Playlist of the Week: Feb. 20, 2015

“Where The Sky Hangs”—Passion Pit
Hot off the heels of a collaboration with French producer Madeon, Passion Pit offers the familiar sounding “Where The Sky Hangs” as one of two new singles from its forthcoming third album, “Kindred.” Channeling the influences of disco, electronica and R&B into the group’s signature blend of sunny pop, “Where The Sky Hangs” is a delightfully memorable single. Look for it on “Kindred” come April 21.

“No Tellin’”—Drake
Lots of questions surround Drake’s newest surprise LP: Is “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” just a collection of B-sides? Does this fulfill his contract with the quickly declining Cash Money Records? Whatever the answer, “No Tellin’” makes it clear that Drizzy has lots to get off his chest regardless of the circumstances. Spitting over a muted, minimalist backbeat, Drake declares, “Please do not speak to me like I’m that Drake from four years ago/ I’m at a higher place.” While this may not be his best work, Drake’s confidence on this track is contagious, making this some of 2015’s best rap so far.

“What Kind Of Man”—Florence + The Machine
Florence + The Machine’s Florence Welch has recently been quite vocal about the chaos surrounding her group’s year-long hiatus following 2011’s “Ceremonials,” citing it as “a bit of a nervous breakdown.” However fans shouldn’t be concerned as any lingering doubt about Florence’s ability to deliver is completely erased after the first minute of “What Kind Of Man,” as Welch’s trademark wail summons a powerful wall of guitar and horns. “What Kind Of Man” is the first single off “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” available June 1.

“No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross”—Sufjan Stevens
On March 31, Sufjan Stevens will return with his first album in five years, “Carrie & Lowell,” available on Asthmatic Kitty Records. “No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross” is a tantalizing first preview, blending Stevens’ angelic vocal harmonies with the soft percussive picking of an acoustic guitar. So gorgeous is this song, in fact, that repeat listening is highly recommended and indeed essential to fully grasp the tune’s nuances.

“New Haven”—Chadwick Stokes Feat. Lucius
Famous as a member of the bands Dispatch and State Radio, Chadwick Stokes teams up with the five-piece indie rock band Lucius to deliver the gospel-tinged “New Haven.” Crescendoing in and out of a dizzying mix of guitar and vocals, this song is utterly inspired performance teaming with passion. Stokes’ latest solo release, “The Horse Comanche” is available Feb. 3 on Ruff Shod Records.

Retro Pick of the Week:
“Where The Streets Have No Name”—U2
Long before it was known for forcing its albums onto iPhones, U2 crafted breathtakingly ethereal rock worthy of legend. “Where The Streets Have No Name” is one such musical suite; a galloping search for meaning in a confused world lead by Bono’s soaring vocals and The Edge’s endless guitar echo. No music collection is complete without this song or the existential angst of its accompanying album, “The Joshua Tree.”

Teddy Eisenberg is a third-year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.