Happy Halloween! It’s true, every single day for the next 31 days is Halloween. That’s just how it is. This is my favorite month for a variety of reasons. The weather is absolutely perfect, there are Halloween and horror specials on every channel, and it’s still a fantastic month for music releases. We’ll have a few tricks for you as the 31st day of Halloween approaches, but until then you can count on Substream to deliver the same excellent music coverage you’ve come to know and love. Let’s get spooky and dive into this week’s Take 5.

I Won’t Stay Down – Veridia

I am not a morning person at all. It usually takes me a little music inspiration to get going at the beginning of the day. That inspiration this week comes from Veridia’s new single “I Won’t Stay Down.” This track is like taking all the adrenaline in the world and funneling it through your ears straight into your brain. Frontwoman Deena Jakoub can make just about anything sound inspiring with her strong and forceful voice, and when she’s singing about rising up through hardship, it’s going to make you feel like you can run through a brick wall. Brandon Brown’s heavily distorted guitar riffs pack a monstrous punch, and there’s a never-ending supply of energy pouring out of the whole band during “I Won’t Stay Down.” Listen to this and you’ll have no problem getting motivated for whatever today brings.

Tiffany Young – Teach You

There are two things you learn when listening to Tiffany Young’s new single “Teach You.” The first lesson Young teaches is that she’s a master of pop music, a rising star you should be paying attention to right now. The other lesson is that if you mess with her, she will systematically destroy you. Wrapped in glimmering synth spirals and pop melodies, “Teach You” is a vicious revenge song where Young has to educate a man on what happens when he cheats on her. Needless to say, you do not want to be that man. Young’s cadence on the chorus is a delight, and the track shifts beautifully between Young’s obvious sadness and hurt from being betrayed and her obvious glee as she extracts her vengeance. “Teach You” is super fun and proves Young should not be taken lightly, both as an artist and as a force of vengeful nature.

Matt Mays – Drive On (acoustic_

Matt Mays’ “Drive On” is a road trip song through and through. Released last year as part of the album Once Upon a Hell of a Time…, “Drive On” conjures up visions of roaring down the open highway, not a care in the world. On the other hand, the new acoustic version of “Drive On” takes on a more reflective tone. There’s still an energy in the strums on Mays’ guitar and the more complex sections of his vocals, but it’s a quieter energy. This version of “Drive On,” is for the backroads, slowly cruising around while the world keeps moving in the background. As we reach fall and life itself begins to slow down, this acoustic version of “Drive On” is a welcome addition to our playlists and to Mays’ discography.

Niights – So Into You

There are a lot of different sounds going on in “So Into You,” and Niights pull them all off perfectly. Jenna Fournier’s vocals are melodic and soothing, and the beginning of the track sounds like we’re in for a dreamy pop track that’s pretty mellow. Then we hit the chorus and the rest of the band comes in with guitars and keys that wouldn’t sound out of place on your favorite pop punk record. Once you get over the initial surprise, this juxtaposition works really well. Neither side of “So Into You” overpowers the other, an impressive balancing act that delivers the best of both genres into one package. “So Into You” is definitely a track that deserves a few spins so you can hear all of the work and sounds Niights have assembled.

Pet Envy – MiddleMan

While we’re all here because we love music, it’s impossible to ignore that the music industry has its share of problems. There’s a demand to give your entire life to your work, while the higher-ups who don’t share that passion casually dispose of artists they don’t care about. Then there’s the objectification and harassment of women making music, a problem that much smarter people than me have written about at great lengths. It’s a lot to deal with and there are no easy answers beyond every single one of us holding ourselves and our co-workers and friends accountable. All of this is the subject of Pet Envy’s new song “MiddleMan.” There’s a lot to parse through in the track, but the band does a solid job of laying things out in a way that will make sense to even the most casual listeners. The band bring their usual fantastic sound to the mix, but the message is really the most important part of the experience. “MiddleMan” is a good reminder that we all need to be better about making music a safe, accessible area for everyone.


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