It’s a complicated and revolutionary time for this country and the world. We’re actively battling two pandemics— one that, in just a few months, has turned our lives upside down, and one that has plagued the country and world for generations. To cope with the nuanced feelings inspired by everything going on, we’ve turned to music to get us through. Here are our top five tracks to make you feel love in its many and glorious forms.
5. NICO’S RED TRUCK – DIJON
Maryland singer-songwriter Dijon encapsulates the warm pockets of adolescences in this quiet and brilliant track. You can’t help but smile and think about the sweet simplicity of youth listening to “Nico’s Red Truck”. The track both sounds like something you’ve never heard before and something you’ve heard a million times over. Dijon’s clear melodic vocals are a dream in “Nico’s Red Truck”. He tells a beautiful story in this track— a story you’ll want to hear over and over again.
4. MAKE IT BETTER – ANDERSON .PAAK (FT. SMOKEY ROBINSON)
“Make It Better” brings the best of the past and present together in a way that is exciting to hear. This track never ceases to amaze in its musicality and overall execution.
.Paak’s infamous raspy full-bodied power vocals thrive in “Make It Better”, and pair beautifully alongside legend Smokey Robinson’s vocal quality and tone peppered throughout the track. “Make It Better” shares a love of life, love, and the complexities between the two to listeners so generously. This track is a bonafide classic— very much a song we’ll playfully tell our younger generation they “don’t know nothing about this right here”.
3. NOTHING EVEN MATTERS – LAURYN HILL (FT. D’ANGELO)
Speaking of bonafide classics…here’s another one! Ms. Lauryn Hill’s “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album is a masterpiece from top to bottom, and “Nothing Even Matters” carries the same greatness as the other tracks in the project. Starring a dream collaboration in Ms. Hill and D’Angelo, this track encapsulates the peace that comes with love. Often in music, we see the tumultuousness of love discussed — the ups and downs, the fights, and the makeup and breakups — but this song is so beautiful because it captures the peace and simplicity in love. Hill and D’Angelo are superb in this track, expertly representing an intimate conversation between lovers through music.
2. DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR – SOLANGE (FT. SAMPHA)
The self-love anthem of 2016! “Don’t Touch My Hair” is always the mood. The track is easily the breakout star in Solange’s revolutionary third studio album A Seat At the Table. Solange’s soft and powerful vocals are a marvel on this track. They pierce the soul and the heart on impact. Similarly to “Nothing Even Matters”, “Don’t Touch My Hair” lets complex musical moments sprinkled throughout the track shine on top of a heartbeat-like bass drum. The aesthetic of the track’s music video and the nuanced beauty in the musicality are intoxicating. Solange brings us into her soul throughout “Don’t Touch My Hair”, and we never want to leave.
1. HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE – PJ MORTON (FT. YEBBA)
When I think about what a love song is and should be, one song (specifically, one rendition of the aforementioned song) comes to mind: “How Deep Is Your Love” by PJ Morton.
In moments of deep despair, Morton’s “How Deep Is Your Love” will remind you that there is light in the world and in life. This track is spectacular. It breathes new life and warmth into the Bee Gee’s classic. The feel-good sounds of 70s funk are manipulated perfectly and beautifully on the track. All in all, “How Deep is Your Love” is so full— Morton includes a full string and brass section to his band, as well as a choir to soar alongside him. “How Deep is Your Love” also includes a memorable cameo by Yebba, who is vocally a force to be reckoned with. The supreme talent in this track and the warm feelings it evokes makes it a love song for the ages.