MISSIO – Album Review: “VILLAIN”

Am I a villain or a saint?” MISSIO asks on the title track of their brilliant new album VILLAIN. As regular readers of this blog know, I’m a huge fan of the Austin, Texas-based duo, which consists of singer-songwriter and producer Matthew Brue and songwriter/producer and instrumentalist David Butler. On the strength of their exceptional music catalog, as well as their honesty and openness with their fans and followers, they’ve earned a place among my favorite music acts of all time, and I’ve featured them several times on this blog. Their edgy, thoroughly original sound is an eclectic mash-up of gritty alternative electronic rock, hip hop and dreamy emo vibes. Matthew’s beautiful, deeply emotive vocals add to their distinctive sound that’s totally unlike any other act.

David Butler and Matthew Brue

Beginning with the release of their debut album Loner in 2017, they’ve consistently put out a tremendous amount of outstanding music, including their magnificent second album The Darker the Weather // The Better the Man in 2019 (my review of that album has garnered over 2,900 views, making it my highest-viewed album review ever). They released their gorgeous fourth album Can You Feel The Sun in October 2020and their fifth and latest album VILLAIN dropped September 23rd. Three of their songs – “I See You”, “Underground” and “Can You Feel the Sun” – have reached #1 on my own Weekly Top 30 chart, with “I See You” also being my #1 song of 2019 and #10 of the entire decade of the 2010s.

Though most of MISSIO’s songs are inspired by personal experiences, both good and bad, VILLAIN is perhaps their most deeply personal and introspective: “This is the first album we’ve chosen to release independently, and we poured our hearts into it. We always aim to write vulnerably about what we are feeling in the moment, and honestly, the last few years have been filled with a lot of difficult moments for us. Therefore, this album was written and inspired from some of the darkest spaces / heaviest emotions that we’ve experienced. It’s an album cultivated over hundreds of hours of internal/external dialogue within ourselves and each other about the meaning of the world and our place in it.

The ten tracks touch on such topics as the conflict between the good vs. evil that exists within most of us, feelings of self-worth, anger and resentment, and the need for love and acceptance. The title track “Villain” seems to encapsulate all of these: “Complicated and a mess, slightly OCD. Take for granted many things that mean a lot to me. I know, I’ve got a lot to learn. I was raised as a scorpion. Being pulled by the moon in a high tide. That’s why I’m broken. I know, this hurts a lot. It’s not my fault it never was. And I know, I’m tough like stone. But right now, please hug me, I feel alone.” Musically, the song alternates between pensive, atmospheric moods and urgent, beat-driven grooves, nicely conveying the inner conflict touched on earlier.

On the menacing trip hop song “Demons“, Matthew starts off lamenting of his shortcomings “I feel I am letting go. And that makes me angry because I’m not who I want to be. It seems like I’m fading. And that makes me terrified because I’m not who I want to be.” But then he seems to take on the persona of the devil as he malevolently snarls, perhaps in reply to himself “Ay boy, what the fuck you think you’re doing here? This is Hell, don’t you know that you were coming here? I’ve been playing with your demons all day.”

MISSIO summon their inner beast on the bombastic “Say Something” and “#gimmeakiss“, which according to Spotify streaming stats are two of the most popular tracks on VILLAIN. Both tracks last barely two minutes, but blast through the speakers like a sonic battering ram of grinding industrial synths and pummeling beats. It’s clear the guys had a lot of fun recording these bangers, which are more frantic than their usual style, and both need to be played at full volume!

I Wanna Fight And You Know It” is an eerie, aggressive song in which Matthew speaks to his darker, more combative side: “People tell me that I may be the disease. Like I’m the crazy bitches in the sea. Maybe all of ’em are right when it comes to being shady. I wanna fight and you know it. I got my fists up tonight and you know it.” And on the anthemic “We Are Who We Are“, Matthew addresses the importance of being true to ourselves, and accepting our imperfections in order to live a life that’s honest and real: “Why do we try to live a lie? It isn’t worth it. Who you tryna please? ‘Cause if it’s me, it isn’t working. We are who we are. That can be hard to accept. We are all fucked up human beings.”

One of the more enjoyable tracks on the album is “Does Anybody Love Me“. I love the infectious upbeat vibe and hearty piano and bass-driven groove. The lyrics speak to overthinking and worrying too much about what others think of you, but also cognizant of the fact that many others do the same: “Does anybody love me? I don’t know. Is everybody lonely? I think so.”

The final three tracks on VILLAIN are more contemplative and melodic, beginning with “Failure to Comply“, a beautiful, powerfully moving song about a narcissist who’s unable to love or show empathy toward others: “What is it you’re looking for? What is it that leaves you wanting more? Will you ever fight for me? Will you ever love someone other than you?” The mournful piano and dramatic, sweeping instrumentals are gorgeous, as are Matthew’s deeply heartfelt vocals. My favorite song on the album, it’s spent the past three months and counting on my Weekly Top 30.

Picture in My Pocket” is a beautiful love song, with a languid, almost jazzy feel. The warm piano keys, subtle percussion and strummed guitar are positively sublime, and Matthew’s gentle vocals have an enchanting ethereal quality as he softly croons “Hang on to love if it’s real. I want to believe. I have this picture in my pocket of a peace I won’t grieve. And then I saw you. And you saw me. And suddenly the world wasn’t as bad as once before.”

VILLAIN closes on a positive note with the stunning and cinematic “To the Universe“. The lyrics speak to living life with an open mind and an open heart, unafraid to take chances and follow your dreams: “Open your mind to ideas that you don’t like. It’s a beautiful world if you quit puttin’ up a fight. You can let your walls down and be who you want to be. ‘Cause it’s a beautiful world, you can scream it when you don’t believe. To the universe, to the universe. It’s where we’re headed.”

Their previous albums are all so exceptional, I wasn’t sure how MISSIO could possibly keep matching their quality, let alone top them. But how shortsighted and wrong I was to doubt them, as once again they’ve gifted us with a phenomenal album in the form of VILLAIN. Every single one of its tracks is outstanding, which is not something that can be said about very many albums. I remain a faithful and devoted fan.

Follow MISSIO:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music on Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple MusicYouTube
Purchase on Amazon

Top 30 Songs for September 25-October 1, 2022

Photo by David Ascroft

I’m happy that The Killers are still together and making music more than 20 years after their formation, and their latest single, the beautiful, uplifting anthem “boy”, takes over the #1 spot on this week’s Top 30. About the song, band front man and vocalist Brandon Flowers said: “This was the first song written after we had to cancel the ‘Imploding The Mirage’ tour due to the pandemic. I had recently moved back to Utah and started to make trips to Nephi, where I grew up. I found that the place I had wanted to get away from so desperately at 16 was now a place that I couldn’t stop returning to. I have a son approaching the age I was at that time in my life. With ‘boy’, I want to reach out and tell myself – and my sons – to not overthink it. And to look for the ‘white arrows’ in their lives. For me now, white arrows are my wife, children, my songs and the stage.”

In other chart developments, Måneskin‘s “Supermodel” inches up a notch to #2, while Death Cab for Cutie‘s “Here to Forever” moves up three spots to #3. I can’t get enough of Beach Weather‘s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, which enters the top 10 at #10. The biggest upward mover is “My Babe” by Spoon, jumping seven spots to #20. And the lone debut this week is the delightfully delicious “Wet Dream” by quirky English duo Wet Leg. I couldn’t stand “Chaise Longue” but really like “Wet Dream” a lot.

  1. BOY – The Killers (2)
  2. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  3. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (6)
  4. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (1)
  5. BONES – Imagine Dragons (7)
  6. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (10)
  7. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (4)
  8. TEK IT – Cafuné (9)
  9. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (5)
  10. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (14)
  11. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (12)
  12. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (13)
  13. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (8)
  14. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (11)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (15)
  16. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (18)
  17. FREE – Florence + the Machine (21)
  18. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (22)
  19. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (23)
  20. MY BABE – Spoon (27)
  21. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (25)
  22. PARTY4ONE – dwi (26)
  23. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (17)
  24. CLOSER – The Frontier (16) 20th week on chart
  25. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (19)
  26. SISTERS – pMad (29)
  27. BITTER – Wild Horse (30)
  28. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (20)
  29. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (24)
  30. WET DREAM – Wet Leg (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 18-24, 2022

There are a ton of really outstanding songs out now, and I have to say that, having grown up during the 60s and 70s – which many consider to be the greatest years for music – I honestly never imagined I would still enjoy hearing new music at my advanced age in the year 2022. It keeps me hopeful about the future of music! Now, let’s get to the highlights of this week’s Top 30 chart. I love every song on this list, and wish I could place them all in the top 5. The haunting and topical “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE spends a second week at #1. The Killers‘ inspiring anthem “boy” closes in at #2, while Måneskin‘s “Supermodel” holds at #3 for a third week.

Entering the top 10 are “Here to Forever” by the ever brilliant Death Cab For Cutie, climbing five spots to #6, and “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy, leaping eight spots to #10. British artist Granfalloon‘s delightful “Please Write Responsibly” and The 1975‘s enthralling “Part Of The Band” both climb four spots to #12 and #13, respectively. And Beach Weather continues their rapid ascent up my chart with their marvelous “Sex, Drugs, Etc.”, climbing seven spots to #14. Three songs make their debut this week: “My Babe” by Spoon, entering at #27, “Sisters” by Irish artist pMad, entering at #29, and “Bitter” by British trio Wild Horse, bringing up the rear at #30.

  1. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (1)
  2. BOY – The Killers (4)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  4. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (2)
  5. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (6)
  6. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (11)
  7. BONES – Imagine Dragons (7)
  8. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (8)
  9. TEK IT – Cafuné (10)
  10. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (18)
  11. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (5)
  12. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (16)
  13. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (17)
  14. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (21)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (15)
  16. CLOSER – The Frontier (9) 19th week on chart
  17. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (14)
  18. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (19)
  19. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (13)
  20. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (12)
  21. FREE – Florence + the Machine (22)
  22. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (23)
  23. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (24)
  24. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (20)
  25. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (26)
  26. PARTY4ONE – dwi (30)
  27. MY BABE – Spoon (N)
  28. GREY – Holy Coves (25)
  29. SISTERS – pMad (N)
  30. BITTER – Wild Horse (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 11-17, 2022

One of the most hauntingly beautiful songs I’ve heard this year is “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE, the solo music project of singer-songwriter, composer and producer Nathan Evans. The prolific and hyper-talented musician creates gorgeous and dramatic music incorporating a broad array of genres and styles, including alternative electronica, rock, ambient, trip-hop, orchestral and dark wave. He’s also front man for alternative rock band Native Tongue. He wrote “Broken Record” to address the powerfully addicting allure of social media and its impacts on our emotional and mental health. Nathan states “‘Broken Record’ focuses on the like, follow and share society we have transitioned into over the past decade. Likes release dopamine like a drug and we become addicted to the validation, attention and acknowledgment of our successes or happiness. We hide behind filters and fake smiles to show an inaccurate reality we wish was real.” The song is stunning, with mournful, contemplative piano keys overlain with arresting percussion, swelling strings and mysterious vocal effects. I love male singing voices in the higher ranges, and Nathan’s is especially captivating here. Not only is “Broken Record” a gorgeous song, it also resonates very strongly with me, and I’m thrilled to place it at the top of my list this week.

In other notable chart developments, The Killers‘ uplifting anthem “boy” leaps 17 spots to #4, Cafuné‘s “Tek It” advances a notch to enter the top 10 at #10, Steve Lacy‘s “Bad Habit” jumps 11 spots to #18, and Beach Weather‘s “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” climbs nine spots to #21. The lone debut this week is the delightful “Party4One” by the brilliant Canadian artist dwi, which enters at #30.

  1. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (2)
  2. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (1)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (3)
  4. BOY – The Killers (21)
  5. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (5)
  6. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (8)
  7. BONES – Imagine Dragons (9)
  8. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (10)
  9. CLOSER – The Frontier (4)
  10. TEK IT – Cafuné (11)
  11. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (14)
  12. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (7)
  13. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (6)
  14. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (12)
  15. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (13)
  16. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (19)
  17. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (20)
  18. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (29)
  19. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (22)
  20. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (15)
  21. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (30)
  22. FREE – Florence + the Machine (23)
  23. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (24)
  24. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (26)
  25. GREY – Holy Coves (18)
  26. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (27)
  27. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (17)
  28. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (16)
  29. COMPLIANCE – Muse (25)
  30. PARTY4ONE – dwi (N)

Top 30 Songs for September 4-10, 2022

Not a lot of changes from last week on my latest Weekly Top 30. Stephen Sanchez‘ beautiful retro love ballad “Until I Found You” holds the top spot for a second week, while “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE, and “SUPERMODEL” by Italian band Måneskin, each move up a notch to second and third place. “Bones” by Imagine Dragons and “BREAK MY SOUL” by Beyoncé enter the top 10 at #9 and #10, respectively. The biggest upward mover is “Boy” by The Killers, which climbs seven spots to #21.

Debuting this week are the charming funk-pop song “Bad Habit” by Southern California artist Steve Lacy – the song has already reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, and is at #3 on the Hot 100 – and the enchanting “Sex, Drugs, Etc.” by Massachusetts alternative pop-rock band Beach Weather.

  1. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (1)
  2. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (3)
  3. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (4)
  4. CLOSER – The Frontier (2)
  5. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (7)
  6. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (5)
  7. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (8)
  8. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (9)
  9. BONES – Imagine Dragons (11)
  10. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (12)
  11. TEK IT – Cafuné (14)
  12. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (15)
  13. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (16)
  14. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (17)
  15. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (10)
  16. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (6)
  17. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (13)
  18. GREY – Holy Coves (17)
  19. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (21)
  20. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (22)
  21. BOY – The Killers (28)
  22. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (24)
  23. FREE – Florence + the Machine (25)
  24. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (26)
  25. COMPLIANCE – Muse (25)
  26. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (27)
  27. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (30)
  28. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (23)
  29. BAD HABIT – Steve Lacy (N)
  30. SEX, DRUGS, ETC. – Beach Weather (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 28-Sept 3, 2022

A year after it’s release, the gorgeous throwback love ballad “Until I Found You” by adorable 19-year-old Nashville crooner Stephen Sanchez reaches the top spot on my Weekly Top 30. With it’s wonderful retro 50s doo wop vibe, highlighted by Sanchez’ beautiful jangly guitar and vibrant vocals, I cannot get enough of it! The song quickly went viral on TikTok, and has reached #1 in Malaysia, #5 in the Philippines and on the Billboard AAA chart, but only recently began climbing the Hot 100 Chart, where it currently sits at #88. The song is included on his 7-track EP Easy On My Eyes, which dropped August 19th.

For the marvelous official video, which came out in late June, Sanchez channels his inner Elvis, also pairing himself with a Marilyn Monroe lookalike as his love interest with whom he sings the song in a duet (although the layered vocals on the track are all his, from what I can tell). He told Rolling StoneI was obsessed with the style of the 50s when I was growing up. The glamorous cars, movie theaters, mom & pop shops. I romanticized all of its visually stunning colors and sleekness. I wanted to implement all of that beauty into my dream of being a 1950s singer debuting his ‘hit’ song on the Ed Sullivan Show.”

In other chart highlights, the hauntingly beautiful “Broken Record” by British artist NAVE, and “SUPERMODEL” by Italian band Måneskin, each climb three spots to #3 and 4, respectively, and “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! At the Disco enters the top 10 at #9. Making their debut this week are “boy” by The Killers, at #28, and “Giants” by WALK THE MOON, at #30. As an old geezer myself, it’s heartening to see songs by veteran artists and bands over 40 like Sharon Van Etten, Jack White, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, the Killers, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, and Brian and Marc of The Star Crumbles, all of whom are still at the top of their game.

  1. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (2)
  2. CLOSER – The Frontier (1)
  3. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (6)
  4. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (7)
  5. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (4)
  6. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (3)
  7. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (8)
  8. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (9)
  9. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (11)
  10. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (5)
  11. BONES – Imagine Dragons (13)
  12. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (15)
  13. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (14)
  14. TEK IT – Cafuné (16)
  15. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (17)
  16. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (20)
  17. GREY – Holy Coves (18)
  18. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab for Cutie (21)
  19. COMPLIANCE – Muse (19)
  20. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (10)
  21. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (25)
  22. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (26)
  23. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (12)
  24. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (27)
  25. FREE – Florence + the Machine (28)
  26. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (29)
  27. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (30)
  28. BOY – The Killers (N)
  29. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (23)
  30. GIANTS – WALK THE MOON (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 21-27, 2022

The Frontier with his trusty sidekick Atlas

Northern Virginia-based artist The Frontier (the music project of enormously talented, funny and gracious singer-songwriter Jake Mimikos) is a long-time favorite of mine. Drawing from elements of pop, folk, rock and electronica, his music is incredibly pleasing, relentlessly catchy, and flawlessly crafted. The prolific artist has released an impressive amount of music both as a band and a solo artist under The Frontier moniker since around 2015, and I’ve featured quite a bit of it on this blog. Several of his songs have appeared on my Weekly Top 30, with two – “Dark Places” (from 2019) and “Can We Go Back” (from 2021) – going all the way to #1. He now reaches the top spot for a third time, with his lovely, upbeat song “Closer”. I find that the more I hear his songs, the more I grow to love them, and “Closer” is no exception.

And speaking of love, I’ve fallen head over heels for the gorgeous “Until I Found You” by 19-year-old Nashville crooner Stephen Sanchez, which climbs three spots to #2. The song is included on his new 7-track EP Easy On My Eyes, which dropped August 19th. Entering the top 10 is the wonderfully complex “Lemon Tree” by L.A. indie folk-rock band Mt. Joy. Big upward movers this week include “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! At the Disco, which climbs six spots to #11, “What’s the Trick?” by Jack White, also moving up six spots to #20, and “Here to Forever” by Death Cab For Cutie, jumping seven spots to #21. Three great songs finally make their long-overdue debut: “Free” by Florence + the Machine, “Cracker Island” by Gorillaz featuring Thundercat, and “Something Loud” by veteran rockers Jimmy Eat World, entering at #s 28, 29 and 30, respectively.

  1. CLOSER – The Frontier (2)
  2. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (5)
  3. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (3)
  4. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (4)
  5. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (1)
  6. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (7)
  7. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (8)
  8. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (10)
  9. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (12)
  10. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (9)
  11. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (17)
  12. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (6)
  13. BONES – Imagine Dragons (15)
  14. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (14)
  15. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (18)
  16. TEK IT – Cafuné (19)
  17. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (21)
  18. GREY – Holy Coves (20)
  19. COMPLIANCE – Muse (23)
  20. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (26)
  21. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab For Cutie (28)
  22. IN THE MIRROR – The Interrupters (11)
  23. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (16)
  24. WARNING SIGNS – Band of Horses (13)
  25. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (27)
  26. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (29)
  27. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (30)
  28. FREE – Florence + the Machine (N)
  29. CRACKER ISLAND – Gorillaz featuring Thundercat (N)
  30. SOMETHING LOUD – Jimmy Eat World (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 14-20, 2022

Lizzo remains at #1 for a second week on my latest Weekly Top 30 with her infectious dance song “About Damn Time”, while The Frontier‘s delightful “Closer” and YUNGBLUD‘s wonderfully frantic “The Funeral” both move up a notch to #2 and #3. respectively. Climbing four spots to enter the top 10 at #10 is the darkly beautiful “Failure to Comply” by MISSIO. Some big upward movers this week include “Lemon Tree” by Mt. Joy, which jumps eight spots to #12, “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! At the Disco, climbing seven spots to #17, and “Break My Soul” by Beyoncé, which leaps 10 spots to #18. Making their debut this week are terrific new songs by three great pop-rock bands: “Here to Forever” by Death Cab For Cutie, “Part of the Band” by The 1975, and “Seasick” by The Rare Occasions, which enter at #s 28, 29 and 30.

  1. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (1)
  2. CLOSER – The Frontier (3)
  3. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (4)
  4. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (5)
  5. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (6)
  6. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (2)
  7. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (9)
  8. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (10)
  9. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (7)
  10. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (14)
  11. IN THE MIRROR – The Interrupters (8)
  12. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (20)
  13. WARNING SIGNS – Band of Horses (11)
  14. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (16)
  15. BONES – Imagine Dragons (17)
  16. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (15)
  17. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (24)
  18. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (28)
  19. TEK IT – Cafuné (21)
  20. GREY – Holy Coves (22)
  21. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (26)
  22. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (12)
  23. COMPLIANCE – Muse (27)
  24. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (13)
  25. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (19)
  26. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (29)
  27. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (30)
  28. HERE TO FOREVER – Death Cab For Cutie (N)
  29. PART OF THE BAND – The 1975 (N)
  30. SEASICK – The Rare Occasions (N)

Top 30 Songs for August 7-13, 2022

I’m thrilled to place Lizzo‘s infectious feel-good single “About Damn Time” at #1 on my latest Weekly Top 30. I love a good dance song, and with its funky bass-driven groove, “About Damn Time” fits the bill quite nicely. From her fourth album Special, it’s her first song to top my chart, and her second to top the Billboard Hot 100. Born Melissa Jefferson in Detroit, the 34-year-old singer has already had an interesting life. After moving with her family to Houston when she was 10, Lizzo began studying the flute with renowned music teacher Claudia Momen. She also started rapping in her early teens, and formed a musical group called Cornrow Clique with her friends, at which time she acquired the nickname “Lizzo”. After graduating from high school, she studied classical music with a concentration on flute at the University of Houston, but by 21, was living out of her car for a year while trying to break into the music industry. She released two studio albums, Lizzobangers in 2013 and Big Grrrl Small World in 2015, but neither charted. Lizzo finally achieved breakthrough success in 2019 with her single “Truth Hurts” after it was featured in the Netflix film Someone Great. The song became a viral sleeper hit, reaching #1 two years after its initial release. Lizzo’s life-long struggles with her weight have led her to become a fearless advocate for body positivity and self-love.

In other chart highlights, “Closer” by The Frontier and “The Funeral” by YUNGBLUD, hold at #3 and #4, and “Mistakes” by Sharon Van Etten climbs four spots to #5. Entering the top 10 are “Until I Found You” by Stephen Sanchez, which jumps six spots to #6, “Broken Record” by NAVE, up seven spots to #9, and “SUPERMODEL” by Måneskin, which leaps 10 spots to #10.

I wanted to add at least six new songs to my chart this week, but had room for only these three, each of which could not be more different from one another: “BREAK MY SOUL” by Beyoncé, “What’s the Trick?” by Jack White, and “Please Write Responsibly” by British artist Granfalloon, the music project of talented singer-songwriter Richard Lomax, making his first appearance on my chart.

  1. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (2)
  2. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (1)
  3. CLOSER – The Frontier (3)
  4. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (4)
  5. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (9)
  6. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (12)
  7. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (7)
  8. IN THE MIRROR – The Interrupters (8)
  9. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (16)
  10. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (20)
  11. WARNING SIGNS – Band of Horses (10)
  12. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (5)
  13. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (6)
  14. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (19)
  15. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (17)
  16. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (18)
  17. BONES – Imagine Dragons (22)
  18. TELL ME THE TRUTH – Two Feet (11)
  19. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (14)
  20. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (24)
  21. TEK IT – Cafuné (25)
  22. GREY – Holy Coves (23)
  23. BELIEVE – Caamp (13)
  24. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (28)
  25. THE FOUNDATIONS OF DECAY – My Chemical Romance (15)
  26. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (30)
  27. COMPLIANCE – Muse (29)
  28. BREAK MY SOUL – Beyoncé (N)
  29. WHAT’S THE TRICK? – Jack White (N)
  30. PLEASE WRITE RESPONSIBLY – Granfalloon (N)

Top 30 Songs for July 31-August 6, 2022

Photo by María José Govea

While the top two songs on my latest Weekly Top 30 – Arcade Fire‘s “Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)” and Lizzo‘s “About Damn Time” – remain in place for a second week, there are lots of changes to the rest of the list. Several songs fall out of the top 10, including Harry Styles‘ “As It Was” after a 15-week run in that rarefied group, clearing the way for a newer crop of songs to move up. Jumping seven spots to #3 is “Closer”, by The Frontier (the music project of the very gracious, funny and talented Northern Virginia-based Jake Mimikos). We’ve followed one another on social media for over six years, and I’m quite fond of both him and his music. Entering the top 10 are: “The Funeral” by YUNGBLUD, which leaps eight spots to #4, “In the Mirror” by The Interrupters, climbing five spots to #8, “Mistakes” by Sharon Van Etten, up six spots to #9, and “Warning Signs” by Band of Horses, which moves up four spots to #10.

Other big movers this week are Stephen Sanchez, with his stunning retro love ballad “Until I Found You”, which leaps 10 spots to #12, and British artist NAVE, whose hauntingly beautiful “Broken Record” climbs five spots to #16. Two songs make their debut this week, “Viva Las Vengeance” by Panic! At the Disco (which recently spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart, and took a while to click with me) at #28, and “Sidelines” by Phoebe Bridgers, which enters at #30.

  1. UNCONDITIONAL I (LOOKOUT KID) – Arcade Fire (1)
  2. ABOUT DAMN TIME – Lizzo (2)
  3. CLOSER – The Frontier (10)
  4. THE FUNERAL – YUNGBLUD (12)
  5. SEVENTEEN GOING UNDER – Sam Fender (3)
  6. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE – Weezer (5)
  7. SYNCHRONIZE – Milky Chance (8)
  8. IN THE MIRROR – The Interrupters (13)
  9. MISTAKES – Sharon Van Etten (15)
  10. WARNING SIGNS – Band of Horses (14)
  11. TELL ME THE TRUTH – Two Feet (5)
  12. UNTIL I FOUND YOU – Stephen Sanchez (22)
  13. BELIEVE – Caamp (6)
  14. AS IT WAS – Harry Styles (7)
  15. THE FOUNDATIONS OF DECAY – My Chemical Romance (9)
  16. BROKEN RECORD – NAVE (21)
  17. DESPERATELY WANTING – The Star Crumbles (18)
  18. LIN MANUEL – Onism E (19)
  19. FAILURE TO COMPLY – MISSIO (20)
  20. SUPERMODEL – Måneskin (23)
  21. LONELY – Sea Girls (11)
  22. BONES – Imagine Dragons (24)
  23. GREY – Holy Coves (25)
  24. LEMON TREE – Mt. Joy (28)
  25. TEK IT – Cafuné (29)
  26. 2am – Foals (16)
  27. MY LOVE – Florence + the Machine (17)
  28. VIVA LAS VENGEANCE – Panic! At the Disco (N)
  29. COMPLIANCE – Muse (30)
  30. SIDELINES – Phoebe Bridgers (N)