This is an archived post originally sent out via the cmd+f weekly newsletter
This is where I usually write a quirky intro about what’s happening in music while vaguely referencing my week in music exploration, but my brain has turned to oatmeal. I will note: remember how last week I had 12 songs stashed in my cmd+f arsenal? Well, I sat on the tunes that didn’t make it into the letter last week, and they’re not so fresh anymore. Only one of the five songs listed this week survived the lot of leftovers from last week.
As for the Anchor recordings, those are definitely on hiatus indefinitely. I’m working on adding new features to take cmd+f to a whole ‘nother level. It’s all under wraps, but it’ll roll out soon enough.
Got any questions? Tips? Please reach out to me via Twitter at @hellogoodbritt (or any other way you may know how to contact me) with your thoughts about any of the tracks I’ve selected this week. I love chatting about music – it's why I started this letter! Let me know what you’re listening to so that I can let everyone else know they should be listening to that 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. It’s only good manners!
“Shell” - Charlotte OC | “Shell” is stacked with melodic surprises: opening as a thrumming, melancholic power ballad, the pensive verse bursts through as a hopeful, dazzling chorus. It literally echoes the emotions of gently basking in the freedom that comes with letting go of a bad past relationship, and recognizing that void inside you is left behind for you to fill up with something fresh. I could honestly listen to the transition from the verse to chorus on loop for hours on end; it’s just that perfect. If you can get out of looping “Shell” endlessly, please do give a listen to Charlotte’s new album Careless People. Listen here
“Mo(u)rning” - Anne Dereaux | “Mo(u)rning” is Anne Dereaux’s debut single, and consider me scalpt. I can tell you right now, she’s destined to be a music journo’s DREAM to gas up. She’s got sick production, incredible vocals and tone, an entire look to go with her vibe. The journo’s are already foaming at the mouth, lurking in the shadows awaiting her debut Book of Lolita EP to drop. And to continue to blatantly hyping her up so more, Rick fucking Rubin emailed her the day after this song dropped, so needless to say her career trajectory is only going exponentially upward. Consider this your notice: all aboard the Anne Dereaux train. While I’ve seen a few write ups dub her sound similar to BANKS and FKA Twigs, I’d say Anne sounds much more like Kelela, Jorja Smith, and Tinashe when she's on her slow jam R&B tip. Listen here
“Minimum” - Charlie Cunningham | Before I even get into the music: if you stare at Charlie’s profile picture on Spotify long enough, your brain will start to confuse him for Chris Martin. I wonder how often he’s told this…. As for the music, “Minimum” has racked up a whopping 8+ million spins on Spotify. Most places with comment sections enabled that claim the song’s cropped up on a lot of people’s Spotify playlists and it's moved them. The song certainly stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it, leaving me slack-jawed and immediately filing it away into my cmd+f playlist queue. With the airy production overlaid in moving Cathedral-level reverb, “Minimum” is haunting, soothing, and absolutely stunning. It almost makes you wonder what the song would sound like performed in a church (definitely click that previous link to satisfy your curiosity; it’s as good as the studio version). Listen here
“Drum Machine” - Lao Ra | While I initially had Lao Ra’s new Pablo Escobar inspired track “Bala,” I found myself looping her bop “Drum Machine,” and it was only fair to share it with you, too. Early interviews with the Colombian-born London-based artist labeled her music as “pineapple pop,” dubbing her a Latinx M.I.A. The comparisons are fair when you see her boldly colored and collaged album covers – but the sound is still so clearly deeply rooted in Latin American musical influences. “Drum Machine” dropped last July, and I can assure you my ass will still be dancing to it this coming July. Listen here (and listen to it in Spanish here)
“It’s Cool” - Exit Kid | Emre Turkmen of Years & Years launched a new music project with Years & Years’ tour drummer Dylan Bell this week called Exit Kid. I never thought I’d see the day when Emre’d get behind the mic, but it is here, and it’s… fucking great. After spending months of obsessively scrubbing every inch of YouTube to watch every Years & Years live performance and interview ever recorded, I recall Emre living in a battered Elastica tee for approximately 78% of them whilst continuously listing Radiohead as a major musical influence. “It’s Cool” is dripping in Brit Pop vibes, but then again the Brit Pop "genre" was so nuanced and varied over the years that it was more a movement in rock music than a true sound. That history lesson can be saved for another day. Anywho, Emre and Dylan absolutely crush it with their first song for this project. Exit Kid’s debut EP drops next month on May 25. Listen here
Pop’s current darling without a debut album Dua Lipa dropped a new single with Miguel and it’s rather good. Listen here
Pop’s other current darling Sigrid officially has a second single to her name for people to gas up. Listen here
While not exactly music, this is very much sound-oriented: stress is inevitable, but for those who have a difficult time falling asleep or trying to calm/sooth your brain, ambient/white noise simulations may help you tune out and relax. I use myNoise.net, and my personal favorite is the fireplace noise. You can calibrate the volume levels to your own liking so your ears can hear the noise even at a low volume.
If you’re interested in hearing what else I’ve been rinsing this month (aside from the tracks listed above), peep my personal April 2017 playlist. 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.
See you next week!