PLUS-- Maleek Berry, Young Galaxy, Denny White, Will Varley, Moon Taxi, Hibou, and GARABATTO x Charlie Muse.
Happy Friday! Just before you head out to "cheers to the weekend," we've got this week's hottest new releases lined up for you. This week, one of our favorites is back with a remixed version of their song. Indie pop/rock band Eighty Ninety visited us for Popdust Presents a few months ago. Around that time, their new song "Your Favorite Song" had just come out. Now garnering over 350,000 listens on Spotify and an awesome music video "Your Favorite Song" seems to have become a fan favorite. Along with Eighty Ninety here's who else dropped new music this week: Maleek Berry, Young Galaxy, Denny White, Will Varley, Moon Taxi, Hibou, and GARABATTO x Charlie Muse.
Loote x Eighty Ninety | "Your Favorite Song" Remix
Eighty Ninety sat down with us to talk about their new remix. They said, "we love Loote's hard hitting minimalist pop approach with their own music — they create these relentless hooks surrounding really nuanced and emotionally authentic storytelling that just feel and sound so good." They noted that Loote's other remixes were really impressive especially how they, "are able to work the best parts of a song into something new and totally undeniable."
Collaborative in nature, the brother duo said that when they heard Loote's music they could tell they "shared priorities as musicians," that being a tell-tale sign that it would be a good collaboration. Because "Your Favorite Song" was Eighty Ninety's "popiest leaning melody yet," they decided it would be the perfect first song to have remixed. They said that Loote was their top choice and, "needless to say we were happy they said yes."
Seems like the feelings are mutual. Loote spoke highly of Eighty Ninety. They said, "Eighty Ninety has an ability to deliver songs that first strike you emotionally and than get totally stuck in your head, and they make it feel totally effortless. Thats what drew us to Your Favorite Song. The song grew on us so much as we worked on it. We probably spent longer on this remix than any other because it felt like one of our own and we wanted it to be perfect!" Eighty Ninety also complimented Loote on their knack for storytelling so the collaboration was all in all a match made in heaven.
It's a big year for Eighty Ninety who just announced that they'd be performing at coveted SXSW. "Our first announced show during SXSW is a showcase on March 11th hosted by one of our favorite music blogs, thisnewband.com. In the past the showcase has hosted some artists we really admire so we're excited to kick off the festival that way. Details on our socials, as well as more show announcements soon!"
In addition, they'll be playing several shows in NYC and releasing new music throughout spring until the release of their EP Bowery Beach Road.
Best for: A beach bonfire - I know it's too early for that but SOON.
Perfect if you like: Tame Impala
Maleek Berry | "Own It"
I love the percussiveness of this new track from Maleek Berry's new EP First Daze of Winter. The EP has six brand new songs. I love the mood of all of Berry's music. It's very chill but also very hard hitting.
Best for: Play it while you're doing boring computer work to make the time fly.
Perfect if you like: The Weeknd
Young Galaxy | "Under My Wing"
This song is perfectly chill. The soothing sounds of the minimalistic synth layers will relax you no matter how stressed you're feeling. "Under My Wing," is Young Galaxy's newest single following their 2015 album Falsework.
Best for: Before bed.
Perfect if you like: Class Actress
Denny White | "Torn Up"
It's impossible not to move to this tune. Though laid back White has the ability to strike a groove that hits you hard and gets under your skin. His voice is flawless and rides the unique track.
Best for: Your next house party playlist.
Perfect if you like: Justin Timberlake
Will Varley | "Seven Days"
The song hurts so bad it feels good. Ever need to be in your feelings? This is the perfect song for that. The visceral vocals and powerful rhythm guitar take you to a reflective state. I especially love the animated music video that comes with. A la an old video game, the all black and white visual compliments the song perfectly and weirdly makes you relate.
Best for: Being in your feelings.
Perfect if you like: The Lumineers
Moon Taxi | "Not Too Late"
Moon Taxi is awesome. If you haven't seen their recent performance on The Megyn Kelly Today Show, definitely check it out here. This song feels like a generational anthem. In fact, I'd love to hear it live because though the track feels complete with all of the intricate guitar riffs and the roaring vocals, I could see stadiums singing along to this one.
Best for: Your Superbowl Sunday playlist
Perfect if you like: Wild Cub
Hibou | "Fall Into"
Hibou just dropped this music video for his recent song "Fall Into". I love his stoic performance. It's somewhat 80s reminiscent and the details are obviously prioritized from the extreme close-ups and slow rolling cinematography. This song seems to be a warning that all good things have cons as well. It seems to be a reminder that falling in love is just as much dangerous and messy as it is wonderful.
Best for: Your winter cleaning playlist
Perfect if you like: Caleb Hawley
GARABATTO x Charlee Muse | "Infected"
This gritty track combined with Charlee's powerful vocals make this the perfect song to blast when you need to dance it out. The dynamic of the track and the vocals hand in hand compliment each other at times and contrast each other at other times making it truly interesting and always keeps you guessing what's next.
Best for: Getting the bad energy out through dance.
Perfect if you like: Dirty Palm
The quarterback said "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." And then he tried to apologize. And only made it worse.
Drew Brees, a man who makes literally millions of dollars for throwing a ball, has come under fire for insensitive comments he made about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.
"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said in the interview with Yahoo Finance. He clarified that this was in part because he envisioned his grandfathers, who fought in World War II, during the National Anthem. He continued, saying, "And is everything right with our country right now? No. It's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution."
This isn't the first time Brees made it clear that he cares more for the idea of a make-believe unified America than he does for actual human lives. In 2016, he criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem, saying it was "disrespectful to the American flag" and "an oxymoron" because the flag gave critics the right to speak out in the first place.
Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of racist police brutality
Of course, the flag's alleged ideals have been proven to only be applicable to wealthy, white men—men like Brees. Sure, his grandfathers did a noble thing when they fought under the US flag during WWII, and no one, including Kaepernick, has ever said that sacrifice isn't worth respecting. Thanks to the sacrifices of many people (including the enslaved Black backs upon which this country was built, including the scores of routinely abused Black soldiers who fought for American lives), America has offered opportunity and peace for many, many people. In particular, Ole' Glory has been very kind to men like Brees: rich, white men who still control the majority of the power and the wealth in the United States.
But what about the rest of us, Drew? What about George Floyd whose neck was crushed by a police officer who kneeled on him so casually that he didn't even take his hand out of his pocket? What about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot for the crime of being Black and going for a jog? What about Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night for a crime that had nothing to do with her? What about Tony McDade, Drew–have you heard his name? Have you heard about the 38-year-old Black trans man who was gunned down in Florida last week? Do you understand why these people's family's may harbor just a bit of disrespect for your precious flag?
Is it possible for you to realize, Drew, that your wish for "unity" is not a wish for progress, but a wish to maintain the status quo? When you call for unity under the American flag, you're talking about your flag, the flag that represents a long, sordid history of racial oppression and violence. There is no unity where there is no justice. When you say that "we are all in this together," what you're saying is that we all have roles to play in the version of society that has served you so well. For your part, you'll be a rich, white man, and for Black people's part, they'll continue to be victims of state-sanctioned murders– but hopefully more quietly, hopefully in a manner that doesn't make you uncomfortable?
When you say, "We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution," what you mean to say is that POC and their allies are at fault. Sure, you probably agree that Derek Chauvin took it a bit too far, and you probably feel a little self-conscious that he's brought all this "Black rights" stuff up again. But when you say "all," you place blame on the victims who are dying under a broken system. And what, exactly, do you expect POC to do differently, Drew? Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging, and still he died. George Floyd was just trying to pay a cashier, and still he died. POC and their allies try to peacefully protest by marching in the streets or taking a knee at a football game, and still white people condemn and criticize. Still the police shoot.
After much criticism, Brees did attempt an apology on Instagram, where he posted a hilariously corny stock photo of a Black and white hand clasped together. His caption, though possibly well-intentioned, made it even clearer that his understanding of the movement for Black lives is thoroughly lacking.
Highlights of the "apology" include his immediate attempt to exonerate himself from culpability, claiming that his words were misconstrued, saying of his previous statement: "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character." Unfortunately, Drew, white people like you are the "enemy," as you put it, because by default you are at the very least part of the problem. No one is accusing you of being an overt racist, Drew; no one thinks you actively and consciously detest Black people. But your lack of empathy, your apathy, and your unwillingness to unlearn your own biases are precisely what has persisted in the hearts and minds of well-meaning white Americans for centuries.
Next, you say, "I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the Black community in this movement." No, Drew. Just no. Black people don't need white people's savior complexes to interfere in their organizing; what they need is for us to shut up and listen. What they need is for us to get our knees off of their necks.
Finally, you say, "I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy." This, Drew, is suspiciously similar to saying, "But I'm one of the good whites!" The fact of the matter is that feeling the need to prove your allyship is not about helping a movement; it's about feeding your own ego. Not only that, but your emphasis on "ALWAYS" does a pretty good job of making it clear that you don't think you have a racist bone in your body and that you have taken great offense at any accusations to the contrary. I have some news for you, Drew: Every white person is racist. Sure, the levels vary, and while you may not be actively and consciously discriminating against POC, you have been brought up in a racist system, and your implicit biases are as strong as any other white person's. Your job now is to unlearn those biases and confront those subtle prejudices in yourself and in other white people. Maybe the first step in doing so is just shutting your f*cking mouth about kneeling at football games. Maybe you should even consider taking a knee yourself.
For other non-BIPOC trying to be better allies, check out one of these 68+ anti-racism resources.