Welcome to the Monday Mix, where each week we highlight three songs debuting on the opbmusic broadcast.
Kyle Craft - “2 Ugly 4 NY”
Like his recorded material, Craft’s live performance is loud, audacious and highly entertaining. I can vouch – last summer, I saw Craft perform for the first time at Pickle Fest, a concert put on by the Portland Pickles baseball organization. His latest single, “2 Ugly 4 NY,” falls right in line with expectations, packing a walloping punch of southern-influenced guitar licks and full-throated wails. Kyle Craft’s upcoming new full-length album, “Showboat Honey,” is due out on July 12 via Sub Pop Records.
Japanese Breakfast - “Essentially”
Japanese Breakfast is the stage name of Michelle Zauner, an artist based in New York but with family roots in Eugene, Oregon. Her latest single, “Essentially,” was recorded as part of a new series of songs funded by W Hotels and recorded on the premises their hotel locations (this particular edition originated from their property in in Bali, Indonesia). The song is a lush electronic dreamscape, filled with beautifully swelling strings, electro rhythm and bass, and perhaps most prevalent of all, Zauner’s mellifluous voice rounding out the recording. Equal parts musician and writer, Zauner has also signed a book deal for a new memoir, “Crying in H Mart.” The book is based on an article published in last year’s New Yorker that centered on Zauner’s experience growing up Korean American and losing her mother far too early.
Marika Hackman - “i’m not where you are”
With the first single since her critically-acclaimed sophomore full-length, “I’m Not Your Man,” Marika Hackman reminds us once again that she is a music scholar with dean’s list standing. “i’m not where you are” feels like something out of the indie rock explosion of the early 2000s, showcasing glittery keys and a true earworm of a hook. The song’s best moment happens halfway through, when everything slows down and takes a beat before the kick drum sets things into motion again, before wrapping up with overlapping vocals and a 70’s-era glam rock guitar solo. According to her label, Sub Pop Records, Hackman’s latest release is a sneak preview of her forthcoming album with a release date yet to be announced.