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Song of the Week: Dido Finds the Eye of the Storm in “Hurricanes”

on November 16, 2018, 1:27pm

Each week we break down our favorite song, highlight our honorable mentions, and wrap them all up with other staff recommendations into a playlist just for you. 

“Hurricanes” marks Dido’s first release since 2013, and it’s clear the British singer-songwriter isn’t taking that wait lightly. Across its five-minute span, the song transitions seamlessly between soft-spoken folk, synthy pop, barren vocals, and back again. The common thread throughout is that it’s contemplative: The song’s very beat is even and thoughtful, which matches lyrics like, “I wanna wake up/ With your weight by my side” and “Let me face/ The sound and fury.”

The song may sound soft, but its dreamy atmosphere houses within it a fortified core of robust emotion that gradually pushes beyond its initial confines and, by the very end, takes over the space of the music. Dido lays herself bare and picks herself up again, and each time she changes course, she does so with intention, gravitas, and grace. Her newest album, her fifth overall, is titled Still on My Mind and due for release on March 8th of next year, and “Hurricanes” offers a vital indication of what new styles and exploratory boundaries we might expect to find on the horizon.

–Laura Dzubay
Contributing Writer

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Kendrick Lamar, Mike WiLL Made-It, and Pharrell Williams – “The Mantra”

“The Mantra” is a formidable addition to Creed II’s soundtrack, an atmospheric and melodic collaboration between rap giants Kendrick Lamar, Mike WiLL Made-It and Pharrell Williams that merges trap’s catchiness with a complex beat that supports every feature’s flow perfectly.  –Clara Scott

Girlpool – “Hire

Girlpool’s “Hire” is an easy listen that pulls its own weight while chock-full of twang and angst, a pure extension of the group’s youthful energy that calls back to the ’90s grit of groups like Pavement in its honesty and off-the-cuff delivery. –Clara Scott

SABA feat. Xavier Omär and Mick Jenkins – “Stay Right Here”

Two of rap’s brightest new stars collaborate to create a fascinating new track in SABA and Mick Jenkins’ “Stay Right Here” — both artists show their untethered talent in a feel-good celebration of love and family that features singer Xavier Omär to round out the groovy single. –Clara Scott

Sufjan Stevens – “Lonely Man of Winter

Only two people could make Christmas melancholy: Joni Mitchell, who has already, and of course, the king of sad himself, Sufjan Stevens; Steven’s new single, “Lonely Man of Winter”, proves this, its delicate melodies intertwined with guitar to paint a winter landscape in the listener’s mind. –Clara Scott

Anderson .Paak – “Who R U?”

Anderson .Paak’s upcoming album, Oxnard, is sure to be a hit and a masterpiece, and singles like “Who R U?”, a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, amplify .Paak’s signature sassy flow through the prism of a tight beat and support from Lamar. –Clara Scott

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OTHER SONGS WE’RE SPINNING

Superchunk – “Our Work Is Done”

“Our Work Is Done” is a classic Superchunk song for this decade, offering the group’s characteristic brashness to a new audience with the same tongue-in-cheek intensity that made them an alt-rock mainstay in the first place. –Clara Scott

Panda Bear – “Dolphin”

“Dolphin” could not be more appropriately named; the song sounds submerged in coolness and poetically contemplative, and the water-like blips that earmark the beat from start to finish are catchy and clever at the same time. –Laura Dzubay

Sade – “The Big Unknown”

Sade’s voice is the engine powering “The Big Unknown”; clear and crisp as a siren’s song, she guides the listener onto a “bitter plane,” a “deep below,” before arriving deftly at the song’s conclusion and delivering to her audience the “humble seed” of hope at the song’s core. –Laura Dzubay

Methyl Ethel – “Real Tight”

Methyl Ethel’s “Real Tight” is a love letter to synth’s rebirth, a song that listeners can sing and clap along to even though, at the end of the day, it’s really about being tired and vulnerable, a joyful look into the happiness of exhaustion with the one you love. –Clara Scott

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THIS WEEK’S PLAYLIST

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