Press Play is my weekly series of (mostly) indie tracks from the barely discovered depths of corporate DSPs. All my recommended tracks are compiled into the Spotify playlist linked below, which is updated weekly.
Wet Leg, “Oh No”
If you haven’t heard of this duo, they only released what might possibly be the best song of the year. The Isle of Wight duo recently announced the release date for their self-titled debut album, which is scheduled to release on April 8, 2022, and shared two new songs. One of those tracks, “Oh No,” is a rude and thrashing hard rock cut about being an unashamed loner living vicariously through the apps on their phone. The track is simple, hard-hitting and unabashedly humorous.
Nina Kraviz, “This Time”
This 80s-inspired dance track from Siberian producer, singer and DJ Nina Kraviz is an intoxicating synth-pop hit. It features breathy vocals from Kraviz that sound like a cross between Cyndi Lauper and Ellie Goulding. The mostly repetitive lyrics throughout the track are about the wasted potential of someone she likes and being the only one in that person’s life to care for them.
KAYTRANADA feat. H.E.R., “Intimidated”
Haitian-Canadian producer Louis Kevin Celestin (aka KAYTRANADA) recently released a three-track EP, and the highlight is the H.E.R.-featured song, “Intimidated.” On this track, H.E.R. lends sultry vocals to the pulsating beat of piano notes and handclaps. KAYTRANADA works his magic once again as he continues to create addictive electronic music that will keep listeners on their feet.
Cassandra Jenkins, “Hard Drive”
Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Cassandra Jenkins recently released a remixed version of her critically acclaimed sophomore album, “An Overview on Phenomenal Nature.” While it features an interesting new dimension to the original album, I’m only here to heap praise on the original track, “Hard Drive,” which was released in January.
It’s difficult to truly explain the greatness of this track without having listened to it. Jenkins goes back and forth between soft-spoken dialogue of her life experiences and conversational singing. Meanwhile, the production in the background features a saxophone, drum loop, and piano chords. Altogether, Jenkins creates a magical listening experience.
David Bowie, “Life On Mars?”
This classic track was released in 1971 by the late great David Bowie. Why am I including it on this week’s list? Well, it was featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming film, “Licorice Pizza,” and serves as the theme song for one of the most beautifully shot movie trailers you’ll ever watch. As for this song, if you haven’t heard it already, it’s a soaring piano ballad with the kind of creative songwriting that you’ll never find in this era of music.
You can find all the tracks from this week and others here: