Lizzo – “Good as Hell”
Minneapolis-based Lizzo is one half hip-hop, one half indie, and 100 percent talented. “Good as Hell” is a solidly inspirational follow-up to her 2015 album “Big Grrrl Small World.” With the single, which will be featured on the soundtrack of “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” the fringe rapper and singer proves that she’s poised to break into the mainstream with her bold lyrics and funky backbeats. This summer the dynamic Lizzo will be making appearances on festival stages from the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to Bonnaroo.
Joywave – “Life in a Bubble I Blew”
Spot Night graduates Joywave (class of 2015) deserve a special shoutout this week for the surprise release of the album “SWISH.” Closer inspection of the electronic and alt-rock record reveals that the first nine tracks are all the same song (“Destruction” from 2015), but the 10th song is the newly released “Life in a Bubble I Blew.” In true Joywave fashion, the tune (and the whole “album”) is hip and trippy, with intense repetition and a memorable chorus. Definitely check this song out, either for the humor of it all or in preparation for the group’s May 9 concert at the House of Blues Cleveland.
Bat for Lashes – “In God’s House”
Natasha Khan (stage name: Bat for Lashes) takes a dark turn in 2016 with “The Bride,” a concept album that tells the morbid story of a forsaken newlywed. Bat for Lashes’ fourth album will be released in midsummer on July 1, an odd date to drop an album lacking warm weather bangers. But Khan thrives in contradictions in the album’s lead single, “In God’s House:” Her airy voice sharply contrasts the eerie piano backdrop. Listen to this Bat for Lashes song, then save it for an extra creepy Halloween party.
Mutemath – “Used To”
The synth-heavy Mutemath is calmer than ever on their fourth album, “Vitals,” released in 2015.
Despite its smooth vibe and relaxing instrumentals, the single “Used To” features oddly desperate lyrics sung by Paul Meany: “I used to feel alive/I used to want to/I used to be alright/I used to love you.” Still, the deceptively chill tune practically forces listeners to bob their heads to the beat. Mutemath will be at the House of Blues Cleveland on March 29.
Motion City Soundtrack – “The Future Freaks Me Out”
On March 11, Motion City Soundtrack announced the group’s impending hiatus, an unexpected and somewhat tragic pause in their illustrious 19-year career. “The Future Freaks Me Out” is a headbanging hit single off of the less popular album “I Am the Movie.” The 2003 tune is a catchy but compelling ode to the then-young band’s fear of coming times, a relevant theme for CWRU seniors as graduation approaches. The dates of Motion City Soundtrack’s farewell tour haven’t been released yet, but hype yourself up by adding this song to your favorite playlist.