Single-Play Stretch

“Can’t You Tell,” Aimee Mann

Maybe you’ve heard a variation of this phrase in the last few weeks:  “I wish this election was over!”  It’s certainly one for the books, and Aimee Mann isn’t going to let it pass without commenting on it.  In a novel twist, Mann’s “Can’t You Tell” takes its narrative point of view from the current GOP presidential candidate.  It’s all part of the “30 Days, 30 Songs” collection by “Artists for a Trump-free America.” In Mann’s view, she thinks Donald Trump got into the presidential race because of “the thrill of running and winning.”  However, she thinks that “maybe it had all gotten out of hand and was a runaway train that he couldn’t stop.”  Perhaps.  But one thing is clear about this song:  it marks the return of Aimee Mann to the music scene after a long absence. Her new solo record is slated for release in the spring (2017), but until then, we have this cheeky song to stave off our musical hunger for new tunes from Mann.

“Bored,” FELIN

What do you get with you combine Elin Blom and Fredrik Etoall ?  Why a band’s name, silly.  Yes, FELIN is Fredrik and Elin’s collaboration that’s pure pop joy. There are hooks a-plenty in “Bored,” so nothing about the song will really bore you. Indeed, it’s so catchy that it caught the ear of JC Jeans Company who have used the song in commercial. Interestingly enough, Elin Blom says the song is “for all the young restless souls out there, consumed by the consumer society.”  Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but maybe your restless soul will be love to be consumed by the sonic aggressive pop of “Bored.”

“On and On,” Sian Cross

Sian Cross is no newcomer to the music business. She’s paid her dues singing backup for a number of artists like Stevie Wonder, Jessie J, and Daniel Beddingfield, toured with Paul Carrack, and done stints recording for BBC radio. With “On and On” Cross is able to layer a whispered voice into an electronic soundscape that overflows with longing and desire. If you pay attention to the lyrics, you’ll see that the character Cross is portraying is that of an exotic dancer struggling to survive on a strip club stage. Heavy stuff, but Cross manages to express a number of emotions in the course of a song that’s both haunting and filled with a kind of rage.

“Sleep Is Day,” The Joy Formidable

This Welsh trio known more for their aggressive and sonically dense music, released this supposedly “acoustic” EP on October 4th. The electric guitars are certainly present in “Sleep Is Day” in a way that’s both gentle and shows its teeth. Going more for melody rather than the shoegaze distortion that characterizes some of their work, “Sleep Is Day” shows the band branching out in ways that may sound a bit conventional at times — but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with conventional.