top 5 songs of the moment

there’s lots i’d like to write about, and life has been busy. but i’d like to take this moment for a musical appreciation post, a belated follow up to last summer’s.

1) sunday candy – donnie trumpet & the social experiment
(aka chance the rapper feat. jamila woods)

i already loved this song & have been blasting it in my car on repeat to sing along to jamila woods’ gorgeous, sweet, & sensual hook. and then i saw this broadway-theater-style music video! all done in one continuous shot. perfect.

2) trial & error – slothrust

this song makes me wanna cry & i don’t know why. more than almost any other artist, slothrust always makes me want to make music. sometimes i do. even when i don’t, i take a lot of pleasure in hollering along to the abstract yet evocative lyrics and  occasionally headbanging to their “jazz and blues-afflicted rock.”

3) cold apartment – vagabon

i found this song in the interlude of a particularly frought episode of democracy now. when i looked up vagabon, they are one of a those up and coming brooklyn artists with whom i have a gazillion mutual acquaintances in common. it makes me laugh to think of amy goodman in conjunction with this music scene, swaying along in the crowd at silent barn with her arms crossed. i’ve since gotten into this whole album, especially because she has a song that says ‘freddie’ in it!

4) just friends – st. lenox

honestly, this is just a breakup song that hits where it hurts. it’s either blamey nor self-pitying. it acknowledges the points of conflict and touches on the yearning and fear that accompanies letting go. he seems like an interesting artist and upon glancing some intriguing song names (“21st century post-liberal blues,” “people from other cultures”) i want to hear more.

5) cups – anna kendrick (from the problematic/delightful teen comedy pitch perfect)

listen, i’m embarrassed about including this, but i would be amiss if i pretended that this wasn’t one of my favorite songs to sing along to these days. it is so ripe for harmonies, and has that old traditional folk song feel (probably because it did indeed originate from an old folk song that has been re-written and re-sung again and again). anyway, this song came into my life because i finally got around to seeing pitch perfect, and i don’t regret it (but i think my partner does).

bonus tracks:

pray for me (feat. willow) – tyler cole
astral plane – valerie june
spell – emily reo

hope you enjoy.

xo freddie

top 5 songs of the moment

i haven’t had the time to write like i’ve wanted to but i have been listening to a few amazing songs on repeat as we pack thousands of peaches from harvest into boxes for the farmers market. behold my current top five:

ultralight beam – kanye west


sitting through kanye west’s underwhelming crooning is worth it to hear chance the rapper, kelly price, the dream, kirk franklin, and a gospel choir absolutely steal the show. this song’s momentum shifts and builds with grace and excitement.

get bummed out – sports


there’s not a lot to analyze, it’s just a deeply enjoyable self-indulgent pop-punk song that makes me want to holler along and dive into angst. highly recommend covering it if you play an instrument: A F#m Bm D

temple – parson james


somewhere along our roadtrip, eli and i found ourselves at a party with our sweet friend J, a bunch of rad queer and trans folks, and a LHWB (long-haired white boy). the party format involved sitting around the living room and playing a song that was meaningful to us. shortly after LHWB played sufjan stevens, (“the best artist of our generation”) J busted out this soulful song of redemption and reclamation of self after loss and failure. it’s full of joy, and damn, this kid can sing!

horseshoe crab – slothrust


i went through a phase of listening to slothrust’s album “of course you do” on repeat and wondering why they haven’t blown up in a bigger way. frontperson leah wellbaum has a powerful voice and perfectly unsettling lyrics. last year i sent her a message on facebook asking for a recording of “horseshoe crab” having heard it live and immediately afterward got in a bike accident where i split my face open on the pavement. finally, i became rock n’ roll enough to REALLY listen to slothrust.

freedom – beyonce ft kendrick lamar


it seems so obvious to include a beyonce song but i guess that’s because she’s the queen. people can fret about her politics all they want but i think it’s pretty rad for a black woman and the world’s #1 pop celebrity to sing “imma riot through your borders, call me bulletproof.” and of course kendrick’s contributions are chills-inducing and inspiring.

enjoy!