When I was writing the introduction to last week’s Take 5, I completely forgot that St. Patrick’s Day was this past weekend. Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day to all of you! Between college basketball and the holiday, I’m sure many of our dear readers had quite a weekend full of revelries and good times. I’m happy for you, and I hope that you don’t still feel like death today. I wish I could tell you I chose five mellow tracks this week, but that would be a lie. If you’re still feeling a little worse for wear, drink some coffee, eat something greasy and dig into this week’s song choices.

Leon Bridges – Bad Bad News

We got not one, but two Leon Bridges songs this past week. Bridges released “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand” and “Bad Bad News” in advance of his new album Good Thing coming out in May. With all due respect to “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand,” “Bad Bad News” is my favorite of the two. The song is as smooth as the day is long, with a great horn part and a jazz guitar that’s the best I’ve heard in a long while. The call and response of the chorus is fun and infectious, and the instrumental outro is a thing of beauty.

NOTD, Bea Miller – I Wanna Know

If you want to talk about artists who are on a meteoric rise, you can’t leave out NOTD or Bea Miller. The former is the young production duo of Samuel Brandt, and Tobias Danielsson, already racking up big time collaborations and credits. Miller just released her second album aurora in February. Together they have created “I Wanna Know,” a longing anthem for after going through a tough breakup. NOTD’s production leaps and thrills with electric energy, and Miller’s vocal work sells the song, a track about missing an ex and wondering if their current partner makes them as happy as they were.

Echosmith – Over My Head

It’s been an interesting few months for Echosmith fans. Last July they announced an album, but in September that album was delayed and the band released the Inside A Dream EP instead. This week the Sierota family band released “Over My Head,” presumably the lead single from the delayed album. The wait was more than worth it, as “Over My Head” is great. Lead singer Sydney’s vocals layered over Graham and Noah’s in a rich chorus and her work on the keyboard shine. There’s a perfect blend of guitar and drum to synth, and the moments where one instrument drops out to let the others breathe are all incredible.

Lxandra – Dig Deep

We have a lot of progress to make in the music industry. There are still tons of men who don’t value women’s contributions and abilities. Throughout society there are also men who like the idea of a vocal, capable woman, but don’t actually want to listen. On “Dig Deep,” Lxandra is kicking down the door and making everyone listen. It’s a powerful message coming at an opportune time, and “Dig Deep” sounds great to boot. Lxandra is equally deft and delivering quiet musing during the verses and a rallying cry on the more intense chorus. Put it all together and you have yourself a song that won’t soon be forgotten.

Hayley Kiyoko – Let It Be

Hayley Kiyoko‘s debut album Expectations comes out next week. I was already stoked about this fact before last week. Now with the release of “Let It Be,” I can’t wait at all. A shiny electric glaze is applied over a strong musical base of a mournful guitar, and Kiyoko will rip your heart out with the emotion she conveys. The regret and resignation in the chorus is palpable, a gut-wrenching current that plays through all of “Let It Be.” This is the one to put on if you’re missing someone and need a good cry.


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