Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week.
Winter break is over for me, but I’m assuming that the first week back to college will be low-key (ish? probably lots of syllabuses…syllabi?), so I should be able to keep up the schedule for a little while. In the meantime, here’s another mishmash of my music. Still sort of in the maroon/burgundy colored aesthetic for the second week running, I guess. Whoops.
Enjoy this week’s Sunday Songs!
SUNDAY SONGS: 1/15/23
I’d consider this song to be one of many mainstays of my childhood; if I think of being in my dad’s car at night, watching the moon pass by my window and wondering why it seemed to follow me, or even just pulling up to the bank parking lot, chances are, I’ll find this song lurking there. Even if it hadn’t been there for most of my life, “Angel” would be a memorable song either way. I’ve only heard a handful of Gavin Friday’s songs (and half of the ones I can think of are covers), but I can safely say that he has one of the most unique singing voices that I’ve ever heard; he can switch from a breathy, ethereal hum to a thick wail in a matter of seconds, and it dips down to a raspy whisper in the quiet moments in between. (“Shag Tobacco” comes to mind for the latter.) The musical range in just 6 minutes perfectly matches his mercurial voice, from the twinkling, starlike notes at the beginning to the humming synth undercurrent. It’s a musical patchwork quilt, but one so seamless that you couldn’t see the stitches in between each scrap of fabric. Beautiful.
“She’s My Collar (feat. Kali Uchis)” – Gorillaz
I tried. I tried not to double up on Gorillaz after “Left Hand Suzuki Method” last week. They’re just so good………guys……………..guys….
From what I know of the general opinions around Gorillaz, the fandom seems to direct a fair amount of ire towards this album, Humanz; most of the criticism seems to have come from the excess of collaboration that the band is now known for. My question is how that wasn’t applied to the hit-or-miss Song Machine Season 1, an album that heavily relied on…the exact same thing? Okay?? And yet, every single song I’ve heard off of Humanz has had me in a vice grip at some point or another—I haven’t listened to the whole album yet (soon, I swear), but songs like “Momentz (feat. De La Soul)” and “Charger (feat. Grace Jones)” feel like Gorillaz embracing the infectious, instantly danceable fun that makes their music almost never fail. “She’s My Collar” is another prime example—pushed along by a driving drumbeat that makes it impossible not to nod your head, Damon Albarn’s breathy vocals make for a song with the power to instantly cheer you up. My only minor nitpick is Kali Uchis; I don’t know a whole about her, granted, but her verse did feel slightly weak and almost off-key in places. Luckily, when her voice fades into the synths with a ghostlike quality, making itself as much an instrument as anything else in the background, it brings the song back to its cohesive, catchy glory. It’s been…three days now, I think, and I’ve barely been able to listen to anything else.
“Buses Splash With Rain” – Frankie Cosmos
It’s the classic sadgirl setup: “I’m the kind of girl/Buses splash with rain.” But like the Zentropy album cover, with its crusty white dog wearing a knitted hat and “Frankie Cosmos” written in bright, neon colors, Greta Kline juxtaposes her self-deprecating lyricism with her characteristic musical whimsy and brightness. Frankie Cosmos songs can be deceptive that way; although I haven’t listened to Zentropy in full, their songs often pair melancholy with the kind of instrumentation that brings to mind cartoon doodles of frogs and suns drawn on the corner of the page with little squiggly lines for the rays. Although this is only their first album, it’s easy to see from “Buses Splash With Rain” that Greta Kline and company had already begun to master what has become their signature style—short, bright indie pop songs that seem to radiate pastel colors amidst lyrical boredom or melancholy. The only downside to their music is that, because they’re so short, they sometimes blend together, but this one is certainly memorable enough to stand out from the barely two minute long crowd.
“Panopticom (Bright Side Mix)” – Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel’s releasing a song from his new album every full moon this year? Are us Peter Gabriel fans just werewolves now? Not that I’m complaining. Lycanthropy sounds fun. Maybe.
The news broke recently that Peter Gabriel would be releasing his first album in over 20 years this year, and what else should I have expected than for him to come straight out of the gates, bouzouki in hand, with relentless creativity at the ready? It’s been a week since “Panopticom” came out, and it’s taken a little while to grow on me—to be fair, with how much of a chokehold songs like “Come Talk to Me” and “Not One Of Us” have had on me, he’s inevitably got big shoes to fill. But once it sunk in, Gabriel’s musical powers became all the more evident. The concept itself stands out as an antithesis to the concept of the panopticon, rather a means of us observing the theoretical Big Brother figure instead of the other way around. Surrounding it is an unexpected collage of music, beginning with lighter synths and descending into driving guitars that recall his earlier works. It’s songs like these that make me want to be somebody like Peter Gabriel once I’ve reached his age, continuing to be creative when I’m much, much older. You go, dude. We’re all waiting until the next full moon very anxiously…
“I Can’t Stand the Rain” – Ann Peebles
Two songs with ‘rain’ in the title? In one week? It’s more likely than you think.
After realizing last week that this is the sample from Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” I have NOT been able to stop listening to it. Once the famous sampled section at the beginning starts to fade is where it kicks in—right at 0:18, with its chorus of steady drums and slowly rising brass. It’s an instant head-nodder that makes it impossible to move at least some of your body while you’re listening the second that the band invites itself in. Peebles’ crooning voice soars all the way through, selling every feathery waver as she calls to mind the pitter-patter of rain against a windowpane as she remembers an ex-lover. The only song that this song commits is being so short, but maybe that’s how it’s meant to be—a perfect, short-and-sweet classic. Without knowing much else about Ann Peebles, it’s easy to see how this became her biggest hit—it’s consistently catchy and pleasing to the ears in every way. Given how short it is, I won’t be surprised if this comes up in my apple replay once it starts up…this and “She’s My Collar” are gonna be WAY up there, I can’t stop listening to either of them…
Since this post consists of all songs, consider all of them to be today’s song.
That’s it for this week’s Sunday Songs! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!