There's a lot going on and the sun is actually out in Portland right now, so I'll spare the lengthy intro! But here are a few fresh music releases to check out that may just offer you some comfort, or at the very least some entertainment, during this strange time.
"Leave the Door Open," Silk Sonic (AKA Anderson. Paak, Bruno Mars)
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak recently announced the two have joined forces to write and record as a music project known as Silk Sonic, and they're releasing an album called An Evening with Silk Sonic together. (Unfortunately there's no release date for the album at the time of this article's publishing.) And to be honest, this collaboration feels like a no brainer, and the moniker makes more sense than most. Both have awesome, distinguished voices, and can play multiple instruments including drums, and they both have a throwback or vintage vibe to their sound. Unsurprisingly, their debut single, "Leave the Door Open," is a sexy and romantic Motown-reminiscent ballad aimed toward the ladies. Paak slays on drums (apparently in a single take) and offers harmonies, as well as his humorous and soulful delivery in the verses, while Mars sits on piano and relentlessly bestows us with his incredible soaring vocals and signature songwriting flare. The chorus gets multiple magical key changes that make you almost want this song to continue on forever, but instead you just hit repeat.
"Hold On," Justin Bieber
Having announced his forthcoming album Justice, which drops March 19, Justin Bieber also released this new single and music video "Hold On." The song is an upbeat and hopeful anthem and the video gives it a very heartfelt short-film treatment in which Bieber loses his way while trying to cope with his cancer-ridden wife (played by actress Christine Ko), leading him to rob a bank and then flee on a motorcycle as he's chased by cops. (Let me just state the obvious and say that only someone as white, famous, and physically attractive as Justin Bieber could survive such a run-in, but I understand it's pretend.) Other than "Hold On," previously released Justice singles include the lovely "Holy (feat. Chance the Rapper)," as well as "Lonely (with Benny Blanco)," and "Anyone."
"do it right (feat. Aminé)," REI AMI
South Korean pop singer/songwriter REI AMI teamed up with Portland's Aminé for this new somber single. Clocking at just under three minutes, "do it right" details a lonely feeling of being sad, and stuck inside your own head filled with negative thoughts—particularly after feeling like you're losing a safety net security of relationship, something most of us have experienced before. "Every conversation with myself’s like/Why couldn’t you be somebody else/Someone like, someone like/Someone that you wanna be I I/And every situation that I’m in’s like/Why can’t I just stop and start again/I would do it right, do it right/I would do it right this time," REI AMI sings in the chorus. In Aminé's verse, he sort of rap-sings "I'm rollin' up this jay 'cause I don't do pipes/It's a lonely day, you got me stuck tonight/This ain't just a phase, I feel it in my bones and all/Got me feelin' like I need alcohol/Heart is feelin' empty, I can't fill it up/When you overthinkin', then it gets you stuck."
"Too Sweet (feat. Unknown Mortal Orchestra)," India Shawn
From her forthcoming album, Los Angeles-raised R&B singer India Shawn's latest offering is aptly called "Too Sweet," and the single is just that: a sultry, honey-sweet, love-making tune. "You can blame it on the alcohol/We both know what you came here for," Shawn begins. Then, in the song's alluring pre-chorus, she croons "You ain't met a woman like me/My love is just too sweet, oh/Got a taste and now you can't speak/I know that you weak, I see." The song was born from Shawn's love of the band Unknown Mortal Orchestra, which led her executive producer D Mile to flip the UMO track "A God Called Hubris" into a beat that became "Too Sweet." Her team sent the beat to Ruban of UMO last year, and he hopped on the bridge! Make sure to also watch the music video below: