Thomas & Isabele’s Weekly Music Picks: Nov 17

by Thomas Hochman & Isabele Riser

Welcome to the first installment of Thomas & Isabele’s Weekly Music Picks!

Note: If a song has an (E) next to the title track-this song has been marked as explicit.

Thomas’s Favorite New Releases:

Me and Your Mama – Childish Gambino

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Donald Glover, performing under the alias “Childish Gambino”, makes his musical return with his first release since 2014’s “Kauai”, confirming his departure from mainstream hip-hop with a soulful, blues/rock mix that makes me incredibly hopeful for his upcoming album, “Awaken, My Love”, out December 2. “Me and Your Mama” begins with a psychedelic lilt, only to retreat as Childish Gambino appears backed by an intense arrangement of drums and guitar. With a lyrical focus on a pretty destructive relationship (“This is the end of us!” and “This ain’t no puppy love”), Childish Gambino drops what is, in my opinion, his most divergent track to date.  

American Hypnotize – Saba (E)

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Gaining initial fame from his verses on Chance the Rapper’s “Everybody’s Something” and “Angels”, Chicago rapper Saba drops “Bucket List Project”, quite an impressive hip-hop release to have gained so little popular attention. In an already comprehensive tracklist, “American Hypnosis” sticks out to me as Saba’s best work. Reminiscent of much of Kendrick Lamar’s “Section.80” in both flow and lyricism, Saba struggles with living in the ghetto while attending private school on scholarship, feeling trapped between the two worlds. Singer Akenya provides the track with haunting vocals on the refrain, detailing life on Chicago’s westside with questions like, “Will my life, ever belong to me?”

4 Minute Warning – Radiohead

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Although “In Rainbows” was actually released in 2007, its B-side resurfaced a month ago. Radiohead seems to have mastered the painful album-closer, and it’s no different in this track collection. It’s vintage Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke as he narrates what is essentially his own dream of the apocalypse over a simple and eerily beautiful instrumental. Without a doubt the best track on this re-release.

Isabele’s Playlist of the Moment:

Familiar – Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment ft. Chance The Rapper (E)

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This track is particularly upbeat, and you can feel good about listening to it without truly paying attention to the lyrics. If you do however, pay attention, you’ll learn about a particular charm the track- though it’s dissing the idea of being cardboard cutout ‘basic’. But Chance’s stab at your lack of individuality is almost welcome because this song just feels too good.

Morning – Marc E. Bassy (E)

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This song is catchy, and basic. It starts with an almost choppy keyboard and moves into a smoother tone when the beat drops. The vocals on the chorus are particularly pop-y and the sudden rush in the instrumentals is overwhelming in a good way. It sounds like waking up happy on a sunny morning at your own leisure, and for some reason feeling so inclined as to get out of bed and be a productive human being.

Night Drive (see also: Backwood) – Ari Lennox (E)

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This track blends a little bit of jazz with hip hop, the piano in the background is uppity, the horns are smooth and the vocals are smoother. Ari Lennox sounds like a younger, soprano Erykah Badu, but her vocalization is extremely unique and light.

Thomas’s other tracks to check out:

2100 (feat. BOOTS) – Run The Jewels (E)

On Hold – The xx

Dog Years – Maggie Rogers

Flagrant (feat. Ymtk) – Elujay (E)

Isabele’s other tracks to check out:

Foreplay – Jalen Santoy (E)

The Donald – Tribe Called Quest (E)

That’s it for this week! Til’ next time…

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