Feng Suave - I’m Warping Here
"I’m Warping Here” by Dutch duo Feng Suave has all the makings of your favorite summer track: retro-soul style, a body-moving groove and references to childhood nostalgia. Don’t let it fool you; the lyrics reveal themes a little heavier and darker than the feel-good vibes let on. On second thought, go ahead and let it fool you. In this song, songwriters Daniel De Jong and Daniel Elvis Schoemaker explore the sinking feeling that your best days are behind you and adulthood is turning out to be a whole lot less glamorous than you once envisioned. One particularly poignant line: “Maybe I'm not ever really home for long enough to stare my own eyes down.” Is it that we’re too busy to take a moment to get to know ourselves, or do we intentionally keep ourselves busy to avoid doing so? Either way, the subject matter and musical production are actually a brilliant pairing. Everyone can relate to this everyday existential dread. It’s a reminder that we’re all in this together, so let’s celebrate being human. Go ahead and turn it up while you swivel your hips in your kitchen or drive with the windows down. Trust me. It feels so good. And I don’t know about you, but I could use a little feel good anthem right about now.— Karyna Micaela on May 13, 2020
Big Thief - Love in Mine
There is an earthy and tactile way about Big Thief's music that has always evaded me. There's an elusive nuance to the combination of Adrianne Lenker's timid and iconic vocalizations and the ambitious, lustrous and occasionally bizarre musical choices the band makes. It's what makes them genius and what makes me hard-pressed to listen to their ever-blossoming discography. There's something about them that makes me a smarter and better music listener. "Love in Mine" only exemplifies this quality.
"Love in Mine" is a bonus track off of their most recent full-length record Two Hands, which dropped just months after the release of another 12 track LP: U.F.O.F. Two Hands and U.F.O.F. listen like a narrative pairing. One leads and bleeds into the next. Lenker herself described the two records as "Earth sisters." While both of these albums are true-blue fixtures of Big Thief's personality—featuring sultry instrumentation, chilling vocals and sharp, poetic lyrics—Two Hands is the softer, more unfurling of the two, and "Love in Mine" is a near-perfect extension of that sentiment. Gentle and contemplative, this song manages to feel full and round while boasting only five stanzas of lyricism. It's a longing, sweet sentimental track about leaving a well-worn past behind and pressing on with grace. Perhaps we can hold this song in our hearts as we ramble forward in such a bizarre and difficult period in history. Listen to "Love in Mine" wherever you stream!
Cuddle Magic - What If I
“What if I” is the latest single from Cuddle Magic, and it embraces one of the best acoustic spaces known to humankind: bathrooms. The track, like the rest of the tracks on their upcoming album, was recorded entirely in the band’s bathroom—doubtlessly earning the album its title, “Bath." The result of the unconventional recording space is a warm, intimate sound full of boundless patience and ethereal harmonies. Lyrically, “What If I” is a song that ponders ways to win over a longtime love during a rocky patch; however, it lacks the sting of most bargaining songs. The words are wrapped up in gently strummed chords and uplifting harmonies that fill every ounce of space. There is no room for sadness and desperation— only love and hope for the future. Sink into the cozy magic of Cuddle Magic, and soak in the harmonies until we can all enjoy the sure-to-be-warm Bath on July 3, 2020, via Northern Spy Records.— Allison Hill on May 12, 2020
Joshua Speers - Oh Brother
Joshua Speers explores the downward spiral of a romance in “Oh Brother.” The Delaware native blends crystalline folk-leaning vocals with 80s rock-inspired guitar riffs—creating a sound that lives somewhere between pop and Americana. He balances the darkness of lines like “gravestones in the backyard / all the parts of me that died / losing all the things that make me mine” with a driving beat and dynamic vocals. The song never sits within one space for too long—shifting speed or octaves from verse to pre-chorus to chorus. His desperation feels honorable as he repeats, “I’m killing myself trying to keep this love alive.” Speers further proves he’s able to be raw, honest and dynamic in his third single off of his major-label debut Human Now, which was released on May 8.— Corey Bates on May 12, 2020
James Blake - You’re Too Precious
Tender on the ears lyrically and instrumentally, James Blake’s newest single in over a year “You’re Too Precious” touches on the inevitable warmth and care you might feel for a lover. Isolated piano opens the curtains and allows us to peer in on how “precious” Blake finds his lover. Little lines like “I’d take the calls you don’t want to / I’d take the hair in your food” are invaluable details on how much care he views the object of affection with. The mundane things that make the descent into adoration swifter. When the rush of falling and the excitement of newness flickers in and out, there is always that lingering tenderness of real love. Instrumentally the song feels stripped of big gestures and instead relies on the natural and effective things–gorgeously delivered vocals and simple claps to fill the tune. The song feels like a slow Sunday night, “Div[ing] into diamonds / scratched and you’re smiling,” held in the glow of wonder–in bloom and just sweet enough.— Julie Gentile on May 12, 2020
Diet Cig - Who Are You
"Who Are You" is the third single from Diet Cig’s latest album, Do You Wonder About Me, and it’s a song that you know is going to be fun to hear live. The track opens with some classic early 2000s cheerleader clapping, and it’s not hard to imagine a crowd getting really into those off beats before vocalist Alex Luciano hits you with the hook. From the start, the song is direct and anthemic. The first line you hear is “Who Are You," accented by snappy vocal leaps that are so catchy the line would get stuck in your head even if it wasn't repeated about 20 times. Like a good rom-com or coming of age flick, "Who Are You" is full of charming quips that balance out the heavier elements of the narrative. My personal favorite is “My moon is in Cancer, I wish I was a better slow dancer." Overall, the "Who Are You" is a perfect anthem for frustration over the end of a relationship you ultimately feel better letting go of. It acknowledges the anger and frustration; however, there are enough rhymes tinted with a feel-good pop campiness that it’s a sure mood booster. Diet Cig's call out anthem perfectly articulates what we wish we could all tell an ex or two. If you can’t be better, at least be honest, and don’t waste my time.— Allison Hill on May 11, 2020
Boot - Bomb Song
On a Saturday morning in January 2018, a message was sent out via the Emergency Alert System to all the cell phones in Hawaii: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Thirty-eight minutes later, it turned out to be a mistake—a mistake made during, literally, a drill. Ben Carbone, songwriter for Brooklyn band Boot, wrote “Bomb Song” in the aftermath of this mind-bending experience, which he happened to share with a new partner he was “smack dab in the honeymoon phase” with. The song’s melodic simplicity and no-frills vocal delivery is reminiscent of early Ben Kweller, but even farther in the direction of sonically “raw.” I guess, in a way, it sounds sort of like if Kweller had had his life taken away and given back again over the course of 38 minutes. Needless to say, amid a global pandemic—this time, a real and lengthy emergency—the song hits differently. The many lessons in Carbone’s strange little story will sound familiar to many of us now. Out of shared hardship always comes connection. Never underestimate the power of the human mind to create its own truth. And, of course, there is always, always something to be grateful for.— Karl Snyder on May 11, 2020
Remi Wolf - Woo!
Building on the success of her 2019 EP, You’re A Dog!, Remi Wolf is back with "Woo!" showing no signs of slowing. A perfect summation of Wolf’s one-of-a-kind music, "Woo!" has it all. Funky production and stunning vocals, filled with songwriting that’s somehow deeply insightful, wildly goofy and completely relatable. The production plays the perfect partner to Wolf. Setting the mood and complimenting every move made. Refreshingly groovy and just as playful as the lyrics. A voice full of so much heart unleashes a remarkable performance from start to finish. Even as the chorus opens subdued, the seams quickly begin to burst and set Wolf free to soar. Pondering the complexities of love, only Wolf could deliver the stellar, “and I don’t know what I really wanted / and fuck I think I lost my wallet"—floating between the heaviness and the light of life. The versatile young artist is an undeniable hitmaker, each release bringing more to the table, winning over more ears. No one will put you in a good mood faster.— Max Himelhoch on May 11, 2020
Nathanie - Paris
Some songs manage to evoke a feeling and create a space within just the first few seconds. The first chord has barely settled into silence, and already you are immersed in the energy the artist wants to share with you. This is the case with our final Quadio pick of the week “Paris” by University of Arizona student artist, Nathanie. With a dreamy, ‘verbed out Wurlitzer, a classic R&B chord progression and a muted trumpet bleeding in as if from out your window, Nathanie confidently expresses a nostalgia for a time period she can’t quite pin down but knows is gone. Her airy yet hardy, understated vocals croon in layered harmonies, “so caught up in the past, I forgot you had forgotten me.” Through the warped fishbowl lens of her memory, Nathanie revisits an outgrown love that will always exist in suspended animation somewhere in her mind. Check out her past releases and upcoming new music on Quadio, the college-driven streaming platform that has been introducing us to our favorite emerging artists around the country for the past two weeks.— Andrea de Varona on May 8, 2020
Hope Waidley - It Rains in Michigan
Hope Waidley’s new release is intimate and contemplative, inviting you into the sweetness of young, carefree love. “It Rains in Michigan” is aptly named—it's the perfect song for gazing out a window on a rainy day. It's full to the bursting with that feeling of comfort you get when you find someone who feels like home. “It's no longer a secret like it was,” she almost whispers to us, “I'm in love. I don't know what I'm doing, do I?” Waidley’s simple guitar arpeggios, amid layers of hand percussion and a grounding folk-rock beat, all speak of an incredible ease. The whole arrangement cradles Waidley's stunning vocals—she somehow brings the powerful grunge of Amy Winehouse and the chill indie warmth of Cat Power—like a nest. “I fell too fast for 20 years old,” she sings and we can't help but fall too fast as well.— Mikhal Weiner on May 8, 2020