Five on it composite image credits: Harry McCulloch, Live Nation, Island Records, The1Point8, Dexter Lander
First of all, I’d like to shout out Bill Withers. Rest in power, with your magic songs that made us feel joy and sadness and love and camaraderie.
Of course, we are always saying goodbyes in life – and while Bill’s passing was due to heart complications, the weight of just how many goodbyes we might be saying in a short period of time because of this virus keeps hitting me afresh. I think we have to be honest with ourselves about our feelings, the anticipatory anxiety and grief, and be as kind to ourselves as possible during this all. Weekends might be becoming indistinguishable from weekdays, but I’m trying to do soft things during them – running a bath and listening to music.
And I know it’s something that I say again and again here, but it’s because it is true and it feels important – music is a cure, of sorts, for me at least. A healing comfort blanket, a place to hide, a place to feel things really viscerally. So whether it’s cheering yourself up and dancing around your kitchen/living area with the effervescent euphoria of ‘Lovely Day’ for Bill, or lying on your bed listening to ‘Cranes in the Sky’ like that Kermit meme, hopefully, music remains a help through this all.
Sending warmth to you all, here is your five on it:
Thundercat – It Is What It Is
Surprisingly not rooted in a sample of the Love Island 2019 catchphrase, this is still so perfect for everything I’m feeling. It’s a fun and warm album with explorative, soulful jazz-y sounds that soar and propel – but there’s also a reflectiveness from the California musician as he ruminates on the passing of his friend Mac Miller. A really magic, soothing listen.
Lil Halima – ‘Glue’
Glimmering, glowing pop from the Kenyan-Norwegian singer, she takes “I’m sticking with you, cos I’m made out of glue” energy to the next level.
Poppy Ajudha – ‘Strong Womxn’
Vulnerable lyrics speaking to be accepted in spite of her flaws and the power of womxnhood, poured out over a skittering, sunshine-y beat.
Kiana Ledé – KIKI
The LA-based artist has put out her debut full-length today, and it’s all silky R&B with glorious features (Ari Lennox, 6LACK and more) and sweet samples (the Outkast nod on ‘Mad At Me’ is a joy). Stick it on and melt into the lushness.
Scuti – ‘Huh’
A 19-year-old rapper from South London (honestly where else?), there’s a disarming, entrancing slowness to this beat while she drawls her bars nonchalantly.
You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify: