JUKEBOX VOL. 19
[+] TORO Y MOI – “GIRL LIKE YOU”
‘Girl Like You’ is Toro Y Moi’s latest project to come out after his visual album Live From Trona. And yet again, he has successfully dealt out those sweet, summer, chill, pop vibes with this single. This song about a past love, and has all the right sounds for a summer jam. His soft, doubtful voice plays along nicely with a bouncy bass line. The keyboard chords in the background almost sound like sunshine rays hitting the surface of the ocean waves while you dive underneath them. Thankfully this catchy song came out at just the right time.
[+] LAUV – “I LIKE ME BETTER”
He’s received shout-outs from celebrities on Twitter, worked with Demi Lovato on “No Promises,” and even graduated from NYU in 2016. The newest music from Lauv (real name Ari Leff, and his stage name is pronounced “law-v”) comes two years after his last EP, the incredible Lost in the Light. “I Like Me Better” is a toe-tapper with catchy, synthesized, almost violin-like vocals. Despite the uptempo beats, Leff here discloses his vulnerability as he sings, “…To not know who I am but still know that I’m good as long as you’re here with me” and “I don’t know what it is but I got that feeling” in between choruses of “I like me better when I’m with you.” Summer romance song discovered. Now all you need is that special someone.
[+] TYLER, THE CREATOR – “911/MR.LONELY”
With “911/Mr. Lonely” you get two songs and some help from Frank Ocean. First the upbeat 911 which seamlessly transitions to second, the self-deprecating, self-reflective Mr. Lonely. Being self-deprecating is not new for Tyler, the Creator. I think that is why I have always had a soft spot for him. Life isn’t always rosy. It is not always fun. “911/Mr. Lonely” feels real. In many ways the best music is just that. As great as it is to have song after song that has you escape your reality, you always have to come back down to Earth. “911/Mr. Lonely” grounds you. It makes you realize you are not alone. The irony is not lost. Tyler, the Creator singing about being alone helps all those feeling lonely feel, well, less lonely.
[+] MAJID JORDAN – “ONE I WANT FEAT PARTYNEXTDOOR”
Another well-received tune comes from Majid Jordan, they finally collaborated with fellow OVO label signee, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and of course the trio successfully created a hit that rocks the masses while still appealing to their initial, underground bases. Producer Jordan Ullman of course lays down the unmistakable Majid Jordan sound within the first set of beats. While PARTYNEXTDOOR and Majid Al-Maskati have those sexy voices that would make anyone swoon while bobbin’ their head. Again, another great song to come out right when needed this summer season.
[+] THE MARIAS – “I DONT KNOW YOU”
Hands down, this song is the perfect track for lounging poolside on a warm, summer day. The Marias, a Los Angeles based emerging (and quite frankly my new favorite) band, stun with an infectiously sultry track that is equally heartbreaking in its lyricism as it is hauntingly beautiful in its melody. The standout single “I Don’t Know You” is a power ballad fronted by Maria Zardoya that is accompanied by a captivating video that transcends into a world of muted hues and elegant aesthetics. This song has easily made its way to multiple of my playlists and at times prompted me to leave it on repeat. This is the type of song that makes you want to fall in love, just for the alluring nostalgia you can find falling out of it.
[+] PORTUGAL. THE MAN – “FEEL IT STILL”
Although Portugal. The Man‘s “Feel It Still” came out in early March, I’m still jamming to it, and probably will throughout the summer. In a sentence, this track makes me want to twist and shout, do the swim and the monkey, and even break out into some mashed potato. A groovy ’60s-inspired tune, lead singer John Gourley‘s falsetto fits perfectly over bass riffs courtesy of Zach Carothers and cymbal-filled drum smashing by Jason Sechrist. Fun fact: in an interview for NPR’s World Cafe, Gourley and Carothers credit The Marvelette‘s 1961 song “Please Mr. Postman” as inspiration for “Feel It Still.”
[+] JAY Z – “THE STORY OF O.J.”
In many ways the release of JAY Z‘s 4:44 represents all that is wrong with the world. As soon as his 13th studio album was released headlines focused on lyrics that addressed his relationship with his wife Beyonce. Why people care so much baffles me. In the process the media, the fans and the Hip Hop industry chose to avoid the messages JAY Z chose to discuss in 4:44 and the actual meaning behind them. Don’t get fooled. Don’t go down the rabbit hole trying to dissect JAY and Bey’s relationship or whether or not JAY is the originator of the money phone. Turn on “The Story of O.J.” and listen to words, disagree with them if you may. They might make you feel uncomfortable. And that is okay. Actually that is the point. We all have stories to tell and we will never be able to understand one another unless we give it a chance and actually listen.
[+] BOGA – “SOFT GOODBYE”
“Soft Goodbye,” is the awesome new release from the up-and-coming BOGA. The mysterious members of this trip hop group stem from Paris, Toronto and Los Angeles, providing a wide variety of sound due to their mixed origins. The wildly atmospheric sound on “Soft Goodbye” is accompanied by beautiful vocals, together managing to create a world that is relaxing yet strangely intense. It’s trippy chorus is sing-a-long worthy, with great lyrics that are easy to remember and hard to get out of your head. With “Soft Goodbye,” BOGA can be compared to Massive Attack, both blurring that line between relaxation and chaotic excitement. Looking forward to more releases!
[+] STRANGE MAJIK – “THE WOLF”
There’s something about him that brings you back to the 70s – not just the look or his authentic sense of character, but that blues rock sound with a gritty, real performance that now seems to be a rare gem among the new waves of music. We’re talking about David Pattillo aka Strange Majik, the guitarist and songwriter who established himself as an alt blues rock icon on the NY scene.
We can agree, 2017 “sent a shockwave through American politics”, all of which inspired Pattillo’s new stand out companion EPs, Soul Crisis released in March and its predecessor that just dropped today, Deep In The Shadows.
What’s standing out for us on the four track 2nd EP release? “The Wolf” – a track that instantly garners your attention and is a perfect example of Strange Majik’s charisma and raw energy. His music sounds as if it’s perfectly recorded in one shot, the power of his guitar shredding and all. Can we say the track instinctually reminded us of Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”? Well, we did.
New Yorkers, if you have a taste for the blues / rock on a Tuesday night, quench your hunger by stopping by the Tribeca’s Belle Reve where Strange Majik has successfully kept a 2 1/2 yearlong residency. If it’s good enough for celebs like Kim and Kanye, Elon Musk, and Kevin Dillon… think you’ll have a good night.
[+] VINCE STAPLES – “YEAH RIGHT”
It has become increasingly more difficult to talk about Vince Staples without mentioning a fellow California Hip Hop artist by the name of Kendrick Lamar. There are clear parallels. What makes them different from the others is they started off as little fish swimming against a stream of Hip Hop artists chasing one another for a spot on the top 40. Instead Staples and Lamar decided to wake up the industry with politically charged lyrics tapping into what is on people’s minds. In the process these guys have become the big fish in the pond. Some fish in the pond are choosing to follow their stream while others continue to target the lowest common denominator. Kendrick Lamar joins Staples for “Yeah Right” off of Staples’ latest Big Fish Theory. For those small fish thinking they are big fish sitting court-side at a Raptors game or putting $ in their name they are bound to go belly up if they don’t start following in Lamar and Staples’ stream.