What’s the best part of January? New music, obviously. That’s the best part of every month. But what’s the second best part of January? Festival and tour announcements. The first month on the calendar is always filled to the brim with festivals revealing which artists will be there and with artists revealing where else they’ll be. From S. Carey to Coachella, it’s an exciting time (but maybe not so exciting for your wallet). Whenever an artist releases new music in January, we always start to hope for a tour announcement to follow. Let’s get to this week’s Take 5 and dream of the tours we know will happen and those that we’re wishing for in the future.
Drake – God’s Plan
It’s always an event when Drake releases new music. On Friday night he gave short notice for event planning, announcing two-song EP Scary Hours just hours before its release. Of the two songs, “God’s Plan” is easily the strongest of the two. Stronger lyricism (and no weird Rihanna and J.Lo name-dropping), stronger production from OVO mainstay producer 40, and almost no fat to trim. In case you forgot, Drake proves once again he can make fun tracks better than anyone else.
First Aid Kit – Nothing Has to be True
On Friday, sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg released Rise, their fourth album as First Aid Kit. It’s one of their best albums to date, equal parts inspiring, beautiful, and heartbreaking. Album closer “Nothing Has to be True” fits strongly into those last two categories. It’s a devastating tale of dating people who are no good again and again, even when friends urge caution. Eventually those friends get fed up, but the hurt is still there. It’s a slow dirge that has no tidy conclusion or happy ending. It might not offer answers, but “Nothing Has to be True” finds First Aid Kit offering comfort in the fact that if the song sounds like something you’ve been through, you’re not alone.
Betty Who – Ignore Me
It is my great shame and failure that I have not included Betty Who on Take 5 before now. Who is one of the best pop artists going around, and her 2017 album The Valley is proof of that. With the release of the excellent single “Ignore Me,” Betty Who has graciously allowed me to fix my mistake. Here an ex wants to keep prying their way into Who’s life, and she is having absolutely no part of it. It’s pop bliss, deceptively warm in it’s wrath. There’s always room for more Betty Who on this list and in your life.
Hot Mulligan – All You Wanted By Michelle Branch
Pop punk fans rejoice! Hot Mulligan have an album coming your way in the very near future. To celebrate, the band released a new single. The single is called “All You Wanted By Michelle Branch.” No, it’s not a cover. Don’t worry, it confused Branch too. Quirky title aside, it’s a fantastic song in its own right. If you’re not on the Hot Mulligan bandwagon yet, there’s still time to climb aboard.
NF – NO NAME
Last time NF was on this list he had just released a monster of an album in the form of Perception. He has now slowed down or lowered his intensity since then. With “NO NAME,” the Michigan rapper is still trying to find his way in the world. There’s musings on how weird paying for meet and greets is as a concept, a rebuke of those who think he bought his way into his fame, and his never-ending quest to grow as a person. While that journey is never over, NF is well on his way if “NO NAME” is any indication.
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