I couldn’t ignore the unexpected blockbuster that landed on us last week, but keep listening to this week's playlist for some deeper cuts, including one from a local artist who seems to be on the verge of her best recordings yet.
Taylor Swift – “Cardigan”
The melody borrows a little too freely from “Wildest Dreams,” but Swift’s best lead single since “Mine” is also the first since then to embody the spirit of the album it calls home, brandishing deft knife-twists like “I knew you/Leaving like a father/Running like water” and the quintessentially Swiftian credo “When you are young they assume you know nothing.” As for those who would complain that a sweater is not quite seasonal attire for July: Back when there were still offices to work in I did keep a cardigan on hand all summer, because they cranked the AC so high. Clearly, Taylor “gets” me.
booboo – “Candy”
Is anyone using Auto-Tune as creatively right now as this Minneapolis electro-R&B experimentalist? Just weeks after the skittering “U1” showcased booboo’s playful side, she's back with a more sensual track that basks in how a voice can be refracted electronically into revealing shades of emotion that it could never express unfiltered.
Tinashe – “Rascal (Superstar)”
“Money, cash, clothes, fast cars”—no, wait, where are you going? Tinashe underplays this boast with a singetty-song flow that convinces me “been on,” “villain,” and “ribbon” all rhyme over a beat from hyphy vet Sage the Gemini that’s not half as minimal as it first lets on. And is that her soprano wail in the background?
The Go! Team – “Cookie Scene”
Let there be flutes. Ian Parton’s mix of woodwind and drums teeters toward twee hyperactivity, but it totters just in time back toward perky exuberance. That makes it an ideal showcase for charming Detroit rapper IndigoYaj, who skips along from “That’s just who I, that’s just who I am” to “It’s a thing I, it’s a thing I do” on her way to earn the rhyme “phenomenal” and “unstoppable.”
Joan Jett – “Jeepster”
Honestly, I’m surprised she hasn’t recorded this T. Rex jam already—right up her alley, one might say. On this advance from the late, great Hal Wilner’s final project, a multi-artist tribute to Marc Bolan, Jett’s a little brisker and more butch than the glam legend, fueling the revved-up vehicle with a higher-octane fuel.
Tkay Maidza – “Don’t Call Again” (Feat. Kari Faux)
Maidza crawls along a babymaking slink-beat with a seductive tone all the more wicked because she’s giving you the brush-off, and she mostly leaves the bars to Kari, though she does commence to rhyme on a sharp coda of her own.
Every week, music editor Keith Harris scours the vast musicscape for six worthy tracks to add to City Pages' ever-expanding 2019 playlist.