Midweek slump slammers: Roundup #3
If you like music and discovering new songs through quick-hit roundups, you’re in the right place.
ICYMI: Each week, you can find a handful of tracks here that make me feel… many different things. Maybe they’ll make you feel things too, maybe they’ll just make you want to move (and try not to feel anything at all.)
This week, I’m sharing songs from some really great albums that are worth a spin as a whole.
If you have a song that has settled with you in a way you’d like to share, let me know at email@example.com or via Instagram (@kkates_mariee) and I’ll add ‘em on each week. Let’s talk about music that makes us feel together.
“Delivery” – Mikaela Davis
Davis’ name has popped up in a few recent Mirth Films touring and festival lineup announcements and it led me down a rabbit hole of her discography. “Delivery” is off her eponymous 2018 album that is actually stellar. Every song is its own batch of fun, original sound and the beauty of Davis’ interlacing harp-playing is just so lovely. (Other great ones? “Get Gone”, “Other Lover” “Pure Divine Love”) The album is enough to get excited about, but listening through as someone who has never seen her perform, I just know it plays beautifully live. You better snag Eastbound Throwdown tickets and check this out.
What it feels like: Strumming a guitar real slow on an aged front porch in the country, singing (with really big swells!) to no one in particular–just feeling the feelings and letting em’ out.
“p r i d e . i s . t h e . d e v i l” – J. Cole with Lil Baby
Maybe this isn’t exactly a song to “discover” as it’s had some significant radio play. But I can’t stop listening to this song and it’s album. J. Cole’s The Off-Season, released in May, has been met with conflicting reviews. As someone who has only been listening to his work for the past year or so, this project feels much lighter and more digestible than previous works by the conscious rapper. Songs like “p r i d e” still feel like they tackle introspective and observational (society, politics, faith, career) topics so his style is still there, just a little more relaxed and melodic.
I will say that the beat on “p r i d e” (by producer T-Minus) mimics that of Aminé’s “Can’t Decide”, which has been pointed out by Reddit and other reviewers, but I love the way Cole navigates it and it really is an earworm. That first verse, laying out the dark consequences of this deadly sin, feels sharp and even melancholy. Lines like “Slowly realizing what the root of all my problems be / It got me feeling different when somebody say they proud of me,” stick with you.
What it feels like: Taking a long, contemplative walk on a trail you’ve never explored before as you try to get out of your own way.
“Tetris” – Little Hag
With an opening line like “Everyone wants to fuck me/ No one wants to see me cry,” how can you go wrong? That’s right, you can’t. Little Hag (formerly known as Avery Mandeville) is the Jersey artist you’ll love getting to know. Their absolutely gorgeous old-world voice mashing with the new-world attitude of lyrics like “text bitches til your eyes fall out” is just *chef’s kiss*.
Little Hag dropped Whatever Happened to Avery Jane? last fall and it scratches the DIY itch for those of us who miss our crowded basement gigs. The 10-track project even wraps with a live track, “Encore”, recorded at a gig in her hometown of Avery Park. “Suggested pairings include Pall Malls, black coffee, pinot grigio, pound cake, an unsatisfying back massage, your ex’s Twitter feed, any cheap whiskey, any episode of Six Feet Under, and any other album (such as Midnite Vultures by Beck),” the artist writes about the LP.
What it feels like: Writing a letter to the person you used to love so you can no longer hate them.
“PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE” – Lingua Ignota
First of all, Lingua Ignota (Kristin Hayter) is incredible. I had the opportunity to see her perform CALIGULA at Basilica Soundscape in 2019 and it was hair-raising good. She will be releasing SINNER GET READY on Aug. 6 and I can’t wait to witness all her agonizing power in this new project. Hayter really knows how to create a whole world in her music. Her vocals on this track, SINNER‘s first single, is Lingua Ignota in all her glory–yearning to break free from pain. It’s sorrowful, chilling and heaving, delivered like a hymn.
“PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE” is about “loneliness, absence, and the inevitability of God’s judgement. … It also references an obscure 18th century legend of the Pennsylvania Dutch, in which a cruel ironmaster throws his beloved dogs into his furnace and they return to drag him to hell,” wrote the artist on Instagram. Very metal, very dark, very Lingua Ignota.
“Do you want to be in hell with me / I know you want to stop but you can’t stop / I’ve watched you alone / In the home where you live with your family / And all that I’ve learned is everything burns.”
Hayter created this music video completely on her own. (A trend that feels excruciating but is beautiful and difficult to witness à la Bo Burnham’s celebrated “Inside”.) That feels fitting. Lingua Ignota is an artist whose work has reached so many in their darkest moments but in the end, its always Hayter facing the darkness on her own, fighting her demons and aching for vengeance.
What it feels like: Dismantle what tries to break you and burn it to ashes.