There’s only a few Take 5s left in 2017, which of course also means there are only a few weeks left in 2017. Over the next few weeks you’ll begin to see a lot of “Best Of” coverage going on, and we’re excited to share our thoughts on some of the favorite works we covered this year. In the meantime, the releases never stop, not even for Thanksgiving weekend, so we have more great music to bring you. Here are the five tracks to listen to this week.
Björk – Features Creatures
Björk has been making music for decades now, and with every release she unveils something totally new and fresh. Her ninth album, Utopia, goes in a lot of different directions, but one of our favorites is “Features Creatures.” Delivered in a cadence that’s almost a spoken word piece, Björk weaves her tale over the soft sounds of a chorus. Björk has always been good at crafting soundscapes and musical atmosphere, and “Features Creatures” is one of her best efforts in that area.
Icona Pop – Don’t Slam The Door
It’s been almost exactly a year since Icona Pop released “Brightside,” one of my favorite tracks of 2016. The Swedish duo are masters of crafting the kind of dance pop that will put a smile on the face of even the coldest listener. Icona Pop are currently part of the Swedish reality TV music show Så mycket bättre (So Much Better). As part of the show, last week they released “Don’t Slam The Door,” a cover of a track by fellow Swedish artist Kikki Danielsson. It’s more proof Icona Pop can make anything infectiously danceable, even telling an ex to get the hell out. You could also be like me and take an hour long deep dive into all of the music from the show.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black & White Sunshine
This is a big year for fans of the Gallagher brothers. Liam’s album As You Were was released in October, and Noel‘s band Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds just dropped an album, Who Built The Moon? on Friday. It’s impossible not to hear some of Noel’s Oasis writing in the album, but it by and large stands well on its own. “Black & White Sunshine” is pure rock and roll. It’s gripping, features great bass work, and will generally scratch that rock need that you have.
Sufjan Stevens – The Hidden River Of My Life
Two years after the release of the deeply personal Carrie & Lowell, Sufjan Stevens has let us further into his mind during the creation of said album. The Greatest Gift is a collection of remixes and demos from the recording process, plus a few new tunes. One of those tunes is “The Hidden River Of My Life.” Like all of Stevens’ work, it’s a deeply personal track, an examination of himself and how the world might be. It’s simple, raw, and emotional, so it’s all the things that Stevens does best.
James Arthur – Naked
We need more vulnerability in our lives. Letting yourself be vulnerable and putting all your emotions on the table can both feel great and help along the emotional healing process after you’ve been hurt. James Arthur’s latest single “Naked” is that thought in song form. The other person Arthur is singing about has clearly hurt him, and Arthur beautifully delivers the vocals of someone who is ready to move on, even if it hurts.
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