Refreshment: New Music of the Week – featuring Kingsley, Mdou Moctar and more! – Blogtown
Editor’s Note: This article quotes lyrics about suicidal ideation.
These days there is so much new music coming out every week that it’s impossible (for me) to digest it all. Also, the music should be refreshing – like taking a dip, but for your brain – not a chore to be done. So here are three notable new music from local and widely acclaimed artists, all of which were released on May 21.
Crying on vacation, Kingsley
On May 21, Portland-based artist Kingsley dropped his very enjoyable sophomore project. Crying on vacation. Driven by Kingsley’s unique vocal sounds – which are thin, but euphonically – the album focuses on feelings of grief, and took two years of writing and editing. The whole album is an easy going vibe despite its extremely heartbreaking content. Highlights include, but not limited to, “Changed”, “Therapy” (and its previously released music video in an Enchanted Forest) and two versions of “All Me,” an upbeat and funky pop bopper that asks for nothing. ‘a dance choreography. There is also an acoustic version of “You Didn’t” and a remarkable live recording of “Life After You”. The “All Me” which stars Haley Johnsen recently received video processing that was filmed on the Holocene scene. Check it out below:
Love Mercury Musical coverage?
Africa Victim, Mdou Moctar
There is something about music that is either a) primarily instrumental, and b) in another language that makes listening less distracting and easier to focus on what you are doing. We are therefore lucky for us, who work from home, that the prolific Tuareg guitarist and composer Mdou Moctar has just released a new album, Afrique Victime, on May 21. as well as acoustic guitar and influences from the 80s. It also pays homage to the legendary musician Abdallah Ag Oumbadagou, who was one of Tinariwen’s contemporaries. Whether you are looking for a sound adventure to sleep, fuck, work out or do yoga, Africa Victim will do the job.
The album is all the highlights, throughout, and also gives its global fanbase something to look forward to when the shows start again and the former Pickathon headliner inevitably comes to town. (From now on, Mdou Moctar will be as close as Seattle in September.) If you like these sounds, be sure to check out Mdou Moctar in a recent edition of NPR Tiny Desk Concert (Home) in which the band performs songs from the new album and you can see the mesmerizing rhythm section of the band.
“SUN GOES DOWN”, Lil Nas X
Apparently May 21 was a popular day for releasing music, as Lil Nas X also released their new single “SUN GOES DOWN” that day. The dark song is about anyone who might have been having thoughts of suicide, especially those from the LGBTQ + community. The chorus sees Lil Nas X singing “I wanna run away / I don’t wanna lie, I don’t want a life / Send me a gun and I’ll see the sun.” And the song’s lone verse sees the artist go into more detail about what he went through in silence before reaching celebrity status with “Old Town Road,” including being aware of his labia majora, his dark complexion and his queer identity: would always haunt me / I prayed that God would take it from me / It’s hard for you when you fight / And nobody knows when you’re silent / I’d be on the phone / Stanning Nicki morning in the dawn / The only place I felt like I belonged / Strangers make you feel so loved, you know? ” At the end, he adds that he’s happy now and hopes to make his fans proud of him for coming through the dark times and becoming the person he was meant to be. The artist performed the song on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, after a wildly fierce and flamboyant rendition of “Montero: Call Me By Your Name”. Check it out below:
If you are in a crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by sending TALK on 741741.