Who knew Cancel Culture could get stuck in your head? | Single reviews
Carver Commodore – “Cancel Culture”: After only listening to this song a few times, I found myself muttering to myself that obnoxious yet infectious chorus on repeat. “Cancel, culture. Cancel, CANCEL culture!” I barely know the song, and I already have a love-hate relationship with it. Which, if you think about it, is kind of genius. This has been quite a week. I deleted my @tunedupryan Twitter profile, because I got swept up in the mayhem of people calling out Tyler Joseph. Is there no room for grace in this unprecedented (ugh) contentious climate? A lot of us are doing our best. All that to say, Carver Commodore are channeling the angst and tension between legitimate criticism and toxic callouts into an earworm of a rock song, that you might hate after a couple of listens but be drawn back to anyway.
nobigdyl. and Andy Mineo – “WILLY”: Clever wordplay and a simple yet slick beats form the backbone for this tribute to Will Smith, by the dynamic duo we didn’t know we needed—Andy Mineo and nobigdyl. As someone who loved Will Smith as a kid, I’m a big fan of this track. I’m looking forward to randomly chanting “Wild wild west, and yes I’m Big Willy” and having people stare at me. Actually, I won’t do that, but wouldn’t that be funny?
Tai Shan – “Burn It Down”: This quick little ditty from Americana artist Tai Shan is for the live scene we crave. Her expression walks a fine like between fun and tense. No doubt, Shan is a passionate singer. Not everyone will like her vocal style—her emotion sometimes threatens to take over completely, but she manages to maintain a sense of control throughout the song. The single is featured on her latest LP, Traveling Show, which came out this past spring. Turn it up and bounce along.
Komanda – “Begin Again”: If a house music influenced pop with a bit of grit is your poison, you’ll likely enjoy this song by Brooklyn’s Komanda. I personally feel the chorus holds back a bit too much, but overall I enjoy the vibe and the contrast of the different elements at work within. Taking in their aesthetic and attitude, I wouldn’t be terribly uncomfortable booking them on a punk bill. Our Columbus readers will find hints of Captain Kidd in their sound. Word on the street is a full length from these dudes is coming sooner or later.
America Jayne – “Pretend”: This folkpop artist from NYC has a nice voice and lulls us into a fantasy world in a song about, well, just that. Lord knows we all probably have somewhat of a desire to escape these days. Reading her background, I want to listen to this song while sitting on the riverbank, staring at a cityscape at dusk. Since a trip to NYC probably isn’t in my near future, the Columbus skyline will have to suffice. What kind of longevity will this song have on my playlist? I don’t know. But I know that the immediate effect of listening is a nice one, and that’s good enough for me right now.
Naomi Banks + Cite Soleil – “Til Daylight”: This song is entirely too short. This beat is gnarly and reminds me of the time I heard Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor” for the first time. Soulful vocals and a tribal, sensual beat send my mind to a weird place. It’s an effective use of the “less is more” trope, but I wish this were explored more. Nonetheless, Naomi Banks helps define cool in her exploration of neo-soul. I can’t find anything about Cite Soleil online—I wish I could! Enjoy the trippy music video below.
Robyn Harris – “If I Have to Tell You”: The song has a striking start with a sparkly, echoing guitar lick that echoes. In contrast, Robyn’s borderline husky vocals fill in, adding some muscle to the hook and song in general. Robyn has a big battle to fight when it comes to standing out in the sea of aspiring pop singers that make up a big part of Nashville, but the danceability of this song is a decent push in the right direction. The beat leads the song rather than the hook, which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it, but for myself as someone who tends to focus on the overall feeling of the song rather than the lyrics individually, this is a positive.
Check out all of the songs on our Spotify profile here.