Welcome to The SALSA Weekly! The SALSA Weekly is a curated playlist/post on the blog, wherein members of SALSA will submit one song they have been digging the past week and why.
For your listening pleasure, here are our picks in one handy dandy Spotify playlist. Scroll down for what we have to say!
Amdusias: DJ Shadow — Horror Show
DJ Shadow’s been around for a long time, but unlike a lot of electronic artists who got started in the 90s and are still around, I find that I still genuinely enjoy almost everything he puts out.
This track is from The Mountain Has Fallen, the four-track…companion EP? I guess? to 2016’s The Mountain Will Fall. Most people seem to remember that album for the video to Nobody Speak, which might be my favorite music video of 2016. This is a total digression, but I’ll take any opportunity I can to link that video more places. :)
Anyway, this new track here features Danny Brown, who makes any song he’s on better. It actually sounds a fair bit like something that could have been on Atrocity Exhibition, but it’s over here instead; it’s grim, brooding, Brown’s flow is impeccable. I shouldn’t expect different from a track called “Horror Show”, but I’m glad I got exactly what I was expecting.
Found on: Spartacus
Lorxus: Fleet Foxes — Mykonos
I really love a lot of the chewy vocal harmonies here, and the heavily Greek imagery speaks to me. I’m put in mind of this because my sister bought me one of their t-shirts as a belated birthday gift, and also foxes. I think this was the first I’d ever listened to by them, too.
Found on: Απο των Σποτιφων
Mykki Blanco is a fierce MC. In terms of gender identity and exploration of that with honesty, even in the grittiness of reality, they’re an inspiration. They don’t always don’t deal with the topics of gender, though, as is the case on a lot of last year’s ‘Mykki’. It’s autobiographical and engages with their viewpoints in a way that does not take away from their own narrative. The production on this track gives the lyrical aggression punch and the chorus allows necessary space to let the desire for love actually fit in. It’s just a damn great addition to a fantastic studio debut from an amazing queer artist.
Found on: Σpotify
SignificantOtter: Streetlight Manifesto — A Better Place A Better Time
This song isn’t my usual fare, I tend to go for softer punk than Streetlight Manifesto’s typical sound, but the combination of sturdy instrumentals, an exciting prominent melody, and the sheer intensity with which it drags me forward has me listening to it over and over on repeat.
The lyrics also absolutely speak to me. A Better Place A Better Time is a frantic plea for life for a friend of the artist suffering through deperession and suicidal tendencies. You can feel the emotion and urgency in every beat of the song itself, and how it all culminates in a night of a decision that the friend has to make herself, while the artist and the friend’s family are pleaing for her to make the choice to continue on. I just can’t get the line out of my head, “You can’t decide / and they’re all screaming why won’t you / I’ll start the engine, but I can’t take this ride for you / I’ll draw your bath, and I’ll load your gun / but I hope so bad that you’ll bathe and hunt.”
The tempo ranges from frantic, to gentle, to screaming, to an alternative punk, and all the way to almost raggae sounding beat. Each change in tempo reflects emotional change in the song itself. The song, at six minutes is a serious ride, but with how it drags you forward, it feels like it passes by in an instant. It’s an excellent song. Although it can certainly can be a hard listen, this past week has found me pulling it up again and again.
Found on: Spotify, youtube, or elsewhere
Makyo: Shpongle — Room 23
Shpongle was my introduction to the whole psy* supergenre. I picked up both Are You Shpongled? and Tales Of The Inexpressible back in highschool and was immediately hooked. I found both albums to be very rich in terms of sound, from the psytrance beat and “world-music” drums (which I know is a total cop-out of a category), to the ambient flute/synth bits. I even remember one of my assignments for aerobics class was to make a progressive relaxation CD, which included Shpongle’s Flute Fruit.
It was a weird class.
I started listening to them again recently in my hunt for ‘cronchy’ music. Lots of static and bips and beats and such. Psybient isn’t really cronchy, but both Room 23 and Monster Hit have these decidedly cronchy bits in the middle. Lots of stuff going on in there that scratches my itch - or, in lay terms, “lets me cronch my monchies”.
Found on: I’unno, I’m too gestonkenflapt
Alteq : Childish Gambino —— Boogieman
Donald Glover really took it to the next level with this album, despite hthe main singles’ memetic success. He pulls from many soul/funk influences, and on this track there’s definitely a lot of George Clinton. Enjoy
Found on: See Spotify Run
This is the second song by a drag queen I’ve chosen for this playlist, but there has a been a lot of amazing music coming out of the drag scene lately. On the very first SALSA weekly I pulled a track from Trixie Mattel’s superb Two Birds EP, a set of six country songs that would feel as home on CMT as it does in a gay bar. There are people in the drag community who aren’t just making electronic dance-pop and it makes me so happy whenever it happens.
So, of course, I was so excited to hear Adore Delano’s new track, “Negative Nancy”. It eschews any subtlety for straight-up 90s grunge-punk angst, and I mean the word angst in all the best ways. Delano sneers her way through this song, and I can only hope it’s a shade of things to come, that her new album will be equally full of toothy rock tracks. To hear a drag queen get this angry, get this intense, and really pinpoint some underlying queer malaise and anger with a song is so refreshing.
Found on: Spotify
Post-rock/shoegaze/noise pop/whatever-you-want-to-call-them musical ensemble Swirlies open their third studio album with this perfect piece of lounge pop, a child of The Velvet Underground by way of Stereolab and The Magnetic Fields. With a swift snare trill, the band sends you off on a journey, gliding you over drum machines, churning synths and impossibly sweet vocals. Just wait for the canned strings kick in for the wordless chorus. It’s pure bliss.
Found on: On Swirlies’ third studio album “Cats of the Wild Vol. 2” which I’m pretty sure isn’t on streaming services unfortunately
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