Playlist of the Week

Connor Swingle, Contributing Reporter

Saba feat. Noname- “Church / Liquor Store”

Hip Hop

You may know Saba as the featured artist on Chance the Rappers’ “Angels,” but he’s firstmost a Chicago West Side native who recently released the full length mixtape “Bucket List Project.” On “Church / Liquor Store,” through windy lyrics and knotty rhymes, Saba teams up with fellow Chicagoan Noname to paint a picture of the West Side with a “Funeral home, Church, Liquor Store” on every corner.

Solange- “Where Do We Go?”

Pop / RnB

Solange’s third solo effort in eight years came out at the beginning of this month, and it was her first to top the Billboard 200. Diverting from the much poppier sound of her other efforts, she explored a much more contemplative neo soul and funk style. This is beautifully seen on “Where Do We Go.” Starting off with just a languid beat and bass, she slowly incorporates other elements to build to an emotional chorus without ever breaking from the relaxed tone she sets in the beginning.

Complete Walkthru- “Blatant Doug”

Ambient House

Complete Walkthru is one of the many faceless artists off the ridiculously prolific label 1080p. What I’ve only been able to label as weirdo-house, “Blatant Doug” has become the soundtrack for my most mundane experiences. Roll credits on a movie that ends with Jake Gyllenhaal looking at the sunrise over Cleveland while coming down from an ecstasy trip in the back of an Uber he can barely afford. That’s “Blatant Doug.”

Weyes Blood- “Generation Why”

Baroque Pop

Weyes Blood’s new full length album “Front Row Seat to Earth” evokes 60s and 70s singer-songwriters while managing to sound distinctly rooted in 2016. Starting off with a slow guitar riff that almost feels like a new “Scarborough Fair,” “Generation Why” manages to do a lot with little more than Weyes Blood’s voice, some swelling synths and a rolling guitar.  Above all Weyes Blood conveys calm through the storm, with lyrics as seemingly banal as ““Y, O, L, O… it’s not the past that scares me” taking on meaning beyond “No Regrets.”

This week five years ago in music:

The Beach Boys- “Surf’s Up”

Psychedelic Rock

Hold your judgement for just a second because this Beach Boys song has nothing to do with surfing. The emotional cornerstone of the formerly lost Beach Boys album “Smile” was originally meant to be released as the follow up to “Pet Sounds,” but was unfortunately abandoned due to the deteriorating mental state of principal songwriter Brian Wilson. With the title as an ironic nod towards the band’s previously limited range, “Surf’s Up” depicts a man in the throes of a spiritual awakening who resigns himself to childhood innocence. Coming out as a collection of demos from the original 1971 recordings five years ago this week, the “Smile Sessions” depict what that fateful album could have been, and we’re all the better for it.