The Hot Juice - Spring 2019
Listen on Spotify or Apple Music (thanks for helping, Fred!)
The National - You Had Your Soul with You
In last week’s best surprise, my favorite whiskey crooners are back with a new track! It’s The National through and through: Crunchy guitar riffs and offbeat drumming drenched with Matt Berninger’s gravel road baritone. Within lies a pleasant surprise that’s landed this track in heavy rotation. At 2:00, a lark from the north, a woman’s voice, sings “I have ordered to my heart every word I’ve said / You have no idea how hard I died when you left…” And like that, a new sound for the band is born. It’s inclusive, it’s tender, it’s brilliant, and I cannot wait for the next album, due in May. Some fans argue that they’re getting soft. I’m cool with that.
Emily King - Can’t Hold Me
King and her ensemble are masters of space: The space for her voice, the space for instruments to live, the space for the song to breathe. Listen for these moments throughout the track. If you have a chance to see her live, go! She commands the stage with warmth and a reluctant diva sensibility, embracing every moment of the performance. One of the most fun loving & diverse audiences I’ve ever been part of, too. You can get a sense of her live act here.
Robyn - Honey
A pop princess whose sound is simultaneously 20 years old and 20 years ahead of its time. It’s timeless, joyous pop through and through. This subway stop full of fans agree, too.
Jon Hopkins - Luminous Beings
My current favorite song to drive to. Wait for this track to build– it’s a slow burner that’ll engross you with its melodic bassline and four to the floor beat. Hopkins pulls off what no others can do: Cyclical ideas, fractal sounds, melodic textures, crunched up in all sorts of ways to create a levitating experience that gets better on each repeat. Edit: Song Exploder did a fantastic podcast with Hopkins about how he made this track. Listen to it here.
Nicholas Britell - Agape
When I saw the trailer for “If Beale Street Could Talk” I heard this song and was instantly hooked. Britell uses trumpets in an unconventional way I’ve never heard before. If I could use one word to describe them it’d be “shimmering.” Its melody is always looking for a higher note that asks an important question: What are we reaching for?
Headie One - 18HUNNA (Four Tet Remix)
Four Tet adds his exotic spin to one of the UK’s favorite drill rappers. Headie’s flow reminds me that British rappers sound so damn cool. I enjoyed this video of Four Tet explaining how he plays his live set. He proves live electronic music is not always just about twisting knobs.
Vince Staples - Get The Fuck Off My Dick
This track reminds me that you don’t need much. A piano riff, a bassline, and a head bopping beat with Vince taking his time to tell his haters to get off his dick.
Jacob Collier - In My Room
This musical genius was signed by Quincy Jones and won two grammies by the age of 22. I first discovered him in a video where he was describing music concepts with Herbie Hancock. It’s obvious music is his first language. He’s able to take complex ideas and make them simple. In this track Collier’s famous sound is at its fullest: Lush vocals embraced by jazzy unconventional chord changes and rich instrumentation. Best enjoyed with the lights turned down on some nice speakers.
Armando Young - Loved Ones (Saudades)
Not much is known about this artist, as he’s only released two tracks. This song reminds me of the promise of newfound love. A perfect way to welcome Spring.
The Hot Juice is a compilation of music that I am currently enjoying. I hope you enjoy.