Fresh Music Friday

The 5/17 Edition

with Nick and Jonah


There’s no such thing as too much fresh music. No matter how many anthems, bops, bangers, jams, or tunes you have, you can always use more. In fact, there always is more.

But what makes music fresh? The obvious answer would be a recent release date. While new music can be fresh, frankly, a lot of it isn’t.

Truly fresh music is any recently discovered sound that resonates with you and enriches your personal soundtrack. Whether you’re giddy and love-drunk, crying on the cold hard floor, or just vibing on your way to school, as long as you fuck with it, it’s fresh.

And fresh music can come from anywhere. Perhaps it’s a song from that genre you hate, but this one just so happens to move your feet. Maybe it’s some music that’s been unduly overlooked, or was never given a proper chance. It could even be at the top of the charts or from 100 years ago.

Finding new, exciting music is work, but it’s a labor of love. Thankfully, the Sideline Sounds Staff loves that labor. Your auditory avengers squad has been assembled to bring you the best of what we’ve been bumping. After reading, hopefully you’ll be doing the same!


Nick

How Are You Gonna Lose? // Bad Sounds

Perfect for:

  • a summer victory song
  • dancing by yourself (or with others!)
  • a soundtrack to rolling the windows down

Bad Sounds is a hell of a misnomer. They make animated, energetic music, and “How Are You Gonna Lose?” is just that. The track is infectiously upbeat, with swanky trumpets and triumphant violins driving the groove. Lyrics like “I find it hard so hard to like champagne, but I’ve heard good things about cocaine,” bring a fun-loving, devil-may-care attitude to the track. Swelling and soaring, it’s hard not to love “How Are You Gonna Lose?” It’s the perfect vibe for any good time. Welcome to summer.

The Last Waltz Suite: The Weight // The Band ft. The Staples

Perfect for:

  • making the world slow down
  • a nostalgic yearning for some oldies
  • dancing to your parents’ music

You might’ve already heard “The Weight,” but if your ears have yet to be blessed by this version, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet. From the rockumentary concert/movie hybrid, The Last Waltz, easily the greatest film in this format (directed by Martin Scorsese!), “The Last Waltz Suite: The Weight” bears all the nostalgic soul and pure emotion from the heyday of live music. This song is far and away the highlight moment of the film. The Staples’ voices, locked in perfect harmony, are like sonic butter and cream. Their soul combined with The Band’s iconic country rock/americana style will wipe any stress you have right off your mind.

Who’s Got You Singing Again // PREP

Perfect for:

  • dancing through the blues
  • getting sad after a few too many
  • indulging some heartbreak feels without getting too down

As the title indicates, “Who’s Got You Singing Again” is about watching a former lover find happiness elsewhere. As a subject, that’s not-so-uplifting, but hey — it happens — and when it does, PREP are here for you. Fortunately, the swaying soft-rock/downbeat disco jam, guided by a spacey, floating keyboard lead and a funky, rolling bass, has a has a soothing, upbeat energy to lift the spirits and bring some groove into the gloom. Fundamentally, it’s a drunk-and-depressed torch song, but it’s full of enough sonic flourishes and rock-solid production to keep the energy up and “the light in your eyes,” as the chorus goes. You don’t even have to be down in the dumps to enjoy it. It’s the very best of modern pop, and it’s hard not to love. I mean — there’s even a flute solo. What else is there to say?


Jonah

Dusty Eyes // Bedouine

Perfect for:

  • drifting away into the summer night air
  • slow-dancing in the kitchen
  • a jolt of well-executed 60’s nostalgia

Bedouine released their debut when its sole artist was 32. Yet Azniv Korkejian’s age doesn’t stale her work, instead lending it a maturity and authenticity few twenty-somethings could pull off. “Dusty Eyes,” a gorgeous slow-burn of a 60’s folk/country ballad, is bittersweet and enchanting, sitting somewhere between heartbreak and happiness. Her lyrics alternate between flowery romance and attempts to apply rationality to loss. There’s an arresting, potent resonance to the second refrain, where, after verses of wide-eyed infatuation, Korkejian steels herself into a moment of perspective, admitting that “Yeah, you could have been some other guy.” “Dusty Eyes” is a swaying, soaring ballad of love and loss, evoking warm-and-fuzzy bliss and wistful nostalgia in the same chords — a hell of a gap to bridge, and “Dusty Eyes” does it gracefully.

Home // Medasin

Perfect for: 

  • when the sun is beaming on the condensation drops of a cold one
  • pool day weather
  • summer laziness — or summer energy

Whether it’s folk’s well-worn sepia tones or indie pop’s beachy pastels, all music has its own color palette. Some genres have wider color spectrums than others, and there might be no genre that’s harnessed the full range of saturated, eye-popping fluorescent technicolor better than EDM. “Home” by Medasin is a wonderful example of this — it breathes with all the vivid colors of a sun-drenched summer afternoon, from the vibrant greens of budding trees to the stained-glass orange of sunlight through the leaves. Filled with fun little ear-candy tricks and a buzzing, bubbly energy, “Home” is the best of future bass; an auditory rainbow in a bottle.

Cherry Wine (Live) // Hozier

Perfect for: 

  • a gentle soundtrack to summer’s breeze and birdsong
  • when you need a bittersweet, sad-but-sappy love song
  • rainy days in bed

“Cherry Wine” is laced with the gentle, meandering sounds of birds — courtesy of its recording location: 5 AM, on an abandoned hotel’s roof. That’s all the introduction to Hozier you’ll need. This ambiance gives “Cherry Wine” a tangible sense of place and time, adding that special sauce to what’s already a tear-jerker. With gorgeous fingerpicking and heartfelt croons, Hozier emotionally invests you in the song and the relationship it describes, before — or as — you realize it’s not quite the rosy happily-ever-after it sounds like. You’re suddenly in the same place as Hozier’s character, struggling to reconcile a beautiful experience with its later-realized ugly underbelly. It’s that poetic irony and artistic sensibility that makes “Cherry Wine” such a captivating, heart-wrenching song.

Thanks for checking out our recommendations! We’ll be back next Friday — and many more Fridays after that — to bring you more fresh music we love. We hope you loved this week’s selection!

-The Sideline Sounds Team

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