Give Me Five…Featuring Michael Kiwanuka

The first Monday of April. The fifth day of April. I wish I felt better than I do, but I’m struggling with the day after Covid vaccine icks. Worth it, as I think of it as one step closer to live music again, but today I feel pretty awful. I’m pushing through, though. Playing music to keep my mind of the ick.

Here are today’s Give Me Five, including one cover because I love covers and I need some cover-love today (since I have to be up and working, and can’t be under the covers, in bed).

Give Me Five – April 5, 2021

Listen (and follow along for April’s GM5) on Spotify and YouTube

Song 1: “Love & Hate” by Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka "Love & Hate" GMF

“Love & Hate” by Michael Kiwanuka – from the album, Love & Hate (2016)

“Standing now,
calling all the people here to see the show,
calling from my dealers now to let me go.
I need something,
give me something wonderful.”

I’ve been loving this song since I first heard it on the HBO series, Big Little Lies (such good music on that show). After hearing it I immediately searched the song out, and then fell down the Kiwanuka music rabbit hole. He’s amazing.

This song feels soothing to me today – and I need soothing.

Dreamy, melancholic, sensual, beautiful.

To hear more of Michael Kiwanuka (and fall down his music rabbit hole like I did), and to support his music, go here.

Michael Kiwanuka "Love and Hate" GMF - Song 1

Song 2: “The Only Living Boy In New York” by Everything But the Girl

Everything But the Girl "The Only Living Boy In New York" GMF
“The Only Living Boy In New York” by Everything But the Girl – from the album, Worldwide (Deluxe Edition, 1991)

“Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.”

Here comes the cover for the day. The original is one of my all-time favorite songs, and this cover is lovely. Truly lovely. The harmonies are gorgeous.

Soothing, yes, this one is soothing, too.

I love songs about New York. So much. I need to make a I love New York (Songs) playlist soon.

I’m so glad I discovered this cover today.

To hear more Everything But the Girl harmonies, and to help support their music, go here.

Everything But the Girl "The Only Living Boy In New York" GMF - Song 2

Song 3: “Life Is Confusing” by Langhorne Slim, featuring Casey Jane

Langhorne Slim and Casey Jane "Life Is Confusing" GMF Song 3
“Life Is Confusing” by Langhorne Slim, featuring Casey Jane – from the album, Life Is Confusing (2017)

“Can we be happy for a while?
Can we just sit here, shut up and smile?
Been talking for hours.
Forgot what we’re saying.”

I’ve been a fan of Langhorne Slim for years now, but I’ve not heard every album, or every song. I found “Life Is Confusing” in my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist today. I love hearing his voice with Casey Jane. They sound so wonderful together.

The song has such a Laurel Canyon throwback folk feel to me. Digging it a lot today.

And yes, it’s pretty soothing, too.

To hear more Langhorne, and support his music, go here.

To hear more Casey Jane (I definitely want to discover more of her), and to support here music, go here.

Langhorne Slim and Casey Jane "Life Is Confusing" GMF - Song 3
Langhorne Slim and Casey Jane Life Is Confusing GMF

Song 4: “Black Dog” by Arlo Parks

Arlo Parks "Black Dog" GMF

“Black Dog” by Arlo Parks – from the album, Collapsed In Sunbeams (2021)

“Let’s go to the corner store and buy some fruit.
I would do anything to get you out your room.
Just take your medicine and eat some food.
I would do anything to get you out your room.

It’s so cruel,
what your mind can do for no reason.”

Today’s song that is making me cry.

At very first listen, the song was so sweet with pretty pop sensibilities that it played like a love song to my ears. Then I kept listening, and listening some more. This is a painful, beautiful, and honest song about loving someone who is struggling with mental illness. I feel it deep inside, under my skin, in my bones. I relate to it so strongly – both in the loving someone(s) with mental illness, and struggling with my own mental illness.

Oh my stars, I adore Arlo Parks. She is my favorite artist of 2021, so far. I can guarantee she will be in the Top 5 (if not in the number 1 spot) at the end of the year.

To hear more Arlo, and to support her music, go here.

Arlo Parks "Black Dog" GMF - Song 4

Song 5: “Polyester Bride” by Liz Phair

Liz Phair "Polyester Bride" GMF
“Polyester Bride” by Liz Phair – from the album, Whitechocolatespaceegg (1998)

“”Do you want to be a polyester bride?
Or do you want to hang your head and die?
Do you want to find alligator cowboy boots they just put on sale?
Do you want to flap your wings and fly away from here?”

I’ve been super obsessed lately with Liz’s Whitechocolatespaceegg album, my personal favorite of her discography. I’ve listened to it at least a dozen times over the last few weeks. All the songs are just getting me right now, and I am getting them.

“Polyester Bride” has always been one of my all-time favorite Liz songs. I think it always will be. I love the story it’s telling, and how it doesn’t tell it all.

I want to write a story about a girl trying to decide if she wants to be a polyester bride. I have a little plot-bunny idea hopping inside me. Hmmmm….

To hear more Liz, and to support her music, go here.

Liz Phair "Polyester Bride" GMF - Song 5


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