Each Thursday morning on Radio Milwaukee we — the Journal Sentinel’s Piet Levy and 88Nine’s Jordan Lee — talk about the music coming into and the music coming out of Milwaukee on Tap’d In.
This month we’re going to be sharing our annual favorite songs and albums from Milwaukee, and despite the pandemic, there were no shortage of great ones to pick from.
We kick things off this week by talking about our favorite songs. Hear the episode below, where you can also stream all of the songs.
REYNA – “Coachella”
The timing couldn’t have been better for this perky single. At a time when we could no longer go to music festivals, REYNA took us to one.
Ms. Lotus Fankh – “No Funeral”
It’s simply done, but few songs deployed a voice and handclaps more effectively this year. Ms. Lotus Fankh provided one of the year’s most moving musical responses to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Fuzzy Surf – “Surfana”
It took me away to a place of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, and it has a very Weezer vibe, which is exactly where I wanted to go this year.
You Win!!! – “Shrap.nel”
We loved this brooding, trip-hop track from the new collaboration Amanda Huff and producer This Random Machine. It’s dark, but in the most enticing way possible.
L’Resorts – “Squeeze You”
This coy song is like a music box, and every time I hear it I get a smile on my face. It’s just delightful from start to finish.
LO/ST – “Couch”
This young indie band has only released a few songs, but this one really blew Piet away. It’s a song about therapy and how painful the process can be, but how the end result is worth it. The subject matter is beautifully matched by the music.
Cam Will – “Enough”
This year Cam Will really came through with some great music, and this song is the perfect way to combine smart songwriting with pop-rap, a form that I usually find a little hollow. Cam Will really has something special going on.
REYNA – “Lonely Girl”
That’s right, there are two REYNA songs on this list. This is a song about loneliness, but in true REYNA style, it’s incredibly infectious. This song speaks to sadness but also provides comfort, which we very much needed this year.
This benefit song, released amid the pandemic, became a rally for unity. We can’t even list all the dozens of artists that contributed to this song — there are too many — but it’s a song that we’ll remember decades from now. It offered hope at a period that could feel hopeless.
Kyle John Kenowski – “TRUSTYWORMY”
Piet says that Kyle John Kenowski’s new album of dense, electronic folk is unlike anything else he’s ever heard — it can be beautiful one moment and terrifying the next. He likens it to the Beach Boys doing the score for a David Lynch movie. And don’t miss the music video for this one: Kenowski animated it himself.
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