This weekend was New York Comic Con, and there were a number of big panels and trailer reveals for some of the most anticipated shows and movies coming up. The actors and directors always get their due during these events, but take a minute to look up the people involved in the music of your favorite watches. All of these films and shows would not be remotely the same without their musical scores. The next time you’re telling your friends about the shows you love and the people who make them, give a shoutout to the musical folks that work on them as well. With that said, let’s dig into this week’s Take 5. (Programming note: I’ll be away for a wedding next weekend, so no Take 5 column. The playlist will still be updated, though!)
filous, klei – Bicycle
If you combine an acoustic guitar and pop-influenced production, I will be into your song. That’s just all there is to it. With that out there, I was already predisposed to like producer filous and singer klei’s new single “Bicycle.” When you combine that warm guitar strumming and production that sounds like a warm spring day as well as filous does, it’ll be hard for anyone to dislike it. klei’s vocals carry listeners back to younger and brighter days, when riding around on bikes and trying to act cool were the biggest concerns to be had. In the cool months of fall, filous and klei have brought a calming warmth to music with “Bicycle.”
Sigrid – Sucker Punch
Sometimes feelings come on slow, growing over time. Other times they come flying in out of nowhere. Sigrid’s new single “Sucker Punch” is about the latter occurrence. Every aspect of the song is built to channel that type of feeling, and it all works without flaw. The electronics to begin the song land like boxing gloves, but “Sucker Punch” still stays light and bouncy. Sigrid’s delivery and lyrics both convey the dizzying rush and hint of panic that happens when our feelings are strong right out of the gate. At the same time, it’s a ton of fun, and Sigrid’s uplifting chorus matches that mind frame. The moment where she goes a cappella for a brief moment before the music comes in more expressive than ever is a particularly great highlight. Sigrid is well-versed at providing emotionally resonant pop music, and “Sucker Punch” continues her run of great releases.
KT Tunstall – Tiny Love
There was a lot of insight into KT Tunstall’s current album WAX in my conversation with her, and it’s something I thought about a lot while listening to “Tiny Love.” The track closes out WAX, and there’s an intense realness that really affected me. WAX is a big, bold album, full of rock sounds and a lot of good times. To close it on this introspective, subdued track is a work of genius. It makes the listener think about everything they’ve heard in a different light. “Tiny Love” is a fantastic track on its own too, with a moving ending that will stay with you for days. On an album full of great writing, “Tiny Love” stands out as one of KT Tunstall’s best tracks.
Alessia Cara – Trust My Lonely
Alessia Cara has had a number of releases I’ve liked, but “Trust My Lonely” may be my favorite. The combination of little vocal samples, the jigsaw of musical instruments all working in a fun off-kilter way, and Cara’s voice create a song I dig. It’s smooth enough to be a 2018 pop song, but I like that the rough edges weren’t sanded off, leaving a little bit of quirky complexity in the track. Since many of the tracks in Take 5 this week have to do with strong emotions, “Trust My Lonely” also fits into that theme as well. There’s value in Cara’s lyrics here in that you should trust your feelings, even when those feelings don’t make you feel great. It’s okay to be lonely for a bit and feel that before rushing into something without thinking. Embrace every part of you, like Cara has embraced the sounds on “Trust My Lonely.”
Be The Bear, GOLDHOUSE – Ruler
I hope you know that if you’re reading this, you rock. You’re capable of doing whatever you put your mind to if you put the work in. Don’t believe me or need some added motivation? Swedish artist Be The Bear (Christina Wehage) and Chicago’s GOLDHOUSE have combined for an adrenaline and confidence booster in the form of new single “Ruler.” Wehage’s lyrics are all about being on top of the game, as she sings “I will be my ruler/no mercy for anybody.” That’s how you should be approaching any obstacle in your way. Combine that sentiment with the production expertise of these two artists, and you have something special. Go out there and be the “Ruler,” you’ve got this handled.
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