Check out this week’s most notable singles from Sarah Kinsley, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and more.
This week we have pop, funk, house and indie rock. Basically, we’ve covered a lot. Three of the performers this week also went to New York colleges – Blu DeTiger is an NYU alumnus, MICHELLE’s Sofia D’Angelo is an alumnus and Sarah Kinsley is a graduate of our neighbors in Morningside Heights.
“Elevator” by Blu DeTiger
Yas Akdag, music editor
On his latest single, “Elevator,” New York’s favorite bassist Blu DeTiger elevates the rhythm and funk. Like all of his music, the song is effortlessly catchy, so even the most clueless crowd could sing it back. Above his signature funky bass lines, DeTiger explores quirkier, playful lyrical territory – “Samurai sword on chest right now / Got glitter in my tears, kisses on the ground,” sings she in the first verse – taking inspiration from a Remi Wolf-esque writing style. In the nursery rhyme-like chorus, she sings in her spoken delivery, “I’m going up, down in my elevator / I don’t wanna talk now, see ya, alligator.” Boom bap percussion fuses the track to create a delightful R&B-pop hit, with its vocoder and offbeat outro – a la Taylor Swift’s “Midnight Rain” – taking “Elevator” to the next level.
“The Giver” by Sarah Kinsley
Ethan Beck, Contributing Writer
From her breakthrough single “The King” to this year’s EP “Cypress” and her pre-pandemic releases, Sarah Kinsley has proven her songwriting can stand alongside indie pop icons like BØRNS and HAIM. With her latest single, “The Giver,” Kinsley proves she can write a ballad that’s both haunting and immediate, a song that sticks with you and intrigues you. Using double-tracked vocals and reverb-saturated acoustic guitars, Kinsley constructs an entire universe focused on the emptiness of grief. In the second verse, Kinsley’s vocals slip into the song’s most emotional moment with the line, “”I wanna love you like I’m raining / Like I don’t need saving.” -out electric guitars and swirling background vocals. When Kinsey comes to the song’s conclusion, she strings in the final lines, letting her vocals make “The Giver” her best song yet.
“I Killed Captain Cook” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer, artistic editor
Combining elongated verses with plucked strings, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest single delivers an undulating musical experience. As if reversing the rhythms associated with the SpongeBob SquarePants soundtrack, “I Killed Captain Cook” playfully cycles through a series of chords that invoke the dreamy state of mind one can feel when taking a bath. of Sun. Painting a fantastical picture in haiku-esque lyricism, singer-songwriter Ruban Nielson plays in his dreamiest setups as he unfolds a wacky story about how he killed Captain Cook. Although his words are not always decipherable, they always merge perfectly with the relaxing mood of the song. Altogether, the single makes up for its short length with its haunting moodiness – a beautiful flavor of music that Unknown Mortal Orchestra builds on with songwriting magic.
“PULSE” by MICHELLE
Yas Akdag, music editor
R&B-pop collective MICHELLE crank up the BPM on their new single “PULSE,” opting for a more house sound than their previous releases. The song kicks off with a bright, piano-like synth played in the choppy beat typical of the genre, with producers Charlie Kilgore and Julian Kaufman layering a thick, funky bassline underneath as the band’s vocalists break up the verses. Here, the vocal melodies are tight and rhythmic – it sounds like MICHELLE wanted to emphasize the sound of the words more than any particular meaning – but “PULSE” still has a clear story. “I feel your pulse through your suit sleeve / Through your collar and your shoes,” they sing in chorus before asking, “Can you feel my pulse too / Too, too, too, too. 80s house influences remain clear throughout, with a scratchy vinyl effect near the end of the song reminiscent of records from that era. With its infectious melody and relentless, hard-hitting beat, “PULSE” just can’t wait to be shot at the club.
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