This week I have four irresistibly catchy songs from a few different genres. Each of these songs has a unique energy that draws me back for more and I hope y’all enjoy these tracks as much as I have. Don’t forget to follow the Songs of the Week playlist to impress your friends with your repertoire of underground hits.
Neroche – The Departure
Genre: Trip Hop, Chillhop
“The Departure” kicks off Neroche’s moody and hypnotizing album “The Crooked Mile”. This album is actually on the Beat Tapes playlist I recently featured but I want to give it the recognition it deserves. Neroche takes us on a crooked mile through the dark world created by atmospheric songs with just enough of a beat to nod along to.
The album as a whole is an immersive experience extending beyond just hearing the music. The combination of ominous song titles with the grey, uninviting album art inspires mental images of a journey through a sinister fantasy world. In the music the minor notes over downtempo beats create a feeling of gentle tension strong enough to notice but not overly intrusive.
Zion I ft. The Grouch – Silly Puddy
This is another song that derives beauty from simplicity. A simple kick pattern punctuates the starry synth notes to create a soothing, spacey beat that Zumbi and The Grouch tightly rap over. “Silly Puddy” comes from the 2000 album “Mind Over Matter”.
“Mind Over Matter” has an old school flavor with well-delivered rhymes over simple boom bap beats. The beats and the rhymes do not overshadow each other and instead work together to create lyricially-driven easy listening songs. This relaxed style gives “Silly Puddy” great crossover appeal – my friends who don’t normally like rap will even request this song.
Dopapod – Present Ghosts
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
“Present Ghosts” came out in 2014 but sounds like it’s from the peak of psychedelic rock. The introduction of the song is summery and enticing with a catchy synth lick that’s impossible to ignore as it continues through the first verse. The ringing synth notes in the chorus remind me of the famous Tannerin in the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”.
Like any good psychedelic rock song, “Present Ghosts” breaks down into an indulgent, groovy bridge with peaks and valleys before crescendoing into the rocking chorus one last time. Longer songs can be intimidating in this day where it’s easy to skip around and listen to songs one minute at a time, but “Present Ghosts” is an engaging journey that keeps me wanting more.
Haiku D’Etat – “Mike, Aaron, and Eddie”
As their name suggests, Haiku D’Etat (haiku + coup d’état) has a poetic style and puts a strong emphasis on lyricism. “Mike, Aaron, and Eddie” is an introduction to the group and one of the most unique rap songs I’ve ever heard. I first heard this song in Boreta’s crunchy banger of a remix. I admit the first time I heard the stripped-down, almost spoken word sound of the original I felt like something was missing, but the song has a special energy that kept bringing me back.
On the surface this song is very chill. Lyrical delivery is effortless and the beat is so relaxing you barely even notice it. However, if you listen closely there’s a punchy energy created by the stuttered lyrics. Like poets, the rappers rely on their words and delivery to bring life into the song. Tongue twisters like “M-M-Michael Michael mo Michael, bo feeble fible bo fichael” are easily thrown around in this showcase of syllable juggling.