Every Friday, Atwood Magazine’s staff share what they’ve been listening to that week – a song, an album, an artist – whatever’s been having an impact on them, in the moment. Here’s this week’s weekly roundup!
:: Mac DeMarco ::
Sydney Sweeney, San Diego, California
Not gonna lie – I’ve been musically all over the place this week. Mac DeMarco has dominated my listening history (and queue), since Spotify has this stellar “This is: Mac DeMarco” playlist that I highly recommend listening to if 1) you’re trying to get into the jangly Canadian’s discography, or 2) you’re simply a fan looking for a Mac compilation that perfectly spotlights some of his greatest moments. For me, “Let Her Go,” “Freaking out the Neighborhood” and “Another One” are throwbacks that I can’t seem to get enough of, even though his latest record This Old Dog is just as charming as the older stuff. Aside from Mac, I’m currently neck deep in ‘90s Mariah Carey – Daydream (1995) and Butterfly (1997) are R&B gems – while my guilty pleasure has been The Isley Brothers’ “Between the Sheets.”
:: XXXXXXXX ::
Sara Santora, Tallahassee, Florida
:: “Dream” – Bishop Briggs ::
Kelly McCafferty, New Orleans
This past week I listened to “Dream” by Bishop Briggs at LEAST 2 times each day. It is one of those relatable songs, but not so overdone in a way that a lot of relatable songs are done. From the title you may think it is about following your dreams and all the woes that come along with that journey, which while inspiring, has been done over and over (and over) again. Often times we dream of the things we wish we were brave enough to do. Bishop Briggs perfectly captures the essence of this feeling with her new song “Dream.” The heartbreaking lyrics will tear you down, but somehow the lift of the music allows the song to exude an air of optimism. It’s a really powerful song from inception to completion, perfectly describing that hazy feeling that surfaces the minute you wake up, when the line between imagination and reality is not so easily defined.
:: Ricky – SAKIMA ::
Alex Killian, Foster City, California
This week I’ve been burying myself in SAKIMA’s new EP, Ricky. The six-song outfit showcases SAKIMA’s signature sexy, unapologetically queer focus. I’m constantly mesmerized by his ability to take undeniably explicit themes and lyrics and make them feel anything but raunchy. They’re songs that might make you blush, but most of the time I just find myself thinking “fuck yes,” as he describes all the places he wants to get down on the track “DFT.” More than anything, SAKIMA’s music is always heartfelt, emotionally charged and extremely well produced. For me, his songs depict the desperation and sexual frustration LGBTQ individuals often experience. He’s talking about sex, yes, but in a way that feels much more realistic and emotional than what we’re used to hearing in mainstream music. I could go on for days about SAKIMA’s artistry and his unwavering dedication to his craft, but I’ll just say I’ve had “Daddy,” “Snow Angels,” and “Basket” on repeat this week. Also, listen to this EP.
:: “Bike Dream” – Rostam ::
Sara Santora, Tallahassee, Florida
I know that the album came out a month ago, but I just can’t stop listening to Rostam’s “Bike Dream.” The song’s intro sounds like the start of a new day. I can’t express enough how perfect this song sounds first thing in the morning, whether it be as you’re getting ready for the day, or as you’re driving over to work or school. Simply put, this song is vibrant, light, and fun, and I can’t help but bop my head along as I listen to it over and over and over…seriously, I listened to it four times in a row this morning. If you’re a Vampire Weekend fan, and you haven’t already, I implore you to listen to Rostam. While Ezra Koenig’s sweet vocals are missed, Rostam’s mumbles are easy on the ears, and his music does contain a hint of that VW flair. After all, he did produce their discography. Trust me on this, you’ll have this song stuck in your head for weeks. “Two boys, one to kiss your neck, and one to bring you breakfast, get you out of bed when…”
:: Quiet Giant – Emma Langford ::
Christine Costello, Limerick, Ireland
This week’s top listen for me comes from a local, Limerick folk-singer Emma Langford and her promising debut, Quiet Giant. The album is a celebration all things human with Langford’s acute songwriting skills bringing to life tales of woe and wonder. The most surprising aspect of the album is the young songwriter’s ability to create ballads of universal appeal with her relatable storytelling and the experiences captured within the album. Quiet Giant’s surreal qualities lie mostly in its intricate harmonies and arrangements, setting a solid foundation, or podium, for Langford’s tales. The lead single, “Closed Book,” a fast-paced and boisterous track, is one of the many peaks in the album, alongside the raw, emotional tracks like ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’. The album’s broad versatility enables the listener to take a whole new experience from the album with each listen. As a local artist, there is, of course, a certain element of bias-pride involved in my selection. That said, there’s no denying Langford’s outstanding potential and artistic ability.
:: “Take Me” – Aly & AJ ::
Kelly Wynne, Chicago
This week, for me, has been a little bit of a guilty pleasure week. I’ve spent a lot of time with throwback tunes, but Aly & AJ’s latest release, “Take Me” has been one of my top plays. The track is about a new, potential relationship, the narrator saying she won’t waste her time if the suitor doesn’t “take her out.” Though the sister pair is grown, the song is innocent in content. “Take Me” has a nostalgic feel, though the production and tune are more than current. It’s catchy, it’s pop-radio material, and it comes from the voices of two leading ladies of my childhood. Altogether, it feels like a weird mix between new and old, and I am surprised by how much I like it.
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