BB's Top Tunes 10/20

BB's Top Tunes is a collection of monthly top ten songs curated by Shelby Pollard, Vanessa Wheeler, & Pete Jonas. Each month we select four New Releases to highlight, and one song from any time period for our Gotta Hear It section. Subscribe here!

BB Special Feature

VAVÁ, “When the Lights Go Out”

“When the Lights Go Out” was written and completed on my birthday during an intense battle with insomnia that was quite literally driving me crazy; it’s about the unsaid things that haunt us, and the mechanisms we use to quiet those voices. Music (lighter) and lyrics (darker) are juxtaposed in an attempt to communicate the confusion ensuing in my waking life. This is a poppier take on my music than what I’ve released in the past, and the following batch of singles will continue to vacillate and combine more progressive pop and HAIM-esque pop. Thanks for listening! - VW

SP's Picks

EAT - Tobe Nwigwe, Fat.

This is my introduction to Tobe's work, and I am hooked. The real gem is the VIDEO which is beautiful, and simply powerful. Turn up, and hit repeat!

Outta Here - Lo Tom

Bazan and TW are back for more with LP2 on the way, and this track is infectious. The guitar hook is super fun to play along to, the chorus is bigger than life and will get stuck in your head for a long time.

Dionne - The Japanese House, Justin Vernon

To me, there is nothing more perfect than this collaboration. I have been a big fan of The Japanese House for quite some time, and in this house there is no one above Mr. Vernon. A perfect jam, 10/10!

Gaslighter - The Chicks

I picked this song for four distinct reasons. 1) It's an undeniable pop Jam. 2) Who doesn't love a great redemption story? Back with their first album in years, and it slays. In most spots it feels closer to HAIM than Pop Country. 3). They dropped Dixie from their name, and that is rad. 4). Jack Antonoff.

SP's Gotta Hear It

River Song - Dennis Wilson

The opening track to the only solo Dennis Wilson record is an ultimate all time great. I think this record in general is one of the most overlooked records of all time, and River Song opens it perfectly! Go Listen!!

VW's Picks

Rett Madison - “Kerosene”

The latest in Madison’s catalogue of new music, “Kerosene” continues to make use of Rett’s expansive vocal range, highlighting her phenomenal, often painfully honest songwriting. Producer, multiinstrumentalist, and Vulfpeck guitarist, Theo Katzman skillfully arranges a simultaneously sumptuous yet simple bed of live, full-band-in-the-studio vibes while getting out of the way just enough to hear Madison sing her ass off. If this generation of songwriters could be thought of as two sides of the same coin, Billie Eilish sits on one side while Rett Madison is on the other. - VW

Liza Anne - “Desire”

Liza Anne’s new record is on fire, showcasing her range of styles and to-the-point songwriting, and “Desire” is likely the biggest hit you haven’t heard yet. The verses exist as a few, pointed words and last all of 20+ seconds. Then, BOOM, you’re floating in a gorgeous, lilting but powerful chorus. Between the production, songwriting, and vocal delivery,  we’ve got the lovechild of Nirvana and Aimiee Mann, and it super works. -VW

Lianne La Havas - “Can’t Fight”

I’m a sucker for rhythmic juxtaposition, and the 2/2 feel of the opening guitar strum riff over the straight ahead, 90s drum beat in 4/4 is super satisfying when the beat drops. And then, if you please, La Havas drops a vocal line that could certainly be felt in cut time, or twice as slow as where the drums sit. She pushes and pulls the beat with the rapidity of her vocal delivery. These forces combined yield a deceptively simple, enjoyable love song that still perk up the ears with subtle excitement. -VW

The Knocks & Tycho - "Bodies"

This one is stark and minimal with a lot of subtle drops, cuts, and common tone based harmony that tends to lend itself to melancholy. The few words and phrases continue to touch on those melancholic, nostalgic vibes - “bodies”, “basement”, “home”, “summer” - put them together and you get imagery that speaks to memorable moments of intimacy. The production of this remix, with its acoustic sounding drums and bass, take it into a markedly different direction than the original, almost opening the sonic depth of the track. That extra bit of space gives the listener the perfect soundtrack to reflect; picture sitting in your parked car while the first chill of fall hits the air, and thinking about all that transpired the summer before. -VW

VW's Gotta Hear It

ABBA - “One Man One Woman”

One the most epic rock intros to come out of what many think of as a disco band (just turn it up a bit because the master is nowhere near as loud as newer music coming out these days.), “One Man One Woman” opens with a blazing guitar + synth lead line that stopped me in my tracks upon first listen. Say what you want about ABBA, but they know how to write incredible melodies, harmonics, infectious hooks and their catalogue should not be ignored. The tune is a massive, mid-tempo, pop/rock jam, and if you can get past the fact that it’s very much a product of its time - topically and musically - I guarantee you’ll love it and have a great laugh to boot! -VW

PJ's Picks

Teyana Taylor, Junie, Rick Ross - Come Back to Me 

I was drawn to the ominous, lush sound of vocal samples layered with strings in this song. Interesting and beautiful production paired with masterful vocal performance makes this song so captivating.

Beck - Die Waiting 

While this one sits somewhat on the fence since it was initially released at the end of 2019, the 2020 version of the album is what got me interested in it again. The album was rereleased with footage provided by NASA of other planets and our moon –– and nothing is more rock and roll than that.

This record caught my attention because the whole album was done by Pharrell and Beck, two of my favorites of all time, and rather an interesting pairing.

THEY - Count Me In  

This song just rocked my world so hard for some reason. There’s no one thing about it that I can put my finger on why it makes me feel that way, but it’s whole mystique is appealing to me. It feels like one of Nirvana’s gloomy acoustic songs  gone R&B. Really special.

Rhye - Helpless

Dim the lights and light some candles for this one. 

PJ's Gotta Hear It

Sonic Youth - Incinerate

I wouldn’t feel right making a playlist with Shelby and not have one noteworthy Jazzmaster song in the playlist. Here is a great one from one of the greatest Jazzmaster bands of all time.