By Amy Hanna, Production/Radio Promo Coordinator
Congratulations are in order: we’ve made it through another month! Happy May, 6/8 Music followers, and welcome to another Mood Ring Music update. Today’s a Manic Monday, but at least we get to celebrate some incredible new music. To those who are new here, or those who need a refresher, Mood Ring Music is 6/8 Music’s weekly new music feature wherein I, Amy Hanna, local chromosthete, select some new songs from the past week and assign them a color and a mood based upon my sensory perceptions of the song upon first listen.
Here are some of this week’s best songs, and their many, many colors.
Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine has the kind of voice that delivers you into green pastures, into vivid scenes of the past, the kind of voice that makes you see red at the edges and feel everything all at once. “Hunger”, the second song Florence + The Machine released this year and the lead single for their upcoming new album High As Hope, proves just how much power Welch’s voice really contains. The song is filled with a harsh and biting sort of vulnerability, with a chilling opening line of “At 17/I started to starve myself.” The song grows no less vulnerable, weaving through discoveries and pleas for the kind of connection that leaves you feeling more empty, more hungry than you were at the start. Sonically driven by jangly percussion and rich piano, simplicity is key, and Florence Welch’s voice soars in all the best ways.
Florence + The Machine’s “Hunger” is red for vulnerable.
Deeply sophisticated and beautifully understated, “Guardian Angel” by DAWN x MUMDANCE stuns, pulls out all the stops without overwhelming the senses. Production from Mumdance backs vocals from Dawn Richard to make a minimalistic power ballad that feels fresh and free. The magic of this track lies in its purposefulness: from its commanding lyricism, to the bewitching strings, to perfectly punctuating drum fills. On top of it all, Dawn Richard’s raspy, soaring vocals punch straight through the heart, angelic and strong. “Guardian Angel” feels like two of pop’s most promising voices coming together to reinvent the wheel, and it’s absolutely stunning to hear.
DAWN x MUMDANCE’s “Guardian Angel” is white for liberated.
I’m just going to say it: women of color are making the best music right now. Pick your genre, it doesn’t matter. These women are pooling every resource, laying their hearts bare, letting the true character of their vocals soar to new heights, because women have to work hard to be heard, and women of color have to work twice, even more times as hard. Amber Mark is one of those artists, and is going above and beyond with her beautiful EPs to be heard at the capacity she deserves. Mark has one of the most special voices I’ve heard in a long time–a full-bodied contralto, sexy and soft, yet commanding, strong, effortless. Her new EP, Conexão, is a breath of fresh air, led by that beautiful, beautiful voice, and her tasteful cover of Sade’s “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” is a high point. Heady and thoughtful, and oh-so-rich, Mark puts her own spin on the song while retaining its original power. Like her corresponding music video, the song is late-night longing at its finest.
Amber Mark’s cover of Sade’s “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” is burgundy for sultry.
Now, Now have hit the synthpop jackpot with their latest, “MJ”. This is the fourth single they’ve released in the lead up to their new album, Saved. Concept alone, the song is a slam dunk: the duo’s lead singer, KC Dalager, croons about her less-than-satisfactory boyfriend, to a man that’s truly praiseworthy, King of Pop Michael Jackson. The drums tumble over honey-sweet sounds and bitter intentions, the sweet-and-sour making for one of the most addictive tracks of the year thus far. Now, Now is no stranger to a catchy pop sound, but “MJ” strikes a perfect balance between their trademark emo roots and full-on bubblegum goodness. “MJ” sits comfortably in between two unapolgetically delivered genres, and boy, does it sound good.
Now Now’s “MJ” is lime green for effervescent.
Listen to all Mood Ring Music selections below or by clicking here.
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