This past week and a half has been brewing with waves, and waves of energy. I think us coasting out of Mercury in retrograde may have a teenie, tiny bit to do with this feeling. Maybe it’s the seasons changing? Kids are going back in school, so your favorite lunch joint is more relaxing during your break. Do you feel the gears churning? Change is on the horizon, and it feels damn good.
This coming Friday cmd+f will have its first guest contributor. I’m so excited to share this letter with y’all; since I’ve already had a peek, I can confirm it’s dope! If you’re interested in taking over cmd+f for a week in the future, be sure to check the bottom of this letter for more details.
Now… onto the tunes. I’ve handpicked five songs that’re going to rock your socks off. ¡Dale!
Remember: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about these artists and share the love.
P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!
“Summer Time High Time” - CUCO feat. J-Kwe$t | Man… this shit is wavy. LA producer Omar Banos, aka Cuco, has made a huge splash over the past two years with a string of massive underground hits. Every song he drops near instantly racks up millions of hits, and he has a strong, growing fan base. Born of first generation Mexican immigrants and raised in Hawthorne, Cuco started tinkering with Ableton in high school and recording laid back tunes in Spanglish. While Cuco is proud of his Chicano heritage, he doesn’t want it to overshadow and solely define the work he’s putting out. In an interview with NPR, he says, “I'm hoping that eventually I can do more than just be an artist of color. Being an artist of color is already a form of activism, but I'm going to try to do more and do better.” Listen here and Watch here
“This Is My Cue” - Eliza Shaddad | Everything about Eliza Shaddad’s music is exactly what I’ve been missing from my soul this year. “This Is My Cue,” taken from her forthcoming debut album Future, is a brooding, melancholic ballad of Shaddad’s struggle to ending crumbling relationships. Striped with cool hues over a smoldering rock song, her lush vocals buoy with tension and frustration over soaring guitars. Listen here
“Son of a Bad Man” - Marcus Atom | After years of singing for other people, Chicago’s Marcus Atom has taken the leap as a solo artist. Infused with soulful R&B vocals puts forth a raw, honest introduction in his debut single, “Son of a Bad Man.” 12/10 recommend for fans of: extremely talented vocalists, particularly along the lines of Leon Bridges, Nick Waterhouse, and Michael Kiwanuka. Listen here
“Hollywood Angel” - SACHI feat. E^ST | This is the second time I’ve featured a song with E^ST in the letter! “Hollywood Angel” is a pure pop bop reminiscent of early Marina and the Diamonds sentiments meets a dive-y disco floorfiller. Listen here
“SALAFI SECRETS” - ZAN | I honestly don’t think you’re ready for this song. “Salafi Secrets” took me by surprise the first time it cropped up in a random playlist, tinny through the speakers in my phone under the noisy faucet running in the kitchen sink. The song is a fusion of fragments seamlessly fused together for one of the most exciting songs I’ve heard in ages. It’s bathed in so many colors, with tempos slinking up and down the track. After living in the song for the past week, I did a bit of research on ZAN to see what this exciting music project all about. Turns out ZAN is an Australian-Pakistani producer from Perth. This particular jam is about his struggles and conflicts of his identity within the LGBTQ community and the Islamic community. Listen here
New Music Friday Selects
Here are my thoughts on Liam Payne’s debut EP First Time: in my unbiased opinion, it’s f*cking great pop music. In my biased opinion, it’s the best post-1D solo body of work released to date. Honey got to flex his vocals and throw down some bops! Happy birthday, Liam! Listen here
Fall Out Boy pay tribute to their hometown Chicago in their new single “Lake Effect Kid” Listen here
UK producer duo Disclosure are back with a string of groovy new house tracks. Get down to “Funky Sensation” Listen here
Grime legend Wiley dropped a new single, “Boasty,” featuring Mucky Listen here
The last time you likely consciously listened to KT Tunstall was most likely back in 2007. She’s back with a soaring new single, “The River” Listen here
cmd+f alum No Rome has dropped an aesthetically soothing music video for his doooope single “Do It Again” Listen here
The baddest, saddest gals in the music game, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus, join forces as boygenius. All three releases are sublime, but I high key recommend “Bite The Hand” Listen here
The biggest “boyband” in the world right now, Korea’s BTS, have re-packaged their number 1 Billboard Hot 100 charting album for Love Yourself: Answer so if you like them you’ve probably already listened to the new tracks 343585 times by the time you’re reading this Listen here
Riton and Kah-Lo have reunited again for a new club jam, “Up & Down” Listen here
Kim Petras has a new bop. I’ve listened to it, I like it, but it’s co-written by Dr. Luke. [loud booing noises] Feel free to search for it on your own if you are wont to do; I will not be linking it here.
A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I have shared in this week’s letter are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here.
Subscribe to that playlist, share it with friends, or take some inspiration from the ever growing list to compile some of your own.
If you’re interested in listening to what I’m rinsing this month, you can follow my August 2018 playlist here. There I will dump a hodgepodge of new and old songs that fit my mood and the trends of the month. Having a personal monthly playlist makes a year in review so easy. Share your playlists with me!
See you FRIDAY!
P.S. Are you interested in contributing to cmd+f? Read more details below!
Last December I launched the cmd+vent calendar: an ambitious project that consisted of releasing a daily newsletter for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I asked a handful friends to reflect on how music impacted their lives throughout 2017. It was much more exciting to share these reflections than compiling yet another end of the year “Best of…” list.
I’ve been thinking of ways to expand cmd+f’s potential over the last 6 months. To foster a more communal atmosphere all year round in this (mostly) weekly newsletter, I’m now inviting one reader per month to share their music discoveries by emerging artists, or artists likely flying under our radars.
To the readers currently subscribed to this letter via email, I’d like to encourage you to reply to this letter (really, just hit “reply” at the top of your box and I promise I’ll get your message), give me a hello, and let me know if you’d be interested in taking over cmd+f one week. You’ll get to write an opening monologue, introduce yourself, and gush about five songs really hitting at your heartstrings. If you’re unsure how this is going to go down, you can anticipate the first guest feature letter is coming out THIS FRIDAY!
For now this invitation is only open to email subscribers — so if you have a friend with a vibrant musical palette that isn’t currently subscribed, please have them head over to this link right here!