Singles of the Week: 2/19/18 - 2/26/2018
With new music emerging every week, the CommRadio Arts department will be taking a look at a handful of singles released each week. Here are our thoughts on five of the biggest tracks from this past week.
Father John Misty - “Mr. Tillman”
Josh Tillman, also known as Father John Misty, released one of his most upbeat songs to-date with his first single of 2018 called “Mr. Tillman.” The singer/songwriter is back at it again with another narrative song about a hotel, but this time it’s told from the perspective a hotel employee. Father John Misty is no stranger to ironic songwriting, so it comes as no surprise that this track is all about his strange behaviors at a hotel. The song itself is particularly catchy and easy to listen to with a prominent piano accompaniment in the background. While it is difficult to know exactly what direction the rest of Father John Misty’s new album will take, based on his personality and past releases it is safe to say that it will more than likely be a continuation on his satirical and not-so-subtle jabs at society. - Jenna Minnig
Flatbush Zombies - “Headstone”
“Headstone” is the first single off of Flatbush Zombies’ sophomore album, Vacation in Hell, which is set to be released April 6. On the track, the trio comprised of Erick Arc Elliott, Zombie Juice and Meechy Darko try and reference almost everything iconic song in hip-hop history. One would be hard-pressed to find more than two lines without a reference to a hip-hop artist, record label, song or album. The interesting thing about these is that most of these references are out of style or dead, hence the title of the track. The song is produced by member Erick Arc Elliot who creates the dark vibes the Zombies are known for, with the drums on the track hitting powerfully and making “Headstone” an enjoyable listen even if the listener isn’t keen to what the group is doing with their lyrics. The Flatbush Zombies have always been one of the more interesting groups in hip-hop and “Headstone” will surely raise the expectations for Vacation in Hell - Jerome Taylor
Janelle Monáe - “Django Jane” & “Make Me Feel”
It’s been a long, LONG five years since Janelle Monáe’s last full-length project The Electric Lady, the highly anticipated sophomore released after her critical and commercial breakout success The ArchAndroid. Well, it looks like it’s going to have been worth the wait. Releasing two new singles from her upcoming third studio album Dirty Computer, both “Django Jane” and “Make Me Feel” solidify just what makes Monáe one of the most innovative and captivating voices in all of music, not just pop, of the 2010s. “Django Jane” features the most straightforward rapping the artist has released so far, giving Monáe the opportunity to get more personal with her lyrics in a way her more conceptual songs in the past never allowed her too. She’s confident with her delivery and her bars don’t waste a single line in proving her prowess behind the mic when she’s not singing, offering a transparent and captivating insight into Monáe’s perspective on and personal experiences with gender, racial and class-related social issues. “Make Me Feel” continues to build on Monáe’s signature art pop and funk style, with an intense wobbling bass and distorted guitar blended effortlessly with the pop-friendly synth-funk sound that earned Bruno Mars his numerous Grammys earlier this year. Monáe is back and holding no punches, and these singles have proved there are few things to look forward to in 2018 more than her next studio. - Chandler Copenheaver
Logic - “44 More"
Logic returns with a brand new single, “44 More.” A reference to his previous track “44 Bars” on Bobby Tarantino, the artist similarly raps only one verse made of 44 bars. In it, he speaks out about issues that not only plague the music industry but also his personal life such as familial issues. In addition to these lyrics, Logic also brings with him his legendary production team, with 6ix returning to contribute. Midway through the track he changes flows drastically - while to some it may be a jarring moment, it was actually a sign of major improvement from his last album, Everybody. Overall, with impressive production, captivating lyrics and dynamic rapping, Logic is able to fully come through with this track. Hopefully, this level of quality will be consistent with his next project, whether it is the alleged Ultra 85 rumored last album or another Bobby Tarantino-esque mixtape. - Jack Grossman
Parquet Courts - “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience”
Parquet Courts have never been afraid to experiment with their sound, but despite the artistic success they’ve seen over the last few years of the 2010s, no album has captured the energy and personality that put them on the indie rock map like that featured on 2012’s Light Up Gold. With their first single from their upcoming album Wide Awake!, it seems like the group may have finally cracked the formula for combining their experimental aspirations with their beloved attitude. On what is difficult to describe as anything other than “progressive-art punk,” Parquet Courts shift with an anxious and jittery passion between two songs, hopping between segments of each song with no perceivable structure or flow. It brings back that erratic energy that’s been missing since Light Up Gold, but serves it to the listener in a way that’s dizzying and mazelike. It’s difficult to pin down what exactly the direction is Parquet Courts is going for with this new album, but whatever it is, it could very easily be the artistic breakthrough punk has been searching for since the 2000s. - Chandler Copenheaver
Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at email@example.com.
Jerome Taylor is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Jack Grossman is a sophomore majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Public Relations
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Jenna is a General Manager of CommRadio where she manages the student radio station.