Here are this week’s five songs worth listening to.
Rodney Crowell–The Damage
One of the more underrated song writers in the country music scene, Crowell put out The Damage for the Once Upon A River soundtrack. It’s Dylan-esque in construction, with a building drone and haunting lyrics. The movie’s main character is searching for her identity. The song’s narrator knows it’s identity, all too well.
When it’s over, as soon it must be
Please mention my name to the wind
Aloe Blacc–Hold On Tight
Consider this a palate cleanser from the despair in the first one. Aloe knows how to create an earworm. This one falls more in the Americana Pop than a typical Aloe song. Think Nathaniel Rateliff or Lumineers. It’s one of those “lyrics to aspire to” songs. Put it in your jogging playlist. You know, for people who still do that sort of thing.
Houston’s Tobe Nwigwe has come one of my favorite hip hop discoveries of the last couple of years. Tobe has an oddball style at times, and it may be one of those things that is not for everyone. But it is for me. My blog, my rules, right? And on this one, his wife, Fat, has a featured versey she kills on. The glow up on this one “Tobe use to have open cases, but now we have a crib with open spaces.”
As one of the Youtube comment said: “This had me laughing, cheering, crying and hyping y’all up all at the same time.”
I just really hope he gets that verse from Andre.
Arlo McKinley–The Hurtin’s Done
My current top five albums of 2020 has mostly familiar names. The one not many may know, yet, is Arlo McKinley. This Die Midwestern album is just one solid album throughout. One of those “better with each listen” types. It is, admittedly, dark at it’s best moments. But like they always say, if you want to feel happy, don’t go to Ohio. Well, surely someone has said it at some point.
I learned to self-medicate
And how to wait
Until the panic is gone
So I hide behind smiles
And whatever else gets me through
Jerry Joseph–Sugar Smacks ft. Drive-By Truckers
Here is one I call rantin’ with rhythm. DBT’s Patterson Hood produced this record, and he describes this as punk rock. It is nostalgic, it is angst, it is political, it is painfully self-aware. So yeah, I think it qualifies. This is a rare song that will have you googling references. There are other, more approachable songs (Days of Heaven) on a solid album, but this one is the one that resonates.
It’s a scary fucking world
We’ll be back with five more next week. Until then, remember the immortal words…
“Songs are really just interesting things to be doing with the air.” Tom Waits