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!
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:: “Mr. Tillman” – Father John Misty ::
Kelly Wynne, Chicago
Father John Misty is a breath of fresh air when it comes to social and political issues. He gives 0 cares for offending his listeners, which is apparent in the way he consistently trashes the human race and the evolutions of technology and culture. “Mr. Tillman” holds the same no-cares, sarcastic attitude that I love so much from the predictable, yet original, artist. Combined with a catchy tune, the song details Misty’s time at a hotel (Fiction? Nonfiction? Who knows!) and the reaches of insanity his presence has caused both the staff and other clientele. The song embraces the carefree rudeness that Misty portrays in lines like “you left your passport in the mini fridge” and goes on to mention a mattress left out in the rain and a group of people who are, in fact, clients of the hotel, not extras in a movie crew. The song is filled to the brim with borderline insanity and lyrics that tell a more than entertaining story, fitting the bill for what Misty is best at: getting a rouse out of people and making quality music with absolutely catchy instrumentals.
:: GIRLI ::
Nicole Almeida, Philadelphia
I found out about GIRLI through Dream Wife’s BBC Radio 6 takeover during the weekend, where they played her song “Hot Mess” off her newest EP Hot Mess. I was so taken aback by the energy and great, empowering lyrics that I immediately looked her up on Spotify. It took no time for me to listen to her whole discography, read some interviews online, and find a new artist to obsess over. Think Spice Girls mixed with Charli XCX and Kate Nash. Her lyrics are mostly about empowerment and subversion of society’s rules, and she herself makes a statement with her fluorescent pink hair and exclusively pink wardrobe. A few favourites of mine are “Neck Contour” and “Fuck Right Back off to LA” (chorus of this song is my spirit animal) and I’m just so excited to see GIRLI’s next steps.
:: Twin Fantasy – Car Seat Headrest ::
Jimmy Crowley, New York
I’m an extremely casual Car Seat Headrest fan. They’re enjoyable, and I like quite a few songs, but I haven’t been really able to fully sink my teeth into any of their bandcamp releases or Teens of Denial. This remake of their early album didn’t convert me, but I’ve been listening to it throughout the day, and I am having a great time. The music meets somewhere between jam band and emo-punk. Will Toledo is emotive yet mellowed, and the songs go through so many complex changes, that you could listen to one song for 11 minutes and be surprised when you realize it’s been the same song. Admittedly I haven’t listened to the original version, but I do adore this record.
:: I Know You Lie ‘Coz so Do I – The Fleeting Ends ::
Mitch Mosk, New York
This is so much more than a raucous, riled-up good time. I first discovered The Fleeting Ends through our exclusive premiere of their debut single “20 Something” in January. The Philadelphia rock band sounds like Arctic Monkeys meets the 1980s, but even that description doesn’t do them justice: What’s genuinely exciting about The Fleeting Ends, and what has attracted me to bands like Arctic Monkeys, my new favorites Lake Jons, and any number of artists in the past is that these guys have managed to cultivate a sound that is all their own. I Know You Lie ‘Coz so Do I, independently released last week (2/16/2018), has fast songs and slow songs; heavy overdriven moments, and lilting acoustic ones. Still, it sounds like one solid entity, capturing something that’s halfway between youthful vigor and older nostalgia. This is perhaps especially fitting, considering how lead single “20 Something” sets album’s scene “with remarkable charisma and feverish excitement, begging each of us to dwell in that special decade” – our roarin’ 20s. Eight songs later, the beautiful rock ballad “Juniper” ends with longing, uncertainty and contemplation, as frontman Matt Vantine sings in a somewhat disenchanted frame, “So nice to meet you Juniper, are you really gonna be there when I fall?” Whether The Fleeting Ends are coming full circle or just trying to validate the differences between what they thought life would be like, and what life has turned out to be, one thing is certain: I Know You Lie ‘Coz so Do I is the kind of dazzling, cohesive and creative debut album every band should strive for.
:: Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen ::
Jimmy Crowley, New York
Steven Hyden is one of my favorite music critics, and his Celebration Rock podcast has been doing a Springsteen retrospective. It took me longer to get into Springsteen than I’m proud to admit, but I’ve enjoyed listening to the conversations he has with musicians then giving the albums a thorough listen. Born to Run has been getting tons of playtime from me. It’s a favorite from his discography, second only to Nebraska. After a rough week, I’ve needed something as anthemic as the title track or “Thunder Road.” With a busy weekend ahead, I’m going to surely be blaring some “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” as I walk, because sometimes you need something slick sounding to head down the street. Hyden’s conversation with Jeff Rosenstock about Born to Run was especially enjoyable, because I find both artists hard to draw a line between, and now, I can hear a lot of “Jungleland” on Worry.
:: “Denise, Don’t Wanna See You Cry” – Night Moves ::
Kelly Wynne, Chicago
Night Moves knows how to create a funky world: the entire Pennied Days album is one I’ve been shuffling through for years. But this week I’ve been drawn back into a favorite. “Denise, Don’t Wanna See You Cry” has a perfectly psychedelic sound, one that creates a whole world of expansion. It’s the kind of song that sucks you in until the last second. Alongside bands like The War On Drugs, Night Moves is capable of making tunes that sound larger than life, and larger than the amount of instrumentals involved in the production. The track is distorted to style, giving it a 70s rock vibe, fitting for moments of relaxation or motivation. It’s been a study playlist staple for me because it allows a generous amount of interpretation and is able to command full focus or fade to beautiful background noise.
:: “Further Than the Planes Fly” – Eves Karydas ::
Lindsay Call, California
I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Eves Karydas several weeks ago, and as I’ve been working on formatting our conversation (out now on Atwood!), I’ve been listening a lot to Eves’ two singles: Mainly, “Further Than the Planes Fly.” As her latest single, it’s as promising as it is catchy. Eves’ brand of pop is distinct: she dislikes hopping on sonic bandwagons, and prefers to follow her own intuition when songwriting. That sentiment comes through clearly in “Further Than The Planes Fly.” Though it contains a few elements that characterize pop songs today, the song is driven by its lyrics and Eves’ distinct voice. And that chorus is a bona fide earworm.
:: “Perro Fiel” – Shakira ft. Nicky Jam ::
Alex Killian, Foster City, California
This week I’ve been jamming out to Shakira and Nicky Jam’s Latin Pop cut, “Perro Fiel.” Shakira and Nicky Jam are two of my favorite contemporary Latin artists, each of them touting distinct and talented singing voices. The back and forth nature of the song works really well in part because of this, and paired with their delivery, it communicates the lyrical meaning without the explicit need to understand Spanish. The track also showcases one of my favorite things about Latin music, which is that many of the artists are so adept at giving us sexy songs that aren’t gratuitously explicit and still rooted in a healthy amount of genuine desire. That classic reggaeton backbeat definitely up the ante in any song, but there’s something to be said about the way Spanish music is crafted lyrically and even in production around that beat as well. More than anything, I love that “Perro Fiel” is a really enticing, danceable and sexy track that portrays mutual attraction and playing hard to get with endearment and sincerity.
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:: This Week’s Features ::