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Our 2 Weekly Music Playlists Are Now Over 3 Hours Long Each

As always, we've added 5 new local songs and 5 new songs from elsewhere this week.

Bandcamp; Facebook|

Finesse, Shrimpnose

I've been recommending songs here for a few months now, and the playlists are both up over three hours. If you haven't listened to it a while, dive in and hear what you've missed.

Local Picks

Chairman Chair and the Chairmen, “Geography”

Psych-ish garage rockers who keep their wah wah excursions concise and their backup jangly, they cop to not knowing much about the title subject; Sam Cooke would surely empathize. If you dig this, they’re playing a release show for their new album, An Infomercial Cruise, next Monday at the 7th St Entry

Finesse, “End of Always”

A quiet piano/synth intro lingers just long enough to make you wonder if the whole song is gonna be this mellow; then the synth bass and drums kick in. There are lots of folks replicating late ’80s synth-pop these days, but as a GHWB-era collegiate let me tell you: If you’d thrown this on a party mix in ’89 between Erasure and New Order we’d have kept dancing without a second thought. They're playing a release show for the new single at the Turf Club on Sunday.

Lucy Michelle, “The Living”

On the lead single and lead-off track from her latest, Womanly, the singer-songwriter lopes through a smartly punctuated arrangement with a straightforward plea for affection that takes an existential turn with this bridge lyric: “We are here with the living/The living/And we are here with the dead.”

Shrimpnose, “Relief!” 

Brief, squiggly, and perfect, the wily producer’s newest recombinant track chops voices down to the barest fractions of consonants and vowels then mixes them with nonverbal electronics without ever losing the beat or abandoning his melodic sense. From an upcoming and anticipated (by me, anyway) October album, As It Seems.

Tightwire, “One Foot in the Grave”

And the other foot’s on a banana peel, Paul Kettler tells us, as his band barrels ahead with precise pop-punk inevitability. The band's latest, Head Full of Snakes, knocks off 12 songs in 18 minutes, with most of 'em (like this one) clocking in at under two minutes.

Non-Local Picks

Jlin, “Fourth Perspective”

I’m not a total ignoramus when it comes to dance music—an ig-some-ramus, maybe—but I’m enough of a dilettante that I feel like a big of a poser when I talk up anything beaty and electronic. But I never hesitate to recommend Jlin, who continues to take Chicago footwork into more experimental quadrants without losing her impeccable sense of rhythmic logic. 

PinkPantheress (feat. Destroy Lonely) – “Turn Your Phone Off” 

The title is good advice in general (to the older couple sitting in the row behind you at the movies, for instance). But getting off the grid fails to rescue PiPa from a bad relationship that won’t die, the details of which she lays out in her breathy, conversational voice while a junglist breakbeat does its propulsive thing. 

A. Savage, “Thanksgiving Prayer”

Surname aside, the Parquet Courts frontman mellows out a bit on his own and waxes a bit poetic here—the opening line, “My mоnеy mеlts likе sugаr in thе shоwеr whеn I dоn't sing,” extends its metaphor for much of the first stanza. But his voice still clenches with the sort of frustration that seems to compound itself the more analytically you try to think through it. 

Taylor Swift, “When Emma Falls in Love”

I get why she chose “I Can’t See You” as the single, but the standout track for me on “Taylor’s Version” of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is this observation of another woman’s romantic life, which becomes a mirror in which the singer can look at herself and compare. Rob Sheffield rightly notes “a strong ‘Drops of Jupiter’ vibe,” but, let me add, without the choo-choo boys’ condescension. 

Jamila Woods feat. duendita, “Tiny Garden”

The Chicago poet’s title describes a more realistic relationship than is the pop norm. “It’s not butterflies and fireworks,” she says of her infatuation, and sometimes it ain’t, and sometimes that’s OK. 

Wanna get a local song considered for the playlist? To make things easy on both of us, email keith@racketmn.com with MONDAY PLAYLIST in the subject header. (Don’t, as in do NOT, DM or text: If I’m in a good mood, I’ll just ask you to send an email; if I’m in a bad mood I’ll just ignore it.)

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