With Halloween falling on a Tuesday, this coming weekend will contain the majority of festivities around the country. It’s hard to believe that we’re only two short months away from 2018. How the time flies. As the end of the year approaches, album releases will begin to slow as artists prepare for what the new year has in store. Luckily, we’re not to that point yet and last week was a busy release schedule as usual. With so many albums out, it’s tough to listen to them all. With this week’s edition of Take 5, we’ll give you a place to start.

Hodera – My Daily Chemicals

You’ve read a lot about Hodera here on Substream the last few weeks. The music from their new release First Things First has deeply affected many of our writers. The combination of great music with honest reflection and thoughts on mental illness create a powerful record. This theme carries through “My Daily Chemicals,” a look at vocalist Matthew Smith’s complicated relationship with anti-depressants. It’s a refreshing frankness about mental illness that will hopefully have as large of an impact on other listeners as it did on us.

Hayley Williams, Tegan and Sara – Nineteen

Tegan and Sara are another band that it’s clearly evident that we adore. One of their absolute best albums, The Con, turned 10 years old in 2017, and the sisters created something special to celebrate. The Con X: Covers gathers some of the best in the business to cover each track of The Con. There are a lot of great covers to choose from, but this one takes the cake. “Nineteen” is already an emotionally devastating track, and pairing it with Hayley Williams’ wonderful voice and perfect delivery create something special. You might need the tissues for this one.

Niall Horan, Maren Morris – Seeing Blind

On Friday, Niall Horan became the latest former member of One Direction to release a solo project, the album Flicker. Unsurprisingly, it’s really good. One of the best tracks on the album is “Seeing Blind,” a duet with Maren Morris, another rising star. Morris and Horan share sweet lyrics about finding a love that’s true and easy, and the country sensibilities that Morris brings work perfectly in the context of the already acoustically driven album. This is perfect bonfire music. Best enjoy it before the weather turns too cold.

blackbear, Cam’ron – bright pink tims

We already know that blackbear tends to create fantastic work in his collaborations. His track with Phoebe Ryan earlier in the year is proof of that. He can also create a great beat to work over. “bright pink tims” finds him rapping over a deliberate, methodical instrumental that contrasts nicely with the shows of wealth in the lyrics. The main draw here is the vintage top-quality verse by Cam’ron.

NOTE: The last selection is a track from the Stranger Things 2 soundtrack. The name of the song is a location. No one knows the plot of the show yet so we wouldn’t go so far as calling it a “spoiler,” but if you want to go into the show completely clean, stop reading here. Pretend it was a Take 4 this week. If you’re not bothered by knowing where the show might go, read on.

Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein – Chicago

There was a lot to love about Stranger Things and high on that list was the soundtrack. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein created music that perfectly captured both the action taking place and the era of the setting. The soundtrack for the second season, which is out at the end of this week, is already here, and there are some great tracks to be had. “Chicago” is the duo at their best, a menacing electronic lurch of a track. As the song moves from dark and brooding into a more uplifting finish, it’s hard not to imagine what we’ll be seeing when the song plays. In the meantime, it’s a fantastic piece of music writing on its own.


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