Mood Ring Music | January 29, 2018

By Amy Hanna, Production/Radio Promo Coordinator

After a brief absence (i.e. a bout of food poisoning that took our head writer out for a few days), Mood Ring Music has returned from war. Let us rejoice for another week of music-to-color connections. To refresh your memory, or to further explain the premise of this weekly blog series if you are new here: Mood Ring Music is 6/8 Music’s weekly new music feature wherein our local chromosthete, Amy, selects five new songs from the past week and assigns them a color and a mood based on her own color perceptions of the song upon first listen.

Let’s dive into this week’s coolest sounds (and their corresponding colors).

If you’re in the market for sexy, deceptively simple, lo-fi jams to add to your playlists, look no further than Ravyn Lenae‘s latest. “Sticky” is the lead single off her latest Crush EP, and was produced by young tastemaker Steve Lacy. Vintage guitar and phasey synth takes this song to extremely groovy, sexy territory, and the corresponding visual feels trippy, as if it came straight out of the 70’s. “Sticky” proves a point many music fans have been making for the past year now, and that is that vintage is what’s freshest right now. In terms of “Sticky” specifically, the song takes you to church one minute and to the discotheque the next, which is the kind of mood I had no idea I was searching for until I found it.

Ravyn Lenae’s “Sticky” is blood red for sexy.

“Fake Nice” by The Aces feels like the first unapologetically catchy track of the year, and perhaps it is. The hook will have you singing after just one listen, and the bright instrumentation feels almost too sunshine-y for the dreary grey of January, and would perhaps be better suited under bright summer skies. Even still, the song is a much needed dose of joy. The lyrical content may not be as bright as the song’s sonic palate, but the kiss-off to all the fakes zings in all the right ways. Bouncy guitar, raspy vocals, and buoyant harmonies — with all this and more, “Fake Nice” is real nice.

MGMT’s “Fake Nice” is yellow for energetic.

I’m just going to come right out and say it: Jay Som is incomparable. So much so, that even her b-sides are out of this world. Jay Som (whose real name is Melina Duterte) just released “O.K., Meet Me Underwater” as one of two tracks that didn’t make it onto her incredible debut album, but she’d wanted to release anyway. The song navigates the tumultuous changes of a relationship, and captures all of that confusion and acceptance with a comforting refrain of “meet me underwater”. The distinct drum/clap groove is magic, and the breathy vocals feel soft and comforting. Thank you for another great one, Jay Som.

Jay Som’s “O.K., Meet Me Underwater” is periwinkle blue for dreamy.

The return of James Blake was music to my ears even before I heard his latest, “If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead”. The British singer/songwriter/producer/DJ/legend has already created genius in the past, and fortunately for fans of his work, he’s done it again. “If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead” is probably the weirdest single James Blake has ever put out, with all its glitchiness and peremptory vocal treatments. Blake’s signature croon is basically unrecognizable, but loses no power as it travels, waxing and waning and punctuating all of Blake’s beat-making mastery. The song, aided by its corresponding music video visual, is artistry in motion.

James Blake’s “If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead” is electric green for weird.

Philly-based Hop Along have crafted simple yet undeniable lo-fi goodness with their latest, “How Simple”. The song is a proper kiss-off to an old lover, complete with “we were”s and “we will”s, but the magic of the song lies in lead vocalist Frances Quinlan’s unwavering yet breaking delivery. Her voice embodies the kind of recklessness that only the best indie rock contains. “How Simple” bounces with poppy melody lines and ripping guitar, and utilizes contrasting pieces of hard and soft in all the best ways. Hop Along are set to release their third album in the spring, and this song is more than enough reason to get excited.

Hop Along’s “How Simple” is lilac for content.

Listen to all Mood Ring Music selections below or by clicking here.

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