It’s Wednesday, and you’re struggling to find the motivation to make it through the rest of the week. Enter THL, who has just the music you need to not only end the week on a high note, but also keep you inspired for days (and weeks) to come.
A Seat at the Table – Solange Knowles
Don’t be fooled by this easy listening; Knowles’ third album is packed with raw emotion and straight-shooting messages on what it means to be a black woman in today’s society. An album she deemed a “project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief and healing,” according to Rolling Stone, A Seat at the Table delivers entrancing melodic hooks coupled with thought-provoking lyrics that are sure to make this album one that you’ll revisit time and again.
“Cranes in the Sky” – A light and airy track, “Cranes in the Sky”is driven by a strong bass line that pulls it back down to Earth and enhances Knowles’ soulful voice.
“Don’t Touch My Hair” – Likely one of the most powerful tracks on the album, “Don’t Touch My Hair” not only asserts Knowles’ own power, but also that of all black women.
Long Live the Angels – Emeli Sandé
The sophomore album of Scottish singer Emeli Sandé doesn’t disappoint, delivering a heartrending account of a broken heart to eventual solace. Departing from her more pop-infused first album, Long Live the Angels incorporates soul, R&B and gospel influences, while certain melodies pay tribute to her Zambian roots. Overall, the album plays much like a story, bringing listeners from an introduction to her heartbreak, to a conflict in trying to grapple with the grief and finally to a resolution in deciding to love again.
“Selah” – Said to be a musical break that means “So be it” in Hebrew, the opening track is both haunting and beautiful, with lyrics flowing in a stream-of-consciousness style that is heavy with anxiety and pain.
“Sweet Architect” – Sandé’s emotionally-charged voice takes centerstage on this track, with words that sound like a prayer and an uncomplicated melody. The gospel choir at the end seems to act as a resounding “Amen.”
This is Acting – Sia
This covert singer-songwriter may not show her face on stage, but she certainly wears her heart on her sleeve in her songs. While some tracks discuss the struggle in letting her voice be heard, others serve as a reminder that we don’t walk alone when faced with struggles. Though her songs employ typically pop sounds, Sia’s unique voice cuts through the instrumentals and carries the weight of her important lyrics, as well as the heart and soul she surely pours into every ounce of her music.
“Alive” – A story of a woman still standing after facing the worst of what life has to offer, “Alive” places hope for a better future in the simplest of things: that we’re still breathing.
“The Greatest” – Sia’s most recent single, “The Greatest” pushes us to keep going, to never give up and to believe that we can be the greatest we can be.
Grab your headphones, close your eyes and let these artists restore your energy and rejuvenate your determination.