We’re into the peak of summer, which is always an incredibly busy time in music. In turn, that means it’s a busy time for us here at Substream. I want to take a moment to acknowledge all the hard work the staff has been putting in this summer. Every day someone new steps up to write an article about a new song, grab a review of an album that’s coming out, or post a wonderful new feature. There’s a lot to keep track of going on with all the new releases, but our staff has been nothing short of extraordinary about keeping up with it. Substream wouldn’t function without everyone here, and I’m grateful for every single one of them. Keep them in mind as you read through not only this Take 5 column this week, but when you read anything on the site. They’ve earned any and all praise. Let’s dig into this week.

Of Monsters and Men – Waiting For The Snow

FEVER DREAM is a fascinating album from Of Monsters and Men. It goes in a lot of different directions at once, many of which are quite different than previous efforts from the Icelandic group. I can’t say I totally love the whole record, but there are a few songs on it I adore. One of those songs is “Waiting For The Snow.” It’s one of the softer songs the band has ever released, and features some of the deep introspection that makes them special. Against the soft chords of a piano and little else, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir frets about the fearsome, scary power of love. Specifically, she worries about the intensity of her own emotions, singing “Have I said too much? Did I love too hard?” It’s a powerful and visceral message for anyone who has been told their emotions are too much. Of Monsters and Men tried a lot on FEVER DREAM, and “Waiting For The Snow” is one of the most successful results.

Tegan and Sara – I’ll Be Back Someday

All of the news from Tegan and Sara recently has been spectacular. Not only is their new album Hey, I’m Just Like You coming out in September, we’re also getting a memoir from them titled High School. If all of this sounds nostalgia-filled, that’s because it is. Even the songs from the album are taken from some of their earliest writing, which is completely evident on first single “I’ll Be Back Someday.” The track is stripped down from some of the sisters’ recent work, with just a rock solid riff and strong drumming powering the song along. The pair also sing about getting away to figure out life before getting back in the swing of things, I mission they’ve clearly accomplished with not only their own success, but their philanthropic work as well. “I’ll Be Back Someday” showcases not only the best of past Tegan and Sara, but how bright the future still is for them.

The Band CAMINO – Honest

You’ve got about a month to get familiar with Memphis group The Band CAMINO before their EP tryhard is out. You should get on that now, because they’re going to be big when the word gets out. Look no further than most recent release “Honest” for that. There are so many aspects of the song that stand out from all of the different genres and ideas the band draws from. There are ’80s era synth-rock production techniques that make the track sparkle, guitar solos and full live instrumentation that capture an alt-rock feel, and a melody and vocals that could send any song to the top of the pop charts. It’s hard to master any of those things, but The Band CAMINO have captured and merged all of them into a spectacular package. Put “Honest” in your headphones and get ready, because they’re ready to shine bright.

Lady Lazarus – I Know What It Feels Like

Another track grounded by breathtaking keys, “I Know What It Feels Like” by Lady Lazarus gripped me immediately upon my first listen. That simple hook in the keys that repeats throughout the song is warm and inviting, letting the listener know that they are indeed understood here. This song feels empathetic, like someone has their arm right around your shoulders. The mixing here is done to great effect as well, with Lady Lazarus’s voice buried underneath the music, a gentle whisper against a soothing piece of composition. Listeners first will get the music to wash over them and relax them, then they get the reassuring voice in their ears. It’s a brilliant piece of musical writing, and I’m sure Lady Lazarus is pleased to know how soothing “I Know What It Feels Like” is to listeners.

G Flip – Stupid

There is very little G Flip can’t do. Over a steady stream of songs over the past two years, Georgia Flipo has proven she can write, sing, and produce with the best of them. All three are on display on latest track “Stupid.” Lyrically, there’s a raw frustration to both the words and the singing that goes along with a relationship that keeps working despite itself. The production is impeccably planned, with the highs and lows pulling back and surging forward as they’re needed. Every musical line, from each individual drum through to the backing vocals has at least one moment in the sun that highlights their importance to the track overall. G Flip produces with precision, and the result is yet another winner with “Stupid.”

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