country Music Chart for “not embracing enough elements of modern country music”. Not to mention, the track is less than 2 minutes long making it the shortest number 1 Billboard song ever. And let’s not forget, ”Old Town Road” at number 1 means “7 Rings” has finally been dethroned. At 20 years old, Lil Nas X is clearly making waves, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Cities by The Maytags
I may be biased being a huge fan of The Maytags, but I gotta say their latest single is SO GOOD. Opening without hesitation, “Cities” is an upbeat song, the band accompanying lead singer and guitarist Dustin Smith. At 2:03 the band is featured, my own musical heart skipping a beat as the melody turns into a smooth jazz feature; this song representing everything The Maytags are, talented, jazzy, and upbeat.
Thy Mission by The Garden and Mac Demarco
Serving as the first track produced by The Garden & Mac Demarco an inevitable collab in the making since The Garden opened for Mac, “Thy Mission” combines The Garden’s quirkiness with Demarco’s “rock and roll night club” flavor. The two contrasting sounds between the artists fuse together to produce what feels like a punk rock alternative track with a hint of jazz with the underlying saxophone. Though the song may seem all over the place with Wyatt’s intense screaming at the end of the track reminiscent to The Garden song “:(“, The Shear twins and Mac have created a beautiful bop.
It Ain’t Easy by The Goombas
This song is a solid addition to the St. Paul blues bands discography. The vocals and guitar riff, specifically the grit when the chords take over, combines the more modern sound of Cage the Elephant with the somber lyricism of Steve Miller. The song itself reminds me of road trips through the desert, blues progressions and rattling bass notes shaking the car as you speed through orange and yellow dust clouds. It's a wonderful modernization of a classic sound, something to get you through the slow warmer days, if they ever arrive that is.