23 May 2016

Summer Jam 2016 Week 2: Live from Mt. Doom

Welcome to the Second Week of our Summer Adventure - we're still crawling out of our winter shells and into the bright sunshiney hope of the year's middle, and so we've got eight more hot jams to slather over. Now, these are obviously the hottest possible tracks around, definitely none that have been around for a year that I just discovered this week.

Hot Jam of the Week: "Way Down We Go" by Kaleo

This is a gritty-ass song, emphasized by the fact that it was recorded inside a volcano in Iceland. That's definitely a Dethklok-esque gimmick, but the end product is pretty satisfying. I did just hear it on the radio yesterday so it gets a spot here. In NMW's infinite reach and musical though leadership it's the least I can do to highlight a blistering group like this.

Just Us: "Me, Myself, and I" by G-Eazy ft. Bebe Rexha

This is kind of past its prime, so it gets a low spot, but it deserves some kind of mention since it's riding a solid wave from the spring. I dig G-Eazy, notably dishing on "I Mean It" two summers ago and this track is bolstered a ton by the confident nots of Bebe Rexha, whoever that is, whose owl sounds really push this into infinitely listenable territory. I think it's well past its peak, but like I said, only the hottest, baby!

90s Incarnate: "King of the World" by Weezer

You can tell I've been listening to more rock than pop lately, since there's no Demi Lovato or Natalie La Rose anywhere. Weezer totally found out how to tap back into their 90s sound, perfectly recreating that whole damn decade, for nostalgia fans everywhere. It's not even like they're really aping their earlier style, though, it's more like they're just still making good music that stands on its own. This of course contrasts with the Foo Fighters, who just kind of put out the same song each year since 2012.

Hamlet 3: "Ophelia" by The Lumineers

See, rock tends to be on a slightly different release spectrum than pop. All its hits are delayed before they hit our my ears. I swear. I dig this track, though, which rides that faux-pop folk trend started by Mumford & Sons in 2010 less than some of The Lumineers' more hipster-y work. I can see this being a nice one to jam to this summer, less obnoxious than it would sound at first.

Rufio FTW: "Lost Boy" by Ruth B

This is such a sweet little song, probably too mellow and maudlin for true Summer Jam-ness, but it's still a pretty hot track right now. I like the dissonance of this chick calling herself a Lost Boy - gender roles be damned fo sho. Was this on the Pan (2015) soundtrack? Do you guys remember Pan? No? That makes sense. I'd be curious to see how this floats on, because it's an addictive, if not a sorrowful track.

Sneeze on This: "Panda" by Desiigner

This is totally the kind of song where I'm not sure if the artist's name was "Panda" or "Desiigner." Also those double i's are really annoying. This is fun. all over again. This was a soaring jam this week, though, even if the lyrics are real weird. Ultimately this is no "Trap Queen" or "Jumpman," though. There's just nothing really distinctive about this to put it over the edge. I do dig that part where he just says "Panda" over and over though.

Seat to This: "Work From Home" by Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign

I get endless joy from Fifth Harmony. You know they were all born in like 1996, right? And none of them are white! As far as Simon Cowell's manufactured and exploited pop groups go, they've seemed to rise above other sheer trash like Cher Lloyd or Little Mix. I also had no idea this was made up of five women until I saw their first music video. Somehow they've turned themselves into not a one-hit wonder, and are mounting an assault on Summer 2016 just like they did last year. Risky move to not sell with sex.

Pop Lifetime: "Seven Years" by Lukas Graham

So just about all these songs are kind of boffo as Summer Jams. This may has well be the week of slow sad jams. And "Work From Home." Like I said, Sad Jams. Lukas Graham looks like Clark Duke if he tried to be a rapper. Except he doesn't actually do any rapping. This is a popular track though, even if I struggle to picture it playing successfully at a college graduation party. Too heavy, bro! I'm figuring this hangs for a while at this point.

Next week...

There's a new JT jam out, and it debuted at #1, but it kind of blows so I skipped it for now. It'll probably be here next week if it spreads like it should. Other than that, I'm still looking to Bieber and Ariana, but they both seem to be falling more than rising. I definitely leaned into the rock this week. Time to bring back the R&B Jam of the Week methinks...stay tuned for the Memorial Day Edition!

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