I can not believe that it is already December, y’all. It seems like this year went by so damn quickly! As I prepare to make my end of the year music lists and reflect about the music world this year, it is cool to see how many kinds of music, genres, and artists ending up shining in 2019. When you are in the moment, sometimes it is tough to realize how cool or important something is, but the way that the landscape of the music world has shaped out this year is very important. It seems like any person can make any kind of music or art; in fact, in 2019, it has seemed like you can even get away with combining any genres or types of music with each other, no matter how weird or taboo it may seem to the naked eye. There is a market for literally everything in music this year. The sentiment that the music world has become incredibly diverse and boundary-less is very reflective of the list today. I mean, in fact, every song in this list actually has a totally different song and genre. It is pretty amazing to me that I am consistently able to find so many songs that I love that sound completely different from each other basically every single week. With all of that being said, I hope you enjoy this week’s list of music that I have been loving this week. Let me know if y’all dig any of these songs, or if there is a great song that came out recently that you think I should check out or should have written about!
UNDER YOUR WINDOW – GEORGE CLANTON AND NICK HEXUM
‘Under Your Window’ is a perfect example of two very different artists who make very unique and niche styles of music coming together and making something boundary-less and awesome. George Clanton is a rising indie star that is known for combining elements of garage indie rock, jazz, acid house, and trip-hop to make sounds that are bizarre but still sound poppy and sweet; Nick Hexum is the guitarist for the punk/rap/reggae band 311, who also makes some soul music as a solo artist on the side. The way that ‘Under Your Window’ sounds literally feels like it a direct combination of the strengths that both of the artists possess. This song is lo-fi and garage rock and reggae and electronica; it is honestly super trippy because it is so layered and even though the vibe of the track is super chill, the background of it almost feels anxious because there is so much going on as far as sound effects go. If you like chill indie rock and want to hear something that is nothing like what is considered mainstream for that genre, check this one out because I think you will like it.
BLINDING LIGHTS – THE WEEKND
Every time The Weeknd gets into a new album cycle, he has a totally different look and aesthetic. This time around the vibe he is giving off is very 70s influenced; in the music video for this song, he literally looks like a damn combination of Marvin Gaye and porn legend Ron Jeremy. This look is not entirely that crazy compared to how this song sounds; ‘Blinding Lights’ has super funky disco sort of sound that I love. The synths that provide the melody are so fun and colorful and quite literally sound like a good acid trip in Times Square. ‘Blinding Lights’ has also has this neo-funk type of feeling that reminds me a lot of Daft Punk. I would not be surprised at all if this was another collaboration between these two artists. That is something I will have to look up. Anyway, this song is definitely brighter and more grand, but if you liked ‘Starboy,’ I think you will probably be into ‘Blinding Lights.’
LADY – REMA
Modern Afrobeat music is one of the international genres that I think will start to take off in the mainstream American media world in 2020. There has been American EDM artists that have been using this kind of music for years; a lot of the music from Diplo and Dillon Francis has had elements of Afrobeat in them, as these artists have always been excellent at utilizing international sounds in their music. Rema is a rising artist from Nigeria that has been making waves this year in the Afrobeat genre, and I think he is the perfect kind of artist that could be at the forefront of the genre’s crossover into U.S. culture. ‘Lady’ is the type of song that I feel like could take off here. The trippy synths and cool vocal effects give it a cool futuristic feel, but it still has a classic kind of Afrobeat structure that will make you immediately start dancing. This is the type of song that makes me realize how close Afrobeat and Reggaeton actually are; I know that all Caribbean music originally stemmed from Africa, but it is crazy and cool how similar these kinds of music actually are. ‘Lady’ is very poppy and modern and fun and just so damn groovy, and it is the perfect type of song to just randomly go viral. Y’all better remember this article when you see it on your Youtube suggested list in three months.
LIGHTHOUSE – TAKE A DAYTRIP FEAT. RICO NASTY, slowthai, AND ICECOLDBISHOP
‘Lighthouse’ might actually go harder than you would expect a song that has Rico Nasty and slowthai on it together, and that is obviously saying something. This track is the latest single off of the production duo Take A Daytrip’s upcoming EP, which will feature music with The Neighborhood and Octavian, as well as some of the duos favorite rappers. This track sort of has a similar energy to ‘Mo Bamba,’ as it is another hard ass dark trap song that was produced by Take A Daytrip. This one has a bit of a grimey feel to it though, and that is not necessarily because of slowthai. The energy of this track is just so dirty and yucky and great. Speaking of slowthai, he brings his usual chaotic energy on this one, which matches up so well with the crazy hype nature that both ICECOLDBISHOP and Rico Nasty possess. I would love to hear so much more music where Rico and slowthai collaborate; their energies and flows piggyback off of each other so well. Until we do get more music from Rico and slowthai together, I will definitely be bumping ‘Lighthouse’ every damn day because it is such a banger.
SPRAYPAINT – JUMEX FEAT. TRAVIS BARKER
Jumex is a rising emo-trap star from the Chicago-land area that has been making major noise in the genre in the last few months. His most popular song to date is ‘TRAPPED,’ which is a direct combination of drill style trap music and screamo; it is very intense and hardcore and is one of the most interesting sounds to be made this year. I can not wait for this sound to be developed more, because I think that screamo-trap music could be huge and it bumps so hard. ‘SPRAYPAINT,’ which features the punk rock legend Travis Barker, is my favorite track off of his newest EP LOVER, which came out in November. Most of LOVER has an emo-trap vibe to it that is pretty similar to Juice Wrld or Trippie Redd. ’SPRAYPAINT’ is totally different though, as this song straight up sounds like an early 2000s punk rock joint. In fact, it would not surprise me if someone told me it was an old Sum 41 song. The best things about this track are Travis Barker’s drumming, which is very prevalent and goes hard as hell, and Jumex’s vocal performance. I did not know he could sing like that and I would love to see him incorporate this skill more in the future. If you’re a punk rock fan, don’t miss this track because it is pretty great.
RUSHING BACK – MJ COLE REMIX – FLUME, VERA BLUE, MJ COLE
I feel like I have been writing about Flume quite a bit this year. In fact, I can specifically remember writing about more than one remix of a Flume track in the last few months. With the success of his EP from this year and the success of all the subsequent remixes stemming from it, along with the viral video of Flume from this year(just look it up if you somehow have not seen it), he has been having quite a big ass year. The vibe of ‘Rushing Back’ is very cool and unique. Sometimes with house remixes, elements of the original track that are important get left out, specifically within the melody. This is not the case at all on ‘Rushing Back;’ even though this song is fast-paced and a bit monotonous(in a good way) as most deep house songs are, it still keeps all of the weird background synths from the original track that Flume is known for. I would say it would be easy to figure out this is a remix of a Flume song without having heard it yet if you know who Flume is because all of the types of weird sound effects that he is known for that are included. If you need a fresh new electronic track to dance to, check this one out and let me know what you think!
MY NAME IS DARK – GRIMES
Any chance I get to write about Grimes is awesome, and today is no different. Time to write about the new song from one of my most anticipated albums for the near future. ‘My Name is Dark’ is a very aptly titled song, as the atmosphere of this one is so damn dark and heavy. I remember Grimes saying at the beginning of 2019 that this record was going to have a very Nu-Metal and Industrial feeling to it, and this track truly exemplifies that sentiment. ‘My Name is Dark’ honestly sounds like it could have come off of an early 90s Nine Inch Nails record. It is literally that brutal sounding. I love the weird screeching vocal effects throughout this song as well; some of the vocals and screeching remind me of Grimes’ classic hit ‘Kill V. Maim.’ If you are a fan of grunge or industrial 90s style music, you will love this song. I am excited to hear the rest of this record when it comes out to see how dark and crushing Grimes can really be.