By Amy Hanna, Production/Radio Promo Coordinator
Happy Monday, 6/8 Music followers! 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 color perceptions of the song upon first listen.
Here are four of this week’s best songs, and their many, many colors.
Now I don’t normally do this. And by this, I mean review a song minutes (yes, in this case, minutes) after it was released. However, of all the artists I listen to, Mitski is unabashedly one of the most colorful. With her penchant for effortless runs, soaring highs, crunchy guitar and maximum overdrive, her music makes for the kind of head-spinning crescendos that dreams are made of. Her latest offering, “Geyser”, is no exception. The song opens wanly, forlorn and vulnerable, and it certainly stays vulnerable all the way through… just louder, toward the end. Much louder. No, but truthfully, there’s nothing like the gentle break of Mitski’s voice over the swell of the music to truly bring any listener to their knees. We’re far ahead of the release of Mitski’s forthcoming album, Be The Cowboy, but this introduction is extremely exciting (and damn heartbreaking).
Mitski’s “Geyser” is blood red for vulnerable.
“Strange Embrace”, the latest from Kitten, is certainly a sharper, more emotional direction for the band than most of their recent work. However, I couldn’t think of a better introduction to the band, for new listeners. Kitten truly excels in portrait-painting lyricism, and undeniable pop catchiness. From the opening lines of this song, the listener is immediately transported into the room where it happens. “Strange Embrace” might be one of their best examples of their strengths, from the vivid story verses to the equally pleasing melodic lines. The song captures a brilliant, shimmery 80’s sound without sounding trite, or stereotypical. The chorus is the real kicker: massive, emotive, and anthemic as anything.
Kitten’s “Strange Embrace” featuring Vince Staples is soft pink for forlorn.
This past Friday, Beach House released what could be the best album of their career thus far. No big deal or anything. The magic of 7, the band’s latest release, isn’t some huge, unrecognizable reinvention. No, Beach House are still Beach House–the melancholic, fuzzy, hazy indie rock masters that draw on as much calmness as they do raw power and energy. “Pay No Mind” was the final taste that fans got for the album before its release, but by that point, a few singles in, one could already guess 1. what we’d be in for with the rest of the album, and 2. how good it would be. “Pay No Mind” pairs sharp lyricism with darker, breezy sonics, making for a relaxing getaway of a tune that hits a little harder when you listen more closely. The song itself is beautiful, as all of 7‘s pre-release singles have been, but the magic of new Beach House record is what it accomplishes together, as a finished album, a complete package.
Beach House’s “Pay No Mind” is indigo for calm.
Yes. Yes, regular Mood Ring Music reader, if you’re out there, I am adding another new Courtney Barnett track to this feature. And no, I’m not going to apologize for it. Because Courtney Barnett is a goddamn legend, and all of her songs sound like home. On her latest single, “Sunday Roast”, she croons, “I know it’s been a long week,” and is so unspeakably good at carrying the metaphorical weight of a long week in her melody, in her intonation. It’s not just that line, either, that’s so purposeful. Every single word out of Barnett’s mouth is delivered with such care, that you can feel the phantom ache of pain, and the phantom weight lifted as she sings, “I think you’re doing just fine.” When life gets especially difficult, Barnett is one of the only artists that could sing that line and truly make me believe it, and that’s why she has secured approximately five billion spots on the Mood Ring Music playlist. Also, because I know that anyone who listens would feel the same way.
Courtney Barnett’s “Sunday Roast” is orange for familiar.
Listen to all Mood Ring Music selections below or by clicking here.