As if we couldn’t already tell by looking outside, we’re doomed to six more weeks of winter according to our groundhog weatherman Punxsutawney Phil. But at least there’s a robust selection of music streaming for free, in case you’re any version of snowed in/hibernating/dead to the outside world. This week, Phantogram takes inspiration from Bill Murray (and it works), Mary Timony releases a new song as Ex Hex, rapper Iamsu! gets confessional, Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX team up for an appropriately dance-y single, and Kelela returns.
Phantogram — “Bill Murray”
First off, this song has absolutely nothing to do with Bill Murray, except that Phantogram uses a sad Bill Murray as the visuals for the song. The melancholy track is accompanied by clinking xylophones and breathy vocals, but the most heartbreaking moment is when Sarah Barthel sings, “You’re lonely because it feels right.”
Ex Hex — “Hot and Cold”
Despite its name, “Hot and Cold” has nothing to do with the similarly titled Katy Perry song. Instead, Mary Timony croons “so hot, so cold,” and it’s more of a wistful meditation than an eff-you sendoff track. While Timony’s new stuff as Ex Hex isn’t a huge departure from her previous work with Wild Flag and Helium, “Hot and Cold” has a bit more of a new wave influence. Get a little nostalgic, because it totally seems like the kind of song that would score the ending of a classic teen movie.
Iamsu! — “Yesterday”
While his first major single “Only That Real” features 2 Chainz and Sage the Gemini, Iamsu!’s stab at confessional rap is a highly melodic departure. Introspective and deeply personal, “Yesterday” shows a different side of the rapper — and it’s so worth a listen, especially if you like your songs told as raw, intricate stories.
Iggy Azalea (feat. Charli XCX) — “Fancy”
This might be the best Friday-slump pep talk in the form of a song. “Fancy” combines Iggy Azalea’s rapping with strong beats and the irresistibly catchy edge that Charli XCX adds to every pop song she puts her name on. Charli’s refrains are reminiscent of Gwen Stefani’s solo work, which may or may not be a turn-off for you, but major radio play — and teenagers belting “I’m so faaancy, you already know” — seems imminent. Take a good listen now.
Kelela — “The High”
Keeping in line with her amazing mixtape Cut 4 Me, “The High” is perfectly haunting and atmospheric. It’s the type of song for zoning out and chilling out — and hey, why don’t you? It’s Friday.