I don’t go out to bars that much anymore, but whenever I do I am always enthralled by how far jukeboxes have come. I remember growing up when there was a physical machine with buttons and things you needed to press, and now it’s all touchscreens and apps and magic. The song selection is basically infinite. Above all else though, my favorite part comes when you pick a song. You get an option to use a few more credits in order to play that song next. If I want everyone at the bar to listen to “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift right now, I can do that (I literally always do this). Technology is truly a blessing. Let’s get into this week’s Take 5.
Elle Winter – Sick of You
I love when a song throws me a curveball. With a title like “Sick of You,” you wouldn’t be forgiven for thinking Elle Winter was about to go scorched earth on someone. Instead, a funky danceclub riff greets you when the song begins, and the light and breezy instrumental stays that way for the entire song. Not only that, Winter sings about finding someone at the end of the night and then ending up falling for that person over and over. The hook heading into the chorus features a great guitar line to go with the infectious beat. Meanwhile, the bridge is shimmering synthy brilliance, and Winter sells her infatuation well throughout. “Sick of You” might not be what you are expecting, but it delivers regardless.
Charli XCX, Lizzo – Blame It On Your Love
Are there two artists who consistently have more fun than Charli XCX and Lizzo? I don’t think so. Each artist is known for having a great time on their own, so their combined powers make for the most fun you’re going to have this week. “Blame It On Your Love” is a blast from start to finish. Stargate’s production work here is superb, a bouncy collection of electronics and some simple percussion driving the song along. The chorus is suitably huge and exuberant to match the personalities of its two stars, as XCX passes the buck for a relationship that just can’t seem to work. Lizzo’s verse is peak Lizzo, insightful throughout while frequently delivering some hilarious punchlines. “I’m trying to catch millions, I ain’t tryin’ to catch feelings” is the mantra we all need for 2019. “Blame It On Your Love” is the sound we all need for 2019. More Charli XCX and Lizzo, please.
Lauv, CHVRCHES – Drugs & The Internet (CHVRCHES Remix)
I just recently featured Lauv’s “Drugs & The Internet” on Take 5, and all the nice things I said about it then still stand. His songwriting and storytelling are still incredibly emotional and connect to listeners in a genuine way. The track sounded great a couple weeks ago, and apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. CHVRCHES have reentered the remix game with this new version of “Drugs & The Internet,” and they’re as good as ever at remixing. The remix replaces Lauv’s slightly darker, introspective instrumental with all of the bright, bounding exuberance of a CHVRCHES track. With the same lyrics over this radiant sound, it makes for an interesting contrast between words and sound that works well with the message of the track. Here’s to hoping CHRVCHES aren’t done remixing after “Drugs & The Internet.”
Ra Ra Riot – Flowers
Ra Ra Riot and producer Rostam have been a match made in heaven for a solid stretch. That has not changed on “Flowers,” the single that paired with the announcement of Ra Ra Riot’s new album Superbloom. The layering and vibrance Rostam draws out of each instrument goes perfectly with the band’s complex, rich sound. The distortion of the guitar, the blast of the keys, and the vocal harmonies of the group all play off each other here to create a song that just keeps growing and growing every time you listen. Listen to “Flowers” a few times and just follow one instrument at a time. Each one has its own amazing moment or two. The chanting vocal harmonies in the background are especially cool when you track them through the song. “Flowers” is yet another entry in this very rewarding partnership.
Tyler, The Creator – I THINK
Listening to IGOR, the latest album from Tyler, The Creator, is a fascinating experience. Over the years Tyler has refined his writing and and production skills to an amazing degree. He’s clearly technically gifted. What really makes IGOR shine is that he combines that skill with the same sort of intimate, homemade vibe that connects him with his fans. Take “I THINK” as an example. The track features crackles and pops like a beat up vinyl record, which actually sounds amazing alongside the keys and synths over which he sings and raps. Then there’s the element of surprise that he often employs, as the instrumental break sounds like it comes from another song entirely while still fitting the mood of the track. Tyler, The Creator has evolved a lot, and “I THINK” is a perfect example of that.
Subscribe to our ‘Take 5’ playlist on Spotify!