We’ve reached the end of October, and I hope you’ve had a suitably spooky time. October (like every month” is always a strong month of music releases as we settle into fall, with a number of great releases every week. And of course there’s the fun Halloween stuff. If you had parties to go to this weekend, I hope you had a great time. I also hope that your hangovers are gone by now, because I’ve definitely been there. Here, we only have a few movies left in 31 Days of Halloween, but you can read all of the past articles here if you missed any. Once you get caught up on those, dive into this week’s Take 5.

Donna Missal – You Burned Me

When “You Burned Me” came out, Donna Missal released a statement explaining it’s one of her most “vulnerable” songs and talking about how she’s moving in a new direction in life and music. All of that is immediately evident on “You Burned Me,” which is one of Missal’s best tracks to date. It’s never easy to talk about when you get burned by putting your trust in someone, but it’s important to process that experience and transform it into something good, and that’s exactly what she does here. That’s why the track contains a levity and pronounced bounce in the production. There’s even a big band sound that keeps popping up that is a nice touch, serving as proof that Missal is marching on. We all need encouragement to keep going, and Donna Missal is providing it on “You Burned Me.”

Major Lazer, Khalid – Trigger

I play a lot of video games. I want to let you know that so you know what I say next is coming from a place of love: I did not expect a video game soundtrack to be the source of a bunch of great pop music in 2019. Many games have spectacular scores, but the record between popular artists and games is iffy. Death Stranding is changing that. The same soundtrack that gave us the good CHVRCHES song “Death Stranding,” a few weeks ago now provides us with “Trigger,” a gem from Major Lazer and Khalid. Like that last track, “Trigger” is haunting and atmospheric, with Khalid lamenting a love that has lost its luster. Major Lazer’s production echos and grows with each passing second, and the drums are something special to behold. Death Stranding has yet to come out, but it’s already gifting us good art.

Selena Gomez – Lose You To Love Me

Selena Gomez has made her return, and she made quite a musical statement upon doing so. Both singles she dropped last week–”Lose You To Love Me” and “Look At Her Now”– are solid, but we’re going to focus on the first one. There’s been a lot of coverage as to who the track is about, but just as a song it’s a powerhouse. The piano chords are thoughtful and pronounced, letting Gomez articulate her feelings over a beautifully tender and delicate backing. Gomez is a talented vocalist, and her urgency and range drive “Lose You To Love Me” forward. On the production, FINNEAS shows his range by exhibiting a deft touch and maintaining the lightness the song requires. “Lose You To Love Me” is a powerful track and a welcome return for Selena Gomez.

Easy Life – Nice Guys

It’s Monday, and for a lot of us we need something to relax to even though the week is just starting. This week it’s Leicester five-piece Easy Life who are providing us with something to unwind to at the end of the day. Their new song “Nice Guys” has just about everything you need instrumentally you need to have a good time. There’s a catchy beat, laid-back synths, and even some horns thrown into the mix. The lyrics are playful and fun, an ode to not taking things too seriously and enjoying life as it happens. The extended outro is a masterclass in production work, bringing all of the musical themes and movements of the track together for one last ride. Kick back and listen to “Nice Guys,” you deserve it.

ABISHA – Real Life

Also hailing from the UK, ABISHA is an artist who absolutely deserves to be on your radar. She’s definitely on mine after listening to her new single “Real Life.” The R&B track is as heartrending as it is easy to listen to, with a hook that draws from some electronic influences along with a strong beat and a pop sensibility. ABISHA’s voice is strong and brimming with emotion and longing as she sings about wanting someone more than anything. A yearning like that is powerful, and you can sense every bit of it in her words. You’re not going to want to miss out on anything ABISHA does after listening to “Real Life” for yourself.

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