Santigold – “Chasing Shadows”
As the third teaser track from Santigold’s upcoming album “99¢,” “Chasing Shadows” and the rest of the 12 track album have big shoes to fill based on the artist’s previous success. Luckily “Chasing Shadows” is a cool tune with a relaxed pulse, more suited to hangouts than parties. Santigold and her easy vibe won’t wander into Cleveland until April, but her album is set to debut on Feb. 26.
ZAYN – “PILLOWTALK”
Love him or hate him, Zayn Malik’s moody new R&B vibe has already soared to the top of the charts. “PILLOWTALK” is the ex-1D member’s premier single as a solo artist. The track’s repetitive lyrics and music video feature his girlfriend Gigi Hadid, a dark-hued kaleidoscope of colors and copious amounts of yonic flowers. These are components of a clear effort by the singer to separate himself from his boy band days. Malik is as mainstream as ever, but at least he’s exploring his musical range.
Vance Joy – “Fire and the Flood”
Musical festival favorite Vance Joy is both tranquil and energizing in his debut album, “Dream Your Life Away.” In his folky track “Fire and the Flood,” the indie darling and former Taylor Swift opener is comfortable in his contradictions: his soulful voice is backed by a lonely guitar until a swelling instrumental ensemble catches up to him. Vance Joy’s style is familiar and appealing, reminiscent of popular contemporaries Hozier and James Bay. Catch him at House of Blues Cleveland on Feb. 15.
Soft Fangs – “Birthday”
Underrated indie artist Soft Fangs’ second single, “Birthday,” is an anxious (and successful) attempt at soul-searching. Raw and real, the song pulls at heartstrings as it explores the fear of growing older while remaining static. Soft Fangs’ full premiere album The Light will be released on March 18.
#tbt track: Matt and Kim – “Cameras”
Students, welcome to the inevitably hellish fifth week of the semester. Although Matt and Kim have fallen off the map in the past few years, the duo’s upbeat jams can still inspire. Give “Cameras” and the rest of Matt and Kim’s 2010 album “Sidewalks” a relisten or two. The group’s boundless enthusiasm and repetitive lyrics just might give rise to a final few hours of studying.