Hello, my lovely readers, and welcome to the senior season of Monthly Music. It’s been an absolute pleasure sharing my favorite sounds each month with all of you, and I can’t wait to continue for one final year.
As a little reminder, I created my Monthly Music column two years ago to share my top two releases each month: one from a more popular artist and one from a lesser-known artist. “On the Lookout,” the section on lesser-known artists, took a brief hiatus last year after I received backlash for calling Phoebe Bridgers “up-and-coming.”
I deeply apologize to those I offended with that, but in my defense I was just embarking on my indie journey. If you decide to forgive me, then I recommend you continue reading, as the crux of this edition of Monthly Music is growth.
Just like last year, my first review will be on Drake’s album that shocked my summer: “Honestly, Nevermind.” On June 17, I clicked on “Intro” and was viscerally confused by the eerie sounds that played for a solid 36 seconds. The last two seconds bled into the next song, titled “Falling Back,” and I had two pleasant surprises: 1) Drake might’ve created a transition smoother than Pi’erre Bourne, and 2) Drake makes…good house music?
Not to generalize, but I feel as though the consensus of Drake’s artistry is that he ranges from beautiful R&B vocals to high-energy rap, and that’s about it. But a house music album? With R&B and rap verses intertwined? This was (literally) music to my ears.
The song “Massive” had a lot in common with a typical Calvin Harris or Flume beat: repeated lyrics and sounds throughout the song layered with new verses and bridges on top. “Massive” instantly felt like a summer 2016 classic, and it was played on much of my aux this past summer.
Drake ends the album with an absolute masterpiece titled “Jimmy Cooks,” which features my beloved 21 Savage. This song definitely did not match the vibe and energy of the 13 songs before it, so I would’ve preferred to have seen it as a single. 21 Savage and Drake complement each other so incredibly well in general, but especially on a song like “Jimmy Cooks.” The song is a faster-paced track with quick transitions between beats, allowing for 21’s verse to enter the song perfectly.
As for “On The Lookout,” I’ve decided to redefine what exactly this section will discuss. Instead of shedding light on a lesser-known artist, I will write about a new release that received less attention than it should’ve. “On the Lookout” is now basically my time to rave about a criminally underrated work of music.
Here’s what you should be on the lookout for this fall: “Jesus Freak Lighter” by Blood Orange. This single incorporates touches of light EDM as well as full verses, however, the lyrics sound slightly muted. It is almost like the background vocals are the whole song. I personally enjoy music like this because it’s really easy to listen to regardless of my mood.
Dev Hynes created the stage name Blood Orange because it was one of his favorite titles of a cartoon he doodled growing up. He’s one of my favorite artists of all time and deserves so much more credit than he receives.
And that’s a wrap on this issue’s edition of Monthly Music! Please reach out to me if you have any comments, questions, concerns or just want to have a discussion about music. As my grandmother Dorianne Bass says, TTFN (tata for now)!
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