13 Beats of the Week: 10/8/2020

  1. “It’s Getting Old,” by Cottonwood Firing Squad—CFS has always been a favorite of mine for presenting emotion in a raw fashion. “It’s Getting Old” is a comfortable entry into solo-musician Billi Rodriguez’s discography as it introduces a new listener to just about everything they need to know and expect from further dives into projects like Wyoming.
  1. “Deep Sea,” by Snail Mail—Snail Mail is easily a forerunner in the ever-growing bedroom pop sphere, taking the genre’s most notable features and distilling them to perfection. Simple and to the point, “Deep Sea” pulls especially well on some heartstrings.
  1. “Milk,” by Sweet Trip—Sweet Trip, known previously for their glitch-poppy dance hits off of their 2003 album Velocity : Design : Comfort, continue to impress after delving into a more progressive, stripped take on bedroom pop. “Milk” off their 2009 LP You Will Never Know Why serves as a capstone of the group’s efforts. 
  1. “The Glow, Pt. 2,” by The Microphones—The title track of The Microphones’ 2001 indie folk record, “The Glow, Pt. 2” is important. It aided in the development of more artists down the line, such as Bright Eyes, Sufjan Stevens and Iron and Wine to name a few.
  1. “Place To Be,” by Nick Drake—Nick Drake, receiving posthumous fame for his incredible rule-breaking musical genius and vulnerable songwriting, is an artist that everyone needs to know in detail. 
  1. “Girl,” by Standing on the Corner—Brooklyn-based sound collective Standing on the Corner are rambunctious, powerful and unpredictable. This track unfortunately supersedes any sort of description with its genre-jumping and progressive gusto, placing it on a pedestal of art as well as music.
  1. “Besame Mucho,” by João Gilberto—Gilberto is unarguably one of the biggest names to come out of Brazil’s bossa nova movement of the 1950s and 1960s, with “Besame Mucho” encapsulating all elements of the genre perfectly.
  1. “California,” by Dessert—I really wish I could find any information on Dessert; all I have is that there are at least three members: Luka, Henry and Jack. This being said, the lack of info on this futuristic pop conglomerate shouldn’t dissuade anyone from listening to some of the most interesting sounds to come out of the genre recently.
  1. “Red Dust,” by billy woods & Kenny Segal—billy woods is a poetically violent, underground rapper that tells of the abstract struggles of existence with a sarcastic and misanthropic delivery that hits so heavily you can practically hear the spit whistle past his teeth. Not for the faint of heart, “Red Dust” is a tale of violence, the loss of innocence and the inevitability of impermanence.
  1. “I Aint Cried Yet,” by Nickelus F—There’s something uniquely introspective and clever about rap enigma Nickelus F, who puns just as easily as he threatens throughout “I Aint Cried Yet” off of his 2018 project Stuck—for example, one of his best bars: “To sell ticks the whole point, God; word to Kyrie.”
  1. “North Pole,” by Injury Reserve—Many know how much I love Injury Reserve, an Arizona rap-group of music nerds with big dreams. After losing key member Jordan “Stepa J.” Groggs, every track hits even harder than before—especially if they sound like “North Pole,” an uncharacteristically somber production for the usually-bombastic trio.
  1. “Stuck in the Mud (feat. SZA),” by Isaiah Rashad—Top Dawg Entertainment rapper Isaiah Rashad has always capitalized on his ability to tell stories indirectly, either through loose narration or isolated individual events that decorate his verses. The addition of SZA on this track only makes it that much better.
  1. “Chum,” by Earl Sweatshirt—Any burnout on campus can tell you how important this song was to their adolescence, myself included. Angsty, dark and incredibly graphic, legendary rapper Earl Sweatshirt (before becoming the experimental rap artist that he is today) moved with likeminded artists in the Odd Future collective, producing tracks like “Chum” to reflect on a delinquency in youth and the repercussions thereof.