Midweek Slump Slammers: Roundup #1

Midweek Slump Slammers: Roundup #1

Welcome to the very first roundup of my midweek slump slammers, songs that pick you up and carry you through to the finish line or root you down and make you think about this moment: right here, right now. Each week, you can find a handful of tracks here that make me feel… a lot of different things. Some may just be songs I need you to hear because I think more people should. 

If you have a song that has settled with you in a way you’d like to share, let me know at katiecusack199@gmail.com or via Instagram @kkates_mariee and I’ll add ‘em on each week. Let’s talk about music that makes us feel together. 

Happy listening. 

“Motorbike” – Leon Bridges
Oh, it’s summer now, folks. Right here in this song. The ever-velvet Leon Bridges takes us along on a light and breezy trip. It’s all new love and intoxicating adventure. Sing it to someone you care deeply for over a glass of iced tea (condensation from the glass dripping on the table between you) at the exact moment you both realize you didn’t actually need the light sweater you brought along (just in case, you know). Find something to do together that you’ve never done before. Jump in. 

Part you might find yourself singing: “We don’t stop but the time do / Lovers in another life, let me remind you / Look back, see me behind you / When it feels good you don’t have to try to”

What it feels like: … I suppose I’ve already taken that journey above but the song really begs for it, doesn’t it?

“If Only (You Said No)” – Laveda
I had the pleasure of catching Laveda play in Troy this past Friday and it felt so nice. This band really puts you in a pleasant headspace even if, like this track, it feels quite melancholy. The shoegaze duo has a new album slated for 2022 with their new label PaperCup Music so keep your eyes and ears open. 

Seeing them play live had me revisiting their 2020 record What Happens After and I’ve always really loved this song. They carry it along so well. It builds a space of vulnerability and quiet power. “If Only” is very Cigarettes After Sex with more space to play. Let yourself get lost in it, because it’s a safe space to feel that sad feeling. 

Part you might find yourself singing: “While you were out there falling / I was hoping that you wanted me the most” right into that chorus. Oof. 

What it feels like: Lying down on the floor in the dark, rooting down through your head, hands and feet as you close your eyes. In that space, you see a slowly arranging spectacle of color and light. It moves exactly as you need it to move. 

VLAD by Pink Nois

”Castle (The Party)“ – Pink Nois
R&B artist Pink Nois (Jorim Motley) is gonna be big and anyone who knows me also knows I don’t keep that a secret. I’ll tell anybody–I’m even doing it right now. Anyways, meet the ballad into pump-up hit you need in your life. (Think, Frank Ocean’s “Pyramids”, if you may.) “Castle” is part of the brooding, enticing, modern-yet-macabre storytelling epic that is VLAD. It’s loads of fun. Need more details? The bandcamp album description reads as such: “A short and spooky romantic comedy starring Jorim Motley as Vlad, the lovelorn Vampire, and his unluckiness in his romantic endeavors.”

Part you might find yourself singing: “Here you are / Once again in my residence / After you swore it’d never, ever happen again” Also, the end hook… always the end hook. 

What it feels like: Filming the iconic Celine Dion “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” video but you’re in her place and it’s somehow more powerful. There are strobing multi-colored lights involved. You know exactly when they come in. 

“Bussdown” – Jorja Smith (feat. Shaybo)
There’s nothing like a gentle, flowing song with lyrics that cut like a knife. Jorja Smith didn’t come to play because she’s already been played with and that is… a concrete feeling. Particularly if you’re a woman trying to have success, ambition, a life of your own. Everyone thinks they own ya somethin’ and ain’t that a bitch (for them)? This is a song about being the truest, most powerful self and warning the world that there is no taking that from you. 

Part you might find yourself singing: The chorus, obviously, and “They call me Miss Naïve, Miss Naïve / So trusting of everybody and anybody / Now they fear a bitch like me ’cause of the bitch I be” 

What it feels like: Swaying and dancing with your bare feet in the grass. You’re with your best friends, your eyes are closed and the sun is warm on your face. You feel like the best version you’ve ever been. 

Multi-instrumentalist NXNES does some really cool stuff on his fourth solo record Everything Costs A Little Bit. I’ve heard whispers of this project for so long, so it’s exciting to see it come around. I’m lucky enough to personally know the artist and he worked really hard and very authentically to bring it to life. This track is fun to share here because I LOVE a mid-song change up and “NBMA” takes you to dizzying places. It’s jazzy, its spacey, it rocks and it tinkers. NXNES is trudging through sand, determined, then breaking into a sprint. I don’t know where we’re going on this journey but he sure does and I know that means it’s going to be interesting. 

Part you might find yourself singing: “Need some time to undo what’s heavy on my mind”

What it feels like: Being on the precipice of something fantastic, in the position to run towards closing elevator doors. It’s just beyond there, just out of reach. It’s so close you can taste it, touch it, hear it…  can’t you? 

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