Welcome back to Take 5, friends! If you’re just getting back from Bonnaroo today, know that I’m jealous and also hope you’re getting a relaxing recovery day. With summer here and festival season in full swing, you need to be taking care of yourself when you see your favorite Take 5 artists in outdoor concerts. There’s enough potential advice to fill a whole column, but I’ll gently remind you of just a few things. Sunscreen is your friend. Water and proper hydration are also key. Make sure your phone is charged as much as possible and let your friends know where you’ll be. Just do some common sense things like that to keep yourself happy and safe, and keep enjoying all the wonderful music coming out!
Kamaiyah, ScHoolboy Q – Addicted To Ballin’
I’m a late convert to Kamaiyah, having only discovered the Oakland rapper earlier this year. That being said, both of her albums–2016’s A Good Night In The Ghetto and 2017’s Before I Wake–are on heavy rotation for me now. Kamaiyah’s laid back delivery and smart wordplay are on display once again on new single “Addicted To Ballin’.” The track leans more into the party vibes than the observational musings of previous Kamaiyah singles, but she still shines on the track nonetheless. I will also take ScHoolboy Q on any track, and he doesn’t disappoint here either. If you have yet to let Kamaiyah into your musical life, “Addicted To Ballin'” is a great place to start.
The Beths – Happy Unhappy
The Beths are quickly becoming one of my new favorite bands. The New Zealand four-piece are out here wearing pineapples on their heads, fighting aliens, and releasing dazzling indie pop tracks. “Happy Unhappy” is just the latest step in their quest to win my heart. There’s just so much to love in this three and a half minutes. Elizabeth Stokes’ perfectly paced delivery of the lyrics heading into the chorus, the relatable feeling of wanting to get back to the way things were before even if it wasn’t ideal, and Ivan Luketina-Johnston’s catchy drumming are just a few of the things I adore. Furthermore, I already talked about my love of a good indie pop guitar riff in the post last week. The Beths know what they’re doing, and what they’re doing is making listeners like me very happy.
Ume – Two Years Sleep
If you don’t already, you should be checking out every single premiere we do here at Substream. What better way to find fresh, exciting music to listen to? Case in point, this week our very talented Logan White premiered the latest single from rock band Ume, “Two Years Sleep.” Take the time to read the premiere and you discover the track is a deeply personal story from singer Lauren Larson. If the soft, melodic rock instrumental didn’t speak to you enough already, hearing about Larson’s writing and inspiration will stir some feelings. “Two Years Sleep” is one of the best new songs this week, and now you know to always check out the premiers.
Taylor Phelan – Forever You
Speaking of premieres, in March I premiered “Long Way Down” by artist Taylor Phelan. Phelan was gearing up for the second EP release of his current project, helpfully titled 2 of 2. The EP was released on Friday, and there are lots of good candidates for tracks to appear on Take 5. In the end I settled upon “Forever You.” While “Long Way Down” is a booming, stirring anthem, “Forever You” is 2 of 2‘s ballad, and Phelan crushes it. The music is light and soft to begin, letting Phelan’s expressive voice work wonders delivering his lyrics. Like all good ballads, the point where everything comes together and the song unfurls into something bigger is suitably spectacular. “Forever You” proves there’s not much that Phelan can’t do.
Gorillaz – Sorcererz
New Gorillaz music is always good news. The fact we have to wait less than a month for new album The Now Now to come out on June 29 has me ecstatic. If recent singles are any indication, Damon Albarn has some good things in store for us. Case in point, Gorillaz’s new single “Sorcererz” is just three minutes of non-stop excellent hooks. It’s a funky, psychedelic song to go with the visualiser released alongside the single. Albern’s croon as frontman 2-D is still on point, and the entire thing points towards an exciting new release from Gorillaz. If you need to chill at any point today, put on “Sorcererz” and let it carry you away.
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