Every four years we’re gifted an extra day of existence with the leap year. Yikes.
But this leap day wasn’t so bad, because we got extra time to listen to these invigorating new releases. Check out my favorites below and put them on repeat for the rest of the month.
This song pairs well with a good cry as an act of “recharging” this month.
In an interview with NPR, Adrienne Lenker of Big Thief explains that music first “sounds and then it means.” This song sounds so strongly and means something different each time I hear it. Perfume Genius envelops the listener in a thick blanket of sad, but the tight hug loosens with each listen.
The chorus reads, “Can you describe them for me?” But by the end, the line changes to “Can you just find him for me?”
The singer, in an interview with DIY mag, explains that the song is about the search for anything good, “I started writing about when you are in such a dark place that you don’t even remember what goodness is or what anything feels like. And so, the idea was having someone describe that to you, because you forgot or can’t get to it.”
The extended version of the song ends in hollow echoes that are almost hopeful, but the heartbreak still lingers.
This song pairs well with existential contemplation but also dancing.
Nashville’s beloved rockstar Briston Maroney released his first single of the year, “The Garden”, nearing the end of February. The track promises a bright year ahead for the singer/songwriter.
Maroney wrestles with a lot in this song. Notable mentions are the devil, selling your soul and Infinite Jest. But, to me, the single challenges the idea of the tortured artist.
Maroney, at just 22-years-old, has lived a lot of life. In “The Garden” he shouts, “Jesus Christ, my heart’s a mess / but ain’t that why you love me best.”
He’s right, society loves a tortured artist. From Dylan Thomas to Kanye West, we love to see our faves go through something so that we can better relate or so that we can consume their art through a more “fascinating” lens. This dangerous myth that art can only be good if made from a place of hurt is truly so… weird.
While we can (and should) value art crafted from trauma, the exploitation of that trauma is where you lose me and Maroney, too.
“Screamin’ until there’s nothing left / This nothingness / is nothing less / than people hanging in suspense.”
Pair this song with a nice, very long scream.
This song first peaked my interest because it is so different from the rest of the album, i am gambling with my life, which gained a 7.1 from Pitchfork (if that matters to you). The raucous punk guitar riffs, aided with intense distortion acts as the rude wake-up call for the rest of the album.
Also, simply do not @ me for this, but the tune reminded me of “Piss On Your Grave” by Travis Scott featuring Kanye West. Both are harsh in different ways, but the guitar riffs parallel one another. Plus, both tracks are perfect for yelling a lot in your car.
- Rrita Hashani