Laura Marling: A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan Cover)
Laura Marling’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall” has a way of cradling listeners with airy, powerful optimism in the face of adversity. While the lyrics address tragedy, troubling experiences and even triumph, Marling’s take feels much like words of encouragement. Crystalline pools of depth support the surface beauty, for a track that’s really quite the adventure itself.
Whethan feat. Opia: Aftertaste
With substantial periods of minimal instrumentation strung through with deep, soulful vocals, “Aftertaste” by Whethan, and featuring Opia, unfolds again and again. The track reflects continued developments from producer (and DJ) Whethan, aka Chicago-based Ethan Snoreck. But for all its thoughtful emotionalism and artistry, it also just happens to be plain old enjoyable.
From Rapsody (aka North Carolina MC Marlanna Evans) comes a fresh, powerful video for “Sassy,” her Grammy-nominated turn—for best rap song. It’s a joyous party track, from this year’s Laila’s Wisdom album, and the video not only matches expectations but over-delivers with nothing short of sassiness.
First Aid Kit: Perfect Places
As part of a two-track live studio recording release from BBC Radio 2, First Aid Kit’s “Perfect Places” turns the Lorde original into a stripped-down, folky number. The Swedish duo infuse the cover song with plenty of delicate beauty, and an almost wintry haze. With a new album on the horizon, it’s another taste at what First Aid Kit is capable of delivering.
Animal Collective: Kids on Holiday (Live)
From 2004’s profound Sung Tongs came a track that Animal Collective has just now released live. “Kids on Holiday” was an early indicator of the band’s depth of sonic exploration, and it’s one of 14 songs on Live At College Street Music Hall May 26, 2017, a pay-what-you-will record with all proceeds benefitting Direct Relief. As expected, the 10-minute long live version is just as power as the studio recording.