I usually write a winter concert preview, but I’m not very motivated to do it this year. Scanning the list of winter concerts, I’m just not very impressed. I’m sure there are some cool shows and bands playing over the next few months, but right now the schedule looks a little bleak. Fortunately, I am drowning in new music, and there are some decent tunes on the radio. Here are five songs I’m currently enjoying:
5. “Stranger to My Happiness” by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings — I caught Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings a couple years ago at The Egg, and they were fantastic: A funk/soul/R&B band whose music evokes the heyday of the genre. Their new single is vibrant, energetic and fun, and it makes me smile whenever it comes on the radio.
4. “Fall in Love” by Phantogram — This inventive electronic rock duo, who hail from the Washington County town of Greenwich, keep getting better, and their new single is as good as anything they’ve done. I’m looking forward to Phantogram’s upcoming album, “Voices,” which is expected to be released this year.
3. “Team” by Lorde — At this point, it’s pretty clear that 17-year-old pop star Lorde is a genius — smart, perceptive and unusually gifted at crafting catchy hooks and melding a variety of musical styles into something that’s both accessible and fresh. Her latest single, “Team,” is just as dynamic as her monster breakthrough hit, “Royals.”
2. “Unbelievers” by Vampire Weekend — This might be my favorite Vampire Weekend song of all time, which is saying something, as I love almost all of their music. But “Unbelievers” is one of their most mature, philosophically astute songs, a zippy meditation on love, death and religion.
1. “The Monster” by Eminem, featuring Rihanna — It’s hard for me to fully embrace Eminem, considering his history of homophobic lyrics and generally idiotic behavior. But the guy knows how to write a song, and his albums generate at least one or two singles that I simply can’t get enough of. For instance, right now I’m really enjoying “The Monster,” and I’m spending an inordinate amount of time on pop radio stations, hoping to catch it. Eminen’s rhyming and rapping is terrific, and Rihanna’s vocals are pretty good, too.
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