13 Beats of the Week – November 10

1. “UGH!” by The 1975

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The 1975 are musical geniuses. A fascinating combination of eclectic sounds dealing with surprisingly personal subject matter, this song details singer Matthew Healy’s cocaine addiction in an almost playful way.

2. “Instant Crush” by Daft Punk

Random Access Memories, Daft Punk’s first album in eight years, pays tribute to the early 1980’s era of music. This song features Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, with interwoven harmonies and robotic yet compelling vocals.

3. “Taro” by Alt-J

Their first album An Awesome Wave took five years to complete, and the result is a record that tests the formula of songwriting, with sounds that seem wrong to put together yet feel so right. “Taro” features a guitar riff created by tapping a roll of tape on strings – a DIY musical innovation.

4. “You Caught the Light” by CHVRCHES

This Scottish band creates some of today’s best synth soundscapes, especially on this ethereal track. Frontwoman Lauren Mayberry takes a backseat, while keyboardist Martin Doherty performs lead vocals.

5. “Michigan Left” by Arkells

Nope, Arkells is not a nickname for R. Kelly. This Canadian band excels at writing feel-good tracks such as this one, but they really shine in live performances. I’ve never seen a band with so much energy.

6. “Go Robot” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

This song features a funky slap-bass line and comes to life in a “Saturday Night Fever”-inspired music video, featuring Anthony Kiedis wearing almost nothing but white paint.

7. “Can’t Hide Love” by Earth, Wind & Fire 

For excellent trumpet usage and an impressive range of vocals, listen to this song featured on the band’s 1975 live album Gratitude, so perfectly performed it sounds like it must have been recorded in a studio. 

8. “From Hank to Hendrix” by Neil Young

Neil Young does no wrong on his pure and straightforward 1992 album Harvest Moon. This song, with sweet melodies yet somber themes, still serves as his opener for many live shows.

9. “Monster’” by Mumford & Sons

One of the most emotional and unique tracks from their notably banjo-less 2015 album Wilder Mind.

10. “Waiting Room” by MWK

MWK’s handful of EPs and two full-length albums display genius guitar work and incredible lyricism throughout. 

11. “Cry Love” by John Hiatt

The music makes you feel so happy you won’t even notice that the lyrics are actually pretty sad. 

12. “Work On It” by Alicia Keys

A simple beat and uncomplicated arrangement can work wonders under the right songwriters; in this case, those writers are Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams. 

13. “Another Life” by D’Angelo 

His 2014 album Black Messiah brought an end to his 14-year hiatus, and tracks like this one, co-written by Questlove, made it well worth the wait.