Max's Music Mondays with S!MONE and Lightning Bug
If one of these isn't your new favorite song, I'll have no choice but to try again next week...
Welcome to Max’s Music Mondays - a ~music discovery newsletter~ where I just kinda stumble my way through songs I love. I hope you love them too. If you do, follow along on spotify and smash that subscribe button. It really does mean a lot to me!!!
Good morning, happy Monday, thanks as always for being here :) I don’t have too much to say this week, I’ve been too busy watching the Lil Nas X music video ten times every day.
Other than that, what else do we have *checks notes* *notes are just a blank page* well, it’s my half birthday tomorrow. Is that gauche to say? I know the answer is both yes and no, which only complicates things further, but had to ask anyways. No way to move passed that without some level of ~awareness~. Anyways, what better way to celebrate then by doing what I love and sharing more music!!! Some real gems in here today.
In Case You Missed It:
aka what’s new on the Max’s Music All The Other Days playlist
New adds to the playlist this week:
Brockhampton ft. Danny Brown is heavy and a reckless and a joy (twisted little music video too)
Bantug!!! Last week I wrote about High Worry and this week we get what is far and away my favorite song of the week - In My Feelings. Feeling spoiled.
Rosie Tucker’s new single is as spicy as the title suggests (too easy i know)
Rachael Jenkins, another tiktok favorite of mine, has blessed us with Untitled. It’s just as devastating in this form as it was originally.
Benny Blanco + Omar Apollo *100 crying emojis*
All that and more in the always-evolving All The Other Days playlist. How do we feel about this new format?
This Week’s Picks
Jealous - S!MONE
Starting off like the first moments after a perfect night’s sleep (something I haven’t experienced in a while, all tips welcome), it’s warm that like first orange in the sky. But this one hooked me the moment that kick drum joins. Paired with some bongos, snares, and percussion perfectly popping up, there’s such good energy. That lush start immediately kicked into high gear. The bass + claps takes it all even further, the train is chugging on, and there’s no stopping it now. All aboard!!! This train is headed to Good Song City (…I am ashamed of that sorry). And now a moment to talk about S!MONE’s vocals. From 0:36 to 0:54 we get to witness a true Masterclass(TM) in how to sing. Those early lines loaded with confidence, steady in its delivery, and a tone that feels so natural yet never settles in one place - tiny flutters, a glimpse of breath peeking through. Then the ‘ooh babe’ section starts and my jaw hits the dang floor. Effortless yet not holding anything back, rich and dreamy and somehow full of passion. It’s hot as hell. The little runs are subtle enough to feel woven into the song, but undeniable in just how incredible they are. And now we’re into the chorus. Another incredible first minute here on Max’s Music Mondays, but stick with me it’s somehow only better from here. Turns out the train is going to Great Song City (again, I am so sorry about this but I can’t stop a train metaphor, choo choo!!!), the full chorus feels smooth and assertive, even with it’s vulnerable reveal of jealousy. This little ‘I want you’ section is another perfect moment, the percussion still shining alongside S!MONE’s performance. It’s creative and unique and makes me want to dance. The second verse hits quick, you can feel the honesty exploding out of her soul before the chorus returns, big and bold as ever. Now as we near the 2:30 mark, you might be thinking, ok sick what a good song it must be ending now. But actually… S!MONE made the daringly generous decision to give us more???!!! A breathtaking bridge, letting that ‘Try to find who’s worth your time, I hope you’re happy’ float on, the space giving it power. We’re grooving now, I adore this building dundundun section, the ‘Go.’ into the last MEGA CHORUS almost made me laugh it is so fucking perfect. The chorus is pop star level big, and marks our arrival at Great Song City Station(?). Ugh, just stunning stuff here. Anyways I hope the train didn’t distract from just how beautiful this song was. Run it back, run it up, just a tune.
The Right Thing Is Hard To Do - Lightning Bug
In this case, the right thing (choosing and writing about this song) was quite easy to do. And I’m grateful to Lightning Bug for this powerfully beautiful song. So tender and touching and personal and thoughtful. A cozy acoustic guitar makes way for the drum fill and a stellar western welcome from the electric guitar, bending into place, filling out the sound. I’m a fool for these vocals, the gentle touch that manages to command your attention. Exploring this idea of hiding over time, how and why we do it, is brilliant. The childhood moment painted with optimism, smash cut to a more recent memory, the pain in vulnerability held beneath the surface. All throughout, the band soldiers on, steady and encouraging in their subtlety. The lyrics of the chorus might as well me printed out and plastered to my wall - words to live by, to return to, and to trust. Poetic and wise. I love the new melody and groove, breathing new life into the song. As it’s wont to do, ‘Doubt’ quiets the band, making room for some strings to appear. Such a subtle move, like they are barely there, but adds a whole pot of emotion to the moment nonetheless. The band powering back with decisiveness as they choose to move into and through the doubt. A new guitar riff rings out, a fuzzy new edge beneath it all to lead us on. The second verse hits hard on the ~society~ of it all, very real imagery of thus-far-failed chances for us to do the right thing. A masterful flip of the optimism re: time, asking for some urgency, as we need to collectively do the Right Thing. Into one last beautiful chorus, updated as well, moving with hope and love. It’d be easy for this song to end, and give off a sense of ‘well, there’s so much wrong in the world why even try, let’s just keep hiding’, but instead Lightning Bug leans into the hardship and trusts that love will blossom on the other side, trusts that there will be an other side, and trusts that we’re all moving towards it in our own ways. I find myself getting lost in this one time and time again. The entire energy is comforting and feels like a bonfire at the beach with all your best friends, the sun all but set, everyone finding strength in each other. And if your song can make me feel like that, I’ll rinse it until spotify won’t let me anymore *tearing up emoji*. With an album on the way, looking forward to more releases from Lightning Bug.
Wow how about those two songs huh? I mean… very good!! I hope you enjoyed them. We’ll be back on Thursday with another ~artist feature~ can’t wait to share it with you. Until then, here for you and all of your music needs, I mean it!! You know where to find me (by replying to this email). Please pass this along if you know someone else who would enjoy :)
Talk soon, xoxo,