Childish Gambino - "Baby Boy"
It seems like Donald Glover is finally unleashing the full force of his talents on us. And I for one, cannot handle this shit. "Awaken, My Love!" is beautiful in all the right ways, including its daring exploration of genres and vibes that aren't necessarily too popular at the moment. "Baby Boy" is a slow strut of funk and soul - Gambino's raspy, high-pitched croon is moving further away from rap into the realm of Isleys, Mayfields, and Gayes. I can only assume the next move is Donald Glover revealing his secret for time travel, explaining how he put the soul of the 70s into this album.
Cloves - "Better Now"
Cloves is a young Australian talent that's being slept on for now, but with a debut album coming there's good reason to get used to this stunning voice now. "Better Now" came out a couple weeks ago, an emotional ballad flirting between tame, acoustic verses and a hard-hitting, grittier chorus. Cloves will be putting out an album in 2017, and it looks to be interesting if we get to see more of these genre-blending tunes fronted by a powerful and versatile voice.
Blood Orange - "By Ourselves"
The intro to Blood Orange's Freetown Sound means automatic goosebumps for me. The unbridled energy of Ashlee Haze's slam poetry sets the tone for an incredible journey through emotion and identity with Dev Hynes' unique sounds. If there's one thing Hynes knows how to do, it's enabling other people to shine in his music. "By Ourselves" does just that, and leads into a beautiful album continuing to do the same.
Bridgit Mendler - "Do You Miss Me At All (Marian Hill)"
So, I'm still coming off of my high from our Bands + Brews with Marian Hill last night. And I had know idea who Bridgit Mendler was until last week (sorry, Bridgit) but her voice is atmospheric and this Marian Hill remix is EVERYTHING. I'm a little obsessed.
Childish Gambino - "California"
Maybe it's because I'm from California but I'm in love with this song from Childish Gambino's new album, "Awaken, My Love!". It's funky and fun and makes me want to drink rum on a beach. I'm really feelin' these windpipe instruments in this song as well.
Milky Chance - "Cocoon"
I'll never get over Milky Chance. Clemen Rehbein's raspy voice over these fun island beats makes me super happy on this Friday. I need to see Milky Chance live ASAP because I feel like they'd put on a phenomenal performance.
Nine Inch Nails - "Various Methods of Escape"
I discovered Trent Reznor a few years back and I've been obsessed with his work ever since. The entire movie soundtrack for The Social Network? That was all him. On the side, Reznor also performs in his band, Nine Inch Nails, where the band has perfected gritty melodies to blend perfectly with Reznor's emotional vocals. This song in particular perfectly showcases their impressive ability to combine electronic with rock and still make it sound so good.
The Weeknd - "Six Feet Under"
With The Weeknd's newest album Starboy out and The Weeknd himself shattering Spotify's single-day streams (sorry Drake), it's no doubt that at least one of his songs would get stuck in my head. "Six Feet Under" gives you that infectious bass line and catchy chorus that is sure to make you hit replay one hundred more times.
Fleet Foxes - "White Winter Hymnal"
It's December and if you haven't been listening to Christmas music yet, you're doing it wrong. Maybe you don't need to jam out to Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas is You" first thing, but you can definitely go subtler and listen to Fleet Foxes. Fleet Foxes has the perfect folk vocals for hanging around the campfire with hot chocolate or staying indoors and thinking about that perfect white Christmas.
The Weeknd - "Rockin'"
With a new album from The Weeknd and Childish Gambino, I'm totally set for this weekend. "Rockin'" has a catwalk type of vibe that makes you want to strut when you listen to it on your way to work. The Weeknd's new album Starboy has so many good tracks, I might just put two of them on here this week...
The Weeknd - "Secrets"
Oh look, I did it! "Secrets" is another awesome jam with arpeggiated bass synths and twangy slide guitars. As a surprising change, instead of The Weeknd screwing a woman over, the lyrics suggest that a woman is cheating on him and he's insecure about it - so that's refreshing. Vocally, he is totally owning up to the fact that he kind of sounds like Michael Jackson, and we don't mind it.
Childish Gambino - "Have Some Love"
I think this week's In Our Ears acts as one big Childish Gambino advertisement, since we basically all chose a CG song off of his new album "Awaken, My Love!" The entire office is really stoked about it - and this song in particular is something I think the whole world needs right now. Love is so hard to find... And that bass, though. *Heart eye emoji*.