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Will Anybody Ever Love This Week’s New Music Playlists?

5 new local songs, 5 new songs from elsewhere, all lovable.

Photos provided|

Lady Midnight, Greg Grease

Well, I think they're lovable, at least. Have a listen.

Local Picks

Freda, “Unstoppable”

Primo locally cultivated Afrobeats, complete with artfully deployed Auto-Tune, ace polyrhythmic accents, and party-startin' vocal presence. Is this what’s going down in Mankato? Might be time for a road trip. 

Greg Grease, “Can’t Call It”

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for a genuine funk beat in the age of the rickety-tickety trap 808. The latest single from the MC/producer reintroduces himself after a long hiatus, during which you shoulda been looking for him “In the gutter/With my brothers/Where they keep it grimy.” Even that flute works. 

Lady Midnight, “All of My Life”

Absent awhile, the stylish and soulful Lady Midnight returns with a high-energy pan-Caribbean Lazerbeak beat that very much fits her voice and the lyrics of self-discovery it expresses here. A new album, Pursuit & the Elusive, is due in October 27.

JC Sanford feat. Anthony Cox & Michael Cain, “Sparrows Are Badasses”

Trombonist Sanford lays out at the start as bassist Cox explores and then settles on a rhythm, at which point electronically treated horn blasts, duplicated by pianist Cain, take the playful composition in varied directions. From the trio’s New Past, due out on Shifting Paradigms on November 10.

Sleeping Jesus, “Ferdy”

Back with another one of those blog-rockin’ beats. I'm being complimentary when I say that the way the splintery guitar chords and floating keyboard hook interact takes me back to the good part of the aughts. And here's a video of the fellas goofin' around that suits the song perfectly. They'll be celebrating the video/single release at Icehouse on October 6.

Non-Local Picks

Animal Collective, “Gem & I” 

Back when you all thought these spacey tunesmiths were aural revolutionaries, I marked 'em as the kind of stoners good for an occasional hang, if not anyone you'd count on to pick you up at the airport. But post-relevance suits their modest good humor, the drummer's been listening to War, and the dumb pun is all them. As for lyrics? Well, uh... “Big with the subtle crowd/But it didn't/Gave into the overdraft/And now it's calling/We got into a holy sound/And we all hit it.” Terminal B, guys! I said Terminal B. Jesus, how many times do I gotta tell you?

Brennen Leigh, “Running Out of Hope, Arkansas”

That great fiddle intro hooks you even before Leigh laments "People only stop here because they're passing through/And I ring 'em up for diesel, cigarettes, and Mountain Dew" from behind a gas station counter in Bill Clinton’s resonantly named hometown. Thanks to David Cantwell for the rec, from his and Charles Hughes’s invaluable newish newsletter, No Fences Review.

Maren Morris, “The Tree”

The official kiss-off to Nashville from a star who hasn’t needed the country industry’s support for years is, of course, her most countryish tune in a spell. And the lyrics are open-ended enough that you could even pretend it was about a single no-good man if you wanted. In fact, the song might not work as well if you couldn’t.

Sufjan Stevens, “Will Anybody Ever Love Me?”

Lord forgive me, I was ready to mock this for the sadsack title alone, even before that mournful little voice tiptoed in. But this is pretty thick-skinned and insightful as far as self-pity goes; replace that acoustic guitar with a more rhythmically astute arrangement and hand it off to the right female R&B singer and you could break my heart.

Subsonic Eye, “J-O-B”

"I am tired of this/Want my time, not waste it," sings Nur Wahidah—maybe to her B-O-S-S—as she and her mates rock a fine indie melody along. Whaddya know—Singapore has slack motherfuckers, too.

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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