The Highlighter Playlist (No. 1)

By WSN Music Desk Staff

Check out what WSN’s Music Desk is listening to this week.

“English Girls” – The Maine

The latest single off of their upcoming album, “American Candy,” is promising and slightly resembles the sound the band had on 2011’s independent release “Pioneer.” It’s raunchy, danceable, and catchy, with a chorus you’ll find yourself inevitably singing along to, even if your cheeks are blushing while you do so. – Rachel A.G. Gilman, Staff Writer

“Together” – Sam Smith feat. Disclosure

After Sam Smith made a clean sweep of the Grammys this year, I fell in love with his collaboration with Disclosure, no doubt stemming from their breakout hit “Latch.” The electronic production is smooth and calming. I listen to it when I am running 15 minutes late to class, unfortunately trying to work out in the Palladium gym, or waiting in the never ending line at Trader Joe’s. So versatile, and always so good.  – Emily Harris, Staff Writer

“Honey In The Hair” – Blackbird Raum

Pull up your hood and strap on your backpack, as this rowdy band of renegades whistle you a drunkenly whimsical tune. Let their accordion melodies and harmonized chants fill you with warmth during your cold, morning trudge to class or work. – Daniel Paez, Contributing Writer

“Violet Clementine” – Lady Lamb

Last week, Lady Lamb (a.k.a. Aly Spaltro, f.k.a. Lady Lamb the Beekeeper) released her sophomore album “After” on Mom + Pop Music.  The album’s twelve songs sprawl out for about an hour, including the wild ride that is “Violet Clementine.”  The third song on the album opens with Spaltro singing alone before an Appalachian banjo arrives.  Before you know it, the banjo disappears abruptly as a slinky bass line takes over, then Spaltro and some man are singing about being “handsome animals.” The song concludes by moving into a military sounding march decked out with foreboding horns. – Matthew Mahoney, Staff Writer

“Punk Rock Girl” – The Dead Milkmen

With super dopey and sloppy cowpunk straight out of 1988, Dead Milkmen were the kids in your biology class who would sniff glue and make obscure D&D references. While not the most sophisticated or visceral punk band, Dead Milkmen exhibit such a lovable goofball charm that you can’t help fall in love with every outdated and cheesy reference to Minnie Pearl and Nixon that they make. – Kieran Graulich, Staff Writer

 “Maria Lionza” – Devendra Banhart

Devendra Banhart is as eccentric as they come. His music is impossible to pin down, but it is without fail a feast for the ears. The first few minutes of the song pair Banhart’s low growl with a slow guitar strum and minimal wind instrumentation, which is absolutely as erotic as it sounds, along with lyrics toasting to “a moment without any meaning.” The entire song feels eerie and chant-like, so it’s no surprise that it is supposed to be structured as a prayer to the titular Venezuelan folk goddess: when he intones her name at the song’s midway point, both parts reverence and musicality, you can’t help but feel chills down your spine. – E.R. Pulgar, Music Editor

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