By Amy Hanna, Production/Radio Promo Coordinator
Happy Monday, 6/8 Music followers! To those who are new here, or need a refresher, 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. This week’s selections are all indie releases as well, so get pumped to support some incredible independent talent.
Here are five of this week’s best songs, and their many, many colors.
To be completely honest, I feel lucky to even be talking about this song. Our era’s Queen of Funk (dubbed by me) Janelle Monae made an inexorable splash in music this week with not one, but two singles from her highly anticipated upcoming album, Dirty Computer. The songs show off just a sliver of the color spectrum that Janelle Monae is as an artist, but even that sliver is so blindingly vibrant. “Make Me Feel” is the funky, buoyant counterpart of her two releases, and my personal favorite. With all its Prince references, the minimalist verses into spellbinding crashes of sound, and its completely unabashed takes on sexuality, this song is like throttling old school funk into the far, far future. Most danceable song of the year yet, and that in itself is one hell of an accolade.
Janelle Monae’s “Make Me Feel” is purple for confident.
This week in music was incredibly fortunate, because Miss Janelle Monae wasn’t the only genre-championing female artist to release a double set of tracks this week. Brazen and sweet country songstress Kacey Musgraves just released two singles in the lead up to her upcoming new album, Golden Hour, slated for release at the end of March. I had the pleasure of hearing this track, “Butterflies”, a little bit earlier than most at the Ally Coalition Benefit Talent Show in New York City this year, and I can honestly say that Kacey maintained all the sweetness and simplicity of the song she performed in that room by herself with just a guitar as she did in her full studio arrangement. “Butterflies” is easy and saccharine, but Kacey does hand a lot over to the listeners on this song, fully on display as she sings, “I didn’t know him and I didn’t know me.” “Butterflies” is tumbling and ethereal, all the makings of a beautiful pop-country crossover.
Kacey Musgraves’ “Butterflies” is pink for hopeful.
Sarah Midori Perry, better known as Kero Kero Bonito, is no stranger to making deliciously colorful music. However, on the TOTEP EP the Kero Kero Bonito sound gets a bit of a grunge treatment, and it’s as compelling as ever. “The One True Path” is the EP’s opener, setting the tone for a song that seeks and finds in equal measure. There’s a hopefulness here, glowing bright as Sarah sings, “I see by the footprints in the sand that you are too/So maybe together we can find a path that’s really true.” The EP as a whole is full of grungy gems and shimmery power-pop moments alike
Kero Kero Bonito’s “The One True Path” is blue grey for introspective.
On “Saturdays” by Twin Shadow, we get feel-good, anthemic 80’s rock and pure, sunshine-y splendor. “Saturdays” is one of two tracks Twin Shadow released this week (his first solo endeavors since 2015). The song feels nostalgic and fully present all at once, with lyrics calling upon old memories and hopes for the future. Twin Shadow recruits the ladies of HAIM, who are not strangers in the slightest to vintage sounds. The marriage of their voices recalls love in the summertime in all the best ways.
Twin Shadow & HAIM’s “Saturdays” is orange for wistful.
Belly are something of alt-rock legends, an absolutely incredible rock band from hometown of Boston. Their newest song, “Shiny One”, is resplendent and (aptly) glowing from start to finish, and has my favorite hook of this year so far with the infectious, “Shine on/Sparkly one/My shiny one.” The song is gritty and dense sonically, full of rich harmonies and thick, earthy percussion. “Shiny One” is the glorious introduction to Belly’s new album DOVE. For a first original track in 23 years, “Shiny One” really is as triumphant as it sounds.
Belly’s “Shiny One” is yellow for contented.
Listen to all Mood Ring Music selections below or by clicking here.
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