It was a music heavy week for us — new releases, throwbacks, and even a podcast deep dive to get us through the week! But don’t worry — we still have some new recommendations to stream, too, if that’s more your jam. If you need something to get inspired, distracted, or entertained, you can probably find it in Volume 61.
The King’s Man
While we love taking a trip to the movie theaters, we have to admit that we have also enjoyed how quick new movies are hitting streaming services these days. This week, The King’s Man dropped on HBOMax, and gave us a fun new blockbuster to watch. It is a nice, easy watch, and a great prequel for the action/spy/adventure Kingsman franchise. The prequel has the same excellent set pieces as the original, even if it doesn’t quite hit the same comedic notes. Ralph Fiennes really goes for it in the starring role, and we appreciate how seriously fhe takes it, given his background in more serious films. Not to mention a truly off-the-rails portrayal of Rasputin courtesy of Rhys Ifans, who we know and love from The Replacements. While the film reimagines World War I in an interesting way, it doesn’t get too bogged down as a historical fiction piece. And there are some real plot surprises, which is always nice from a movie that could’ve just been a by-the-numbers blockbuster. A lot of Oscar nominees just dropped on streaming services, too, but if you are looking for a good popcorn movie on a weekend night, we recommend The King’s Man.
ODESZA (feat. WYNNE and Mansionair) - Line of Sight
Every once in a while, we have to rely on an old standby to get us through our work, and this week we went back to the ODESZA jam “Line of Sight.” The throwback track is just really vibey right from the jump, mellowing us out from the first note. It feels distinctly from its era, which is comforting in its own way, and the beat and bass really go a long way in helping us focus and relax. The strings on the intro and outro are a nice added touch, and the rise at the end is a really cool way to finish out the track, with the big build and chorus effect on the vocals. We’ve had no problem having this on loop all week, and wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up in our Spotify:Wrapped because of it. Familiarity in our music is always nice, and it probably helps us focus even more with it as a background track. If you need something to get you through your work, ODESZA might be the answer.
This weekend marks the debut of yet another biopic miniseries, this time about the founding and rise of Uber. While the run of this type of movie/show can seem a little redundant, we’ve enjoyed almost all of them, so we don’t mind the trend continuing. Not to mention that this Showtime anthology series has all the makings of a hit. It was created by Brian Koppleman and David Levien, the masterminds behind Billions, so we’re expecting a pretty good mix of drama and quick-witted comedy. Also it’s a tremendous cast, led by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Kyle Chandler, and Uma Thurman, so there’s plenty of starpower on both sides of the camera. Showtime is pretty confident about the series, as it has already been greenlit for a second season, focusing on Facebook instead. And since the book it is based on was a best-seller, we have to imagine the story is pretty great. As nice as it is to binge-watch a show, we are still suckers for the slow drip of a weekly episodic release, so we can’t wait to have something to look forward to every Sunday night.
Leon Bridges and Khruangbin - Texas Moon
Texas Moon has already been hinted at once in the Friday Five after the release of the single “B-Side,” and now we finally get the release of the full album. The follow up to Leon Bridges and Khruangbin’s Texas Sun album, Texas Moon is a bit slow, but we don’t mind. The first few notes on the album, from “Doris,” set such a cool tone for what follows. There’s a heavy, heavy bass, along with an old school funk guitar which really gets us ready for what is coming next. As the name suggests, Texas Moon is probably more of a late night album, and “B-Side” is the only track that comes close to getting up-tempo. It’s super soothing and relaxing, dipping into some old school funk and R&B with some new flair. And of course, Leon Bridges’ vocals are just so incredibly smooth. We’ll continue to listen to anything this duo puts out, and Texas Moon will probably be in rotation for a little while, especially if the weather stays cold.
In place of watching documentaries, these days we’ve been listening to a lot of “Dissect” on Spotify. The series is a cool, in-depth look at some of the biggest albums of the century, breaking down all aspects of the music. Each season takes on one album track-by-track, and lately we’ve really been digging their deep dive on Mac Miller’s Swimming in Circles. The conceptual double album has some iconic tracks, made even more influential in the wake of his tragic passing. If you want to start somewhere, we highly recommend the episodes on “2009” or “Circles,” but there's no bad place to begin. The episodes each give you 45+ minutes to totally nerd out, and for music-lovers like us, it is the perfect way to occupy a little chunk of the day. We also just love looking closely at how an artist perfected their craft, so we really couldn’t be more into this series. Seasons have also been dedicated to Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, and Kanye, so there are a lot of heavy-hitting episodes to check out. Whenever you feel like going down a rap-inspired rabbit hole, take a look at Dissect.