Monday, May 20, 2024

Fresh Playlist: Arcade Fire, Joey Badass Get Political On Inauguration Day

With new music flying like warp-speed through the various channels of the tnternet, it can be hard to keep up. But worry not. We’re here to deliver the most-discussed and exciting songs that you need for the weekend.

Arcade Fire ft. Mavis Staples—“I Give You Power”

As a group, spaces of refuge has always interested Arcade Fire. Singer Win Butler’s voice, though manipulated through various projects, hints toward oxymoron: fragile, yet resilient. Hopeful and cynical. Lost, but of a place. But through their empathic viewpoints, Arcade Fire finds the reason in both arguments and lands in the shared sliver of self-created Venn diagrams.

A space of refuge, somewhere between our current reality and reality TV, is what many may need in these times. Backed by a growling Mavis Staples, “I Give You Power” argues for individual empowerment and how much influence on has within and outside themselves. Mavis Staples chanting “Watch Me” at song’s end is downright militaristic in its force and fortitude.

As Butler told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, “I talked to Mavis last night and she said, ‘Now more than ever we just need to hold onto each other.’ For us it’s a feeling of solidarity—to not feel powerless and focus on what we can do as individuals and try to do our part.”

Joey Bada$$—“Land  of the Free”

Talking with co-workers recently, we all were interested—and kind of excited—to see how artists might respond under a Donald Trump presidency. Judging from Arcade Fire and Joey Bada$$, the question comes with various answers. Both argue for a sense of community from the people, though Joey is quietly indignant on this funky track.

Maggie Rogers—“On + Off”

Thanks to her debut single “Alaska,” a precious twist on folk featuring contemporary programmed drums, Maggie Rogers earned some warranted attention from indie tastemakers. Her latest upbeat single “On + Off” showcases the versatility of the singer, her talent not really of or contained within a specific genre.

Migos—“What The Price”

Without a doubt, a clarity and hunger reverberates through the Migos’ latest releases. Though “What the Price” is more subtle and laidback, it’s nonetheless caustic. This track, like “Bad and Boujee,” display that energetic union only this group can pull off. (Example: Takeoff raps, “I’ma go find me a better route / That bullshit and cap you can leave it out” and Quavo responds in ad-lib, “cap.” It’s genius in execution.) Culture is shaping up to be a very enticing record.

Gorillaz ft. Benjamin Clementine—“Hallelujah Money”

In their first song in six years, the Gorillaz teamed up with Benjamin Clementine to attack the uncertainty and unrest floating in the air. It’s unclear whether this record will be featured on their long-awaited fifth album, said to be coming out this year, but it’s clear the years haven’t dulled the group’s subversive wit and precision.


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