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This Monday’s Playlists Offer Every Kind of Gasm in the Book

10 new songs to start your week out right.

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The cover art for Sarah Bonneville’s ‘EP ONE’ and Smokey Robinson’s ‘Gasms’

If you pay close attention to this week’s playlist (maybe closer attention than you need to!), you’ll notice that a couple of the local tracks are recent but not brand new. I figure since I didn’t start this playlist till April, the earlier months of 2023 are still fair game for cherry picking. I promise not to dive back into 2022, though. A man’s gotta have some principles. 

Local Picks

Sarah Bonneville, “Better Believe”

Bonneville doesn’t leave much of an electronic trail, so I can’t say much about her beyond the five tracks I’ve heard, but I’ll go out on a limb and assume that her new release, EP ONE, is her first EP. (That’s called journalism, children.) “Better Believe” is the lead single from that collection, with verses of tittering electrobeats and synth stabs that soften for the chorus, which has a slight Everything But the Girl touch to it. 

Nur-D, “Crush”

After tackling serious issues, as the times demanded, on his past few albums, Mr. -D takes a breather with the effervescent CRUSH, released at the end of March. The title track is a sunny expression of sudden desire, just in time for Spring (assuming it ever arrives) to stir up the sap. The rest of the album is aces too, chock full of raps and tunes about falling in and out of love and lust, with titles like “All My Friends Are So Hot.” (Same!) 

Obi Original and Fanaka Nation, “Steady Ballin'”

What struck me most about Obi Original’s performance (along with his Ozone Creations crew) at First Ave’s Best New Bands night earlier this year was the range of styles the Nigerian-born musician drew from. For this single, released back in February, he sticks closer to undiluted Afrobeats, with an assist from Afropop-flavored local rapper Fanaka Nation, and he’s just as winning in this mode. 

Jillian Rae, “Barely Breathing”

“Existing is exhausting,” Rae sings, continuing a theme established by her past two singles, “Stuck” and “Doing My Best,” in 2022—working through the fallout from the pandem-etc. seems like it’s been as hard on her as it has for the rest of us. Musically, this is orchestral pop with an effective rhythmic shift between the verses and chorus, and a great string setting. 

RZ Shahid, “Unplug”

The latest self-produced single from the up-and-coming Minneapolis rapper, another February track, is a helluva head bobber: laidback, bassy funk with Shahid singing a smooth hook on par with his rhymes, which center on taking time out for himself. “Don’t take it personal,” but he’s “gotta shake these toxins out.” 

National Picks

Kari Faux, “Make a Wish”

The third solid advance single from the lowkey superstar’s upcoming album, REAL BITCHES DON’T DIE!, covers a lot of tonal and musical ground in a short time. The early verses express sentiments of modest encouragement and uplift over woozy electronic clouds; then, after a rowdier bridge for the “real ass bitches,” she sets the record straight and lashes out against her enemies.

PJ Harvey, “A Child’s Question, August”

“Starling swarms will soon be lorn/Rooks tell stories 'cross the corn/Goocoo soon will 'es leave make/Swifts abandon autumn's ache”? What’s Polly been reading? Seamus Heaney? “The Pearl”? Seems to indicate that her new album, I Inside the Old Year Dying, due out in July, is a return to Brit-centered eccentricities, which is more then welcome after her last album, the hopeless and misguided The Hope Six Demolition Project. 

Rico Nasty, “Turn It Up”

Does any contemporary rapper enjoy making noise for its own sake as much as Ms. Nasty? Here she once again collabs with 100 gecs, whose production—a spare, old-school Def Jam beat with post-dubstep bass—is a great springboard for two minutes of Rico’s verbal havoc. 

Miguel, “Give It To Me”

The soulful, heavy-breathing rocker hasn’t been totally silent since his 2017 album War & Leisure—he released two EPs, one in Spanish, and dropped a few features with other artists. But he hasn’t sounded fully like himself until this alternatively vigorous and suave come-on. He means business—and by that I mean business

Smokey Robinson, “Gasms”

Snicker all you want—everyone else has since ever since Smokey announced this was his new album title. (Personally I think he should have gone with AndGasms.) But name another popular songwriter, living or dead, who would even think to write lyrics like “You give me those mind gasms/Those hard to find gasms.” Personally, I’ve always admired R&B’s poet laureate (emeritus?) when he’s sexy-ridiculous as opposed to sexy-slick—though I will admit that “eyegasms” sound painful. 

Wanna get a local song considered for the playlist? To make things easy on both of us, email 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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