February is always the worst month of the year. Winter has been around for a minute and normally gets particularly bitter in these 28 days. I am personally already excited to be able to just wear sweatshirts outside. I’m not even asking for t-shirt and shorts weather yet, I’ll live with sweatshirt weather. March brings the promise of warmer weather and maybe the end of snow. While the weather and general weirdness of having such a short month aren’t ideal, the music industry brought it in February. There were great releases throughout, and the last full week of the month didn’t disappoint. Let’s dig into the final Take 5 of February.
Flatbush Zombies – Headstone
I talked about this song a bit on Friday, but I had to include it here, too. There’s something for everyone on “Headstone.” Did you like Flatbush Zombies before this? All of their strengths are on display. Zombie Juice’s cutting lyricism is second to none, Erick Arc Elliott’s production creates the brooding, affecting vibe of the song, and Meechy Darko’s growl of a voice gives the hook the necessary bite. “Headstone” is also wonderful for anyone who is a student of hip-hop, as just about every major rapper of the last 30 years receives at least one reference. There’s never been a better time to get behind Flatbush Zombies.
Bishop Briggs – White Flag
As mentioned in the intro, this time of year can generally be a slog to get through. Bishop Briggs has the cure for you. First of all, her debut album Church of Scars now has a release date of April 20, so you have that to put on your calendar. More immediately, her new single “White Flag” is exactly the rallying cry we need. Contrary to what the title might imply, “White Flag” is about never giving up on your goals. Few have the fire in their voices that Briggs can convey, and “White Flag,” like all of her tracks, has a strong sense of momentum that will make you want to run through a wall and conquer your dreams.
Underoath – On My Teeth
Underoath have returned to us after a long six years. As MJ Rawls discussed earlier in the week, this isn’t exactly the Underoath you remember. No one in the band has lost a step at all, and “On My Teeth” is a more evolved form of the version of the band that was present when they broke up in 2012. While there are arguments about which version of Underoath and which album is the “best,” its inarguable this current version rocks pretty damn hard with “On My Teeth,” and new album Erase Me should be something to look forward to.
June Divided – Body Wars
Literally, no one on the entire planet has their life together 100% of the time. No song describes those times where your thoughts are trying to melt out of your face better than June Divided’s “Body Wars.” The guitar lick is lovely, and Melissa Menago’s lyrics are some of the most relatable words on the subject to ever be committed to recording. Maybe you don’t really know what to do when you have 15 contradicting thoughts all happening at the same time, but you’re definitely not alone. And now you have an incredibly catchy song about it to work through it, so it’s not all bad.
Janelle Monáe – Make Me Feel
I am fully convinced Janelle Monáe could do literally any job on the planet. So far she’s been brilliant at everything she’s put her mind to. Considering her last album came out in 2013 and she’s spent a lot of time on film in recent years, you may have forgotten how great of a musician she is. “Make Me Feel” will make you remember. The electronic warbling at the beginning of the song is an enticing intro, and Monáe delivers the vocals with as much smoothness and coolness as has ever been recorded in human history. Combine all that with a big dash of funk and you have a near perfect song.
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