Photo: Alex Welsh.
On Friday, nothing is certain except happy hour, Netflix and chill and a Crave new music playlist. I can’t help you if you drink too many 2-for-1 Cadillac Margaritas or who to swipe right to Netflix and chill with, but I got your music playlist covered. It’s top-lined by manic pixie dream girl, Grimes, who makes Suicide Squad (almost) watchable. The rest of the tunes are from up-an-comers who you should impress your friends with and the return of De La Soul.
“Just A Lover” – Hayden James
The Australian singer, producer, remixer wasn’t on my radar until feasting on the androgynous aural pleasures of this made-for-dancing and/or romancing single. “Just A Lover” is everything you want for a summer love — simple, sexy and fun. Don’t ask too many questions, just hit it again and again…
“Medieval Warfare” – Grimes
The Suicide Squad filmmakers makers should’ve followed Grimes’ lead and had some balls. The Canadian multi-hyphenate steps way out of her electro-pop comfort zone with this gritty, industrial banger that catches you off-guard in a good way. Ironically, in a testosterone-filled comic book movie where Harley Quinn ends up stealing the show, Grimes does the same with the middling, over-hyped soundtrack.
“Drawn” – De La Soul featuring Little Dragon
The legendary hip-hop trio celebrated the 25th anniversary of their ironically titled “De La Soul Is Dead” this past May with a memorial service website (check it out here). Although they’ve been MIA for awhile, they’re back with the first single off their forthcoming album “… and the Anoynmous Nobody” which drops on Aug. 26. The wind-swept “Drawn” washes over you with lush piano keys, guitar plucks and Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano’s hypnotic voice before the drums kick in to mark the arrival of the De La Soul crew. Welcome back, old friends.
“Oh No” – Jessy Lanza
Oh, yes! Jessy Lanza follows up her “Oh No” LP with a single of the same name. The Canadian singer/producer’s careless whispers take me back to the best of broken-hearted ‘90s R&B, but the wavy synths and staccato drums snap me back to 2016. The cinematic music video featuring a kaleidoscope neon-lit bike ride through some nondescript hipster (hey, there’s my go-to vinyl shop) borough only add to the join fun flavor of this natural sing-along single.
“Iron Lung” – Black Marble
This retro-mood filler has a vintage New Order-feel that had me thinking it was a lost song on a John Hughes soundtrack. Carrying both a light and weighty vibe it just sings “contemplating your existence with your reflection in a bedroom mirror.” Black Marble is fittingly described as the “bedroom synth project” of Los Angeles-based multi-hyphenate musician Chris Stewart so if the oversized cardigan fits… fuck, did I just age myself? Black Marble’s full-length release It’s Immaterial comes out Sept. 30.
“Midnight Island” – Harrison Brome
Nineteen-year-old Harrison Brome has that “tired” old soul tag, but “Midnight Island” has a very of-the-now sound that slides into your “summer road trip” playlist right in-between Chet Faker and James Blake. The gorgeously gloomy single from the Vancouver, British Columbia native is just one of the nuggets off of his “Fill Your Brain” E.P.