Take 5 Friday: Mayer Hawthorne + Magic Island + Robert Glasper + Harleighblu + Haim

Friday, October 18, 2013

After a brief hiatus, I'm bringing the five back 'round and reheating leftovers of the week.

Mayer Hawthorne - Royals (Lorde cover)
I adore Lorde's "Royals". A song that points fingers at the over-saturation of celebrities as well as inadvertently takes a dig at the problematic nature of hip-hop culture? Yes, please and thank you! The 16-year-old New Zealander has also bopped Miley Virus from the #1 spot with her smart track, pushing her to the top of the guest list for Jen's Awesome People Party. With such popularity comes an abundance of cover songs, and "Royals" has close to a zillion of them and counting. Now if we're speaking of my awesome party it's only fair to invite Mayer Hawthorne as well, as he gives the more laid-back jazz-in-the-park-on-a-Saturday-afternoon stylized version of "Royals", and it's one of the best things he's done. [Listen + Download]

Magic Island - Baby Blu
There is something really endearing about this track from the Canadian born, Berlin-based newcomer. So sweet in fact that you might just want to pinch its cheeks. It sounds like a lullaby set to music, thanks to the tinkling pianos and precious lyrics, but it's a lullaby for the grown and wistful. Considered me charmed and ready to snuggle up to her upcoming EP, Wasted Dawn[Listen]

Robert Glasper Experiment - Somebody Else (feat. Emeli Sandé)
It seems a brand new song is leaked daily from Glasper's second Black Radio project, and with the arrival of the abstract video for the Jill Scott assisted "Calls", the anticipation is higher than high for it's October 29th release. This time out Emeli Sandé joins the crew, and if you were preparing for dramatic diva sized vocal wails, then you need to re-think that. Sandé is surprisingly quite docile on this soft Jazz piano laced number and as her voice is taken down a several notches the results have her in a mid-90s R&B state of mind and its mighty lovely. [Listen]

Harleighblu - I Believe
After taking a siesta from all that '60s/retro Soul revival, I come to Harleighblu's latest single completely refreshed on the idea as the UK newcomer has decided that adding in Blues to the formula makes a world of difference. No paint-by-numbers retro soul here, and joy! her just released album, Forget Me Not, revels in the Bluesier corners of soul. True, that there are flashes of Amy Winehouse here and there, but that's not really fair considering this stands all on its own. [Listen]

Haim - Edge
You know I'm already obsessed with the Haim sisters three, and like the Cookie Monster loaded on crack Oreos, I'm gobbling up everything that they've stamped their booties on. They are joined by Twin Shadow for production sake on this bonus track from Days Are Gone, and it (of course) fits in with their echo-y Phil Collins meets Fleetwood Mac sound so effortlessly. [Listen]

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