There is nothing better for me than a difficult week of picking songs for Take 5. That might seem counterintuitive, but a tough week means that there were a lot of options to pick from. When I go through all the songs in a week, I try to deliver all of you a good mix of big hit songs that I think deserve a in-depth listen and smaller songs that might not be on your radar otherwise. It’s a little something for everyone, and I hope it helps expand your tastes and how you discover music. Before we get to this week’s list, I’m also giving you a heads up that since next week is Labor Day, Take 5 will be up on Tuesday instead of Monday.

KT Tunstall – The River

I absolutely adored KT Tunstall‘s 2016 album KIN. The album was billed as the first of a trilogy when it came out, and second installment WAX is due in October. I was already excited for this new entry from Tunstall, and new single “The River” has only affirmed my excitement. You can immediately hear some of the same threads from KIN on “The River.” Tunstall is adept and crafting catchy, melodic songs and wrapping them in a sheen of rock-esque riffs and distortion. Tunstall’s evocative lyrical writing is at the forefront as well, her celebration of life centered around the imagery of a river resonating deeply with me. “The River” is the best reason yet to circle the release of WAX on your calendar.

Young the Giant – Superposition

What I love about Young the Giant are their ability to craft a vision with a song. From the music to the lyrics to Sameer Gadhia’s vocal delivery, you can close your eyes and see a whole new world the band has constructed. “Superposition,” named after the physics theory, is no exception. It’s a love song by way of cosmic intervention, and Gadhia’s breathy vocals give a keen sense of longing. The rest of the band contribute by finger plucking many of the instruments, and even the percussion remains light and spacious. Love can often make us feel like we’re in another universe, and “Superposition” sounds like that alien world. Young the Giant have created numerous worlds, and “Superposition” joins their illustrious ranks.

boygenius – Me & My Dog

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus are all incredible musicians. To the surprise of absolutely no one, putting them all together is something magical. This supergroup, called boygenius, released three tracks together so far, and all of them are phenomenal. I chose “Me & My Dog” because it’s my personal favorite, but all three could have been on this list. The songwriting is of course impeccable, and the three combine their talents for a sound that is a tad bit fuller than any of their solo material, but still maintains the clear musical ideas and sound that makes them great. It also helps that their voices perfectly compliment each other while they’re singing harmonies. boygenius has been highly anticipated for some time now, and the resulting music lives up to any and all expectations.

LANY – I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore

I’ve been in the mood for indie-pop recently, and trio LANY must have read my mind. The band released two singles last week, “Thru These Tears” and “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore.” Both are good, but “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore” immediately stood out to me. The song title is not a pointed statement, but a plea, as Paul Klein begs not to be put through the pain of missing his former love. The instrumental is sparse and airy, allowing Klein’s vocal range and emotion the room it needs to spread out and sink into the listener. The back half of the song still contains a more robust pop sound, but overall I enjoy the more minimal sound that LANY have employed here. LANY are not afraid to experiment with their sound, and gems like “I Don’t Wanna Love You Anymore” are the result.

Only Yours – Doubts

I have been feeling a lot of feelings this week. I would have been drawn to Only Yours‘ new single “Doubts” even if that weren’t the case, but it’s been on repeat since I premiered it. I too tend to spill my emotions out to those close to me, so the lyrics of “Doubts” absolutely speak to me. That’s to say nothing of the rich, nuanced instrumental. Listening to the guitar part bounce and loop around is good if you want a new musical idea stuck in your head, and the emotional push and rise of the music during the chorus will get your emotions racing no matter who you are. With a single this strong, I’m excited to see what Only Yours have planned for the rest of 2018 and beyond.


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