19 votes

Feature a band/artist in three tracks.

Here's the idea: feature any artist you love, especially those you think deserve more attention (though that's not a requirement--anyone is fair game!).

  • Give the artist/band, their genre(s), and three songs that give a good introduction/overview to their sound and style. Think appetizer, entree, and dessert. (Or just three appetizers--it's good to get us wanting more!)

  • Include a brief description of the artist and each of the tracks. Include any other information you feel is relevant.

Feel free to feature more than one band/artist, but in the interest of organization, make each its own separate top-level comment.

(See my example comment below to get a better idea of what I'm going for.)

23 comments

  1. [6]
    CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    Sufjan Stevens is a Detroit-born Brooklynite, of Lithuanian-Greek descent, born into an inter-faith community—Subud— and given his name by its founder. A practicing Episcopalian, Sufjan's songs at...

    Sufjan Stevens
    is a Detroit-born Brooklynite, of Lithuanian-Greek descent, born into an inter-faith community—Subud— and given his name by its founder. A practicing Episcopalian, Sufjan's songs at times feature Christian themes, though he attempts to keep his faith separate from his music. Often melancholic, always beautiful.

    Genres: Indie folk, baroque pop, alt-rock, electronica, avant-garde


    All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands, from Seven Swans
    Spotify | YouTube

    Taking its name from Isiah 55:12,—You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.—this track collapses the distinction between divine and personal pronouns, and showcases Sufjan's ability to blend a somber tone with hopeful optimism that builds through to the end.
    Probably one of his more overtly religious albums, Seven Swans doesn't come across as preachy. Enjoyable to the spiritual, and the secular alike.


    Casimir Pulaski Day, from (Sufjan Stevens Invites You To: Come On Feel the) Illinoise
    Spotify | YouTube

    A hauntingly gorgeous track; A personal childhood love story cut short by bone cancer, completely overshadowing the holiday in question. Honest about death, the narrator struggles with his belief in God in the face of loss. The trumpet echoes "Last Post", a bugle call in military tradition indicating a soldier has gone to their final rest. The final minute builds-up all of the songs instruments, a chorus of voices, and at its peak melodic phase—cuts out, leaving the organ on a minor chord.
    I can't make it through without crying. I mean that sincerely.


    Should Have Known Better, from Carrie & Lowell
    Spotify | YouTube

    Sufjan's origin story, in which his mother left him in a video store at the age of 'three, maybe four.' Moving through his trauma, the track takes on a more hopeful note midway through with an uplifting electronic keyboard; the birth of his brother's daughter has brought a light into his life that allows him to move forward.
    Critically acclaimed, Carrie & Lowell takes its name from Sufjan's Mother and her second-husband, and is probably his best album thus far.

    I have a few artists I could do this for. If I have the time/can be assed, I may do some more over the next couple days.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I've listened to Illinois countless times and love "Casimir Pulaski Day" for its sound, but I never really sat down to process it lyrically until now. Wow. Thanks for giving me cause to do so....

      I've listened to Illinois countless times and love "Casimir Pulaski Day" for its sound, but I never really sat down to process it lyrically until now. Wow. Thanks for giving me cause to do so.

      Also, did you have a hard time narrowing down only three tracks for Sufjan Stevens? I specifically chose a pop artist because I didn't want to be stuck trying to decide how best convey a "deeper" artist, knowing how much I would be leaving out.

      3 votes
      1. CALICO
        Link Parent
        I did. I spent a lot more time than I expected. But Casimir Pulaski Day was never not one of them. Only virgin ears will likely be able to judge how well I did, but I thought the three I chose...

        Also, did you have a hard time narrowing down only three tracks for Sufjan Stevens?

        I did. I spent a lot more time than I expected. But Casimir Pulaski Day was never not one of them. Only virgin ears will likely be able to judge how well I did, but I thought the three I chose distilled a bit of his essence that you'll find throughout his work. You'll get some simple arrangements, you'll get some more complex or melodic ones. You'll get a little faith, you'll get a little doubt. And you get a little sad, and see where some of this pain is coming from. Everyone, in some way or another, can empathize with loss.

        Some of the considered tracks: Chicago, The Only Thing, All of Me Wants All of You, The Dress Looks Nice on You, and Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois (I fucking love the piano in this one).

        3 votes
    2. Tygrak
      Link Parent
      If I had to choose 3 tracks from Subaru, I would have to include The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades. It's such a powerful song, most likely my favorite from Illinoise. I would also probably...

      If I had to choose 3 tracks from Subaru, I would have to include The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades. It's such a powerful song, most likely my favorite from Illinoise. I would also probably include Impossible Soul, but that is kind of cheating, because it is as long as some EPs hahaha. You chose some very good tracks though and as a sample of Sufjan I think these are some very good choices and probably better than having someone listen to Impossible Soul as their first song from him.

      2 votes
    3. [2]
      Dovey
      Link Parent
      (Quick note: your YouTube link for Casimir Pulaski Day goes to the wrong song.)

      (Quick note: your YouTube link for Casimir Pulaski Day goes to the wrong song.)

      1 vote
  2. [4]
    Kelsier
    Link
    Dot. Dot.(Aditi Saigal) is an indie artist from Delhi. Her influences include Regina Spektor, KT Tunstall, Paolo Nutini, Peggy Lee and Etta James. Her music videos have a charm of their own, with...

    Dot.

    Dot.(Aditi Saigal) is an indie artist from Delhi.
    Her influences include Regina Spektor, KT Tunstall, Paolo Nutini, Peggy Lee and Etta James.
    Her music videos have a charm of their own, with almost no editing or studio trickery. It's just pure, raw fun.

    Genre - I would describe her music as having a jazzy feel to it.

    I'm really bad at describing things so I'll just mention my three favourite tracks from her :p (I'll try to add a description later)

    Track 1 - Busy in Beige

    Track 2 - Lillian

    Track 3 - Normal Things

    I hope she releases an album soon :)

    6 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      You had me at Regina Spektor! She has a great voice, and like you said, I enjoy how her videos are very simple and straightforward. It's nice to see someone just doing what they love in an...

      You had me at Regina Spektor!

      She has a great voice, and like you said, I enjoy how her videos are very simple and straightforward. It's nice to see someone just doing what they love in an everyday, unprocessed way. Thanks for sharing.

      3 votes
    2. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      <3 Dot! You actually introduced me to her ages ago and I have had her YouTube channel set to "show all notifications" since then in desperate hope she would post some more videos. :P

      <3 Dot! You actually introduced me to her ages ago and I have had her YouTube channel set to "show all notifications" since then in desperate hope she would post some more videos. :P

      3 votes
    3. Douglas
      Link Parent
      Dang, she's really good! Thanks for the share!

      Dang, she's really good! Thanks for the share!

      2 votes
  3. 45930
    Link
    Bomb the Music Industry! Genres: Punk, Ska Don't know how to sell them, so let's just say that Jeff Rosenstock's energy and songwriting make for great records. Track 1: Skye! Life is Awesome! -...

    Bomb the Music Industry!

    Genres: Punk, Ska

    Don't know how to sell them, so let's just say that Jeff Rosenstock's energy and songwriting make for great records.

    Track 1: Skye! Life is Awesome! - Early work. Very rough mixing, very bright and youthful vibe.

    Track 2: 25! - Mid point for the band. This song and album has better recording than the older work (not that much better, he did it himself for every record), and the subject matter is more about getting older and wanting to stay young.

    Track 3: Campaign for a Better Weekend - One of the band's later albums, this track paints a picture of the city conspiring to ruin a perfect day, and the different ways you can look at life.

    6 votes
  4. culturedleftfoot
    Link
    Assassin a.k.a Agent Sasco Genres: Dancehall, reggae Originally known as Assassin for his lyrical abilities, in the past decade he's formalized one of his longtime nicknames. That coincided with a...

    Assassin a.k.a Agent Sasco

    Genres: Dancehall, reggae

    Originally known as Assassin for his lyrical abilities, in the past decade he's formalized one of his longtime nicknames. That coincided with a progression from more of a strictly hardcore dancehall artist to more versatility in the broader reggae range. You might have heard him as the source of the Jamaican vocals on Kanye West's I'm In It and Kendrick Lamar's The Blacker The Berry, or maybe you saw that Kenzo perfume ad that went viral a couple years back.

    Impossible to do him justice with three songs out of an almost 20-year career, but here are three I like that should show his trajectory.

    Track 1 - My Story (2010)
    A monster of a song. I realize it's probably not an easy introduction, but if you don't bounce off the lingo, it paints a vivid picture of where he comes from. A shame I can't find a link to the lyrics anywhere.

    Track 2 - Stronger (2016)
    This cut is from his excellent album Theory of Reggaetivity, in which he explored and paid homage to the roots of reggae music.

    Track 3 - Change (feat. Stonebwoy, Kabaka Pyramid, and Spragga Benz) (2018), from his latest album Hope River. Another massive tune.

    Sasco: songs of Substance And Social COmmentary.

    6 votes
  5. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    LIGHTS Genres: pop, synthpop, acoustic Lights (her real name) is a Canadian artist who I describe as making "pop songs with panache." Her songs are incredibly radio-friendly without feeling...

    LIGHTS

    Genres: pop, synthpop, acoustic

    Lights (her real name) is a Canadian artist who I describe as making "pop songs with panache." Her songs are incredibly radio-friendly without feeling soulless, and she does much of the songwriting and production on her tracks herself. She has singable melodies on top of engaging electronic arrangements, and she has a knack for capturing meaningful sentiments without getting cheesy or maudlin. She also releases acoustic versions of each of her albums, so you can enjoy the tracks you already love from a new, more minimal musical perspective.

    Track 1: Up We Go

    This is a quintessential Lights song and is a great introduction to her style. It features her bright (pun acknowledged) voice over driving, triumphant synths. Lyrically, it's an optimistic anthem for people at low points in life ("from down this low / it's only up we go").

    Track 2: Everybody Breaks a Glass

    This features a darker, harsher electronic arrangement that was the predominant style of her second album, Siberia. It's edgier with harder hits, almost dubsteppy at points, yet still eminently listenable. Lyrically, it's another pat on the back, acknowledging that we're all imperfect and make mistakes ("we all go off the track / and feel for our way back / everybody breaks a glass").

    Track 3: Running With the Boys

    This is from Midnight Machines, her acoustic re-recording of her third album Little Machines. This track does a great job of featuring her voice over a plodding, kinetic arrangement with a folksy feel. Lyrically, it's a reminiscence about childhood and a nostalgia for simpler times.

    5 votes
  6. [2]
    somewaffles
    Link
    Jeff Rosenstock Genres: punk, pop-punk, indie, ska Jeff Rosenstock is a musician from Long Island. He has been involved in a handful of projects since the early 2000's include the The Arrogant...

    Jeff Rosenstock

    Genres: punk, pop-punk, indie, ska

    Jeff Rosenstock is a musician from Long Island. He has been involved in a handful of projects since the early 2000's include the The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, Bomb the Music Industry!, Kudrow, Antarctigo Vespucci and a bunch others. He's known for his rigorous DIY ideologies. He also founded Quote Unquote Records, which releases all their music for free (this was before Radiohead and others were doing stuff like this.) After the disbandment of BTMI, he started a solo career that kept the same spirit of his previous projects. Generally his music is energetic and anxiety ridden. His lyrics range from issues with anxiety/depression, issues in the music scene, and political animosity. I don't usually play favorites when it comes to music but there are few artists that are able to put my thoughts and feelings onto paper so well.

    Track 1 - Everybody That Loves You, from Vacation

    Thought it'd be good to start with something from one of his original projects that was a little more than him screaming over loud synths and guitars. This track is from, what is generally considered, Bomb the Music Industry's best album. It is probably the closest thing to his solo work. If you haven't given BTMI a listen, you need to take a second and listen to this album (or all of them.) I think this is just a fun song that both lyrically and musically give a good taste of what that project encompassed.

    Track 2 Nausea, from We Cool?

    When I "rediscovered" Jeff, after years of not really following his music, this was the first song I heard and I was instantly hooked. It put me on a path to delve back into everything he had been doing since BTMI broke up. Probably one of my favorite songs ever, and at the time, something I really identified with. It gives a good taste of the nervous, self-deprecating but fun, high energy Jeff's music is all about.

    Track 3 9/10, from POST-

    While it pains me to not include anything off his 2016 record WORRY. (quite possibly my favorite record of all time), I think this song serves as a better dessert and provides a deeper example of the breadth of Jeff's musical abilities. While a good portion of his discography is loud, anxiety ridden punk rock, he has an equally large number of more calm songs like this. While POST- is a good album, it has a lot of iffy tracks (unlike WORRY. that was a banger front to back) but the good tracks on it are classics.

    5 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      "Nausea" absolutely hooked me. That catchy melody and an anthemic, clapping crowd chorus? I am all about it. Thank you for sharing.

      "Nausea" absolutely hooked me. That catchy melody and an anthemic, clapping crowd chorus? I am all about it. Thank you for sharing.

      1 vote
  7. [2]
    Douglas
    (edited )
    Link
    Vulfpeck Genres: funk, indie A band from Michigan with funk played in a minimalist approach and an amateur studio sound that harks back to older-records of funk music before modern music...

    Vulfpeck

    Genres: funk, indie

    A band from Michigan with funk played in a minimalist approach and an amateur studio sound that harks back to older-records of funk music before modern music production and sound recording, giving it a certain charm and aesthetic. Each instrument "contributes, but does not dominate" is their phrasing of it. If nothing else, I always enjoy watching their videos because you can tell they're having a lot of fun.

    Track 1: Adrienne & Adrianne

    A simple repetition that goes through the motions of giving each performer their own little moment. Kind of like an exercise in moving your attention from one instrument to the next.

    Track 2: Wait for the Moment

    Most of Vulfpeck's recent albums all have vocals, starting with this remarkable introduction to Antwuan Stanley that still gives me frission when I pay attention to his voice. They have other good vocal-laid tracks, but none as good as this one, imo.

    Track 3: A Walk to Remember

    This is the song that introduced me to them, and it just captured me like nothing else. It's a voyage from this trio of bass, beat, and piano that ends with a nostalgic sax solo that carries you away. It's just lovely. Like the end to a fun movie.

    Bonus track: Fearless Flyers - Ace of Aces: A side-project/band of theirs that are also good if you like their sound.
    5 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Another bonus track: Vulfpeck performing 1612 on Colbert is still one of my favorite live performances of theirs. Antwaun Stanley is a killer vocalist and in combination with Vulf it's pure magic.

      Another bonus track: Vulfpeck performing 1612 on Colbert is still one of my favorite live performances of theirs. Antwaun Stanley is a killer vocalist and in combination with Vulf it's pure magic.

      3 votes
  8. Bullmaestro
    Link
    Static-X Genres: Industrial metal, nu-metal. They're an industrial metal band from LA. They were really big in the late 90s and early 2000s, but I hadn't actually heard of them until 2012 when a...

    Static-X

    Genres: Industrial metal, nu-metal.

    They're an industrial metal band from LA. They were really big in the late 90s and early 2000s, but I hadn't actually heard of them until 2012 when a girl I used to like sent me a link to their "I'm With Stupid" music vid. I'd say I'm With Stupid is a bad starting point, because that track made me think they were a bad SOAD knock-off, especially when you look at Wayne's unintelligable scat-screaming and the garbled mess that the lyrics are. The only thing I can remotely understand in that track are the sampled voice clips from Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama.

    The band's vocalist Wayne Static died on the very first night shift I did in my old customer service job, so in tribute I spent my entire first shift listening through several of his albums back to back. That's when I realised that I didn't give them a proper chance.

    Track 1: 'Push It' from Wisconsin Death Trip

    Push It is the quintessential track from their debut album. It has a nice industrial guitar riff, lyrics that actually make sense, and a pretty decent music video to boot. It's also the track that Static-X are most well known for.

    Track 2: 'The Only' from Shadow Zone

    The Only is my favourite song from them. While the music video is average, the keyboard synth opener is great, and it actually reminds me of an alternative rock/pop punk song I heard years ago which I've spent ages trying to re-discover. Each part of the song including the opener, two verses, bridge and choruses are great in their own right.

    It's also one of their least heavy tracks. It's an anomally and a bloody good one at that.

    Track 3: 'Bled For Days' from Wisconsin Death Trip

    Didn't know whether to pick this or Wisconsin Death Trip as the third track. The latter is the titular song from their debut album and both do represent the early sound of Static-X with rather heavy riffs, lots of fast screaming and rather repetitive lyrics. In the end, Bled For Days won out because I like the intro/riff a lot more and because the lyrics seem to have some actual meaning.

    It's not clear what Bled For Days alludes to. It's definitely a song about depression, but it's not clear whether it also alludes to self-harm, being backstabbed, or being assaulted.

    5 votes
  9. spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Turisas Genre: folk metal Track 1: March of the Varangian Guard (acoustic) Lyrics Backstory: Track 2: Sahti-Waari (live) Lyrics and English translation From an interview with the band: Track 3:...

    Turisas

    Genre: folk metal

    Track 1: March of the Varangian Guard (acoustic)

    Lyrics

    Backstory:

    The Varangian Guard was an elite unit of the Byzantine Army from the tenth to the fourteenth century, whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Byzantine Emperors. The Varangian Guard was known for being primarily composed of recruits from northern Europe, including Norsemen from Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxons from England. The recruitment of distant foreigners from outside Byzantium to serve as the emperor's personal guard was pursued as a deliberate policy, as they lacked local political loyalties and could be counted upon to suppress revolts by disloyal Byzantine factions.

    Track 2: Sahti-Waari (live)

    Lyrics and English translation

    From an interview with the band:

    Antti had this very folkish violin theme, and we agreed on that this should be a different song, a short one and more instrumental. I took the riff and built the rest around that succeeding pretty well. I wrote more lyrics to this song than I could fit into it, but we wanted to print those in the booklet as well to support the story, even if the language probably doesn't make too much sense to the most of you.

    The intro part with the bar noice is actually from an folk gig we did in a local pub a couple of years back, where we played only acoustic folk music. The feeling was so great, that we wanted to start Sahti-Waari with that same drunken feeling. The song itself is obviously a studio recording.

    The name is Finnish and hard to translate wisely, maybe Old Man Ale or something. The story behind the name is that the Häme area in Finland where we come from is known for its traditions in making home brewed beer. Sahti actually means this type of beer, which is among the oldest beerstyles still in commercial production (brewed since 9th-10th century).

    Vaari on the other hand actually means grandfather, but the song isn't about any particular beer brewing old man, The vaari just stands for tradition. Another tradition, that was almost killed but is slowly lifting its head is the old pagan culture. By no means can it take the form as it had back then, the world being a completely different place now than it was for a millennium ago. But, as well as the Sahti is still brewed in Finland, a new generation is carrying the old pagan traditions into a modern world. Sahti-Waari is a song raising pints to all modern pagans around the world.

    Track 3: Rasputin

    If you've never seen it before, you should watch the original from Boney M first, and then Turisas' cover.

    Lyrics

    4 votes
  10. creepmyrtle
    Link
    Whores. Genres: rock; noise rock; hard rock; sludge; These guys bring the noise. Plain and simple. They hail from Atlanta and tour extensively. Their live show is easily the loudest and most...

    Whores.

    Genres: rock; noise rock; hard rock; sludge;

    These guys bring the noise. Plain and simple. They hail from Atlanta and tour extensively. Their live show is easily the loudest and most cathartic live music experience I've seen and I highly recommend catching them live if you get the chance. They have been one of my favorite bands for the past few years and are one of the biggest influences on my own music.

    I don't have a ton to say about each specific track so I'll let them speak for themselves.

    Track 1: Baby Bird

    Track 2: I Have A Prepared Statement

    Track 3: Daddy's Money

    3 votes
  11. culturedleftfoot
    Link
    Dapz on the Map Genre: grime There's a lot of talent in the grime scene but Birmingham's DotM stands out. I guess the easy comparison to make would be Drake (similarly blending melody and singing...

    Dapz on the Map

    Genre: grime

    There's a lot of talent in the grime scene but Birmingham's DotM stands out. I guess the easy comparison to make would be Drake (similarly blending melody and singing with rapping, songs about relationship troubles) but he's more than a mere clone. He's been at it for years, and his stuff has a raw, aspirational edge to it that I love. I wish he put out more material, it would be great to see him really blow up. DSAW!

    Track 1 - ROWT (2018)

    Track 2 - Champion Champion (2016)

    Track 3 - I Swear (2015)

    3 votes
  12. spit-evil-olive-tips
    (edited )
    Link
    Rush Genre: progressive rock Rush has more than 40 years worth of catalog to choose from, so 3 songs barely scratches the surface but I'll try. Track 1: Cygnus X-1 Book I and Book II Lyrics: Book...

    Rush

    Genre: progressive rock

    Rush has more than 40 years worth of catalog to choose from, so 3 songs barely scratches the surface but I'll try.

    Track 1: Cygnus X-1 Book I and Book II

    Lyrics: Book One and Book Two

    Cheating a bit here because it's technically two songs, split across two albums, from 1977 and 1978 respectively. And in true prog-rock fashion the two combined are nearly 30 minutes long. Oh well. Pour yourself something, light up something, whatever, and settle in.

    Book I is about a guy building a spaceship (named Rocinante after Don Quixote's horse) and travelling to a black hole because he wants to know what's on the other side.

    Book II opens on a civilization, either in Earth's past or some alternate planet or universe, it's not quite clear. The people are struggling with how to organize their society, typified by the ancient Greek dichotomy between Apollo and Dionysus.

    First they follow Apollo, who shows them how to build great cities to live in - "You can live in grace and comfort / In the world that you transform". But they're unfulfilled, because despite their great cities there's no art or music in their society.

    Then they switch to following Dionysus, who tells them to abandon those cities and come drink and party out in the forest. They're happy, until winter falls and they're not prepared, and fights break out as people argue over who they want to follow.

    The unnamed narrator from Book I is introduced again, looking down upon their fighting. He realizes that after passing through the black hole he has now become a god, and has the power to stop the fighting. They name him Cygnus, the god of balance between the forces of Apollo and Dionysus.

    Track 2: Red Sector A

    From 1984, this is Rush in their full 80s "use ALL the synthesizers" style.

    Both of Geddy Lee's parents were Holocaust survivors, and it inspired this song, though it's about a more generic prison camp and not the Holocaust specifically:

    Geddy Lee explained the genesis of the song in an interview:

    The seeds for the song were planted nearly 60 years ago in April 1945 when British and Canadian soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Lee's mother, Manya (now Mary) Rubenstein, was among the survivors. (His father, Morris Weinrib, was liberated from the Dachau concentration camp a few weeks later.) The whole album "Grace Under Pressure," says Lee, who was born Gary Lee Weinrib, "is about being on the brink and having the courage and strength to survive."

    Though "Red Sector A," like much of the album from which it comes, is set in a bleak, apocalyptic future, what Lee calls "the psychology" of the song comes directly from a story his mother told him about the day she was liberated.

    I once asked my mother her first thoughts upon being liberated," Lee says during a phone conversation. "She didn't believe [liberation] was possible. She didn't believe that if there was a society outside the camp how they could allow this to exist, so she believed society was done in."

    "Are the liberators here / do I hope or do I fear" still sends chills up my spine, every time I hear it.

    Track 3: Ghost Rider

    Jumping ahead to 2002 now.

    In 1997, Neil Peart, Rush's drummer and main lyricist, lost his only child in a car accident, and less than a year later his wife of 20+ years died of cancer. He took a sabbatical from the band and went long-distance motorcycle riding throughout North and Central America.

    Peart wrote a book called Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road about his travels and his thoughts while he travelled. Ghost Rider the song explores similar themes - "sunrise in the mirror / lightens that invisible load".

    This song speaks to me in particular, since I've also gone on some long-distance motorcycle trips in which I worked through some deep emotional stuff including the death of my father.

    If I can cheat a bit more and include a kinda-sorta-fourth-song: watch any of Neil Peart's drum solos. Here's a good-quality one for example.

    2 votes
  13. kfwyre
    Link
    Tunde Olaniran Genres: hip hop, trap, pop Tunde Olaniran is an American singer and rapper with a distinctive voice and incredible range. His songs are full of energy and personality. He is openly...

    Tunde Olaniran

    Genres: hip hop, trap, pop

    Tunde Olaniran is an American singer and rapper with a distinctive voice and incredible range. His songs are full of energy and personality. He is openly queer and one of his tracks was apparently featured in an Apple ad that I can't find a copy of online (I never saw it myself). I like him because I feel like he has a fresh, exciting sound that I can't adequately pin down or categorize. It changes from track to track, sometimes even within tracks.

    Track 1: Namesake

    This is a great introduction to Olaniran's style. Brash, frantic arrangement with confident and supportive lyrics. It's primarily focused on identity and satisfaction in life ("everybody's hoping and scraping and wishing / they could be something outside themselves"), with a message that's both reflective and uplifting ("if I can be me / then you can be yourself").

    Track 2: Coins

    This one feels like it's about to go off the rails at any moment, and it's so much better for it. The song is very much "fuck you, pay me" but expressed way more creatively ("make it hurricane in my pocket"). I really like the emotional range he's able to evoke in his voice, and the bridge is truly sublime.

    Track 3: Celine Dion

    This one is somewhat out of character in that it has a darker feel than his usual musical optimism, but I find its style engaging. The arrangement gives the whole thing a sort of eerie, foreboding feel that compliments the lyrics as Olaniran engages in a protracted and ambitious brag ("crown / I put it on").