Hi. It’s been a while.
My plans to update you with six great new songs every week were upended earlier this year by—well, if it wasn’t one thing, it was certainly another. But since we’ve made it to mid-2020, let’s regroup and start listening to the best new songs of the second half of the year.
CHAI – “Keep on Rocking”
As ever, these meta-cute Japanese rockers traffic in the kindest of ironies, blithely winking at an earnestly basic sentiment like “We’re just making the whole of life/So just making the whole of life, you know?/You know, you know” without disowning it. In other words, “La la la la la/This is my life.”
Ness Nite – “Unusual”
Nite’s production—especially the contrast between weightless synth droplets and that whip of a snare—shows the uniqueness that their lyric tells, their electronically modulated flow rhyming “wishes” with “suspicious” for good measure.
Burna Boy – “Wonderful”
Afrobeats’ biggest and most ambitious star sings in a lush mix of languages here, and the harmonies resonate expansively with a pan-African depth, originating (to my ears) far south of Nigeria, with music all the richer for them.
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – “Black Mirror”
What could be more appropriate for an atypically thoughtful good-old-days glance backward than a souljazzy Madlib beat?
Sad13 – “WTD?”
“Some of us are gonna die faster than the other guys,” sings Sadie Dupuis, in case you’re wondering if her head is right where yours is at these days. And the lynchpin of Speedy Ortiz still plays guitar with that Malkmusian knack of backing away from a brilliant melody only to trip over a better one.
Illuminati Hotties – “Will I Get Cancelled If I Write a Song Called ‘If You Were a Man You’d Be So Cancelled?’”
Well, you’re not not going to listen to a song with that title, so now that you have, wanna share our favorite bits? Mine are opening lyric “Let’s smash to a podcast,” the way Sarah Tudzin’s voice dips into a death-metal growl, and the fact that it all wraps up in 74 seconds. You?
Every week, music editor Keith Harris scours the vast musicscape for six worthy tracks to add to City Pages' ever-expanding 2020 playlist.