The weekends are an exciting time for music. We get to absorb all of the new albums, singles, and videos that dropped as the week came to a close. There’s never a new shortage of things to listen to or watch. That also means there’s never a shortage of things to talk about. Some great releases are talked about immediately, while some fly under the radar for a bit. Maybe the best release was a massive single from an established star, or maybe it was a deep cut on a just-released album. Welcome to Substream’s Monday edition of Take 5, where we highlight 5 songs from the end of the previous week that we feel deserve some attention. We’ve included each song in its own section, as well as a Spotify playlist for you to use at the end of the post.
Lil Uzi Vert – Neon Guts
You could pick just about any song from Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2 and come away satisfied. We can’t fit every song into this feature though, so we’re picking “Neon Guts” from the halfway point of the new album. The title comes from the catchy chorus, where Lil Uzi Vert raps “I got a colorful aura like I got neon guts.” His delivery is impeccable on the track, and he’s aided by Pharrell Williams. Williams proves that he can still rap with the best of them, and he’s been producing since most of us were kids, so of course the whimsical production and mellow beat here are top-notch.
Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me
Thursday night all attention was focused on a certain pop mega-star making her return. In the meantime, another star dropped one of the best tracks of the week. Demi Lovato already had control of the summer airwaves with “Sorry Not Sorry,” and the title track from her upcoming album Tell Me You Love Me tightens that grip. Every part of this song is epic, from the brass fueled hook, the triumphant organ, and of course Lovato belting her heart out on the chorus. With the album coming on September 29, expect the promotion to come fast in the next few weeks. You don’t want to fall behind on these excellent pop ballads.
The War On Drugs – Knocked Down
The War On Drugs released a ton of singles over the summer building up to the release of their fourth album A Deeper Understanding last week. While all those singles were good, we think album track “Knocked Down” is going to be one of the standouts from the record. Vocalist Adam Granduciel channels all of the hurt and heartbreak he can into the track about struggling to love someone through personal hardship. The distorted guitars, Granduciel’s vocals, and quiet piano convey the perfect amount of melancholy longing to hit anyone right in the heart.
A$AP Mob – Get The Bag
Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy is a star-studded affair, with A$AP Mob joined by seemingly every prominent rapper in the business for at least one guest appearance. “Get The Bag” is one of the more crowded tracks, with A$AP Rocky, Ferg, Nast, Ant, and TyY joined by Playboi Carti and 15-year-old Smooky MarGielaa. It doesn’t suffer in the least from the numbers, though. The beat is nothing spectacular, but instead serves as a vehicle to deliver verse after verse of top-quality material from everyone involved. MarGielaa in particular is about to be a household name after this album, laying down a number of excellent bars. Get acquainted now.
PVRIS – No Mercy
We’ve covered PVRIS extensively in the last few weeks, from all of their spooky videos to their interview with us in Substream #58. We’ve spent a lot of time with their new album All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell. “No Mercy” deserves to be huge. It contains elements of what we liked about White Noise while still belonging solely to the sound of the new record. The chorus is vintage PVRIS, with Lynn Gunn giving her signature growl over an in-your-face blast of drums and some of the biggest riffs on the whole album. If you need to work some stuff out, put this on and go for a run. You’ll probably end up sprinting from all the energy by the end.