I’m not even going to front: I’m beat. Absolutely beat. And the weekend hasn’t even started.
It’s Thursday night as I type this up, as I do every Thursday evening tying up all loose ends for cmd+f. I’m currently waiting for some brownies to cool for a holiday party, am thinking about maybe buying more wrapping paper, trying to strategically plan out all the cookie dough prep I can do over the weekend, and my list of things To Do is seemingly endless. It is exciting, but being in Santa’s Elf mode is taxing.
It’s been a lot of fun collaborating with so many people and putting out cmd+vent for y’all; I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re in the final stretch for the calendar, and seeing it come to an end is rather bittersweet. It’s exciting to have material for you all every day, and the response has been incredible. I am so pleased with the content my dear friends have so graciously crafted for this holiday project; I can’t wait to do it all again with you next year, along with a lot of other exciting plans I have up my sleeve for cmd+f.
Let’s get on with the music, people! This week I have five sweet selections from emerging artists across a variety of genres. Get ready to dance, get ready to sulk, get ready to get sloppy drunk: cmd+f has it all this week!
Please reach out to me via the handy dandy contact page on the cmd+f website, or on Twitter with your thoughts about any of the tracks I’ve selected this week. As you already know, I love chatting about music. Let me in on your new favorite band; they’re looking for new fans, too!
As always, you know the drill: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about the songs you liked in this letter, but most importantly, let the artists know. There’s a good chance they’ll see your comments. Let them know how good their tunes are, and they’ll crank out even more magic.
“Sign” - VHS Collection | I am coming out the gate this week with a strong claim: “Sign” is the greatest song I have heard all year. ALL. FUCKING. YEAR. Now I have an obligation to hype this song up, but I can assure you when you hear it, you’ll know. “Sign” opens with a distorted, solemn hymn, fizzes out, then guns forward into a Tears for Fears-worthy powerballad. Who can resist a cascade of rubbery synths? On first listen, it reminded me of the 1984 poverty-porn hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” which, imperialist guilt aside, we all know pops OFF every time it comes on the speakers. “Sign” is a 4:20 cinematic, hypnotizing journey. I’ll remind you: “Sign” is the best song I’ve heard in 2017. Listen here
“In Blue” - Yumi Zouma | For those of you who read Day 1 of cmd+vent, Ana made a chic playlist full of tunes by New Zealand artists, including this particular tune “In Blue” by Yumi Zouma. The group already have a solid fan base with a few amount of streams on all their tunes. They’ve got a lush, neo-disco vibe akin to Phoenix, buffed over with velvety vocals. While Phoenix begs you to hop on a bike and head to the discotech, Yumi Zouma made that hazy bedroom pop. I’ve been listening to “In Blue” obsessively for a couple weeks now, and nearly resisted including it in the letter this week simply because Ana had thrown them in her playlist. Nay, “In Blue” needs its own spotlight. Listen here
“Guilty Party” - Thunder Jackson | What exactly is a Thunder Jackson???? While everyone is trying to figure this out, the secretive alleged pop duo shared their debut single “Guilty Party” last month, and it’s fucking massive. Allegedly the two met in a taxi in West Hollywood - one a songwriter from the South, the other a producer from Wales. To start, the song rides on a brilliantly sped up sample of the opening notes to Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s “Enola Gay.” It’s a scrapbook of nostalgic sounds that end up feeling so utterly contemporary. Also, the song is so blatantly about having a really fucked up hangover after going to a party in The Valley, so, 10/10 can relate. Listen here
“This Is For You” - Bleach Baby | House music is my first love. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard a house tune that’s excited me. Bleach Baby’s “This Is For You” is a fantastic pop house tune, stabbing piano keys and massive drops included. Listen here
“No Angels” - Catholic Action | I’m ending my five tracks this week with a Christmas tune! I’ve been listening to this particular track all month long amongst my Christmas list tunes, and “No Angels” cracks me up every time. With the opening lyrics, “You can’t have sex at Christmas / You can’t make love or screw / Celebrate as he intended / With television and food” it instantly became a favorite. Catholic Action are a rowdy bunch of Glaswegian’s who dropped their debut album In Memory Of in October this year, and it’s fantastic. But first, listen to “No Angels” Listen here
- Merry! Fuckin! Christmas! We’ve been blessed with Cardi B’s new single “Bartier Cardi” featuring 21 Savage. Hook is fiiiiire Listen here
- Mat Kearney has a new self-titled EP, and the New Years Eve breakup ballad “Don’t Cry For Me” is rather good Listen here
- cmd+f fav BETSY has shared an acoustic mini-album Listen here
- Cassie out here whispering her ass off in her new single “Don’t Play It Safe” Listen here
- It was announced this week that Liam Payne and Rita Ora are releasing their duet single for the Fifty Shades Freed film. Some reactions to the news has been “Who?” or “they don’t even have fans,” but I am here to tell you: I know who they are, and I am their fan. I am their lone fan who is psyched as hell for this duet recorded exclusively for a hellfire film franchise that was made specifically for horny soccer moms.
- Pale Waves, aka the future biggest new music act of 2018 (take notes!!! If you haven’t been listening to me ALL YEAR LONG!), have shared a very aesthetically aesthetic (haha) music video for their latest single “My Obsession.” Dear Heather goes full on Lars and the Real Girl with her “dream boy” and… anyway, I need to speak to whomever is doing their color direction because their videos are always a feast to watch Watch here
- Last but certainly not least, I’m including a link to my own Christmas music playlist I will have on loop all weekend long. It includes a host of non-traditional classics from the likes of WHAM!, The Waitresses, and Paul McCartney, covers of “classics,” a few original Christmas tunes, and of course, no Christmas music list is complete without a host of Sufjan Stevens. If you’re about to pull your hair out listening to “Jingle Bell Rock” one more time, I promise you, this one is like, a really cool Christmas playlist. Mix things up a bit: Listen here
- P.S. A new cmd+vent calendar letter drops tomorrow!
If you’re interested in hearing what else I’ve been rinsing this month (aside from the tracks listed above), peep my personal December 2017 playlist. There I will be dumping in new (and occasionally throw back) tracks as the month carries on. You can dive into the cmd+f archive to hear what I’ve been listening to in previous months this year.
A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I’ve shared this week and past cmd+f newsletters are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here. You’re welcome.