This is only the second Take 5 of 2018, and it’s already getting tough for me to choose just five songs every week. I’m not complaining, as having so much good music to sort through is the best kind of problem. We’re less than halfway through the first month of the year and we’ve already received some highly anticipated releases and new singles from some of 2017’s biggest stars. What a great time to be a music fan. Programming note: We’re creating a new Spotify playlist for this feature for the new year. If you want to keep up with all the releases we cover, make sure to subscribe to the new playlist included at the end of the post, helpfully titled “Take 5: Songs you should know 2018”. To the list!

Skott – Russian Soul

Skott released her first EP on Friday, and you should know by now how excited I was about that. Each song on Stay Off My Mind is great in its own way, but if you forced me to pick a favorite, I’d have to go with “Russian Soul.” A slow, tender ballad, it combines all the best parts of Skott’s voice with smart production and structure to create one of her best tracks ever. If you have to this point ignored my pleading for you to get Skott on your musical radar, now is a really, really good time for you to change your mind.

Camila Cabello – Inside Out

I can assure you Camila Cabello‘s debut solo album Camila is very good. After quite a few listens over the weekend, “Inside Out” is one of my favorite tracks from the album. The track is perfect for a midwinter dance party, with a great beat and a lighthearted playfulness to it. More than anything, “Inside Out” is an incredibly fun track, a breath of fresh air for our never-ending winter. We’ve known that Cabello can create a good single, but “Inside Out” shows she can make a solid album track too.

Troye Sivan – My My My!

Here’s another extremely fun track, courtesy of Troye Sivan. “My My My!” is maybe the slickest track of the new year, a glitchy intro giving way to a groovy electronica that just keeps on building. “My My My!” might seem like a weird title for a song, but it makes for one of the best hooks that Sivan has ever created. The vocal distortions on the background vocals are inspired, the lyrics are simple but effective, and the entire song comes together to create the nightclub anthem 2018 needs.

Jack White – Connected By Love

Jack White is Jack White. If he releases new music, he’s going on this list. Lo and behold, White released two new songs last week, so here we are. “Connected By Love” is a lot of things. It’s part electronic force, part dynamic rock ballad, part weird operatic drama, and part inspired musical breakdown. Something it isn’t is forgettable. Jack White has never been shy about taking his music in new and unexpected directions, often to fantastic result. It’s nice to see that trend has yet to change.

Tonight Alive – Burning On

Tonight Alive‘s new album Underworld was released last week and given a strong review by our Logan White. After listening to the album, I am also a big fan of the Australian band’s fourth album. “Burning On” is a standout from the album. The song strikes a good balance of delicacy during the quieter verses and more intense moments during the chorus. Vocalist Jenna McDougall lends a necessary gravitas to “Burning On” that makes it work, and her charge to let go of reservations and unabashedly feeling the depths of your emotions speaks to me deeply.


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