5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening to is a collection of our newest favorite songs. And Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole thing in the player below.
1. Run the Jewels pick “Pots & Pans” by Cuz Lightyear
From the Program Director’s desk at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, I’m Jordan Lee. This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. I’m taking over for Music Director, Justin Barney, today because well, I’m a super fan boy of this group.
While their collaboration began before this, they officially released their first record together in the summer of 2013. I am super excited that four years later one of my favorite albums of the year, Run the Jewels 3 is out now. I am sitting down with Killer Mike from Run the Jewels.
Jordan Lee: Super excited to talk to you today, thanks for calling us up Mike. We have one simple question for you; we ask this of artists all the time. What is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Killer Mike: Right now I can’t stop listening to, we have an opener-we have a opener named Cuz Lightyear.
He has a record call “Pots N Pans.” I’m actually featured on the record with him, so this is totally not replacement narcissism, I’m just dope. But beyond that the kid, he’s just dope. He reminds me of like – if you could take Fabolous and Nate Dogg and make them one human being, like someone with clever, uncanny, dope rhyme abilities yet with harmony and melodies he’d be like, that prototype.
So, listening to him just get it off and the hook is everyone is-everyone who has ever worked a crappy summer job – you know before I made it I was scraping pots and pans? You’re gonna feel that, so you know I really – I really love the record. I’m featured on the record so it’s kind of a cheat though, but trust me you guys, just trust me. Even without hearing me you’re going to love it.
- Listen if you like: Run the Jewels, Fabolous, Nate Dogg
2. Lana Del Rey – “Love”
I will admit, I’ve had my issues with Lana Del Rey. When she came on the scene, she seemed… suspicious. Here is this girl, writing lilty sad ballads, dripping in a false nostalgia, and with lyrics that sometimes felt a bit like they were pandering. Like even in this song, when she says, “I’m young and in love.” I mean, barf. Using the word “I’m young” as the chorus in any song has always felt, to me, like a thinly veiled marketing attempt by a record exec to “hook the millennial audience.”
BUT Somehow, when Lana Del Rey delivers the line “I’m young and in love” in this song, it feels different. I’m sure there is part of that that the tween girls it’s targeted at will pick up on and write on pairs of jeans or in the margins of science class notebooks and insist that their parents buy the $100 ticket when she comes to the market, BUT ALSO, when she sings the line “I’m young and in love” there is a vacancy there that cuts me right to the bone.
I’m amazed at how full her voice can be and yet how utterly empty it can feel.
Her delivery speaks to a feeling youth and love that surrounds an emptiness inside, and it’s not to say that true art has to be sad and tortured, but there is something in this song that rings true, that feels real, that gives me almost a physical ache in her hanging notes that goes right to my heart and it is undeniable.
I don’t think I truly understood Lana Del Rey until I heard this song.
- Listen if you like: sadness, nostalgia, being young and in love
3. London O’Connor – Nobody Hangs Out Anymore”
If I had to describe London O’Connor’s music in one word, it might be tired. But not like tired from doing a whole lot of stuff, it’s more like the kind of tired feeling you have after laying in bed until noon, where your body has actually had so much rest that you’ve skipped some part of the circuit and you’re back to exhaustion.
And it’s exactly that lazy, tired delivery that I love. And the beat sounds like some kind of slowed down ringtone, like we’ve gotten to this place in music where the most comforting sounds are things that remind us of our phones.
This is the soundtrack for going through the same five apps on your phone over and over and over, too lazy to do anything else, but see if your friend posted another picture to Instagram.
- Listen if you like: lazy deliveries, Radiohead, Raury
4. Hurray for the Riff Raff – “Rican Beach”
Justin Barney: This is 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To. I’m here with Cynthia, our Development Events Coordinator. Thanks for being here Cynthia.
Cynthia Zanow: Thanks for having me.
Justin Barney: What is one song you can’t stop listening to?
Cynthia Zanow: One song I can’t stop listening to is Rican Beach by Hurray for the Riff Raff.
Justin Barney: And why this song?
Cynthia Zanow: This lead singer, she’s of Puerto Rican descent and she’s from the Bronx. And she’s singing about this fictional community called Rican Beach and particularly she’d talking about the gentrification that’s happening in this community.
Justin Barney: Yeah.
Cynthia Zanow: And that’s a narrative that is definitely real for her, from New York City. But it’s also the reality for a lot of the Latinx community here in Milwaukee. And so that song really pulls at my heartstrings. I live in Walkers Point right now and grew up in this area. The factory that my mom worked in for thirty years as a seamstress is now like a high end lofts and we see that happening all over our community in Milwaukee and I think this song , you know, she’s really just encouraging people to think critically about the spaces that we occupy and the people that existed here before us.
Justin Barney: Alright let’s hear it. This is Rican Beach by Hurray for the Riff Raff.
- Listen if you like: woke music, Jose Gonzales, world influence
5. Diet Cig – “Barf Day”
In this song, lead singer of Diet Cig, Alex Luciano comes to you with a simple request, to have ice cream on her birthday.
I think it’s a perfect metaphor for this band that is filled with burgeoning angst, and yet is so ernest and sweet.
Barf day shows that even in adulthood you can throw a perfectly legitimate temper tantrum and ice cream truly can make anything better.
- Listen if you like: PWR BTTM, Weezer, Bleached