By Amy Hanna, Production Coordinator
Welcome back, one and all, to the second edition of Mood Ring Music. Some of you probably know the drill by now, but in case you don’t: in this weekly blog series, your local chromesthete (that’s me!) assigns five new song releases a color and mood. Additionally, I make all those color and mood connections happen by gingerly placing a mood ring onto my speakers, playing a song, and recording what color the ring turns into. Seriously. That’s how I do it.
Let’s get straight into moody, colorful goodness, shall we?
Of all the musical tag-teams that we’ve seen this year, Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett‘s collaborative efforts have led to some of the most captivating, poignant output. Their newest single, “Continental Breakfast”, is no exception, providing simple slice-of-life goodness without being painfully over-saccharine. The music video is an absolute delight as well, following comforting scenes of Courtney and Kurt (and a few guests) unleashing their inner child in a secluded house by the lake, soundtracked by warm, tinkling acoustic guitar and vocals as rugged and deep as stories shared around a campfire. From visuals to music, “Continental Breakfast” feels like home. Lotta Sea Lice, Courtney and Kurt’s collaborative LP, is due out later in October, and it’s sure to be full of simple comforts like this one.
Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett’s “Continental Breakfast” is seafoam for soothed.
Speaking of exciting collaborations, Lisa Prank’s Robin Edwards, Tacocat’s Bree McKenna, and Chastity Belt’s Julia Shapiro have released another single under the collaborative moniker, Who Is She?. The newest offering from the Seattle natives is “Seattle Freeze”, and it’s rapid, biting, and a perfect representation of the lo-fi Seattle punk sound fans of each band have come to love. The song is over as quickly as it starts, but it leaves a lasting impression on listeners with its final sentiment: “It’s not Seattle/It’s you.” The first full-length album fromWho Is She?, Seattle Gossip, is due out in full this Friday.
Who Is She?’s “Seattle Freeze” electric green for cynical.
I love Lizzo. Like… So much. I can barely separate Reviewer from Passionate Music Listener in her case, that’s how much I love her. Lizzo is a Minneapolis-based hip hop artist whose specialty is creating undeniable self-empowerment anthems that are as hooky and infectious as they are clever. She’s crafted yet another certified slapper™ with her newest single, “Truth Hurts”. When a rapper comes out the gate with an opening line as audacious and perfect as, ““I just took a DNA test/Turns out I’m 100 percent that bitch”, there’s really no way to dispute. Not only is Lizzo an incredible songstress, but she’s an all-out performer, absolutely captivating in her music video where she, more or less, marries herself. And more power to it; if I was as badass as Lizzo, I’d want to marry myself, too.
Mood Ring Verdict: Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” is hot pink for daring.
If you’re looking for music that’s as sensuous and visceral as it is pure and clean, look no further than duo Ibeyi. “I Wanna Be Like You” is the newest single from Ibeyi’s upcoming sophomore album, Ash. The lineup consists of Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, twins who champion duality in more ways than one. As shown in “I Wanna Be Like You”, the Díaz sisters weave buoyant synth and earthy percussion, creating a song that’s spacious and contained, full of want yet innocent. Ibeyi are known for their sonic experimentation, fearless with vocal treatments and instrumentation. Their new album Ash just dropped this past Friday, and this stellar track is among one of my favorites (along with “No Man Is Big Enough for My Arms”, which samples the incomparable Michelle Obama). Do yourself a favor and listen as soon as you are able.
Ibeyi’s “I Wanna Be Like You” is ice blue for pure.
Coming off the success of their third album Stay Gold, fans of Swedish folk outfit First Aid Kit have been wondering what the band will do next. “It’s a Shame”, First Aid Kit’s comeback track, more than sated those fans’ cravings for new material. The track’s production is polished and deceptively bright, crisp harmonies and rolling drums backing the band’s lamentations about a loss, and seeking numbness to dull that pain. The song is a lovely teaser for what is next to come from the band, who have just finished up a writing session in Los Angeles and are more likely than not gearing up for a full release. If “It’s a Shame” is any indication of the quality of those sessions, then First Aid Kit fans certainly have a lot of reasons to be excited.
First Aid Kit’s “It’s A Shame” is mauve for yearning.
Listen to all Mood Ring Music selections below or by clicking here.