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5 Songs before the summer break

Weekly5 • Edition #20 • Sam Himself, Toni Sauna, Takeshi's Cashew, Feldboat, Jungle

This is it: The last issue of Weekly5 before the summer break. Counting today’s curation, the playlist features exactly 100 songs (click here for Spotify or Apple Music).

If we would be so bold and count the “Killed Darlings” issue, the counter jumps to a very unsexy 105 tracks.

Anyway, it feels like the perfect time to take a break. Although I love to discover new music and share it with you every week, it still is quite laborious. Scanning the releases and choosing the tracks usually fills my Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. Especially now that Weekly5 is also available in German.

Therefore, I’d instead take a break not to lose motivation and get annoyed by the task. However, at the end of this newsletter, I reveal what I’ve planned in the upcoming weeks.

But now, let’s jump into today’s selection; a potpourri of musical greatness spanning from urging indie rock to arty hip-hop tunes.

Sam Himself – Nothing Like The Night

The first time I noticed Sam Himself was the release of his otherworldly Springsteen cover Dancing In The Dark. I also introduced the signature baritone from Basel, Switzerland, a couple of weeks ago when Weekly5 featured his contribution to NOTI’s letters from nowhere.

Now, Sam Himself released another single, Nothing Like The Night. Written during the pandemic, unable to return to his New York home, the song reflects on the claustrophobia and uncertainty of these times. The artist explains:

Nothing Like the Night is about self-effacement and loss of control when you suddenly have a perfect alibi for letting yourself go: the end of your own world as you know it.

As Sam Himself felt lost and uprooted, he still managed to be creative; maybe even had to be in order to survive. He recorded ten songs for his debut album. In Nothing Like The Night, his deep voice isn’t as present as one may assume, but there’s a pleading, despairing voice – accompanied by an urging and driven sound. The single perfectly captures the height of the pandemic: The detached feeling, the time and lives just rushing by while you lose control.

Toni Sauna – King James

According to the press release, Toni Sauna is the cousin of LeBron James, the legendary basketball player. I couldn’t really verify this information but Toni Sauna’s also a son of Akron, Ohio. Apparently, he also got high with Amy Winehouse.

However, Toni Sauna is a wanderer. Busting his chops in New York City, he now lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. And he’s definitely up and coming, gaining traction with every new track he releases. One of these songs is called King James, an ode honouring his uncle and his influence on his life.

King James feels refreshing – despite its obvious references to the very origins of rap. There’s a soulful atmosphere sprinkled with a jazzy boom-bap groove. Especially in today’s state of the hip-hop genre – at least in Switzerland, where disastrously shitty autotune “rap” from Germany is pushing into the minds and ears – Toni Sauna seems like a saviour. There’s true artistic mastery at work.

Takeshi’s Cashew – Yellowyellow

It’s the perfect pop culture reference for Gen Y: Takeshi’s Cashew. The sextet from Vienna, Austria released its debut album, Humans In A Pool, on Friday. The record features a captivating mix of psychedelic funk, cumbia, and danceable beats. It’s a sound that simply smells like summer.

Any of the tracks are perfect examples of this liberating, warm feeling. However, a taste of what you can expect from this seven-track-long album gives us Yellowyellow. Despite the arrangement’s complexity, the song still remains instantly accessible. It’s an explosion of genres. Krautrock meets hippie flutes, earthy tones collide with supernovas lightyears away.

There’s simply no other way to put it: The sound of Takeshi’s Cashew leaves you in a good, relaxed mood. And if you start with Yellowyellow, you might as well dive deep and enjoy the whole album.

Feldboat – I Want Your Soul

Imagine you’ve worked 30 years for a Swiss banc – working at Zurich’s Paradeplatz and Wall Street. Welcome to Feldboat’s world. Then the pandemic hit and changed all our lives. “The virus not only attacks my health, but it also wants to rob my mind and soul,” explains the artist.

Feldboat escaped his former life, retracted to his home studio to work as a songwriter and producer. I Want Your Soul is his debut, a sinister, hypnotic but sexy and pumping track. Tight trip-hop sound and bone-shattering beats melt into an antidote to the Covid blues.

Music has been a steady companion in Feldboat’s life. At a young age, he played the cello. Later on, he visited the School of Sound and started producing his own compositions in 2019. Now, dedicating his whole focus to music, Feldboat’s stock price is rising fast. If I Want Your Soul is his IPO, I’ll buy and hold.

Jungle – Talk About It

Jungle certainly don’t need any introduction. The London-based duo has built a brand with a crisp and groovy neo-soul sound. Their latest single, Talk About It, is the second herald of the upcoming album Loving in Stereo.

Talk About It provides another glimpse of the energy that will drive the album,” said Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson about their new track. Lloyd-Watson even went on the record for the NME and told about the inbound album: “I really think that these are the most Jungle songs we’ve made.”

If Talk About It is any reference, Lloyd-Watson’s statement will remain valid. There’s no denying it: Talk About It is infectious—a literal banger, suspiciously catchy and way more driven than their first single, Keep Moving. The track has the ultimate potential to be a veritable summer hit.

And there it is: These are the tracks that bring the playlist up to the magical number 100. If you’ve enjoyed this issue, be sure to press like and share it with your friends.

The official Weekly5 return in September. However, I won’t remain completely silent in the coming weeks. I’ve planned several special editions to provide you with new inspiration throughout the summer.

And next Sunday, it’s time to look back on the past twenty selections. I will challenge myself and choose not five but ten of the best tracks of this first “season” of Weekly5.

All the best,