Now Hear This is a daily dive into the standout songs of the day. Today, DeJ Loaf and Young Thug should get a room, more from the reunited Veruca Salt, and a Toronto folk act does Kate Bush proud.
DeJ Loaf ft. Young Thug, "Shawty"
Over a Young Roc production (though that cloudy beat sounds like a straight rip from SpaceGhostPurrp's "Raider Prayer") Detroit rapper DeJ Loaf and Young Thug trade colourful lines about anatomy and technique, and generally, what they'd want to do with the lights turned low. If you're not the bashful sort, it rides that lazy R&B pocket expertly (not a sex metaphor, I swear), and maybe might make a useful addition to your own bedroom playlists.
Veruca Salt, "Empty Bottle"
The Chicagoan '90s alt act Veruca Salt hasn't released a record with its original members in 18 years, and somehow the spacey verse they've crafted on this outing feels timeless, like it could have been snatched from any of the last three or four decades. They've returned, it seems, as a more intimate, mature pop songwriting team. And then that chorus opens up — powered perhaps by the angst pent up during those intervening years — tearing a listener-sized hole in space-time that lands you squarely back in 1994. Not much, it turns out, has changed. But who doesn't appreciate a little time travel.
Veruca Salt's Ghost Notes is out July 10 on El Camino Records.
Toronto-based folk group Beams deliver a by-the-book — which, in this case, is to say excellent — cover of the 1985 Kate Bush classic "Running Up That Hill." Befitting their rootsier sensibilities, Beams trade the synths and sequencers for guitars and drum kits and other percussion, but it's otherwise a careful, loving, and high-fidelity rendition. Perhaps its biggest accomplishment lies in the harmonies of the twin voices, which are dynamic and powerful as they locate harmonies with ease and familiarity. Kate Bush would be proud.