Songs of the Week: August 31, 2018 edition

Reporting from Long Island where tomorrow the SO and I will be taking out our kayak for a lighthouse concert. If you don’t see a new post by next Friday, please send help.

Enjoy this week’s songs.

“Beautiful Life” by Gabriel Black


Genre-blending, death-obsessed prodigy Gabriel Black has had a run of excellent singles this year and last and now you can have (almost*) all of them in one convenient EP: Beautiful Life. Black is an enigma, only showing himself in cartoon form but still dropping jaws with his thrilling brand of bedroom pop. Title track “Beautiful Life” is one of two new songs on the recently-released album, along with the acoustic “Don’t Give Up.”

* His 2018 duet with Sofi de la Torre, “Jump,” was left off the album.

“From Now To Forever” by Innes Wilson

Out of Sound Records

Canadian independent artist Innes Wilson sent me this 1990s-inspired track from his forthcoming EP Seaview, a delightful four-track of powerful folk-grunge-pop (yep, it’s thing). The record comes out October 18. “From Now To Forever” is the guitar-strummin’ lead single.

“I Really Like It” by Our Girl

Cannibal Hymns

The debut LP from Brighton trio Our Girl is a low-key album of the year contender. It’s the culmination of the band’s first four years together — a potent, confident rock record with thrilling highs. “I Really Like It,” one of the Songs of the Week, has several of them.

“I Want To Give” by Freedom Baby

Blanket Fort

The year 2018 has been about long songs and short-ass albums, and the longest song of note that I can think of is “I Want To Give” from Canadian orchestral-pop eight-piece Freedom Baby. The epic single nears 15 minutes in length, twisting and turning as bandleaders (and partners) Brianna Bordihn and Eric Reid trade verses. It’s reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois and is just as meticulously-crafted.

“I’m On Fire” by Soccer Mommy

Fat Possum Records

I like Bruce Springsteen the songwriter a lot more than I like Bruce Springsteen the performer. Perhaps it’s because there have been so many amazing covers of his tunes — like David Bowie’s Young Americans-era take on “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City,” which is an all-timer. On her delicate version of Born In The USA track “I’m On Fire,” Soccer Mommy‘s Sophie Allison had a different strategy than did the Thin White Duke, but earned similarly enjoyable results. Whereas Bowie amped up and disco-fied “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City,” Allison slows things down (even more) and draws in the listener with her emotional vocal delivery.

“I’m On Fire” is the B-side to Soccer Mommy’s forthcoming 7-inch, along with a revamped version of the Allison-penned track “Henry.”

[Editor’s note: I left Soccer Mommy’s 2018 album Clean off my mid-way mark list and probably shouldn’t have. The songwriting is particularly brilliant.]

“Snap Outtavit” by Danielson

Joyful Noise Recordings

Legendary outsider artists Danielson (AKA Danielson Famile and Br. Danielson) are back with an EP seven years in the making. And if the shape-shifting title track “Snap Outtavit” is any indication, we’re in for a treat. The record comes out September 28.