Music of the Month: April 2017

Hey, Strangers! I know I’ve talked about mostly books so far on here, but there’s one thing I love just as much as I love books: music. So I thought I’d try a little something where I talk about some of the songs that came out during the month that I enjoyed. I can’t promise I’ll keep up with this monthly, but I think it’s a good way to recommend some good music. So, without any further ado, here are the songs that really made my April:

  1. “Young and Menace” by Fall Out Boy: Traditionalist Fall Out Boy stans are probably not going to like this track, but I think it’s genius. Listening to this song is what I imagine it feels like to be on LSD. It’s such a trip. According to the group, Patrick had the great idea to pitch shift and mix real instruments, creating that wacked-out feel. The song itself is a statement to those aforementioned Old Fall Out Boy stans. The band wants you to listen to this song and think about how different it is from their old emo stuff. They also want you to know that, back then, they were merely young and, well, emo and that’s why their music was the way it was. It’s up to you whether you want to take it or leave it, but I can respect that message. And if Mania is going to be experimental, then I think this album could potentially become their best yet.
  2. “Hard Times” by Paramore: In keeping with the theme of former emo bands, I’ve also been digging Paramore’s new song. They’re staying with the alternative pop sound of their last record, but bringing back just a touch more rock. This song is also the anthem for the quintessential depressed Millennial: the music is happy and the lyrics are emo as hell. For me, this is a song that gets better with each listen. You get something new out of it every time.
  3. The Get Down Part II Soundtrack: I can’t even pick a song from this. The whole thing is a masterpiece. It combines early hip hop and disco so well and even provides a modern flair. (My only complaint is that “The Internationale P. II” isn’t on it.) If you love the show or just love a good blast from the past, check out this soundtrack.
  4. “Shutter Island” by Jessie Reyez: For most people, the highlight of Reyez’s first EP Kiddo is “Gatekeeper,” but I think this track is the real gem. Named after a book that takes place in an island asylum, this song about a more-than-stressful relationship really captures that tone. The verses are vulnerable, while the choruses are off-kilter and wonky. You feel unsettled and a little out of your head listening to it. Even the ending leaves you on an uncomfortable note, ending right before a final chorus should start. It’s unnerving in the best way. Reyez even accepts her lot if she stays with this person, declaring, “My straitjacket’s custom made.” The bridge offers a bit of hope, as if Reyez is remembering herself for the first time in a long while, but we don’t get to see that realized. It’s an unfinished story I can’t stop coming back to.
  5. “The Cure” by Lady Gaga: Sure, this song is more of a trend-follower than a trend-setter, but it’s cute and fun. This is far closer to what I look for when I want to listen to Lady Gaga than what Joanne was.
  6. “Say My Name” by Tove Styrke: Sweden offers a lot of talented pop stars named Tove, but I’d argue Styrke has stayed more true to her roots than Lo. “Say My Name” is a fun pop track with a riff that’ll worm its way into your head. It’s one of the better pop tracks to come out this year.
  7. “Now or Never” by Halsey: This song starts a new journey for Halsey, as this hip hop-inspired track is only one chapter of the larger story that is Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. This song is a powerful ultimatum, declaring that she wants all her partner’s love now or never. I’m excited to see where the story goes from here.
  8. “Hate That You Know Me” by Bleachers: As someone who often has trouble letting people in, this alt pop tracks speaks to me. The singer bemoans having a partner that knows them so well, they can anticipate their needs or read their moods. While a good thing for most, it can be rough for someone who’s not used to opening up or being in an intimate relationship.
  9. “NOW” by Grace Mitchell: This is an indie pop track about living in the moment. A trite theme, perhaps, but done well. Honestly, this song’s aesthetic is four girls meeting for the first time and spontaneously deciding to go on a cross-country road trip together and two of the girls fall in love and one has some kind of storyline with her dad who died and the last one is running away from a dark past and their story is beautiful.
  10. “No Promises” by Cheat Codes feat. Demi Lovato: This track technically came out March 31st, but it didn’t hit radio until April, so it counts. Also, I’ll always make an exception for my wife. This is Demi’s first EDM feature and it did not disappoint. Lovato and the guy from Cheat Codes sing about how they want this relationship, but don’t want to make any promises about it they can’t guarantee will be kept. It has some great lyrics and Lovato uses a different side of her voice than usual, only belting a little toward the end. It’s a great track, one I’m STILL WAITING ON THE VIDEO FOR.

And so those were the top songs I enjoyed throughout April and, quite frankly, still enjoy now. What are some songs you’ve been enjoying? (Also, don’t count on two posts in one day becoming a thing.)

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