Top 10 Tracks – April 2020

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Jackson Wyatt, Digital Editor-in-Chief

When the world seems to collapse in on itself, it may be hard to find the silver lining in anything. It seems as if everything is being taken away from us piece by piece, but if you look close, things are still being given. There are ways to get through this, and music is largely one of them. Stuck inside with not much to do, new songs being released by our favorite artists mean more now than it ever have before. In a difficult and dark time, here are ten new tracks to make your April just a little bit brighter.

 

  1. Orville Peck, ‘Summertime’

Overflowing with nostalgia and blossoming like a field of flowers, Canadian singer-songwriter Orville Peck’s new single is a twangy step into the sweetest memories of the coming season. Peck equates a former lover to the gloriousness of summer over heart-tugging guitar strums and lavish orchestral flourishes, building up and up into a chorus that bursts open with a healing sense of catharsis. Emotional is an understatement; on ‘Summertime’, Peck conducts a symphony of feelings, and you will never want the performance to end.

 

  1. Fiona Apple, ‘Shameika’

After an eight-year hiatus, singer-songwriter-extraordinaire Fiona Apple has returned with a new album, and ‘Shameika’ is a definite standout. Frenzied piano notes and pounding drum-beats fly by like ebbing and flowing curtains of rain as Apple sings about her trouble with bullies and boredom as a child, highlighting a moment of inspiration given to her by a fellow classmate that she still uses as a magic mantra. Young Apple undeniably had potential, and the complex ‘Shameika’ sees it fully realized.

 

  1. Black Dresses, ‘CREEP U’

Equal parts crunchy and comforting, Canadian noise-pop duo Black Dresses’ song ‘CREEP U’ is a trip through the warped, dark hallways of an abandoned, probably haunted building. Bandmates Devi McCallion and Ada Rook harmonize and trade lines about feeling like the human equivalent of a run-down house over increasingly fuzzy guitar riffs, building up momentum (and cobwebs). By the time the earworm chorus and distorted breakdown at the song’s tailend pass, ‘CREEP U’ stands as a site worth exploring again and again.

 

  1. Troye Sivan, ‘Take Yourself Home’

Melancholia is in fashion on Australian pop star Troye Sivan’s ‘Take Yourself Home’, a subtle yet groovy track that is sure to have you dancing with tears in your eyes. Echoing chants and a soft electronic beat underscore Sivan as he sings what originally sounds like the typical frustrations that come from romantic woes. The deeper you look, though, ‘Take Yourself Home’ is a diary entry straight from quarantine, grappling with feelings of loneliness and isolation to create one of the tightest, saddest dance tracks this year.

 

  1. nothing,nowhere., ‘death’

Heads will roll on Massachusetts rapper nothing,nowhere. (aka Joe Mulherin)’s track ‘death’, a high-octane emo-rap hybrid that will make speakers rattle. Tension builds as Mulherin spits about how much the world’s problems have affected him, releasing hellfire with the chanted chorus, “I scare myself to death”. Now, it may not be subtle, but instead, ‘death’ is a thrilling purge of anger with intensity unmatched by any song this month. Darkness has never sounded better. 

 

  1. Phoebe Bridgers, ‘Kyoto’

A tour stop in the titular Japanese city turns sour on indie darling Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Kyoto’, a stream-of-consciousness-style cut that is as devastating as it is uplifting. Valiant guitar strums and horn flourishes juxtapose Bridgers’ lyrics about payphone calls and letters from a loved one recovering from alcoholism. ‘Kyoto’ still manages to be a warm song, though, shaking its head in the face of the sobering truth and riding a wave of bittersweet memories all the way to the finish line.

 

  1. Yurms, ‘I Wanna Bang My Head Through A Wall’

An amazing title is done justice on ‘I Wanna Bang My Head Through A Wall’, a glitchy, emo-trap banger that is the definition of an earworm. Yurms, voice cloaked in layer upon layer of glistening autotune, belts out the titular phrase and flows over cascading 8-bit synths, exploding into the track’s addictive chorus. It may clock in at only two minutes at length, but on ‘I Wanna Bang My Head…’, Yurms has made an exhilarating behemoth of a track.

 

  1. Gus Dapperton, ‘First Aid’

Heavy-hearted yet overflowing with love, New York singer-songwriter Gus Dapperton’s new track ‘First Aid’ ruminates on his mental struggles and the person who helps bring him out of these dark places: his sister. She joins in to harmonize around the song’s climax, driving in the knife that Dapperton has been creating during the song’s patient, twilit rise upwards and solidifying ‘First Aid’ as a cathartic song sure to cut any listener to the core.

 

  1. Sam Smith & Demi Lovato, ‘I’m Ready’

Pop sensations Sam Smith and Demi Lovato meet up on ‘I’m Ready’, a rollercoaster-ride of a song that blends sensual verses with a soaring chorus to exciting results. Smith and Lovato touch on how much they yearn for affection before throwing caution to the wind over rumbling bass and choral chants, declaring that they are ready to be loved. The oddly satisfying transitions are reason enough to tune in for the stars’ collaboration, but above all else, ‘I’m Ready’ is simply power pop at its best.

 

  1. Protomartyr, ‘Worm In Heaven’

Michigan post-punk band Protomartyr’s track ‘Worm In Heaven’ sounds like the immense relief of acceptance over one’s fate, with the narrator calmly looking back at his life and wishing an unseen loved one farewell before letting the grass cover him up. Now, that may sound inconceivably dark in times like these, but instead ‘Worm In Heaven’ oddly feels like a triumph, with frontman Joe Casey proclaiming, “I did exist, I did”. He did indeed, and the line’s resulting catharsis is, well, heavenly.

 

(All sources from featured artists’ Genius and Spotify pages)

For more track reviews:

Top 10 Tracks – March 2020

Top 10 Tracks – February 2020

Top 10 Tracks – January 2020