Welcome back to the week! I hope everyone out there enjoyed their long weekend. It feels like an entire week’s worth of activity was crammed into the last three days. There were tons of important sports games, with the NBA Conference Finals wrapping up and the NHL Stanley Cup Finals beginning. There were a bunch of great new songs released, along with a boatload of happenings in the music world. Several beefs of varying importance rose and fell, and there was a whole 24 hours where people though Nicki Minaj and Eminem were dating. It was truly a wild weekend. Now that it’s over, lets settle into the coming week with a new edition of Take 5.

Good Charlotte – Actual Pain

To start with, I’m pretty sure fellow contributor and Good Charlotte superfan Molly Hudelson would refuse to talk to me ever again if I didn’t put their new song on the list this week. Besides this, the song is on the list of its own merits, as “Actual Pain” is an exciting mix of old and new for the band. Joel Madden sings of the type of excruciating pain that can come from love gone wrong, and the band puts together a sound that combines the solid riffs and tenacity of their pre-hiatus days with a more expansive, larger sound that would sound beautiful in packed arenas (fingers crossed). While the plans for their upcoming album are still hazy, Good Charlotte have proven they still have it with “Actual Pain.”

Maggie Rogers – Fallingwater

When Substream favorite Maggie Rogers releases a new song, I’m paying attention immediately. Rogers has yet to disappoint, and her new release “Fallingwater” follows that trend. Like the title implies, the track finds Rogers writing with lots of water imagery in her struggle. Musically, “Fallingwater” builds beautifully, a flow of percussion and vocal looping propelling Rogers’ artistry to a new level. It’s clearly well thought out and comes from Rogers’ heart. The end of the song is constructed so perfectly and lovingly that it’s almost a spiritual experience listening to Rogers unfold her vision. I would be perfectly alright with listening to an album’s worth of more music like this from Maggie Rogers.

Lauv – Bracelet

Songwriter Lauv has been on a tear to start 2018, releasing one great song after another in the first half of the year. New song “Bracelet” is no exception, and is in fact one of his best releases yet. The simple lyrical concept of holding onto a keepsake from an old flame until you’re over them is executed fantastically. The hook is superb, with Lauv going from the relative quiet of the chorus to a slice of pop heaven. The spacey sound that kicks in on the bridge adds a touch of airiness to “Bracelet” in just the right dose before dropping back into the full, rich main instrumental. At this rate, Lauv is going to release all the best songs in 2018 by the time he’s done.

June Divided – I Didn’t Mind

After we premiered June Divided‘s single “Body Wars,” I became a fan. June Divided rule. We were lucky enough to premiere another track with them last week, and like “Body Wars” before it, “I Didn’t Mind” is brilliant and has found its way into Take 5. “I Didn’t Mind” contains that same infectious pop sensibility as June Divided’s previous work, with just a bit more of a bite on it. The chorus is huge and captivating, an avalanche of emotion and guitars that will sweep you off into musical bliss. If June Divided keeps releasing absolute bangers, I’ll have to keep including them in Take 5. I don’t have a problem with this, and I have a feeling you won’t either.

John Williams, John Powell – The Adventures of Han

I try to give love to composers as often as I can in these articles alongside more traditional pop artists. Not that either of these composers need me to showcase their accomplishments. John Powell is no slouch with his work in many animated staples of the last twenty years, and John Williams is maybe the greatest film composer ever. I agree with Kt Schafer that Solo is pretty much fine, but the main theme “The Adventures of Han” is as brilliant as any piece of Star Wars music. Williams captures the roguish nature of Han Solo in the track’s bounce, while delivering an exciting theme for all the smuggling exploits Solo will get involved in. If you have yet to see Solo, pay attention to the music when you do, especially “The Adventures of Han.”


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