Summer might be here, but we’re still stuck inside. That doesn’t mean that we can’t still jam out to some good music, however. Our writers and editors are BACK with their top picks for their favourite tunes this month.
ALBUM: The Score – Atlas (2017)
This 2017 album by The Score is one that I’ve been playing on and off over the last couple of weeks, shifting from a casual listen into tracks that are now in my ‘must listen to’ playlists. The most well-known single from the album is “Revolution” which was used several years ago for the Battlefield 1 DLCs trailer. This was how I was introduced to The Score way back when, and ‘Revolution’ holds a special place in my heart because of that. “Never Going Back” and “Money Runs Low” are other notable tracks from the album, repetitive and just so easy to get stuck in your brain. The Deluxe version of the album also includes the acoustic versions of tracks such as “Legends” which makes them sound almost like completely new songs.
The Score were supposed to be playing UK dates in their tour back in the Spring, but that was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. Being able to replay their albums to my heart’s content in a 2am jam session will have to make up for a lack of live performances in the meantime.
The album is a must, and if you’re looking for a new band to get invested in this summer, The Score are the one to check out!
The Score is available to listen to now via Republic Records.
ALBUM: Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army (2018)
My music taste is eclectic, to say the least. My playlists range from John Denver to Dua Lipa to Lana Del Rey and Black Sabbath. Recently I’ve been OBSESSED with Greta Van Fleet’s first album Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Hailing from Frankenmuth, Michigan their sound is very reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, not to mention frontman Josh Kiszka’s Robert Plant-esque tone. Their psychedelic vibes are drenched in 70s sunshine and have been carried over mountain ranges far and wide, somehow creating the sense of a new beginning. The first track from the album, ‘Age of Man’, bursts forth with a whimsical lilting rhythmic introduction before the guitar riffs and lyrics create a cinematic picture of rock gods emerging victorious.
Anthem of the Peaceful Army is available to listen to now via Republic Records.
SONG: Red Rum Club – ‘Eleanor’
Liverpool alt-rock group Red Rum Club recently released their newest single ‘Eleanor’, and it’s been on repeat for me this past week because it’s so incredibly catchy. It’s the kind of upbeat track needed as the UK moves slowly out of lockdown and summer seems to be peaking out from behind the clouds again. The track is quite short, but, through this, it makes for very easy listening. You can relax AND vibe to the indie-pop influences that move the band slowly away from their ‘mariachi’ style into something simpler. Whilst listening to ‘Eleanor’ you can just imagine yourself chilling at a summer music festival, so it’s pretty good to help fill the void until we wait for next year. The music video is beautiful too so make sure to check it out!
‘Eleanor’ is available to listen to now via Modern Sky UK.
SONG: Jessie Ware – ‘Step Into My Life’
From British singer-songwriter Jessie Ware‘s fantastic new record, What’s Your Pleasure?, ‘Step into My Life’ is a disco track that offers a ridiculously funky groove and an infectious ear-worm of a chorus that wears the influences of Candi Staton‘s ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ proudly on its sleeve and is irresistible to dance to. With slick, dramatic production containing rushes of harmonic vocals and swells of strings, it’s a throwback to disco, a more emotional experience than its modern counterpart of raves and moshes. Alongside Ware’s breathy vocals in the chorus (‘Now’s-the-time-to-step-in-to-my life’), the flirtatious lyrics and the horn stabs that punctuate the outro to complete the nostalgia package, it’s a glorious return to the roots of disco that I never knew was needed.
‘Step Into My Life’ is available to listen to now via Virgin EMI Records.
SONG: WILLOW – ‘Wait a Minute!’
Despite this single being 5 years old, Willow Smith‘s ‘Wait a Minute!’ has been on repeat for me recently. However shameful it is to admit, I discovered the song through TikTok. A sound had been circulating the app, with a voice singing “I’m here right now, right now with you, oh wow, oh wow” and it completely captivated me each time I heard it. After typing the lyrics into YouTube and finding the song, it’s been at the top of my July playlists.
Although the line “I’m here right now, right now with you” is the one which I first fell in love with, it’s the chorus that sticks in my head the most now. Willow’s voice, which is extremely powerful in itself, combined with the repetitive, punctuating synth sounds makes for the most addictive tune.
‘Wait a Minute’ is the perfect song to get ready to in the morning, with its energising tone leading to a desire to play it at the loudest volume possible. 5 years on, it’s just as powerful.
‘Wait a Minute!’ is available to listen to now via Roc Nation Records.
SONG: Mom Jeans. – ‘Death Cup’
If you need a song to cry to during the summer season then ‘Death Cup’ by Mom Jeans. is perfect for you. The song is subtle, with the melody staying the same throughout, however as the lyrics change from present tense to past tense, the simple effectiveness of ‘Death Cup’ is shown. Verse 2 ends with “you are my best friend and I don’t want this to end” and the final line of the entire song is “you were my best friend, I didn’t want it to end”. The repetition of this line is the most powerful aspect of the song as it shows the narrator fighting for a relationship and then, when the battle is lost. This is a change to most breakup songs, wherein this aspect of it is sometimes never shown. The title of the song itself reveals the nature of it, as “death cup” refers to the rule in Beer Pong whereby, if an opposing player sinks the final ping pong ball into your “death cup”, the game is over immediately, with no chance to change the result. Just like the aftermath of the relationship break-up.
‘Death Cup’ is available to listen to now via Honey TV LLC.
SONG: SZA – ‘Drew Barrymore’
I discovered ‘Drew Barrymore’ by SZA after Paramore‘s front-woman Hayley Williams did a cover on her Instagram self-serenade sessions, and I haven’t stopped listening since. Infused with psychedelic backings and even a banjo, musically this song will get you grooving in the best chilled-out kind of way. ‘Drew Barrymore’ definitely falls into the sadder side of pop, detailing a broken relationship and lack of self-worth with lyrics “I get so lonely I forget what I’m worth / We get so lonely we pretend that this works / I’m so ashamed of myself think I need therapy”. Yet, it remains an absolute bop, will get you swaying in the shower even amidst the possible tears. If you’re into the likes of The Internet, Frank Ocean, and Steve Lacy mixed with Jorja Smith, Kehlani and Solange, then you’ll definitely love ‘Drew Barrymore’ by SZA.
‘Drew Barrymore’ is available to listen to now via RCA Records.
SONG: Cavetown ft. Tessa Violet – ‘Smoke Signals’
This is a recent release and comes only four months (!) after Cavetown‘s last record Sleepyhead. ‘Smoke Signals’ sees Skinner collaborate with Tessa Violet on a muted and hushed cut; the whispery vocals and unassuming acoustic guitar go hand in hand with lyrics that tell of waiting for a loved one to come home, whenever that may be. The harmonies are lovely and the song asks very little of the listener as a peaceful and sweet duet. It’s unclear so far whether it’s a part of yet another upcoming project, but ‘Smoke Signals’ is a quaint little gem of a tune in its own right.
‘Smoke Signals’ is available to listen to now via Sire Records.
SONG: LITANY – ‘My Dude’
Oozing with 90s references and a synthy 80s pop vibe, LITANY (the alias of 25-year-old Beth Cornell) has created another beautiful, easy to listen alternative pop song. From the Single Player Mode EP, ‘My Dude’ tells the story of unrequited love over sparkly synths and a snappy drum pattern. Making references to MSN and 8 ball predictions, LITANY really encapsulates the retro vibe she is aiming for as well as giving the song a relatable and raw feel. Overall the track is very pretty and the catchiness of the chorus will have it stuck in your head all day.
‘My Dude’ is available to listen to now via LITANY.
SONG: Fall Out Boy – ‘Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year’
Is this song 15 years old? Maybe. Does it still bang incredibly hard? Oh god yes. ‘Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year’ hails from Fall Out Boy‘s 2005 legendary album, From Under The Cork Tree, a record that is now commonly referred to as the blueprint for pop-punk music in the early noughties. Following the traditional old school Fall Out Boy tradition of having a way-too-long title, ‘Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year’ is a quality piece of songwriting from lead lyricist Pete Wentz. I interpret it as the band talking directly to the listener; the lyrics ‘We’re the therapists / Pumping through your speakers / Delivering just what you need’ imply the band’s awareness that they’re a point of comfort for many fans, myself included. The later repeating chorus, however, of ‘I’ll keep singing this lie if you keep believing it’, suggest that the band themselves suffer with the same problems that their fans do, and that at the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat. It’s a painfully honest love letter to the fans, and one of my favourite Fall Out Boy songs out there.
‘Sophomore Slump Or Comeback Of The Year’ is available to listen to now via Def Jam.
What We’re Listening To: Playlist Edition
Listen to our July 2020 playlist down below!