Friday Five: Jessie Ware takes it to Studio 54, the return of Hum, and more
The five best songs we heard this week.
Every Friday, EW's music team runs down the five best songs of the week. In today's edition, Remi Wolf shows off her quirky sensibility, Jessie Ware takes it to Studio 54, Burna Boy showcases the world of Afrobeats, Hum return heavy, and Khruangbin drops a technicolor jam about receiving a letter.
"Waves" — Hum
Earlier this week, Illinois space-rock titans Hum beamed in their first new album in 22 years. In the '90s, the band's unparalleled sound folded together the chunky grooves and raspy vocals of grunge with guitar tones that had both the enveloping heft of shoegaze and the weight of early nu-metal. For their big return, Hum made the only logical maneuver: They got heavier. The record begins with "Waves," a song that crashes and churns like its title implies. Like any great Hum track, the streaky, melodic guitar leads strike through the mix like lightning in a hurricane. —Eli Enis
"What's Your Pleasure?" — Jessie Ware
Calling an artist underrated is kind of overrated at this point, but enough people have slept on Ware to warrant the description. Though the British chanteuse's life away from music is one of domesticity — she hosts a popular food podcast with her mom and is married — the music on her fourth album is that of a diva taking the Studio 54 stage at 1 in the morning. On the title track, she elicits a siren call that instantly hypnotizes the listener to "push, press, more, less." —Marcus Jones
"Down the Line" — Remi Wolf
Remi Wolf's quirky sensibility — she named her just-released first EP I'm Allergic To Dogs! — blossoms on the project's opening track, "Down the Line," with Wolf utilizing the DIY distortion of early Santigold before accelerating into a more mellow California funk. Wolf goes further afield in the second and third verses, with a deliciously melodic, near-Freudian take on the nature of boys and girls: "And girls will be girls/We play and we barter/And we wanna rule your world/And we wanna be your mother." —M.J.
"Dearest Alfred" — Khruangbin
This pen pal jam from the Texas trio sees vocalist Laura Lee commemorating the arrival of a letter from her "Dearest Alfred." "Tell me about your friends/Write to me soon/Your letter is the best gift," she sings over a soupy bass line and kaleidoscopic guitar riff. It sounds a bit like floating on a cloud. —Alex Suskind
"Wonderful" — Burna Boy
Americans seeking a gateway into the Afrobeats genre will often come across the work of Nigerian musician Burna Boy, the only African artist to get their own solo record on Beyoncé's collaboration-heavy Lion King concept album last year. "Wonderful" has him embracing the weight that's been put on his shoulders as the new face of the continent's musical output, with a joke in the chorus: "I no want make person tell me say I too lazy." He then joyously takes listeners through the past, present, and future of Afrobeats music — a genre that is much more progressive than the vaguely defined "world" category it's currently lumped into by the Grammys. —M.J.