Mic-Check 🎵 Weekly Music Newsletter (11.01.21)

New Ed Sheeran LP. Limp Bizkit comeback album. Willie Nelson covers George Harrison. JAY-Z and Kid Cudi team up. New A$AP Rocky track.

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On Saturday, Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters and Todd Rundgren were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with special awards going to Kraftwerk, Gil Scott-Heron and LL Cool J, among others.

Click here for a Spotify playlist with the songs mentioned in this story.

BIGGEST Songs of the Week 📈

It’s been over ten years since Ed Sheeran first charmed the world with the emotionally vulnerable lyrics of his debut album +, which included tracks like The A Team and Lego House. Since then, the English songwriter has become a stadium-filling superstar who has ditched his folk-pop tunes for arena-sized anthems which can reach fans seated in the nosebleeds. Neither of his last two singles, Bad Habits nor Shivers, were exceptions. It has become rare for Sheeran, now 30 years-old with a wife and kid, to sing about the insecurities and heartbreak which once made him so relatable. But on his latest 80’s inspired single, Overpass Graffiti, listeners get a taste of that nostalgic melancholiness as Sheeran reflects on a long-lost relationship, making the track one of the few bright spots on his new album =.

1. Ed Sheeran, Overpass Graffiti (Synthpop) 👍

2. Lil Uzi Vert, Demon High (Emo Rap) 😐

3. Big Sean, Hit-Boy, Bryson Tiller, Lil Durk, Loyal To A Fault (Pop Rap) 😐

4. Aminé, Charmander (Digicore) 👍👍

5. French Montana, I Don’t Really Care (Trap) 🗑️

6. Conan Gray, Telepath (Synthpop) 👍

7. MEDUZA, Hozier, Tell It To My Heart (Slap House) 😐

8. YG, Sign Language (G-Funk) 👍

9. A$AP Ferg, Pharrell Williams, The Neptunes, Green Juice (Trap) 😐

10. Yung Miami, Rap Freaks (Trap) 😐

Noteworthy 📰

  • Exactly ten years after its release, A$AP Rocky’s debut mixtape LIVE.LOVE.A$AP has finally arrived to streaming platforms, along with the bonus track Sandman, a tribute to A$AP Mob co-founder A$AP Yams.
  • To celebrate Halloween, Ashnikko interpolated the spooky orchestral classic In the Hall of the Mountain King for their new single Halloweenie IV: Innards, the fourth track from their annual Halloweenie series.
  • JAY-Z dropped the soundtrack for the new Idris Elba western The Harder They Fall, which includes the joint Kid Cudi track Guns Go Bang, previously teased in the film’s trailer.
  • grandson linked up with Kesha and Travis Barker for his newest pop rock anthem Drop Dead.
  • French DJ David Guetta took a page from Vin Diesel’s playbook for his latest single Family, which features Bebe Rexha, Ty Dolla $ign and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
  • R&B veterans Mario and Chris Brown teamed up on Get Back.
  • As part of a ‘director’s cut’ album expansion for their latest LP Screen Violence, CHVRCHES released three new songs, Killer, Screaming and Bitter End.
  • John Mayer shared a ballad version of his single Last Train Home off his most recent album Sob Rock.
  • Country icon Willie Nelson and his family shared a cover of the quiet Beatle George Harrison’s legendary track All Things Must Pass.
  • WATCH: Bruce Springsteen closed out his full-episode takeover of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert by revisiting his 1981 single The River.

BEST Songs of the Week 🔥

English afro funk band Ibibio Sound Machine have teamed up with alternative dance group Hot Chip for their latest single Electricity. Frontwoman Eno William’s noted that the song started as an idea to mix Afrobeat with synth vibes in the style of Giorgio Moroder, the Father of Disco and pioneer of EDM. The collaboration melds Ibibio Sound Machine’s signature blend of western style dance music and afro music with Hot Chip’s iconic drum machine, creating an infectious jam.

1. Ibibio Sound Machine, Electricity (Electro Afro Funk) 👍👍👍

2. Kylie Minogue, Jessie Ware, Kiss of Life (Disco) 👍👍👍

3. Shygirl, Cleo (Euro House) 👍👍👍

4. Spoon, The Hardest Cut (Garage Rock Revival) 👍👍👍

5. Anxious, In April (Emocore) 👍👍👍

6. Hiatus Kaiyote, Canopic Jar (Experimental Rock) 👍👍👍

7. Metronomy, It’s good to be back (Indietronica) 👍👍

8. Aminé, Charmander (Digicore) 👍👍

9. Beach Bunny, Oxygen (Indie Pop) 👍👍

10. SASAMI, The Greatest (Slacker Rock) 👍👍

Albums Spotlight 💿

Fifteen years and nine studio albums into her career, folk singer Marissa Nadler has finally released her first self-produced album, The Path of the Clouds. On the project, Nadler departs from her gothic dream folk sound, which defined her early works, in search of something more complex. Her sonics, which were once strictly acoustic, have become more sophisticated with the addition of electronics and distorted guitars. Inspired by an Unsolved Mysteries fixation, The Path of the Clouds uses puzzles such as the disappearance of newlyweds Glen and Bessie Hyde as thematic bases. Nadler’s literary songwriting and chilling lyrics are delivered by her breathy vocals over a hazy backdrop with lush choruses. The synth basses and shimmering strings add defiance to the delicacy, creating dynamic layers atop her haunting, ethereal sound.

Marissa Nadler, The Path of the Clouds (Psychedelic Folk) 👍👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: If I Could Breathe Underwater, Storm, Bessie Did You Make It?, From Vapor to Stardust, Lemon Queen

Mastodon, Hushed and Grim (Progressive Metal) 👍👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Savage Lands, The Beast, Sickle and Peace, Teardrinker, Pushing the Tides

The War On Drugs, I Don’t Live Here Anymore (Heartland Rock) 👍👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Don’t Live Here Anymore, Harmonia’s Dream, Change, Living Proof, Don’t Wanna Wait

Limp Bizkit, STILL SUCKS (Nu Metal) 👍

  • Favorite Tracks: Dirty Rotten Bizkit, Out Of Style, Dad Vibes, Turn It Up Bitch, You Bring Out The Worst In Me

Ed Sheeran, = (Pop) 😐

  • Favorite Tracks: The Joker And The Queen, Visiting Hours, Overpass Graffiti

Other Notable Projects: Big Sean & Hit-Boy What You Expect (EP), Geese Projector, JEON SOMI XOXO, Jerry Cantrell Brighten, Lotic Water, Megan Thee Stallion Something for Thee Hotties (Mixtape), Mick Jenkins Elephant In The Room, Namasenda Unlimited Ammo (Mixtape), Tori Amos Ocean to Ocean, Whitechapel Kin

WORST Song of the Week 🗑️

Macklemore, Windser, Ryan Lewis, Next Year (Pop Rap)

Next week: ABBA returns with Voyage, their first album since 1981.

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