We’re into June now! This seems impossible, as it feels like just last week I was writing the first Take 5 of 2018. Back then it was cold and snowy, and now I’m sweating all the time. Last week at Substream was a good time if you wanted to read some new interviews. I myself talked to Molly Moore, Molly Hudelson spoke with Carry Illinois’ Lizzy Lehman, and James Shotwell sat down with Lil Xan. Check those pieces out after you listen to this week’s selection of five songs. And keep checking back in every day, as you never know who we’ll interview next. Onto the songs.

Future ThievesĀ – Dark Spin

Since it’s summer, lets start with a summery song. Nashville’s Future Thieves announced a new album on Friday, and lead single “Dark Spin” is a promising sign for the band’s latest effort. While it’s called “Dark Spin,” the new single is soft and light in its sound, a swell of shimmering chimes and synths lifting the song up. While the instrumental-only bridge is relatively short, it’s beautiful, with guitarist Austin McCool offering up the mellowest and most serene musical interlude I’ve featured here in a long time. Vocalist Elliot Collett knows how to strike the balance of delivering the melody softly while still giving the lyrics the weight and impact they deserve. Future Thieves are certainly well poised for the summer with “Dark Spin.”


FLAVIA – Hateful

I knew as soon as I premiered LA electro-pop artist FLAVIA’s single “Hateful” that I would be including it in Take 5. If you’re a returning reader, you know that I am all in on anything in the electro-pop realm. “Hateful” is right in my wheelhouse then, with a veritable ocean of synths building on top of one another, intermingling, and creating a powerful sound. I also love the positive message of “Hateful.” There is always more room for positivity in music, in this column, and in the world in general. FLAVIA knows that we have to stand up for those who are less fortunate than ourselves, and that people find that message to resonate in “Hateful” gives me just a little more hope for all of us going forward. A powerful electo-pop song with an uplifting message? FLAVIA’s “Hateful” was always going to make an appearance on this list.


The 1975 – Give Yourself A Try

The 1975 are back, and we are all very excited about it here at Substream. It helps that new single “Give Yourself A Try” has instantly become a captivating earworm. From the beginning of that electronic hook running through the song to its abrupt end, “Give Yourself A Try” is a fun, inviting track. Matthew Healy takes an honest and open look at his life and offers advice to both his younger self and his young audience in general, which is to take a chance on what you love and go out and live your life how you want. The instrumental fills in under that previously mentioned hook quite nicely, and The 1975 have us all anticipating their next move. “Give Yourself A Try” is one of their best singles yet.


Kid Cupid – Better

Kid Cupid is a band that’s been on my radar for a second now. The London band has been releasing intriguing pop hits for awhile, and new track “Better” is a perfect introduction to the band for those who aren’t in the know. There’s a strong pop sensibility in the main melodic line, and the four piece band fills out the rest of the music with an enjoyable collection of guitar, keys, and percussion. The song is about lifting up a friend or someone close to you, a theme that has been hit on a lot this week. It’s never a bad thing to hear though, and I’m sure we all have a friend who could use a pep talk. Listen to Kid Cupid’s “Better,” be on the lookout for this band’s imminent rise, and then reach out to someone who needs it.


Weezer – Africa

Like literally every other music writer on the planet, I love Toto’s “Africa.” This is not an uncommon opinion. I also like Weezer. This is also not an uncommon opinion. Why not put the two things together? The people demanded it, and here we are: Weezer has covered “Africa.” It’s pretty good, too! The entire thing, but especially the chorus, skews a little more rock than the original, which was obviously the intention. There are twists on all the most iconic parts of Toto’s masterpiece, from the instrumental breaks to the epic harmonies. I’m not sure this is a cover I was clamoring for before I knew of its existence, but the final product is definitely an enjoyable listen.


 

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