In the Morning, Wynne
"In the Morning," Wynne

From those rising COVID numbers to President Trump's idiotic attempts to delegitimize the election results, there's lots to pay attention to in the news. With a renewed Stay At Home order and the nation heading into another lockdown, good mental health is more important than ever. Take a break from the insanity exploding all over your TL, and refresh your mind with a few new relevant releases. BUT FIRST: Let us collectively take a deep breath in through our nostrils, hold for two seconds, now part those lips and breathe out.

Okay, let's dive in!

"In the Morning," Wynne

On Friday November 13, Portland emcee Wynne gifted lucky fans with "In the Morning," a bonus track from her 2019 debut mixtape If I May.., which reportedly marks the end of the era. The vibey, three-minute track showcases Wynne's casual soprano singing in the chorus, and then she melodically raps her sultry, lust-filled verses over a beat that's smoother than butter. The song also comes with a new music video, filmed largely outside the 24-hour Original Hotcake House on SE Powell.

""Peppers and Onions" and "feel good," Tierra Whack

While we wait for Philly rapper Tierra Whack to drop the follow-up to her 2018 studio album Whack World, we continue to be blessed by a few one-off singles, like the excellent "Dora," out October 30, followed by today's "feel good" and "Peppers and Onions." Similar to "Dora," "Peppers and Onions" is playful and relatable, (and my personal favorite) with Whack's delivery laying perfectly on top of the unique production. She rhymes about the struggles of being famous, human, and Black. "I don't wanna be judged, I just wanna be me," she raps. "Even though we buy chains, we just wanna be free." In the chorus to "Peppers and Onions," Whack sing-raps "I'm only human/ I'm not perfect, just a person/ I'm only human/ Sometimes happy, sometimes nervous." The other single, "feel good," is less than a minute and a half and much more somber. Listen to it if you're feeling sad and lonely about not being able to get together for the holidays.

"Hawái (Remix)," Maluma, The Weeknd

The Weeknd, AKA Abel Tesfaye, joins Latin artist Maluma on the new remix to "Hawái," which sees Tesfaye singing in Spanglish and sounding quite natural and lovely doing it. The reggaeton single is from the Colombian artist’s fifth studio album Papi Juancho, which dropped in August. Before beginning the chorus in Spanish, The Weeknd sings “So now he’s your heaven? You’re lying to yourself and him to make me jealous / You put on such an act when you’re sleeping together / All this cause I said I don’t want marriage.” Listening to the two sing fiery lyrics en Español over the danceable beat (and only understanding every other word) is a nice change, and a reminder to refresh my Spanish-speaking skills via Duo Lingo.

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"Fair Chance," Thundercat, feat. Ty Dolla $ign, Lil B, Floating Points

Thundercat recently dropped a new remix to It Is What It Is track "Fair Chance" with Floating Points AKA British electronic producer/DJ/musician Sam Shepherd. "I keep holdin' you down/Even though you're not around," Thundercat sings in the intro. "So hard to get over it/I've tried to get under it/Stuck in between/It is what it is." The collaborative single is a well deserved tribute to the late Mac Miller, and this version soars even further, heading into uptempo, interstellar territory, and giving it a hopeful vibe.

"Holy (Acoustic)," Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper

On November 5, Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper dropped this stripped down version of their joint single "Holy," accompanied by a performance-style music video. The original is good, but like many of JB's acoustic releases, this version of "Holy" outdoes the original. With piano, tambourine, and gospel choir vocals, Justin taps into his comfy lower register and it is exquisite. Chance the Rapper also seems to take a seat for his verse, giving a more intimate delivery that's appropriate for the exceedingly spiritual love song.