If anything positive has come out of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, it's all the amazing protest music that's emerged in recent weeks. In the days leading up to the election, the 30 Days, 30 Songs project is a month-long event where a variety of musicians release new material that's vehemently anti-Trump. With "Can't You Tell" veteran singer-songwriter Aimee Mann took on the challenge with a fascinating perspective, singing the point of view of Trump himself. She voices an inner monologue that's as terrifying as it is vulnerable: "Isn't anybody going to stop me? / I don't want this job, I don't want this job / My god, can't you tell I'm unwell?" While mellower than most protest jams, it's just as powerful as the loudest of them.
Cloud Nothings latest single "Modern Act" is a little more polished than their previous material, but make no mistake, it's just as potent. While they maintain the high energy of their punk peers (think:
Wavves and Titus Andronicus) they're just a bit sleeker this time around. However it seems like a natural evolution of their always earnest and sincere songwriting.
Washington, D.C. punk band Priests have been bubbling underground for what seems like forever. After releasing a well-received EP back in 2014 they're finally dropping a full-length early next year. "JJ" is the first single off
Nothing Feels Natural and it's a howler of song that spans surf-rock and blues in the most frenetic way possible. It's especially visceral given the jarring video that accompanies it, in which the band is poked and prodded to the point of unresponsiveness.
Foxygen's music has never been about restraint. The band's last album 2014's
…And Star Power hopped genres at a rapid fire, nearly disorienting, pace. However while the band previously trafficked in baroque pop and psych rock, their latest track "America" veers in a more symphonic direction. Big band orchestrations give way to strings that wouldn't sound out of place in a Disney film. The twee sounds only serve to accentuate the cynical lyrics which stand in stark juxtaposition.
You may not have heard of Stef Chura yet, but you definitely should. The Detroit DIY singer-songwriter draws from equal parts bedroom pop and 90s grunge. "You" the most recent single from her forthcoming debut album
Messes could easily be mistaken for an Exile-era Liz Phair b-side, in its lo-fi, yet confident glory.
"Heard A Song" is a song you have to hear. The standout track off Kero Kero Bonito's upcoming debut album Bonito Generation is an effervescent slice of J-pop infused bubblegum nostalgia. It's got the crispness of PC Music's production (with whom they've collaborated with in the past) without any of the alienating austereness of the collective. In other words it's electro-pop at it's most playful, with just enough fizz to keep it surprising. Stream it and her entire album below.
On "Cranes in the Sky" Solange tries to drink it away, run it away, sext it away, work it away but despite all her efforts, she can't escape the pains of loneliness. It's easy to relate to the fallibility of her litany of supposed solutions, but it's her searing voice, along with Raphael Saadiq's base, that really illuminates the devastation that isolation brings. Leave it to the younger Knowles sister to find beauty in the exasperation.
Pusha T has had a busy week, releasing not one but two songs from his upcoming full length King Push, the follow up to last year's Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude. On Wednesday, we heard "H.G.T.V." on which Pusha raps solo about the changing rap game. And 24 hours later, the G.O.O.D. Music president dropped the posse cut "Circles," featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Desiigner.