5 writers, 5 new songs you need to know.
Thurgood Holmes Inyada Efileht
Almost exactly a year ago, I first wrote about Thurgood Holmes, slightly hyperbolically claiming that he was my favorite new D.C. rapper. He had just released his mixtape Younginnocence.won’tsave.you, and I was doing my best to avoid the easy Chance the Rapper comparisons when talking about his off-the-beaten-path style and deeper-than-you’d-expect lyrics. I was even talking to some local hip-hop friends about trying to help make sure Thurgood got the attention he deserved. Then he dropped a bomb on me: he was in the military and moving to Japan.
The D.C. rap scene has made a lot of excuses for itself, but this was a new one. Dejected, I was ready to pour one out, and just wait for him like a betrothed young lady during WWII. But technology is great, the world is small, and somehow, we have a new Thurgood Holmes album, Inyada Efileht.
Personally, it’s everything I could have hoped for and more, but it also has me looking alternately at a calendar and a globe and wondering when the hell Thurgood is going to come back to D.C. and get the homecoming welcome he deserves. -Bryce Rudow
Cherry Glazerr “Had Ten Dollaz”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79l5eAbljR4
I don’t think something that calls itself “garage rock” has ever sounded this seductive. Is it almost too good, or maybe too feminine to be filed under garage rock? Or am I not giving that genre enough credit? Anyway, this track has been out since the fall but slipped under my radar, probably because I am ignorantly dismissive of music from the West Coast.
But for those of us who need a break from the rigidity of our East Coast lives, “Had Ten Dollaz” is your hazy, flirty escape. The effortlessly cool sophistication of this song is made all the more exciting knowing most of the band is still in high school. Vocalist Clementine Creevy pulls off a perfect balance between innocence and subversion. And if I were you, i would be intimidated by that kind of talent. -Lindsay Hogan
Sharon Van Etten “I Don’t Want to Let You Down”
“When dreams grew black, I didn’t want to see the light,” pines Sharon Van Etten on the title track on her new EP, I Don’t Want to Let You Down, out this week. As today’s leading sad sack songwriter, Sharon Van Etten has an uncanny ability to distill the awful feeling of love lost, and the desperation that comes after that realization. The song is hazy and amorphous despite its consistent back beat and an infinite cycle of the same four chords; the audio equivalent of feeling the wheels come off, the guilt of defeat, and being helpless against both.
I just went through — nay, I’m going through — what I can only hope to be the biggest break up of my life. This isn’t a poor poor pitiful me post, for that check out my always-toxic Twitter feed. The milestones of our collapse are hard to see. Like that definitive moment when things went south, or the moment things didn’t continue, or the moment where I accepted the ending, or the moment when I came to terms with a future without her; I don’t know when these events happened, or if they will happen. But the shitty feeling looms, and I can’t stop myself from saying “I Don’t Want to Let You Down”, even though I know I already did. -Peter Lillis
The opening track from the new METZ LP II “Acetate” is everything I love about this band. Drums that sound like they were recorded in the middle of an abandoned warehouse, noisy, abrasive guitars, shouty vocals buried in low the mix, and a maraca breakdown in the bridge. METZ came along and filled a The Men shaped hole in my heart pretty much right when The Men went country rock and I will forever be indebted to them for that. -Matt Byrne
My Morning Jacket “Big Decisions”
This song is about how Jim James is at the end of his fucking rope with someone. It’s a lot like that Shia LaBeouf motivational speech. James is singing to someone with whom he, presumably, has a close relationship (sibling, friend, significant other?) about how they need to get their shit together and start making things happen in their life instead of just sitting around waiting for someone else to make decisions for them. Or, as Shia would put it, “JUST DO IT. MAKE. YOUR DREAMS. COME TRUE.” James is all like, yeah you’re a nice person but I’m sick of waiting for you to like *flexes* JUST DO IT. You can tell he’s weary because of how he sings “Well I can’t” in this low, insincere, mocking voice like he’s a cartoon character or something. I think the whole album is basically James being done. So done. But this song in particular is like he’s attacking me from my speakers as I sit here on my bed pondering things. I’m sorry to disappoint you Jimmy J, but also this album is average so why don’t you quit giving me such a hard time about my life, OKAY?! I hope YOU get the point. -Melissa Groth