Listen To This: Thee Sacred Souls’ ‘Running Away’ is nostalgic yet feels new

Listen to this week’s most notable singles from Emile Mosseri, The Japanese House and more.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

This week’s new singles range from the soul-filled sound of Thee Sacred Souls to the R&B-influenced pop of girl group FLO. These artists delve into new material, either by incorporating new elements into their already established vibes, or branching out into completely new genres. Read on for more. 

“Running Away” by Thee Sacred Souls

Kate Serrano, Contributing Writer 

Thee Sacred Souls’ new single “Running Away” effortlessly transports listeners into the background of a ’60s action film with its upbeat and silky sound. The group has steadily been on the rise as fans continue to find comfort in the trio’s consistently smooth and nostalgic sound. Tracks such as “Can I Call You Rose?” and “Weak for Your Love” have become staples to many who favor genres of deep soul and R&B.

“Running Away” is a shift from this usual sound. The track possesses elements from previous songs, but with a more fast-paced and exciting rhythm created by the use of bongos and heavy trumpets. Lead singer Josh Lane glides through each verse with a velvety soft voice, while background harmonies from drummer Alex Garcia and bassist Sal Samano create a soothing atmosphere. 

On the track, Lane sings of a man who must seek his own freedom at the expense of the woman who loves him. He chants, “​​He says to her / He says it’s hard to be / True to you and true to me … He didn’t mean to break your heart / Oh, it’s eating him up inside.” Although the audience never learns what the character is running from, it’s certain he’s never coming back.

“Oklahoma Baby” by Emile Mosseri

Holden Lay, Staff Writer

It’s hard to think of many artists who have a comparable career trajectory to Emile Mosseri. Having first come to prominence as an Academy Award-nominated composer behind the scores of “Minari,” “Kajillionare” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” Mosseri is now producing his own music as a singer-songwriter. 

The artist’s debut solo single “Oklahoma Baby” comes off the heels of his collaboration last year with Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith on the song “I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon.” “Oklahoma Baby” carries the same psychedelic crescendos and twinkly, heavy instrumentation that made that collaborative record so dreamy.

Mosseri’s standalone work has a swelling sense of scale, and an ambitious palate that is clearly colored by his experiences as a film scorer. However, “Oklahoma Baby” more than proves itself as a new venture for the artist. There is a somewhat Animal Collective-esque touch to the way he fuses guttural percussion with pop sensibilities. The song has an almost operatic instrumentation, but Mosseri remains stylistically in his own realm. This single is a tantalizing glimpse of the possibilities to come from his unique sound.

“Boyhood” by The Japanese House

Lea Filidore, Staff Writer

Amber Bain, more commonly known as The Japanese House, released her new single “Boyhood” on March 20 following a three-year-long hiatus. It’s a Japanese House classic, keeping pace with the artist’s signature sound and androgyny. 

“Boyhood” begins with a pop-synth beat and Bain’s own soft, melodic voice. The song evolves as it moves through the verses, adding layers of drums, guitar and violin on top of the initial beat — creating something a bit more lively than what many listeners may expect from her.

Yet, the single maintains that dream-pop sound that The Japanese House does so well. The melody in “Boyhood” is soft but consistent, supporting the singer’s silky vocals and intimate lyrics as she reminisces about the past. 

The new track revisits Japanese House’s adolescence, looking back on past loves, relationships, and reflecting on her biggest unanswered questions. Backed by synth murmurs and honest lyrics, “Boyhood” presents a beautiful story about remembering and overcoming the past.

“Eucalyptus” by The National 

By Ethan Beck, Staff Writer

Matt Berninger has always existed in a state of nervousness. The frontman for The National is jittery and awkward, existing as a contrasting mouthpiece to his band’s lush, peculiar indie rock. Based on the singles that have been released from their upcoming album, “First Two Pages of Frankenstein,” it’s starting to seem as though The National has completely lost their instrumental edge. However, Berninger’s rambling lyrics in “Eucalyptus” feel like classic National. Even with the thinner instrumental textures, the plucked electric guitars, dotted programmed drum machines and light pianos, his exasperated lyrics are engaging. It’s as if existential dread has been given a familiar spokesperson. “What if I reinvented again?,” he mumbles in the second verse, before the song gives way to a final, outsized chorus. 

The song’s production, which is half-heartedly anthemic, comes across like a child wearing their parent’s clothes — it’s endearing and doesn’t entirely work. But “Eucalyptus” sticks the landing because of Berninger. This is the sound of America’s best dad rock group suddenly realizing how popular they are and becoming self-conscious. 

“Fly Girl” by FLO ft. Missy Elliott

Tatyanna Gooden, Contributing Writer

Just in time for warmer weather, FLO released the early summer anthem “Fly Girl.” The U.K. girl group delivers a vibrant track, singing about independence, confidence and self-care. “If you’re a fly girl, get your nails done / Get a pedicure, get your hair did.”

Sampling her 2002 hit “Work it,” Missy Elliott is also featured on the song. Taking over the bridge, Elliott showcases her bouncy and clever rap style — nothing new for the iconic ’90s rapper.

With lyrics like, “See, you’re tellin’ me I’m pretty, but it’s obvious / I don’t need no man to tell me where the party is,” FLO continues to sing about independence, a theme the group has focused on since their 2022 debut song, “Cardboard Box.”

FLO showcases their vocal range and harmonic skills over glamourous instrumentals, making the track extra nostalgic to the early 2000s. The trio has solidified themselves as the girl group of the new generation. 

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