New Music To You: The Struts, Michael Kiwanuka, and June

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 The Struts, Michael Kiwanuka, and June.

Body Talks // The Struts feat. Kesha

If this song has one thing, it’s swagger. Between The Struts’ 70s-inspired rock energy and Kesha’s well-established persona, your ears will be anything but bored. The track is essentially a battle duet between two potential lovers as they circle each other on the dance floor. “You don’t need to say a word, cuz, (ooo ooo) your body talks,” is an immensely catchy chorus and allows both The Struts and Kesha to play into their eccentric strengths.

Everything in this track is revved up to maximum capacity but always maintains concrete focus on whoever you’re dancing with. Ripe with infectious joy and Kesha’s immense vocal talent, it’s hard not to grin and move your feet with it. It’s poppy and definitely in-your-face, but that’s exactly what you want in your party playlist. At the very least, it’ll get someone to run through a wall or shoot their shot.

Cold Little Heart // Michael Kiwanuka

As many of you know, I wrote about Game of Thrones’s demise for this website. To do so, I had to use HBO GO, exposing me to the litany of other HBO products. Of those trailers, one really stood out to me: Big Little Lies. The reason it popped wasn’t the visuals or talented cast, but rather the song it opted to use. “Cold Little Heart” set such a perfectly ominous and sinister tone that I couldn’t help but check it out. I was not disappointed when I heard the full version. While I still haven’t seen an episode of Big Little Lies, I can report wholeheartedly that “Cold Little Heart” packs a serious punch.

Opening with dimly distorted hymns, the track quickly kicks into gear with a steady drum line and Kiwanuka’s passionate vocals. It doesn’t take long for the first chorus and subsequent shrieking electric guitar to send chills down your spine. “Cold Little Heart” has a soulful resoluteness to it that evokes a struggle wherein success can only be achieved at implausible odds. It’s emotionally stunning. I have to assume that’s what Big Little Lies is about.

Just Listen // June

While the track is probably most appropriate for teenage angst, in reality, it could be applied to frustration at any age. Jared Dougall, the band’s lead singer, belts out impassioned lyrics, backed by an impressively talented band of dudes in high school.

In “Just Listen,” June employ a brand of production more fitting for a band that’s getting their reps in as a group of young-but-talented artists, and while that could be a turnoff, for me, it’s part of the charm. There’s something striking about screaming for validation through a filter that is message-blurring; it’s more relatable than a squeaky-clean studio rendition.

The track’s bassline is entertaining, and their instrumentation and a bout of mid-track mumbling is reminiscent of some shit The Internet would do. Towards the end of the song, the group descends into absolute madness, representing the absolute angst of being misunderstood.

And stay tuned — the band is dropping their debut EP in only a few weeks! Check out their Instagram for continued updates.

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