It seems quite a few of us have been in the mood to dance this week as we bring you upbeat, bubbly tunes from Michael Jackson, Bad Rabbits and Muse. We’ve also got a staff-wide favorite from Frank Ocean, some Regina Spektor and more, so check it out and let us know what you’ve been jamming this week as well.
Corey’s Pick: “Pyramids” – Frank Ocean
When Frank Ocean’s massive channel ORANGE dropped earlier this year, I admit that I dismissed him as nothing more than another Usher clone. And then I actually listened to the album, and man, am I glad I did. ORANGE is one of the best albums released this year, hands down, because Ocean holds no punches emotionally, wearing his heart on his sleeve for the entire 62-minute run-time. “Pyramids,” the two-part and nearly ten-minute epic, is the clear standout for me. The track showcases Ocean’s high amount of creativity, containing elements of soul, rock, hip-hop and various other genre styles mixed into one. The result is one of the best singles released so far this year. Frank Ocean is the future of R&B.
Landon’s Pick: “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” – Michael Jackson
This summer, I found Michael Jackson’s classic pop triumph on vinyl at a garage sale for 50 cents in pretty much mint condition. And ever since late August, it has barely moved from my turntable. While I’ve always admired Michael for his musical accomplishments, I’ve never really given any of his records much consideration, other than through the ’80s radio station on my Pandora account. However, it wasn’t until I listened to Thriller as a whole that I really started to love Jackson. While “P.Y.T.” may not be his finest track, it does allow for some of the most carefree, lighthearted moments of his career.
Joe’s Pick: “Panic Station” – Muse
After about five listens to Muse’s new album The 2nd Law, I’m still not quite sure what to make of it all. What I do know however is that the funky, Michael Jackson-influenced “Panic Station” is one of the grooviest songs they have ever done. Filled with a nasty bass line, Matt Bellamy’s crooning vocals and a beat that will have you head-bobbing in no time, this song is sure to become a fan favorite at the band’s live shows.
Sammi’s Pick: “March to the Sea” – Baroness
Yeah, maybe the song talks about valium, morphine, and heroin but it really is mellowing for other reasons. That’s not to say it’s boring or generic by any means- it has that old Baroness sludge metal feel, creating a thick haze of guitars to cover your mind’s current troubles. And speaking of troubles, frontman John Baizley recently spoke about the band’s harrowing bus accident in England this August. His letter to fans detailing the event is one of the most mortal writings that will shake you to the bones. Explaining that slow moment before hitting the bus’s windshield he said, “I realized in that moment that life can be seen as a light switch: ‘on’ or ‘off.’ When the moment passed…I tasted my own blood; I was overcome with joy. I was ecstatic to be back amidst all that chaos and horror because it was alive and real.”
Jason’s Pick: “Neverland” – Bad Rabbits
I am not here to tell you I am the biggest Bad Rabbits fan. But something about their infectious, soulful funk is both nostalgic and fresh in a music scene that has seen support for them from hardcore bands to pop-rock acts. I would be willing to wager though that unless you have some deep distaste for dance music or getting your groove on, you will absolutely love this track. Don’t worry, I’m late enough on this band that I just want everyone to enjoy them before they release a new album next year.
John’s Pick: “Dead Speaker” – Oceana
Leave it to shuffle to remind you of a band you should never forget. This is my favourite track of off Oceana’s incredible LP, Birth.Eater. This is the way post-hardcore should be done: searing vocals, aggressive and original guitar work, and a hook that gets you every time. I encourage every fan of the genre to check this out.
Dylan’s Pick: “Goldie” – A$AP Rocky
Maybe it’s because I’m seeing him this Sunday or the fact that A$AP Rocky’s single “Goldie” is just a jam and a half, but I have been having trouble not putting this song on wherever I’m at. Doing homework? Goldie. Driving to class? Goldie. Taking a dump? Goldie. Just take a listen and you might figure out why for yourself.
Megan’s Pick: “Fidelity” – Regina Spektor
I remember being smitten with Regina Spektor’s Fidelity with its first appearance, but for some reason it resonates still. I’ve spent the last week trying to lip-sync the chorus, struggling to mouth those odd repetitions appropriately. This song’s honesty and sheer romantics win me over every time. It’s the perfect little tune, offering stability but inviting creativity, and Spektor is just the cutest. Its heart and personality shine, and I find myself satisfied afterwards.
Nick’s Pick: “Condolences” – Touche Amore
I’m writing this just after seeing these guys open for Circa Survive. I was absolutely blown away by Touche Amore and everything they brought with their live show. They closed the show out with this beautifully haunting track, featuring frontman Jeremy Bolm’s thundering howl over a soft piano. Despite being just under two minutes long, the song packs a punch, especially the first line: “If you fantasize/About your funeral/ I understand/ I’ve been there before.”