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.

The List

For your listening pleasure, here are our picks in one handy dandy Spotify playlist. Scroll down for what we have to say!

Proxy: Ratboys — GL

Ratboys are a solid americana-inspired indie rock band, hot off of delivering one of the sleeper hits of 2017 (GN). The Chicago duo’s work occasionally delves into the guitar flourishes of country music, and entertain the instrumentation of country within this kind of poppy-ish indie rock sound. They weave together detailed imagery that makes specific anectdotal events feel a lot more relatable and universal in emotional stakes. “Control” off of GN is another great example of this, but the title track off of recently-released and aptly-named companion EP GL is an excellent example of the appeal of this band.

The lyrics start out less specific, more universally about being fed up with a friend who refuses to tell the truth and tries to maintain a more composed image for themselves. The situation starts to develop itself more as it goes on, allowing just enough ambiguity to read more like a subtweet than a recounting of events (“You laughed that morning when you puked in the dirt//You’re a broken boy, and I know that it hurts”; “‘I’m never going nowhere,’ that’s what you said to her//You left her with a permanent scar”). Add some truly hooky bitterness with some sweet vocal melodies to this mix and you get works that seem innocuous and demand more in-depth contextual listens. There’s some nice textures going on here, especially in its contrasting moments (such as how sparse it is during the phrase starting with “I don’t know you…” and the dense warmth of the repeated outtro hook “You’re a big-hearted liar//And you know who you are”). It’s just extremely well-constructed and worth a listen.

Found on: I AM GRAVITY

Amdusias: Kero Kero Bonito— Only Acting

Bonito Generation was an album that I really, really enjoyed; somehow, someone managed to make an extremely British J-pop album, or an extremely Japanese Britpop album, maybe, and those are phrases I don’t get to write very often. Also, I mean, just look at the video for Lipslap.

Now, discard everything you know about them based on that: Only Acting comes right the heck out of nowhere on their new EP, and I promise it goes nowhere you’re expecting based on that last album. I’m really into artists changing up their sound a ton, and even more into it when it actually works really well, so here was a nice surprise in my listening this week!

Found on: Spotty Spotty Bonito

Traedon: Vanessa Carlton — Blue Pool

Remember Vanessa Carlton? That one hit wonder from back in 2002? Her single ‘A Thousand Miles’ from her debut album ‘Be Not Nobody’ was everywhere at the time. And I mean absolutely everywhere, you literally couldn’t escape it. And then after making such a massive splash in the pop scene she pretty much all but disappeared.

But that’s the thing really, she didn’t disappear; instead she ended up going her own way, and doing her own thing. She dropped away from her initial record label because they weren’t supporting her with chasing her own vision of what she wanted her music to be. As much of a shame as that is, it’s fantastic that she’s pushed on and been releasing more and more music on her own, her albums sounding more mellow and earthy than the clean and highly polished sound that you can hear on ‘A Thousand Miles.’

And nothing illustrates this more than ‘Blue Pool,’ a track off her most recent studio album, ‘Liberman.’ The song balances between calming circular piano arpeggios, warm guitar chords, and atmospheric pads, all mixed with a gently used electric guitar. The entire package gets tied together nicely by a soothing double track of Carlton’s voice, and it’s just fantastic. It comes across as close, earnest, and very very cozy, and sometimes, that and a cup of hot chocolate is all that I need to make me happy.

Found on: Yes

Alteq: Radiohead — Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

I been out of the weekly game for a bit, so here’s a quick re-entry. This is one of my favorite songs to pop on whevener. I love love arpeggio-stuff, and the warm, floaty tones of this song (and album) have been a foundational sound for me.

Found on: Roy Spattyify

Lorxus: (Looking for a Hard Headed Woman) — Cat Stevens

This was one of my favorites when I was a lot younger, and I still like it.

Found on: I think my dad is worried about how much “Cat’s in the Cradle” resembles our relationship

Peri: Miss Eaves — Single A.F.

I’ve got pretty wild musical tastes, so I’m used to enjoying music without concerning too much about the artist’s meaning. But sometimes a song comes along that says something that makes you go “The world must hear this”. Miss Eaves has already been making waves in the world with her progressive and strongly feminist music, and single a.f. is catchy, fun, and speaks in an honest and relatable way about being fucking comfy with yourself. Put on a Kigu and spend Friday night doing your own thing without feeling crappy about it. I can dig this.

Found on: Spotify a.f.