By Amy Hanna, Production/Radio Promo Coordinator
Welcome back to Mood Ring Music! In the past week since we’ve last convened here, many parts of the world have seen their first snowfall of the year, and, as with every week, even more new music has seen the light of day. Hoorah! There are many things to be excited about as the holidays edge closer, but at 6/8, we are always most excited about the music. Here on Mood Ring Music, we assign a color and a mood to five new song releases, mood ring style.
Now, onto the good stuff.
“ABC 123” is the second single from Tune-Yards‘ upcoming album I can feel you creep into my private life, and it sees the band (now established as a duo after longtime collaborator Nate Brenner was announced as a full-fledged member alongside vocalist Merrill Garbus) speaking loud and proud over shiny synth and infectious percussion. “ABC 123” skews both individual and world-relevant, with lyrics like, “My country served me horror coke/My natural freedom up in smoke.” In such turbulent times, there’s nothing more comforting than making outright admissions of fear to an audience that feels the same way. Though “ABC 123” admits to terrifying personal realities, the driving beat, cheerfully bouncing along as the song progresses, retains the song’s strength and power. “ABC 123” is a sonic escape, disembodied and irresistible, that finds strength in its vulnerability.
Tune-Yard’s “ABC 123” is pale blue for fearful.
With its simple lo-fi sensibilities and make-no-mistake lyricism, “Tea-Soaked Letter” by Detroit indie rocker Anna Burch is a slice of life in a song. This song, among other solo releases from Burch this year, will become part of her first full-length solo project, set for release in February 2018. The magic of this song is in its relevance; paired with the video, “Tea-Soaked Letter” feels like being left on read by someone you’ve poured your heart out to. These days, it’s hard not to experience real, heart-shaking anxiety when you’ve allowed access to yourself to someone who doesn’t want the same things. No matter how we don’t want to experience these feelings, and no matter how we distract ourselves from these feelings (some make tea and toast, as Burch does in the music video for the song), the hurt can be unshakable. “Tea-Soaked Letter” offers genuine sympathy through personal honesty, wrapped in sweet harmonies and crunchy, warm guitar.
Anna Burch’s “Tea-Soaked Letter” is light pink for lonely.
When it comes to creating massive, clean songs that are as bizarre as they are ridiculously catchy, London producer SOPHIE towers leagues above her colleagues. SOPHIE has just released “Ponyboy”, a bombastic one-off that follows the ethereal single “It’s Okay to Cry”, which she released last month. “Ponyboy” is gritty and abrasive, calculated and cool, sexy and scary. Her use of silence between musical “breaths” is almost more impactful that the huge crashes of industrial percussion. “Ponyboy” values substance and style in equal measure, and sounds like the future. The self-produced video is also a treat, drawing upon the staccato mania of the song itself with the bright lights typical of SOPHIE’s live stages along with some killer choreo.
SOPHIE’s “Ponyboy” is electric blue for bold.
“Money” marks the super-charged return of Caroline Rose, a rockabilly indie songstress with a voice as assured and vibrant as her sense of humor. This is the first single from Rose’s forthcoming album LONER, which is set for release this February. This gritty romp is aided by its genius music video, which keeps the viewer hanging by a thread with each hilarious scene, in the very same way that “Money” itself builds slowly to incredible climaxes. “Money”, while hysterical, is altogether a relevant and ingenious piece about money’s hold on society, proving Caroline Rose as a force to be reckoned with.
Caroline Rose’s “Money” is red for unruly.
Here at 6/8 we love being festive, so over the last few weeks on Mood Ring Music, we’ve featured some kickass holiday tracks to get you in the spirit of the season (and we promise even if you hate Christmas carols, the songs we choose are quality. Pinky swear). This week, Lisa Prank & Seattle’s Little Helpers have put out a fun, lighthearted holiday EP, featuring the song “All I Want for Christmas (is to Be with You)”. Seattle indie rocker Lisa Prank is known for her bright energy and for her staple lo-fi sound, and this track in particular marries all the most fun parts of Lisa Prank’s sound and boxes it up in a bright, fun Christmas package. Seattle-punk-gone-festive sounds like a beautiful gift to us.
Lisa Prank & Seattle’s Little Helpers’ “All I Want for Christmas (is to Be with You)” is green for festive.
Listen to all Mood Ring Music selections below or by clicking here.