Welcome to the Thanksgiving week edition of Take 5. We’re thankful for a lot of things here at Substream. We’re thankful for all the great people we get to work with. We’re thankful for all the wonderful musicians filling our world with beautiful art. We’re thankful to every single one of our readers, and we’re especially thankful for those of you who don’t get a short week this week and keep our world running. All of you are the reason why we keep going. You all rock. Onto the songs.

Dashboard Confessional – We Fight

While there was never an official announcement, the prospects of a new album from Dashboard Confessional seemed grim in 2017. The brainchild of Chris Carrabba hadn’t released an album since 2009. But here we are, and Dashboard announced that a new album, Crooked Shadows, is coming in 2018. “We Fight” is the first taste of the new album, and it is all of the mid-2000s goodness that we need right now. Dashboard hasn’t lost a step at all, crafting a rock anthem that would sound great in the 2000s, 2010s, or 2400s for that matter.

DRAM, Playboy Carti – Crumbs

DRAM has had a busy year since he released debut album Big Baby D.R.A.M.M last October. He’s been nominated for a Grammy, released a handful of new singles, and generally been of the most delightful personalities around. On new single “Crumbs,” he employs his wordplay alongside that personality on a boastful proclomation. “Big Baby DRAM get the big bread” he says. What’s left for everyone else? “Crumbs.” Carti has spent the year providing solid guest verses almost everywhere, and his verse on “Crumbs” is no exception.

Sia – Puppies Are Forever

This weekend Sia released a Christmas album, Everyday Is Christmas, and really this list could just be five songs from that. If we have to pick just one though, we’re going with “Puppies Are Forever.” Musically, it’s bouncy and fun, with Sia proving once again that she’s one of the queens of pop. Lyrically, it’s a damn good message, too. Puppies are the best. If you’re going to give or receive one for Christmas though, make sure the recipient understands that a puppy isn’t a toy. It’s something that you have to take care of for its entire life. Be a good dog parent, please.

Brandi Carlile – The Joke

When we talk about some of the best songwriters of this generation, Brandi Carlile is often criminally underrated. Maybe when her sixth album, By the Way, I Forgive You, comes out in February we can finally properly appreciate her. In the meantime, we have “The Joke,” a message to all of those out there who feel uncomfortable in their own skin or unsure of themselves. It’s a reassurance that everything will turn out all right for them, and it’s the kind of smart, heartfelt writing that makes Carlile so special.

AC/DC – Highway To Hell

Over the weekend Malcolm Young, rhythm guitarist for AC/DC, died. He was 64. When I was kid and just getting to the point where I started to really appreciate music and what it could do, rock and roll was all I wanted to listen to. I grew my hair out down to my shoulders. I’m sure I annoyed many neighbors and passerby with rock blaring out of my speakers or my headphones. One of the first bands I got into was AC/DC. Highway To Hell is one of the first CDs I remember owning, so Malcolm Young is one of the first musicians I remember thinking was really, really cool. He’s the first one I saw while looking at the album cover, glaring out at me in a way that I thought was way cooler than Bon Scott’s debaucherous leer next to him. He’s the first thing you hear on the album, that satisfying, full-throated riff. Young is undoubtedly a major part of why I love music, and by extension why I’m here, writing this for all of you. So here’s that riff on “Highway To Hell” as a song you should know this week, and hopefully you get something out of it listening to it again, too. Rest easy, Malcolm Young. Wherever you ended up, I’m sure Bon Scott is there waiting for you.


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