This week on Timely Tunes we have five recent songs and a 15-song playlist for you to enjoy. Check them out, let me know what you think and then feel free to tell me what YOU are listening to this week.
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White Reaper “Judy French” (From “The World’s Best American Band”)
A Louisville band that melds the snotty, cocky attitude of the early aughts garage rock revival with the earworm hooks of Thin Lizzy and Cheap Trick. It’s a combination that isn’t entirely novel, but White Reaper’s new album is a particularly successful synthesis. To illustrate with a cliché: “Judy French” is the sound of a flying karate kick off of a Marshall stack.
AZ “Save Them” (feat. Raekwon and Prodigy) (From “Doe or Die 2”)
There might not be another rapper more underappreciated in history than AZ. He is best remembered by most for his iconic verse on Nas’ “Life’s a Bitch” (my vote for best rap song of all time), and his debut album “Doe Or Die” is a totemic work of mid-90’s east coast rap. AZ has said that his new album will be his last, and “Save Them” is a vicious and alive posse banger featuring Wu-Tang’s Raekwon and Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. If it truly is his retirement, this is a good bookend.
Amber Mark “Lose My Cool” (From “3:33 am”)
An effervescent, tropical house jam and triumphant summer break up anthem? Not quite. It actually details the heartbreaking loss of Amber’s mother and how she reeled while attempting to process the pain. Some of the greatest pop moments are those which successfully mix sorrow and joy, and “Lose My Cool” is successful at just that.
Ibibio Sound Machine “Give Me a Reason” (From “Uyai”)
Ibibio Sound Machine manage to combine Nigerian funk, American disco, and 1980s new wave synth-pop into an irresistible blend on the charged-up lead-off track from their second album. London born Nigerian singer Eno Williams is a dynamic party starter.
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma “A Song Of Summer”
Cantu-Ledesma has been a member of underrated post-rock group Tarentel since the mid-90’s, as well as the co-founder of one of the great underground record labels: Root Strata. Last year he released the EP “In Summer”, which was one of the best things I heard in 2016. His latest single, the dreamy “A Song Of Summer”, is another stunning example of how well he harnesses the beauty found in distortion. The nexus of noise and bliss.
TIMELY TUNES, VOL. 43
1. Thin Lizzy “For Those Who Love To Live”
2. White Reaper “Judy French”
3. Cheap Trick “Auf Wiedersehen”
4. Mahavishnu Orchestra “You Know, You Know”
5. Rakim “It’s Been A Long Time”
6. AZ “Save Them” (feat. Raekwon & Prodigy)
7. Apple & Three Oranges “Gotta Stand For Something, Pt. 1”
8. Amber Mark “Lose My Cool”
9. Sergio Mendes “Magalenha”
10. Michael Jackson “Get on the Floor”
11. Ibibio Sound Machine “Give Me a Reason”
12. Ebo Taylor “Heaven”
13. Oneohtrix Point Never “Child Soldier”
14. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma “A Song Of Summer”
15. Tim Hecker “In the Air II”
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