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opbmusic's Monday Mix: Janelle Monae, Parquet Courts, Father John Misty


Each week, the Monday Mix features three fresh songs from opbmusic’s broadcast. This time around, it’s a new pop anthem from Janelle Monae, a grimy punk song from Parquet Courts, and another fascinating character study from Father John Misty.

Janelle Monae - “Make Me Feel”

Janelle Monae is back with her first new music in almost five years. This single, “Make Me Feel,” comes from her album forthcoming, “Dirty Computer,” which is due out on April 27. The influence of Prince shines fresh and bright throughout the song in a way that feels both nostalgic and fresh. In fact, “Make Me Feel” highlights the push and pull of opposites in an exploration of bisexuality through music, dance, and even lighting. The uptempo pop tune begins with snappy synths and lush, layered vocals. But just when the listener relaxes, thinking they know exactly what to expect, the sultry, downtempo chorus hits. And that’s where Monae puts it all in perspective. “It’s like I’m powerful with a little bit of tender / An emotional sexual bender.” Want to label her? Don’t. All you need to know is she’s poised for a supernova.
 
Parquet Courts - “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience”

Breathe through the tension. Find your inner peace. In an age when we are so often told we should be able to control our emotions, Parquet Courts unabashedly asks in “Almost Had to Start a Fight/In and Out of Patience”: what if we shouldn’t? Maybe the chaos of the modern world should enrage us. The songs lyrical repetition gives the listener a sense of the battering frustrations felt by frontman Andrew Savage as he pushes back against society.
 
“I want, I want, I want, I want not to feel numb about death
Finding, finding, finding, finding peace is not an easy task
Breathing, breathing, breathing, breathing to see if there’s any left
Reading, reading, reading, reading about how many people died and

Can someone tell me the reason?
I’m in the chaos dimension
Trapped in a brutal invention”
 
If punk music is a call to rebellion, then this track is ready to lead the charge.
 
Father John Misty - “Mr. Tillman”

The latest, stand alone single from Father John Misty is dedicated to the hijinks of his struggling alter ego, “Mr. Tillman,” during a recent hotel stay. From the beginning, the song is marked by the signature, tongue-in-cheek humor Father John Misty has become known for. In the opening lines of the song, you can hear a literal echo of laughter as he recites the lines of the concierge. “Let’s see here, you left your passport in the mini fridge / And the message with the desk says here the picture isn’t his.” While the song plods along in a downtempo shoegaze, it’s punctuated by irreverent whistling and carefree layers of harmony throughout the chorus that create a dreamy trance. All the while, listeners find themselves intrigued by the escapades of Mr. Tillman. After all, according to Father John Misty, even Jason Isbell is worried about this guy.

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