Thus starts a new tradition.
I’m a devoted reader of Entertainment Weekly. It’s one of the few magazines I keep up with on a regular basis. I went a spell not getting it because I couldn’t keep up, but yippee! here I am a subscriber again. (Thanks, little bro!) Part of what I love is that it keeps me up-to-date on what’s happening in the larger media world, and the writers are smart, educated people with (largely) balanced opinions. As our household doesn’t have cable and I’m a stay-at-home mom, there aren’t a ton of fresh new ideas coming our way on a regular basis – and here’s where EWeekly comes in. I mean, they’re the ones that told me “Blurred Lines” was a song way back in October of 2013 (…and it turned out to be the “Song of the Summer” nine months later…). I showed my in-laws the video for “Thrift Shop” ages before Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis won their Grammys (though, admittedly, after my hipster brother-in-law knew about it).
Also, from a theological standpoint, I think it’s important to know what’s going on in the world. It’s where God has put us to thrive and exist for these few decades. If we can’t talk to anybody about what’s going on in the common world we inhabit, how will we reach non-believers? Besides, a lot of this is quality. God made music. It should be excellent. So I’m not saying the devil has all the best music, but a lot of the great stuff isn’t made by Christians or has anything to do with God… but it can still reflect his brilliance because it’s excellent. I believe heaven will be full of music, and maybe we’ll get to contribute to it, and maybe we’ll borrow hooks from Beyonce.
(With all that, I have to say, it’s not all going to be PG. The above link for “Thrift Shop” is the official video, and I believe in giving the original artists the traffic, but at the same time, Ryan Lewis’s channel doesn’t offer any edited videos. I’ll put warnings by the links to offensive content, and at times I could omit especially offensive ones altogether. But largely, it’ll come from Rdio sans video, and they do offer clean versions.)
And so, with a proper drumroll (meaning fingers on a bare wooden tabletop), from henceforth, I’ll be posting the weekly singles that EWeekly lists in their music section. Sometimes it’ll be a couple singles. Sometimes (like this week) it’ll be two pages of staff picks. They’ll be labeled with the date of the issue, and I encourage you to go check out the rest of what the magazine has to offer! I’ll also end with a personal selection each week. My tastes don’t always align with those of the pros, and I can’t even guarantee it’ll be within the last 5 years. But I promise you’ll always want to listen to that one… 😉
“Staff Playlist: 15 New Songs We Love”
Broken Bells: “After the Disco” — It is, in fact, a modern disco. I could imagine it playing over the credits of “Breakfast Club.”
Burial: “Hiders” — So, the Rdio description says it’s their “most emotional and story-like output.” I appreciate the slow build (Imma sucka for that slow build), but then it veers off again. Wasn’t even sure when it changed to the next song. But I can see how story-like that could be within a larger album.
Angel Haze: “Deep Sea Diver” — I’ve liked other Angel Haze (as inappropriate as she is, this is my style). She sounds like Nicki Minaj, but less distinct or POW emphasis, with Lil Wayne’s dress style, and refrains like Sevyn Streeter.
MO: “Never Wanna Know” — The voice sounds like Lana del Ray to me, but with more range. Echoey vocals with a tambourine jam.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks: “Houston Hades” — His voice is clear and ironic. The sound is late 90s. It’s not entirely appropriate, but he’s having fun and you can tell.
Hospitality: “I Miss Your Bones” — One of my favorites on this list. It’s fun! The published description is “Peppy, dark, punky, jammy,” but it’s largely upbeat and fun.
James Vincent: “Cavalier” – Ambient, airy, beautiful voice. My favorite part is the end falsetto part – sounds like John Legend.
Phantogram: “Fall in Love” — I think you’d call this genre “shoe gazers”. I can’t actually speak to their live performance style, but it fits that Foster the People synthy upbeat faze.
St. Vincent: “Digital Witness” — Fun! Throwback kind of style to the early ’00s (my favorite era).
Sevyn Streeter: “Sex on the Ceiling” — Eh. It’s in my R&B genre, but I really like when you can hear the lyrics better. It’s a lot of way-up-there vocals. And I mean, the refrain is, “Baby we goin have sex on the ceiling.” Not deep or original or even sounds that great. I’ve heard Sevyn Streeter I do like, this just isn’t so much it.
Warpaint: “Love Is to Die” — Sounds a little like Metric – EWeekly calls it “liquid groove.” Ambient female voices.
Black Lips: “Boys in the Wood” — If you like the Black Lips… (which I do!) It’s similar to White Stripes in that driving, pounding, certain lyrics.
Lou Reed: “Solsbury Hill” — Grungy and older. On an album with Bon Iver and Paul Simon, if that gives you an idea.
Dum Dum Girls: “Lost Boys and Girls Club” — Full electric and synth sound.
Mogwai: “Remurdered” — Orchestral synth metal.
Shakira feat. Rihanna: “Can’t Remember to Forget You” — Shakira: calypso upbeat style. Rihanna: heavier guitar. Expect Shakira-typical voice lilts during the chorus. I like the mix of their different styles.
Neon Trees: “Sleeping with a Friend” — 80s-tastic background, complete with hyper synth keyboard strokes. But mixed well so you can hear the modern lyrics.
Lucy Hale: “You Sound Good to Me” — Country, but I like it! Happy, solid beats. Like Shania mixed with Sara Bareilles.
Dangerous: “Big Data” — If you listen to XM’s AltNation, you know this one. We noticed it because my husband’s company works with data and they had joked about making it their theme song. But it’s just our kind of song. Fun, boppy beats, with a suspended bridge that exists just so it sounds even bigger at the end. Love when they do that.