We hope you all enjoyed your long Labor Day weekend. The last hurrah of summer is always bittersweet, with the last of the warm weather and beach trips giving way to cooler temperatures. It’s not all bad, though. We’re now getting into sweater and bonfire season, plus Halloween is fast approaching (we’ll have more on that front in a few weeks). In the meantime the music industry never sleeps, even as you spent the weekend watching college football and soaking up the sun. Welcome back to Substream’s beginning of the week edition of Take 5, where we share five songs–both singles and album tracks–that you need to know for the week. Be sure to subscribe to the Spotify list at the end of the post to keep up to date with all of the choices.
Taylor Swift – …Ready For It?
Taylor is apparently a big college football fan, as her first single from Reputation “Look What You Made Me Do” was immediately used by ESPN to promote the sport and her new single “…Ready For It?” was teased in the same manner before its release this weekend. Good news if you’re someone who didn’t particularly like “LWYMMD:” “…Ready For It?” is a better song across the board. The big booming synths and Swift sing-rapping during the verses are sure to spark discussions, but the bridge and chorus are vintage Swift, meaning they’re big, fun, and will be inescapable through the end of 2017.
LCD Soundsystem – how do you sleep?
We couldn’t create this week’s edition of the list without including LCD Soundsystem. After all, their new album american dream is their first in seven years. We were tempted to select the epic 12-minute long “black screen” here, and while that track is indeed still fantastic, we decided to go with the slightly shorter “how do you sleep?” instead. Of course, “slightly shorter” in this case is still 9 minutes long. The track is quintessential LCD Soundsystem. The runtime allows each movement of the song to properly build and develop, from the rolling percussion of the song’s opening to the synth-soaked euphoria of its coda. This is the LCD Soundsystem we’ve been missing.
Ty Dolla $ign, Damien Marley, and Skrillex – So Am I
That’s quite the collection of names together, we know. And it works to perfection. Ty puts on his best crooning for the girl of his dreams as he sings of how similar their needs and interests in a relationship are. The track takes the hip-hop that Ty is known for and gives it a hearty helping of reggae, both with the instrumentation with the inclusion of Damien Marley, who shines in his guest spot. Skrillex is on hand to give the song just a dash of EDM, which mostly appears around the chorus and compliments the track without overwhelming it. We’re all for artists that we wouldn’t necessarily think of together collaborating, and “So Am I” is that idea made real in an excellent package.
DJDS, Khalid, and Empress Of – Why Don’t You Come On
Production duo DJ Dodger Stadium have a habit of working with some talented and high profile acts. Kanye West worked with them on The Life Of Pablo, so you know they’re the real deal. This time around they’re working with two excellent vocalists in Khalid and Empress Of (Lorely Rodriguez) for “Why Don’t You Com On,” a track that is smooth as butter. DJDS wisely understates the production here, letting Khalid and Rodriguez show off some vocal gymnastics. Khalid’s cry of “why don’t you come on?” is achingly sweet, and Rodriguez’s harmonies and runs are nothing to sneeze at. If you’re going out this week, this is a track you need to get ready.
Mogwai – Brain Sweeties
At this point Mogwai are elder statesmen of the rock scene. Over 22 years and 9 albums they’ve been laying down the music they want to across generations. Said ninth album, Every Country’s Sun, is just as good as everything the Scottish band have put out, showing that they’re clearly not slowing down. The album’s third track “Brain Sweeties” is one of the album’s biggest standouts. There’s no singing here, just nearly five minutes of cathartic slow rock. There’s a sense of deep longing and hopefulness on the track mixed in with a tinge of sadness, all conveyed without a single word being spoken. Mogwai clearly know their craft by now, and it shows on this track.