Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Song of the Day: "Focus"

H.E.R. stands for having everything revealed, which, until recently, is not something that Gabriella Wilson (the "her" of H.E.R.) seemed too keen on doing. She released her first music through a shroud of mystery, obscuring her appearance to let the music speak for itself. Her plan to stay enigmatic may be undermined a bit by the attention she's now getting from 5 Grammy nominations (Album of the Year, Best New Artist, and 3 in the R&B category, including Best R&B song for today's SOTD).

With 5 nominations, she's in a tie for the fifth largest number of nominations, along with Cardi B, Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga, Maren Morris, and 2 dudes I've never heard of. It's a notable year for female nominees (Brandi Carlile received 6 nominations where her previous body of work only received 1), but that might be because the general categories expanded the number of nominees from 5 to 8. The caliber of the women nominated (and I'm including Kacey Musgraves, Janelle Monáe, Margo Price, Dua Lupa, St. Vincent, and several others) is undermined by acts like Greta Van Fleet (not a female) and Post Malone pulling in large numbers of nominations as well.

You know what female artist didn't get a single Grammy nomination this year? Liza Minnelli... bet you saw that coming.

Song: "Focus"
Artist: H.E.R.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Song of the Day: "Look Out From Your Window"

My excitement at discovering The Innocence Mission are still releasing new music is diminished somewhat by what seems like an excess of uninspiring songs. Sun on the Square is their 10th studio album, with the band currently configured of 3 of its original 4 members; they lost their drummer to the culinary arts somewhere along the way. It's entirely possible a drummer is what's missing from this more recent music.

The band's Wikipedia entry refers to their more recent music as cinematic folk-pop, which might be a polite way of saying the music seems like incidental or background music. 

It would probably make good "hold" music. 

I've only listened to a few tracks, so hopefully, I'm missing something with a little urgency to it.

Song: "Look Out From Your Window"
Artist: The Innocence Mission

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Song of the Day: "Hands on You"

It's easy to trivialize Ashley Monroe, to write her off as a Miranda Lambert (her bandmate in Pistol Annies) wannabe. Maybe I'm trivializing what it means to want to be another Miranda Lambert (an earnest singer/songwriter making traditionalist country music in a bro country world?).

Maybe a better comparison is with Chris Isaak's stylish and moody work. That could be an interesting combination.

Song: "Hands on You"
Artist: Ashley Monroe

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Song of the Day: "Agree"

This album is an odd one: the first collaboration between an American electronic band and a European "orchestral collective" that is a Trump protest album; but not an angry one, a moody-as-fuck one. This track is the most mainstream one on Music for the Long Emergency (I was going to suggest that it's "glass half empty" thinking that it will be a long emergency, but the shit show has gone on far too long as it is, and I see nothing stopping him from being re-elected in 2020 at this point). The A/V Club calls the album a soundtrack for uneasy times.

Uneasy? Try seriously fucked up bullshit.

Song: "Agree"
Artist: POLIÇA/s t a r g a z e

Friday, December 7, 2018

Song of the Day: "City Looks Pretty"

I have no idea how Courtney Barnett continues to charm me, but she does. I'm digging Tell Me How You Really Feel as I listen through the various "best of 2018" lists.

Song: "City Looks Pretty"
Artist: Courtney Barnett

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Song of the Day: "Future Me Hates Me"

I'm listening through some of the early "best of 2018" lists to help me figure out my own list (it's efficient, drafting off the lists of others). I always find a handful of things that I end up loving, and just as many releases whose acclaim I just don't get.

Kiwis The Beths are definitely the former. This is a delightful track!

Song: "Future Me Hates Me"
Artist: The Beths

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Song of the Day: "Tints"

Huzzah! The song wherein I start to appreciate Kendrick Lamar is upon us.

The live performance on SNL last weekend was solid. And I wouldn't have paid attention if it hadn't been Anderson .Paak. The new album Oxnard, sees him moving north along the California coast, following Venice and Malibu.

Song: "Tints"
Artist: Anderson .Paak/Kendrick Lamar