Cassie - "Me & U"

Between this priceless gem of a song and her past collab with Onika for “The Boys” (Watch the video, okay. Trust me.), I’m beginning to think that we as a society  no, as a civilization  are seriously slacking in showing our appreciation for Cassie. Just play the first two seconds of this song in your local Dutch coffee shop and you’ll instantly see even the most macho of Liverpudlian chavs completely let their guard down, singing every single word in blissful earnest… and I know that based on experience. There’s just no escaping the beat’s bouncy goodness. Shoutout to Ms. Ventura for making one the greatest R&B hits of the 2000’s.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Kate Nash - "Merry Happy"

Hmm.

It’s been an introspective last few days. I’ve been going on a lot of drives lately; taking the long ways home past places I haven’t seen or been to in a while, which can be a little treacherous when you’re feeling generally melancholy about life. Seeing a certain stretch of road or a house on the corner can cause old memories to resurface, which often tends to dredge up the people involved with them   even if they aren’t really in your life anymore. And sometimes that’s okay. And sometimes it hurts a little. You feel a twinge of natural curiosity for how things could’ve turned out differently, even if you don’t actually wish they had anymore, even if you’re content with the way things are now. You realize that sometimes, a person isn’t meant to be anything more to you than a lesson, despite all evidence you think you’ve amassed to the contrary. All that’s really left to do is learn from them, and tend the flowers you’ve grown in the dirt left behind.

Because sometimes different is hard, but it doesn’t always have to be bad.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Yung Lean - "Yoshi City"

Do you ever find yourself gazing vacantly off into space in the middle of work or class thinking, “Damn, I wish I could combine normcore fashion with cough syrup and everything I liked about the year 2002 and turn that into an 18 year old rapper from Sweden”? If your answer was “every single day of my life” then man, you are in so much luck. Yung Lean is busting out of Stockholm, and with a fresh album out and talks of exciting collabos (Charli XCX! Travi$ Scott!) it looks like 2014 may be the Year of the Lean.

Do you remember that one time you got really sick in middle school and took way too much Nyquil on accident because your mom finally let you stay home alone and so you just sat in front of your Nintendo all day unintentionally high out of your mind playing Ocarina of Time in your dad’s oversized t-shirt? Yeah, me too. Lean’s music is exactly like that: very classically “chill”.

Now if you’re like me and get caught up in the “image” of an artist or music video in a way that can make or break your opinion of it, I’d say try strictly listening to him first. I know Jonatan’s bucket hat-wearing, pedestrian white boy image definitely threw me off at first, and some folks might find the visuals in his videos strange or even straight-up tacky. Trust me, if you give him a chance and grow to love the guy like I did, all of this will quickly shift from relatively questionable to confusingly endearing. #

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Fiona Apple - "Anything We Want"
Second Chance Week

Can you believe that I was completely unaffected by this album when I first heard it? Unbelievable. I know. I’m not sure what was wrong with me either. But! I have since seen the error of my ways and fallen madly in love with it and all of its imperfections. All of it - the clunky piano, Fiona’s sandpapery voice - was so opposite of what I had been taught was “good” music that the nontraditional-ness completely threw me off and kept me from seeing how beautiful it really was.

This song in particular was actually my least favorite at the time, but now I think I’d even go so far as to regard it as one of the best songs Fiona Apple has ever written. The music and the namely the lyrics are so unequivocally GOOD right from the opening “My cheeks were reflecting the longest wavelength” and it just really makes me want her and Ben Gibbard to get together (Professionally, not romantically. Although yes.) and write the Greatest Lyrical Masterpiece of All Time. Of all the artists and albums I went back to and tried a second time, I think The Idler Wheel… has to be the one I’m most grateful for.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Goldfinger - "Superman"

What is the deal with, like… everything right now? Right? The whole world? I know it can’t be just me that feels it, it’s like the whole world is getting scrambled up in slow motion; on an international level, on a personal level, things just kind of seem all over the place, don’t they? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately, at least. It’s a little frightening, waking up and realizing you’re neck-deep in a world, in a life, a time you didn’t really see yourself being a part of, not necessarily because it’s bad, but because it’s just so… unexpected. You know? But you do your best to assimilate, to pick yourself and keep the ground on your feet through the new and the strange, because what else can you do?

When the going gets weird, sometimes you just have to strap on a helmet and skate until the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater heat timer won’t let you skate no more.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Hervé & Zebra Katz - "Tear The House Up"

When you run into a downtempo beat this heavy, this fire, for lack of a better word, you know Zebra Katz’s Ojay Morgan has gotta be around somewhere. Still going strong since 2013’s DRKLNG, if he’s not busy putting out his own work you can bet he’s on his usual collab grind, working with the likes of Diplo, Azealia Banks, Icona Pop, & Grimes, to name only a few. With Morgan’s signature dark edge and UK DJ Hervé’s affinity for “bass-oriented" electronica, it was only natural that the two pair up and create one year’s smoothest bangers. Zebra f*cking Katz, indeed.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - "Harold’s"

As our beloved Andrew noted in his last post, the end of August draws nigh, and that means end of the year favorites lists are becoming a very real threat. Er, thing. That being said, were it not for Kool A.D.’s Word O.K., Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Piñata would surely be in the number one spot for top hip hop album of 2014. For now they both sit tied for first place; Gibbs’ signature hard as concrete flow and Madlib’s superb production holding their own against Victor V.’s silly yet ingenious rhymes. I guess we’ll have to wait until the end of the year to see who edges who out of the top spot.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

The Very Best - "Mfumu"

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter M for “Mfumu”, Malawi, and… uh, music, of course! Naturally. Comprised of British DJ Radioclit and singer Esau Mwamwaya (another M!) of Lilongwe, The Very Best does an amazing job of producing some of the most warm and colorful music I’ve heard in years. Sometimes I kind of forget how nice it is to listen to songs in other languages, but then I’ll hear some Edith Piaf or find a song like this that just radiates pure joy and I’m instantly reminded that music is really more about feeling than understanding, you know? It really is the very best.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)