Single Roundup: Week of Oct. 15

Story posted October 25, 2017 in Arts & Entertainment by Arts Staff.

With new music emerging every week, the CommRadio Arts department will be taking a look at a handful of singles released each week. Here are our thoughts on eight of the biggest tracks from the week of Oct. 15

Chris Brown – “Confidence”

“Confidence” from Chris Brown is all the Caribbean island feel everyone needs for this upcoming winter. It has a summer vibe to it, but it also acquires a hidden positive message despite many provocative phrases throughout the track. The beat has the power to move people to dance. With no surprise, he does make a dance reference and Chris Brown is never to one to pass up an opportunity to show off his dance moves. This single will definitely make its way into the club scene. The upbeat song brings light to the message of loving the confidence of his significant other, which is something mainstream music is missing from rappers like himself. The release of this single along with two others follows his newest album, Before the Party, Vol.2, which has 35 songs. Looks like he has been very busy. - Jacinda Soto

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “Crumbling Castle”

Somehow, after releasing three albums within the span of seven months, each with a wholly distinct style, the Australian mad geniuses of the psyche-rock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (KGATLW) have released their most experimental, challenging and ambitious track to date. Coming in at ten minutes and 45 seconds, just 35 seconds longer than the previous four-way tie of each track on 2015’s Quarters!, Crumbling Castle is KGATLW’s first true dive into progressive rock, with musical passages weaving in and out of each other without regard for traditional song structure.

Most notably the track features frequent transitions between uncommon time signatures, making for one of, if not the most, hypnotic rhythm section performance by the band in their entire discography. The frequent tinge of garage rock in the band’s sound is absent on the track as well, evolved instead into a fully formed noise-rock sound. “Crumbling Castle” is without a doubt KGATLW’s most ambitious and successfully executed track to date and confirms once again their spot as one of the most influential and important rock acts of the decade. – Chandler Copenheaver

Nick Jonas – “Home”

Nick Jonas has released a fun, uplifting single, “Home,” for the movie “Ferdinand” and it accomplishes what it strives to do — make a fun and welcoming song to reflect the movie’s themes. Jonas’ voice is soft and guides the listener alongside the pop instruments and are masterfully mixed together to emulate the music of a Disney film. It’s uplifting, fun and prides itself on its lyrics and theme — dealing with insecurities of where they are now and being able to be free to return home. This track is one that is going to be played for at least a few months, so it is well worth checking out. – Jack Grossman

Mikky Ekko – “Light the Way”

With his highly anticipated album FAME on the way, Mikky Ekko has already released two songs from said album with “Light the Way” being his second. “Light the Way” is a re-submersion into the pop-rock genre that dominated a good majority of the early 2000s. While it does seem that it could pass off as a song from the early 2000s, its melodic construct still introduces relevant implications of new-age “techno” mechanics. Its immediate gritty tone in both melody and vocals fills the listener with an anger emotionally equivalent to that of intense relationship troubles. Going down the same path, the lyrics tell the heartbreaking story of a significant others reaction to finding that his spouse has cheated on him. As the story progresses the listener sees that maybe these two lovers weren’t as compatible as they had thought. The song ultimately leaves one underlining theme for the audience to ponder: do all acts deserve forgiveness? – JonMichael Pereira

Kygo – “Kids in Love” feat. The Night Game

“Kids In Love” is a progressive tune that builds up all of its best elements throughout the song and keeps things fresh. Kygo uses a heavy classical piano to drive the melody and adds his signature punchy synths into the mix during each refrain. Each section of the songs feels unique and keeps the track from feeling stale. The Night Game lends their vocal talents to “Kids In Love” and compliments both the somber side and EDM influenced side of the classical piano. Kygo’s skills flourish when he combines multiple instrumental styles into the same song and “Kids In Love” keeps with this quality. Kygo’s newest release is a great listen and helps build up the hype for his upcoming album. – Zach Hall

Screaming Females – “Glass House”

It feels as though Screaming Females have been on the edge of blowing up in a huge way within the independent music scene since their 2006 debut. The group has never been able to quite capitalize on the incredible vocal talents of lead singer Marissa Paternoster nor their raw garage punk sound due to the lack of inventiveness in their songwriting. It’s always been enjoyable, but indistinct.

But now with both of the two singles to their 2018 album All at Once, “Black Moon” and “Glass House,” it seems the band’s songwriting chops have finally caught up to their performing abilities. “Glass House” scraps the traditional indie-rock song structure the group has been comfortable with for over a decade for a four minute track that spends the first two minutes and thirty three seconds building an uneasy tension until exploding and maintaining an emotional burst until the end of the song. The song’s hook digs deep, with Paternoster’s pained and frantic singing haunting the listener long after the last moments of the song. It’s a significant shift for the band that will make their 2018 return one of the most anticipated of the year. – Chandler Copenheaver

G4shi – “No No No”

The instrumental quality on “No No No” is well produced, but the lack of variation and underwhelming lyrical content to keep it from being something special. The beat is a typical trap inspired rap instrumental, with punchy snares, hard hitting kick drums and high hats that fill the void between the two. While the instrumental is great, the lyrical content leaves a lot to be desired. The lyrics on “No No No” can be compared to any other contemporary rap artist with a trap influenced sound out right now. Nothing in the lyrics does anything different or noteworthy and makes the track as a whole feel uninspired. If you are looking for a song that will rattle your speakers, “No No No” is right up your alley. However, if you are looking for a little more variety in your playlist, G4shi’s newest track may be one to skip.  – Zach Hall

Maroon 5 - "Whiskey" feat. A$AP Rocky

A huge step up from their previously released single “Help Me Out,” Maroon 5 has once again adapted and enhanced their own style into today’s ever-changing musical preferences with “Whiskey”. The simple implications of piano followed by the high vocal range of Adam Levine in the beginning of this song creates a melancholy atmosphere that is apparent throughout the entirety of this piece. The melody within the chorus is meaningful and catchy, with lyrics that contain sub-par appeal. As the song progresses into A$AP Rocky's portion of the piece, it takes a direction that loses the ambience that made this song good. His solo doesn’t fit the tone at all and his heavy reliance on auto-tune creates this harsh, computerized sound that is so far from how the song was previously progressing. Overall, Maroon 5 is onto something big and hopefully they can keep their momentum going. - JonMichael Pereira

 

Jacinda Soto is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and Spanish. To contact her, email JacindaSoto15@gmail.com.

Chandler Copenheaver is a senior majoring in public relations. To contact him, email chandlercopenheaver@gmail.com

Jack Grossman is a sophomore majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jackdgrossman@gmail.com.

JonMichael Pereira is a freshman majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jqp5759@psu.edu.

Zach Hall is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zth5043@psu.edu

About the Contributors

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JonMichael Pereira

Freshmen / Telecommunication

JonMichael is a writer and contributor for the Nittany Record Club, the first music analysis talk show at ComRadio. Before Penn State JonMichael was the director and head of production for his daily high school news show. He is always looking to forward his experience in the field of production, you can reach him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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ChandlerCopenheaver

Senior / Public Relations

Chandler Copenheaver is a Production Director and Arts Director of CommRadio who has been a member of CommRadio since the spring of 2015. Chandler’s responsibilities entail managing the production department, managing the arts department, creating audio commercials for CommRadio and external organizations, scheduling commercial blocks, and writing editorial content related to the arts. Chandler Copenheaver has worked most recently at Arlington Thrive in Arlington, VA as a Development & Program Intern, WellSpan Health in South Central PA as a Public Relations & Marketing Intern and served as a teaching assistant for the Penn State course BiSci 3 Environmental Science. Chandler aims to work in the fields of Public Relations, Communications Strategy or Communications Management. Follow him on Twitter @C_Copenheaver or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).