Shuffling your music library can be risky if you have some guilty pleasures and album-fillers lurking between less embarrassing tracks. However, take a look at what hidden gems we found and rediscovered on shuffle this week…
Hard Headed Woman – Elvis Presley
Stumbling across another Elvis classic is never a mistake. Originally featuring on the soundtrack for Hal Wallis’ movie King Creole, this 12-bar blues banger also appears on Elvis’ 1958 album of the same name. Despite the song only reaching 1:54 minutes, it’s pace and punchy rhythm make for a quick yet thorough track. With a party of brass instruments forming a vibrant and hilarious environment, Elvis modernises Biblical tales of dangerous female characters to show how his woman problems have been repeated throughout history. This sharp rock-n-roll number is definitely never one to skip when you’re mood/party need brightening.
Hear it here: Hard Headed Woman – Elvis Presley
Go With It (Ft. Vic Mensa) – The Internet
OFWGTKA sub-group The Internet are well known for their chilled-out jazzy tracks. With Chicago rapper Vic Mensa’s verse falling at the beginning of the song, the listener is instantly drawn into the curiously exciting yet relaxing atmosphere of the song. Though his unique inflection and style must be praised, occasionally his rapping lands off the beat, which, along with Syd Tha Kyd’s sometimes strained singing, limits this track. Matt Martians provides patterns and sounds in his production that sculpt a tranquil beach scene with the band’s exotic instrumentation, but this is not the band’s greatest song from their recent album. Through improved vocals and developments in the track’s dry melody this could be a true groove, but hey, finding this through shuffle was a welcome reminder of their more polished pieces.
Hear it here: Go With It (Ft. Vic Mensa) – The Internet
Am I Wrong (Ft. Schoolboy Q) – Anderson .Paak
The track might be like a stoned Uptown Funk/Blurred Lines, but Anderson .Paak’s playful R&B tune executes the perfect balance between relaxation and dance. With a funky bass line, glistening synths and soothing backing vocals, this track has been produced with every layer crafted to encapsulate the listener in producer POMO’s dream-world of cowbells and shooting stars. The song’s feature, Top Dawg Entertainment rapper Schoolboy Q, is a surprising selection considering his typically gritty style. However, here his verse does not seem out-of-place since he allows his cadence and tone to adapt to a funky rhythm rather than a turn-up hip-hop beat. A great song of many on the newly released album ‘Malibu’ that we recently rated 5/5 on twitter!
Hear it here: Am I Wrong – Anderson .Paak
Gum – Moose Blood
UK pop-punk band Moose Blood’s début album ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time’ is filled by gripping emo ballads and angsty post-hardcore belters. This track is an emotional reveal of the first few times singer/guitarist Eddy Brewerton met his then wife-to-be. It is so driven and passionate that every word sung is as hard-hitting as the thundering guitar riffs at the song’s apex. Despite this, the track has a warm DIY and natural sound which appears to be an extended ethos for the band as they seek create their music entirely themselves and with close friends. Despite the band’s hardcore and indie influences, ‘Gum’ could have been taken from Jimmy Eat World and Brand New greatest hits albums. This wintery rocker was definitely a welcome and worthwhile surprise.
Hear it here: Gum – Moose Blood
Electric Relaxation – A Tribe Called Quest
Upon hearing the famous “uh-huh” run into the beat, this could not have been mistaken for anything other than A Tribe Called Quest’s jazz-rap standard. The song’s main sample, (taken from Ronnie Foster’s ‘Mystic Brew’), has now been utilised by current hip-hop figureheads such as Kanye West, Madlib, J Cole, Kendrick Lemar and even Snoop Dogg – clearly evidencing this track’s impact on the genre. The interchanges between MCs Q-Tip and Phife Dawg flow seamlessly as they bounce bars between each other riding the chilled groove and encouraging the listener to just settle down and be comfortable. Considered hip-hop canon, this should remain in the world’s music libraries for many more generations.
Hear it here: Electric Relaxation – A Tribe Called Quest
Written by: James Wijesinghe