Man, we have been really blessed with some awesome music this year. I remember thinking at the end of last year that the music that had come out was so good that I did not think 2019 would be able to top it, and I think I was actually wrong about that. One thing I love about the landscape of music today is how much of a melting pot of significant sounds and genres are being mixed and mashed up. This list is a pretty good example of that; so many of these songs feel like they were influenced by artists from multiple different styles and eras of music. In my opinion, some of the best art comes from mixing up all types of art. You can find the best qualities in everything and make them work together. A few of the artists on the list this week are sort of known for doing that, and they are truly doing an excellent job of it. Greentea Peng and Poppy, in particular, are mashing up different sounds in such an interesting way that they are basically creating their own genres at this point. Anyways, enough with that rant. I hope you enjoy this list of dope songs I have been loving over the last week.
SO HOT YOU’RE HURTING MY FEELINGS – CAROLINE POLACHEK
The first song on this list comes from Caroline Polachek, who was one half of the indie synth-pop band Chairlift. Chairlift was pretty big in the indie scene from 2008-2016, and when they broke up, everyone wondered what Caroline would do next. ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’ is a single off of her upcoming album, and if the whole album sounds like this song I know that I will love it. The vibe of this song is just so uplifting and makes me happy. I just love the glitzy happy-sounding synths that make up the melody. This track is like a cool and modern take on 80s synth-pop. Those of you who are into easy to listen to pop music or 80s music should really dig this song.
GRAPEVINE – KING MYLES
I bet that it is pretty obvious by now that I really did King Myles’ sound and style. This guy is just so smooth on the mic, and he makes music for the fans of true lyrical hip hop. ‘Grapevine’ is the latest from the rising Milwaukee rapper, and it is an example of the versatility he has as far as the instrumentals that he can rap on and the sounds that he can create. The instrumental for this song is super dark and melodic trap that reminds me a lot of 21 Savage or Future. I dig the super somber melody that the piano provides. King Myles glides over this track with ease, showing awesome lyricism and constantly switching flows. Nothing about his music and vibe ever feels stagnant. His rapping style reminds me a lot of the BEAST Coast rappers on this one; I bet King Myles would sound awesome in a collaboration with the Flatbush Zombies or The Underachievers. If you are a rap fan, please show the local Milwaukee kid love and check this one out.
SUGAR HONEY ICED TEA(S.H.I.T.) – PRINCESS NOKIA
Yall, this is my favorite new single I have heard in a while, and will most likely be one of my top five favorite singles of the year. I have been wondering when Princess Nokia would start dropping music next and what she would do, and she did not disappoint with this one in the slightest. It seems like the Puerto Rican MC from the Bronx is going back to the roots of traditional New York hip hop; in the past, she has made music that was a mixture of hardcore trap and emo punk rap, so this is obviously a pretty big switch up for her. The melody that the loud and brash horns are making remind me a lot of artists like 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Alicia Keys, or Fabolous; the beat is so funky and soulful, and I can definitely hear some N.E.R.D. influence in it. The best part about this song, though, is Princess Nokia’s voice and overall energy on the track. ‘Sugar Honey Iced Tea’ is so damn catchy and sassy and emotive, and Princess Nokia has so much attitude in the bars she is spitting that it is almost impossible not to feel them in your bones. Ya’ll need to listen to this one and tell me how much you love it in the comments below.
I WISH I WAS STEPHEN MALKMUS – BEABADOOBEE
Okay yall, I know I said the last one was my favorite song on this list so I guess I will call this one my other favorite. I do not want to talk too much in this piece about Bea because I will be reviewing her new EP Space Cadet later this week, but I could not leave this song off of this list. I know that Bea says she wishes she was Stephen Malkmus on this song, but I don’t even think this is a necessary wish because she is pretty much becoming the new and improved Stephen Malkmus anyway(for ya’ll alternative rock noobs out there Stephen was the lead singer for the legendary indie rock band Pavement). Although this one is dedicated to Stephen Malkmus, I can hear a lot of Social Distortion and Smashing Pumpkins in this one. It is obvious that Beabadoobee is a huge fan of 90s alternative rock and grunge music. If you love alt-rock, you have to listen to this song and also check out her new EP.
LIGHTS UP – HARRY STYLES
Everyone’s favorite One Direction member is back, y’all! If Harry Styles is not your favorite member of One Direction, you are wrong. Sorry. ‘Lights Up’ is way different than the solo music that Harry has dropped in the past. It has way more of an R&B feeling to it than really anything else that I have heard from him, including when he was with One Direction. I sort of get a Nick Jonas vibe from this one. In fact, this reminds me a lot of that Nick Jonas album that came out a couple of years ago. Overall, it is just a chill and dope ass song. I probably do not need to tell you to look it up because I am sure it is playing everywhere you go since it is Harry Styles, but I hope you dig it as much as I do.
MR. SUN(MISS DA SUN) – GREENTEA PENG
Ok, I should not have been calling those other songs my favorite on this list, because I forgot that all of these songs are pretty awesome. I want to call this song the weirdest one on the list, but I do not even know if I can say that because of the next song. ‘Mr. Sun’ is definitely influenced by the new wave pop-reggae artists like Michael Franti or Ziggy Marley, but it has this psychedelic flavor to it that is so unlike that music. I told someone the other day that the vibe is like Damien Marley meets Jimi Hendrix, and I am sticking by that statement. I really love Greentea Peng’s voice. She is a Nigerian woman that was raised in Britain, and her voice definitely sounds like and eclectic combination of British and Nigerian. If you need a new song to smoke to, ‘Mr. Sun’ should be the one.
I DISAGREE – POPPY
Remember when I said those other songs were my favorites on this list? Well, this is my other other favorite song. I have really been loving this industrial and metal sound that Poppy has been embracing lately. This style of music definitely fits the creepiness of some of her YouTube videos, and this transition she has made from bubblegum pop to metal is super interesting and rad. It actually does fit into the story of her character well too; earlier in her content, it always seemed like someone was telling her what to do and that she could not break free, now it seems like she broke free and is taking her revenge while also making the art she wants. This idea is really apparent in the music video for ‘I Disagree,’ where Poppy drugs and burns alive all of the corporate assholes at her label telling her what to do. This track is a cool mix of industrial metal, sludge metal, and alternative metal. Like all of Poppy’s music, the transitions between styles of music within the song is so clean and natural that you hardly notice. This song is just rad, man.