“S.O.B.”—Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you hear a song with a groove so infectious you just have to get out of your seat and dance. “S.O.B.” is one such song: a romping, stomping break-up anthem penned by Denver crooner Nathaniel Rateliff and his band, The Night Sweats. Recalling the shimmer of Motown soul with the organic qualities of Americana, this cut is one of 2015’s best so far. Look for it on the group’s eponymous record, released Aug. 21 on Bottleneck Music.
A blustering storm of tenor saxophone, pulsating drums and jangly guitar, “Dream Lover” is the exuberant first single off Destroyer’s 10th studio album, “Poison Season,” released Aug. 28 on Merge Records. The real power of this track lies in that saxophone, cutting through the mix like a fanfare announcing the arrival of something grand. “Aw, shit, here comes the sun,” sings Destroyer’s Dan Bejar, almost surprised at the magic himself.
“Forever Mine”—Andra Day
Hailing from San Diego, California, Andra Day keeps the torch of American soul music burning bright on “Forever Mine.” Delivering this cut with a transfixing mix of raw emotion and unflappable confidence, Day’s voice gracefully floats over the smoky piano riffs to stake its claim as the song’s biggest selling point. One of many fine tracks on Andra Day’s debut album, “Cheers To The Fall,” released from Buskin Records on Aug. 28, it is recommended for fans of Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday and Adele.
“Real Life”—The Weeknd
“Tell ‘em this boy wasn’t meant for lovin’,” sings Abel Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd. Channeling the darker textures of Michael Jackson-esque pop into a sound that is startlingly modern R&B, Tesfaye may not think he was meant to be loved, but the music world has disagreed with him every step of the way, and has made him into one of the biggest art-pop stars in recent memory. “Real Life” is the opening cut of The Weeknd’s latest release, the aptly titled “Beauty Behind The Madness,” made available on XO Records on Aug. 28.
Grandchildren kick off their latest music outing with the song “Nothing,” a track that offers the listener a unique opportunity to jump into a sonic adventure full of horns, percussive beats and endless echo. Indeed, the cut proves anything but nothing, showing that with a few electronic modifications, baroque pop is alive and well in 2015. “Zuni,” the ensemble’s third and latest release, can be found on Ernest Jenning Records starting Aug. 28.
Retro Pick of the Week:
Reflection Eternal is the 2002 hip-hop collaborative formed between Cincinnati producer DJ Hi-Tek and MC Talib Kweli in 2002. In the 13 years that have passed, “Eternalists” remains a master class performance, fusing a refined beat of chimes and funky guitar with a rap flow so buttery, you’ll want to spread it on toast. Kweli will be in Cleveland on Sept. 10, performing at the world-famous Agora on E 55th Street. Tickets are $20; doors open at 7 p.m.
Teddy Eisenberg is a fourth-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.