“You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen
We start off this edition of Friday Five remembering singer-songwriter legend Leonard Cohen, who passed away yesterday at 82. As if losing Prince and Bowie was not enough, Cohen, like the others, was a larger than life figure that could take the darkest ideas and make them both approachable and beautiful. From his last album, You Want It Darker, which was just released two weeks ago, here is the title track.
“Me and Your Mama” by Childish Gambino
Donald Glover has been on a roll lately, between his hit TV series Atlanta and landing the role of Lando Calrissian for an upcoming Star Wars project. Now, he’s starting to give listeners an idea of what his next Childish Gambino project will sound like, and if “Me and Your Mama” is any indication, it will be fantastic. Steeped in all of the essence of Parliament Funkadelic (hell, even the album art looks like something George Clinton would’ve dreamed up), the possibility of a genuine funk album being released in 2016 is pretty exciting.
“The Space Program” by A Tribe Called Quest
Their first release in 18 years and sadly after the death of Phife Dawg, A Tribe Called Quest’s latest is an epic taste of old-school hip-hop that stacked with features from Kendrick Lamar to Andre 3000 to Jack White and many others. It’s more than a nostalgia trip, with the dense socially conscious lyrics you’d hope to hear from the crew. We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service is now available.
“How??” by The Flaming Lips
With their second release from their upcoming Oczy Mlody, The Flaming Lips use a lot of dissonant effects to create a haunting and somewhat disturbing single. It’s an interesting contrast to their last single, time will tell to see how it all comes together as an album.
“Conrad” by SOHN
On his 2014 album Tremors, SOHN showed a lot of promise but didn’t always deliver. If his first two singles are any indication, those issues are no longer. “Conrad” in particular has a great hook and excellent synth work to create an energizing, anthemic piece.