With the Hummingbird Rotation, we hope to give folks a closer look at the songs that get the most play at Hummingbird HQ. This installment, hear about Boogie, Anderson .Paak, and Cody Jinks.
The Reach (Intro) // Boogie
Songs that constantly build to one final, explosive release of tension often don’t create enough interest in the moments leading up to that crescendo, leaving you with a song you end up skipping the first half of — or turning off before the payoff ever comes. “The Reach (Intro)” spends 2:19 building to its grand finale, and not only are they a 2:19 well spent, but they justify the time you have to wait for the last beat drop.
When the drums finally go double-time and the energy finally releases, after building for minutes like a stretched rubber band,it’s glorious and triumphant. A fantastic use of tension, “The Reach (Intro)” expertly keeps you waiting for minutes, and the release is actually worth all the buildup.
Meek Mill’s “Dreams & Nightmares” has its fingerprints on this track, with the emotive piano, hungry, impassioned rapping, and tales of perseverance and beating the odds. Though the “I was broke, now I’m not” story is far from groundbreaking in rap music, Boogie tells it with clever rhymes and engaging musicality.
As the beat fades into the background, Boogie delivers his parting line: “To get everything I want I’ll just give everything I got.” It’s a little chill-inducing, even if it does sound a bit like a Nike shirt. His commitment is apparent in the song, so the line is well-deserved and believable — you can really feel the dedication and drive behind it.
It’s also a fantastic intro song. I hadn’t even heard of The Reach before this, but after “The Reach (Intro),” I want to hear the whole thing. The song only truly hits its stride in the last third of its runtime, functioning like a musical cliffhanger. If the purpose of an intro song is to make you intrigued about the rest of the project, “The Reach (Intro)” has done its job — and then some.
Saviers Road // Anderson .Paak
What I like least about “Saviers Road” is the fact that it’s only 2:16 long. The beat alone is one of my favorites from 2018; Anderson .Paak’s verse is dripping in his usual confident, effortless swagger; and the feel of the song is so tangibly bright, warm, and summery you might catch a tan through your headphones.
The beat drops with whiplash-inducing acceleration, with the tempo jumping slightly as the kicks and snares explode through your speakers and .Paak goes zero to a hundred with no warning. In a half-second, the song transforms from the plodding slow jam that the intro suggests to a head-bobbing sunshine-in-a-bottle summer anthem.
“Saviers Road” is the spirit of seventy-degree summer Saturdays with nothing to do and even less to worry about. Dr. Dre’s influence is tangible here: “Saviers Road” perfectly embodies the west-coast laid-back feel, with rhythmic electric guitar plucks and cruising, meaty kicks and snares. The “extra” sounds — the little *rrrhhkkk* rattle, the intermittent shakers, and the thin, high whistle tone — add personality and that unique Anderson .Paak angle to the song like a secret sauce.
“Saviers Road” is a simple, straightforward song, which makes it a tough song to make a case for without simply dissecting each element and thus spoiling the fun. The best sales pitch I can make for this summer heater is this: Go find a nice patch of sunlight, grab a cold beverage, then play this song and watch how much better all of that gets.
Hippies and Cowboys // Cody Jinks
We live in a time where so much of mainstream country music sounds exactly the same. However, this is not the case in the less-popular “outlaw” subgenre of country music. In short, outlaw music is country music that is more focused on telling a story, with an instrumental backing of more “traditional” country instruments: guitar, bass, slide guitar, fiddle, and light percussion, as opposed to the synthetic-heavy instrumental tracks of modern mainstream country. The stereotypical people that would listen to music like this are hippies and cowboys, and that’s exactly who this song is about.
Cody Jinks seems to have the same problems with the modern country scene that I do, as he sings about Nashville’s same-ole formulaic way of producing music, it’s clear how he has always preferred hanging out with hippies and cowboys. You can tell a bittersweet sound in his voice that longs for a time where the Nashville sound wasn’t all the same sounding song.
But this does not mean he has any issues with playing for the people he loves playing for. So grab a $2 beer or $3 well, and sit back and listen to this longing for the good-ole days when songwriting and instrumentation were the most important part of a country song, as opposed to the beat.