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Punk Divas and Yodelin’ Hoes in This Week’s New Music Playlists

5 great new local songs, 5 great new songs from everywhere else.

11:34 AM CST on February 7, 2024

Press photo; YouTuibe|

Buio Omega; Megan Thee Stallion

Here it is only February, and the year already feels in full swing over at Racket Playlist HQ. I just wished I liked Ice Spice’s fart song more than I do.

Local Picks

Buio Omega, “Diva Moment”

On the title track from these punks’ new EP, stereocilia-mowing guitar swaggers even more than before as mononym singer Greer fires off a battery of unholy noises before collapsing in spent, elated disgust. Also, did I hear a chainsaw in there?

Early Eyes, “Figure Drawing”

On its first new track in bit, the quintet disrupts a new-wavey guitar arpeggio with a drum ‘n’ bass break instead of a chorus, and pins it to the floor with a heavy distorted bass, while electronically modulated vocals yearn. 

Humbird, “Right On”

All the advance tracks from Humbird’s upcoming Cornfields and Roadkill suggest that Siri Undlin has taken a decidedly more country course; she’s got not just the pained yet placid voice for it but the plainspoken writing style required as well. Here she starts “I’m not mad but I should be” and just takes it from there. 

The Orange Goodness, “Pitter Patter”

One of my favorite local power-pop bands returns, flexing all the non-macho muscle that sets them apart from the competition. Highlights include the insinuating way they repeat the title and the post-chorus guitar hook that creeps upward. 

Yuasa-Exide, “Possession” 

As I’ve mentioned before, I occasionally trawl through Bandcamp under the “Minnesota” tag ISO artists who aren’t getting so much word of mouth. I’m a sucker for a restless guitar chugging along its low strings, and the well-phrased anhedonia of “I’m perpetually dull/I don’t ever feel at all/I dreamt the world was so small/That I could possess it” sealed the deal. This is the lead track from Naturally Recurring, which, since Douglas Busson apparently released eight albums in 2023, I’ll call his first album of this year. 

Non-Local Picks

Camera Obscura, “Big Love”

These beguiling, bright indie-pop Scots return after 11 years with a (more prominent?) pedal steel I don’t recall and a typically empathetic look at how long it takes to shake off any past relationship that was worth the time. 

Chance the Rapper, “I Will Be Your (Black Star Line Freestyle)”

Look, there are two kinds of people in this cosmos: those who wince at Chance rhyming “Death Cab for Cutie” and “let’s grab a smoothie” and those who are me. No longer as universally adored as he once was, he’s as charming as ever, inviting you aboard the legendary Afrocentric transport to the sound of a luxurious Stephanie Mills sample.

Megan Thee Stallion, “Hiss”

I wasn’t wild about Ms. Thee Stallion’s latest at first—a true queen shouldn’t counterpunch so defensively, and despite a terrific piano hook, the LilJu beat felt unduly spare. But then Nicki Minaj dropped the pathetic diss track “Big Foot,” which just showed how effective the truly brutal “These hoes don't be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan's Law” hit the wife of a registered sex offender. So now I’m in Meg’s corner. Knock her out the box, Stallion.

Gracee Shriver, “YODEL-AY-HE-HOE”

Whenever you see a song on this playlist that seems like it should be a big pop-country hit but isn’t, odds are I cribbed it from “Put a Record On,” the Friday new-music selection from the essential newsletter Don’t Rock the Inbox. Incidentally, the hoe here is a boy and the yodel is a good one.

Usher feat. Pheelz, “Ruin” 

I predict a divided nation will watch the Super Bowl Halftime Show next weekend, with many white viewers saying “Huh? That guy?” as they head into the kitchen for snacks and Black fans appreciating this R&B heartthrob as the major star he remains. This Afrobeatsy return-to-form probably simmers a bit too subtly for the big televised stage, but it’s a great addition to a catalog that goes well beyond “Yeah!”  

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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