By Amy Hanna, Production/Radio Promo Coordinator
Finally, January 2018, the longest month of our collective lives, has passed. Let us relish in the glorious passage of time for a moment before we head into our weekly agenda on Mood Ring Music. It’s February, and Mood Ring is back once again to inject some color into your playlists. To refresh your memory (or if you’re new here), Mood Ring Music is 6/8 Music’s weekly new music feature wherein our local chromosthete, Amy Hanna, 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 get to it, shall we?
I have to thank CHVRCHES a million times over for the shot of energy they gave me heading into the new month with their latest song, “Get Out”. This song is the first release from the Scottish synth-rock outfit since 2015 with the release of their lush sophomore album, Every Open Eye. Lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry carries the track with her trademark soprano, soaring over rich, vibrant soundscapes that alternate from hard to soft in a way that no CHVRCHES song has quite managed before. “Get Out” packs in sinister, driving synths and an absolutely infectious hook into one neat package, making for a song that never lets up, and never leaves your head.
CHVRCHES’s “Get Out” is indigo for dreamy.
California-based R&B songstress Kehlani has given us another one-off track to vibe to with her latest, “Again”. Kehlani’s new track, like the rest her other one-offs she’s put out after the release of her debut album, Sweetsexysavage, are much more lo-fi, usually just incorporating acoustic guitar and Kehlani’s honey vocals. “Again” is a simple love song that captures nerves, insecurities, hopes, and pure affection. Kehlani has never been shy to open up about her woes in love, and this song is no different. Her honesty, and the vulnerability in the song’s arrangement, is a breath of fresh air like no other. Here’s to hoping Kehlani puts out more simple, beautiful pieces like this one.
Kehlani’s “Again” is orange for relaxed.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar has been flexing his movie scoring skills with his curation of the Black Panther soundtrack. On the latest track off the new soundtrack, K-Dot has recruited the aide of sweet-voiced R&B crooner The Weeknd for the bombastic “Pray for Me”. The track is characterized by its balance: minimal but dramatic, deep and bass-filled but punctuated with enough airy flute synths to save the song from becoming too bottom-heavy. The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar are a stellar pair as well, both of them having worked together on The Weeknd’s Grammy-winning album, Starboy. Kendrick’s biting verses bounce well off The Weeknd’s lilting tenor, making for a gorgeous push-and-pull of a track that’s sure to add just the right amount of drama to any scene.
Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd’s “Pray for Me” is deep purple for mysterious.
There’s nothing like music that feels fresh and clean, that flows through the ears and into the brain like water. The latest from Wye Oak, “The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs”, feels like a river running at the perfect pace. This is the latest from the band since their fourth album, Shriek. The song is a beautiful extension of the band’s distinct, ethereal sound, drawing on wide space and airy, light motion, but grounded by distorted guitar riffs. “The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs” draws upon ideas of an ongoing search, but the sonics are beautifully clear in contrast. Wye Oak have carefully crafted something wonderful with their latest, a song equipped to soundtrack just about any moment.
Wye Oak’s“The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs” is blue for serene.
Writer’s Note: I show a bit of bias toward Bat Fangs, as they are partially North Carolina-based and NC has been my home for over a decade, but I promise, they truly are as good as I say. Bat Fangs are the new rock darlings we’ve been waiting for. Seriously. Their new album is the best of your favorite 80’s rock anthems, but with a new, fun edge. These ladies know how to write a hook, shred on guitar, and carry a song to glorious completion in just a few minutes of high-energy acidity. “Boy of Summer” is track four off their incredible debut self-titled album, and the song merges classic hookiness and new-school sass, and it so aptly fills a void that has existed in rock music for… forever, probably. There’s no band quite like Bat Fangs right now, and you’d be doing yourself a favor by jumping on the fan train as early as possible.
Bat Fangs’ “Boy of Summer” is red for sassy.
Listen to all Mood Ring Music selections below or by clicking here.
*Note: “Again” by Kehlani is not yet available on Spotify, so it will not be included in this week’s playlist. Please stream on Soundcloud.