Plugged In is a limited-run web series for 91.5 KRCC Music in which contributors from Colorado College's student radio station, The SOCC, tip us off to great new releases, under-the-radar favorites, and other music they can't live without. Below are recommendations from CC senior Mads Engel.
Jean Deaux - "Energy"
22-year-old Jean Deaux has put out the perfect teaser to the debut EP on the horizon with the release of “Energy.” It’s essentially a diss track aimed at the enemies of good vibes. Sweet soprano vocals are layered over a bouncing house beat that serves as a great mood adjuster. Play this track at your next house party to keep bad energy at bay.
Launder - "Keep You Close"
I am somewhat of a fiend for shoegaze music, so when I found out that a new project associated with members of DIIV and Day Wave had emerged from the Los Angeles music scene, I was on board before I even hit play. The new project Launder released an EP recently, and the song “Keep You Close” featuring Soko is definitely a standout. True to genre, the whole song is dripping in hazy reverb, yet the chorus is oddly reminiscent of early 2000s pop-punk. “Keep You Close” is just so satisfying, and I think listeners across generations will find something to like about it.
Clairo - "4EVER"
The new single “4EVER” from bedroom-pop artist Clairo stands out from her previous work for a number of reasons. It’s ostensibly the first song she’s recorded in a real studio, and funky instrumentals by the Burns Twins bring it a new level of sophistication. There’s something about the way Clairo’s voice glides over a melody that makes my heart melt. While the glossy production of “4EVER” feels less intimate than some of her other songs, it still feels like you’re being sung a sweet lullaby, just for you.
Melanie Faye - "Eternally 12"
Nashville native Melanie Faye first came to my attention when SheShreds magazine featured her in an Instagram post a few months ago, and apparently I’m not the only to have taken notice of this young guitar virtuoso. She recently posted a 45 minute video of a studio session with Mac DeMarco, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at their recent track, “Eternally 12.” The smooth tune pairs DeMarco’s atmospheric pop with Faye’s fluttering guitar licks, and does just fine without any lyrics at all. I must admit, the skeptic in me can’t help but wonder if this this collaboration is Mac Demarco’s attempt to stay relevant. Whatever the case may be, I’m glad Melanie Faye is getting the attention she deserves, and I’m grateful for this addition to my summer soundtrack.
Childish Gambino - "This Is America"
Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) debuted two new songs while hosting Saturday Night Live recently. The track “This Is America” and its accompanying video broke the internet pretty much immediately, inciting a flurry of memes and thinkpieces alike. The song expertly blends the neo-soul Glover has been known for with a lo-fi trap beat. There’s also a section with ad libs from artists like Young Thug and 21 Savage, employed nearly to the point of excess. I’m not sure whether “This Is America” is strictly praise or parody, but I am certain we’ll all be hearing plenty of it in the weeks to come.
Mads Engel is a senior at Colorado College. She writes music and concert reviews for the SOCC and produces podcasts in her free time.