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“Pick Up the Phone” – Young Thug feat. Travis Scott and Quavo
Jessica Whitesel: When T-Pain dies they will play this song to bring back his ghost to haunt the world. In place of a human sacrifice the blood from the ears of those unfortunate enough to hear this monstrosity will bind his ghost to this earthly plane. I wish I was being overdramatic, but I am not. Trust me.
Courtney Miller: Without the vocals, I could dig this after a couple rounds at the bar. With them, I am anywhere this song is not. Can’t discern what they’re saying most of the time, too much messing with the pitch and auto-tune.
Jessica Pickering: The backing track of this song is really distracting to me. The whole song all I could focus on was the weird auto-tuned piano. Seriously, I think I heard what he was saying in the chorus once and that was it. If that’s what you’re into, you’d probably love this song.
“Rabbit Hole” – Blink-182
JW: I feel like I am 12 again, which is never a good thing. I mean I used to love Blink-182 when I was 12, but now at 25 I just want something a little bit more. This will not give you more, but it will remind you of how awkward you were, and will make you wish Tom DeLonge was still in the band.
CM: Classic Blink-182 style. If you have a hole in your heart where pop punk used to be, this is exactly the song to get you whole again.
JP: As someone whose entire working knowledge of Blink-182 is “All the Small Things” and “Adam’s Song,” this song seems to maintain their style while being more upbeat. It’s the perfect length too: it’s kind of repetitive, but didn’t go on forever. Par for the course as far as Blink-182 goes.
“Lucky Black Skirt” – Blondage
JW: If you’ve been following NMF you will know that I love a laid-back electronic track, and this one fits the bill perfectly. It has enough of a beat to be catchy and slightly up-tempo, but isn’t so over the top that it makes you want to throw a rager and forget what your own name is the next morning.
CM: “Call me if you’re tipsy” is a place many of us have been, and something we’re probably not proud of. However, this song is pretty good and will help erase those residual feelings of stale regret. It’s got good rhythm, a bit of a groove, and a great beat to show off some less than sober dance moves.
JP: I really like the intro to this song, it feels very ’80s. Not sure about the guy’s voice though. Compared to the music, it’s kind of a buzzkill. The creepy whispering after the chorus is weird. If you meet this guy at a club, run.
“Bury It” – CHVRCHES feat. Hayley Williams
JW: So this is probably a weird opinion but I’m not a fan of Paramore but love Hayley Williams so this track was great for me. All around it is a solid track but nothing special. But it is better than having to listen to “Airplanes” when I want to listen to her.
CM: Awesome rhythm, spot-on vocals, I can totally see myself jamming to this in the car. Honestly, I can’t get over how much I like this. Usually there’s not a lot on this playlist I actually like. Maybe I’m just a sucker for Hayley Williams.
JP: I’m probably biased because I love Hayley Williams, but this song is one I will be listening to for the rest of the summer. I’m not sure how I feel about how they edited the vocals, especially in the chorus, but this is definitely a song I can see myself doing the dishes to.
“Heartlines” – Broods
JW: I like this one. It has a stripped down feeling while maintaining all the layers of a well-crafted song. It would be a good song for driving to, or sitting and thinking about things like life and love.
CM: A whimsical yet serious song, incorporating a heartbeat bass drumline. The vocals go perfectly with the music. No, it’s not like it’s a brand new sound no one’s ever heard before. But it’s still a great listen.
JP: This is going to be one of those songs that I can’t stand simply because one of the lines is trying too hard. “I want to feel your heartlines”? What does that even mean? This sounds like the same song every artist on Top 40 radio stations is putting out right now. It’s kind of nothing.
“Stressed Out” – Kina Grannis
JW: Nope. I really want to like covers of songs by people who have great voices — arguably better voices than the original artists in some cases — but I just can’t. Grannis has a really nice voice but, nope. I would love to hear her come out with some original music before I pass too harsh a judgement on her.
CM: My first thought after hearing the lyric “My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think,” is that Grannis must love twenty one pilots, because they have an album called Blurryface. There’s an emotional honesty, and I get the singer-songwriter vibe from this. The minimalistic approach, where it’s just Grannis and a guitar, is well-executed.
JP: Oh man, I love a good cover. This one starts out strong: Kina Grannis has great vocals and I like the slow, guitar-based music to start with but I think one of the strengths of the original is it sounds like someone who is stressed out.
“4000Hz” – Jaded
JW: I can relate to the name of the artist since I am pretty jaded at this point. However, this song makes me think of what a zoo would be like if some dipshit decided to feed all the animals molly. So, just like you shouldn’t feed zebras molly, you shouldn’t listen to this.
CM: I’m not sure what the point of the song is. There doesn’t seem to be any intent behind the lyrics. I mean, it’s a catchy track and it’s fun, but I’m not sure I would classify it as good per se.
JP: I don’t like this. What is happening? This is a girl saying nonsense in a baby voice accompanied by those sound effects radio stations use to make what they’re saying more interesting. I feel like this is the kind of music they play at clubs, which is probably why I’m so uncomfortable right now.
“Satan Pulls the Strings” – The Avett Brothers
JW: This is a nice country-rock type song. I didn’t think I would ever say that, but here I am saying it. It makes you want to kick back, drink beer, and see where the night will take you. But just be prepared for it to go either way: fucking or fighting.
CM: It’s pop, but there’s some fiddle that gives it a soft country edge, especially when combined with the slightly drawling singing. It does make you want to dance to a certain degree though, and I’m certain inebriation would magnify that greatly.
JP: It started out like a rock song but now there’s a banjo? It feels like a country song mixed with the White Stripes. Even that doesn’t feel accurate, but it’s the best comparison I have. I think this is a group that’s trying something weird to stand out and it’s not working. Jokes on me, I just looked it up and they have over 180K Twitter followers.
“Some Other Arms” – Benjamin Francis Leftwich
JW: I love Benjamin Francis Leftwich. I just find the music so calming that it doesn’t really bother me that all of his songs sound pretty much identical. Normally I am against same-y sounding music, but I think that since I find it very calming I’m OK with it in this case.
CM: The wispy vocals match the softness of the guitar, even melding into the guitar notes at times. Drums come in near the end to pick it up, but it’s a slow-burner through and through. If that’s your style, you’ll like this.
JP: I think the reason I’m not feeling this song is because I’m not in the mood for it. I like it, but it’s kind of slow and talking about hoping the person you love is happy even if it’s with someone else. It’s not what I’m looking for right now, maybe some other song will make me happy (I instantly regret this “joke” but I’m leaving it here).
“Auld Wives” – Bear’s Den
JW: I feel like this would be one of those songs that grows on you. It isn’t super spectacular, but I don’t find myself hating it. I want to hear more of their music. Ultimately I will probably listen to this one again, but if someone recommended I listen to another band I would probably listen to that first.
CM: Excellent for soulful head-banging. Confident and emotional vocals on top of melodic music make this a song worth listening to.
JP: I love the music: the intro was so good. I don’t know how I feel about the song as a whole. The vocals are good, but I don’t like the harmony. I’m really on the fence about this one. The longer I listen to it the more I like it, but the music just doesn’t match the vocals and it’s throwing me off. I’m probably going to listen to this song 10 more times though.
“The Ocean” – Mike Perry feat. Shy Martin
JW: The backing track has been done so many different ways recently that I think I might be beginning to experience Stockholm syndrome towards the music industry. The vocals weren’t that great either, leaving me with some pretty mixed emotions.
CM: The intro reminds me a bit of Owl City. Evocative vocals, sensual piano, and then a liberal dusting of synthesizer has me bopping along, but it doesn’t require more than one or two listens.
JP: I feel like a hypocrite because this song also sounds like every popular Top 40 song on the radio but I love this one. I don’t even know what I like about this song, I just know I do. I like the twinkly bits during the intro and ending. It’s fun.
“Into the Fire” – Vinai feat. Anjulie
JW: Oh man, I remember that Anjulie had a song in 2007 or 2009 that was on Much all the time. I was starting to wonder what happened to her, but then I was reminded that she wasn’t that great in the first place and was only just a hair above or below average, depending on how you were feeling that day.
CM: It took more than a couple of attempts to not zone out during the song. It’s unobtrusive and easy to ignore, which might make it good study music at best. Nothing popped out or caught my attention.
JP: There’s something about the vocals that reminds me of Gwen Stefani. It’s not bad but it’s not my favourite. You know those songs that come on the radio and it’s not bad enough for you to change the station but you wouldn’t listen to it in any other situation? That’s this song.