If you’re feverishly catching up on films so that you can shine in your Oscar pool this year, know this: I see you, I feel you, your work ethic is deep and true. So now is the perfect time to take a well deserved study break, and revel in some of the best and brightest tunes of the moment.
Helado Negro - “Running”
Certain songs just know the exact time to announce themselves to the world, and this week was absolutely that time for the third single from Helado Negro’s forthcoming album This is How You Smile. That album title, and the meditative vibe of the song itself project a quality of presence, and mindfulness that feel so necessary right now. Roberto Carlos Lange, who is the primary force behind Helado Negro, has described the song brilliantly. “‘Running’ is a poem. In it, I’ve buried sentiments and personal histories. Most of it is just for me and some for you.” Later within the same quote he describes feeling awkward and anxious, then taking a moment to be still to observe his surroundings and devise the melody of this musical balm. The accompanying video is as deceptively simple as the song. It shows a young man running, resting, recovering, then repeating the exact same process over again. It’s shot in gorgeous black and white with an expansive outdoor background. Take a moment, breathe deep, and enjoy.
Young & Sick - “Jet Black Heart”
“Jet Black Heart” is the third single from Young & Sick’s forthcoming Size of Relief EP. It was, fittingly, released right around Valentine’s Day. Ever since then, it has been warming my own jet black heart significantly. So much so that it (my heart that is) may even be somewhere around a light mahogany at this point. That’s all to say that this is a deeply romantic song. It’s beautifully constructed as a driving piece of synth pop, and with lyrics like - “you are a work of art, and at best I’m a work in progress” - it will sweep you off your feet in no time.
Dear Boy - “Semester”
L.A. based Dear Boy routinely pulls off this uncanny trick of sounding like something from the import bin at your local record store that only you know and love... while at the same time sounding like they sell out stadiums on the regular. It’s this magical combination of intimacy and bombast that has earned them a deeply devoted fan base. Their shows are consistently packed, and brimming with positive energy. It's a bit surprising that they aren’t more of a household name, though it feels like that could all change with the release of their new EP The Strawberry. The first single “Semester” is their most assured and immediately catchy work to date. It also presents you with all of the best hallmarks of classic indie pop: yearning lyrics, shimmering guitars, and the dreamiest melody. I’m quite honestly salivating over the prospect of an entire EP of songs that are even half as good as this one.