Softee: “U + Me (WDYT)”

As progressive as some parts of the US purport to be, it can be insanely easy to not fit within the cog-work of traditional Western values. And without access to proper support, that absence of belonging can tragically lead some “outcasts” to take drastic measures – destruction towards themselves or others. It’s a human condition, plain and simple. But the ability to recognize that placeless-ness and understand its origins (often by gesturing broadly at our increasingly complicated society) before allocating that uncertainty into a nuanced piece of art that perhaps makes others feel more accepted? That’s divine.

Dating back to its origins in the late-’70s days of Studio 54 disco domination, electronic music has consistently provided a safe haven for “alternative lifestyles”. Even if the performers themselves aren’t explicitly part of the counterculture, the innate desire to dance our troubles away on a welcoming dance floor has created a shared identity for lovers of all things four-to-the-floor. That about brings us to Moorhead, Minnesota songwriter Nina Grollman, better known by her stage name Softee.

When Softee relocated to Brooklyn just under a decade ago, her unapologetic queerness and undyingly creative personality began to make a lot more sense. Already primed to be a pop star, Softee made her studio debut with her August 2019 EP Slow Melt, and impressively kept the momentum with another batch of ten infectious tunes via Keep On the following year. Softee’s racked up some admirable streaming numbers since then, but she sure as hell hasn’t lost sight of her music’s empathetic potential for anyone losing sleep over rampant emotions.

With that, Softee is set to reemerge anew and stronger than ever with her sophomore full-length Natural. As seen in the macabre, medieval imagery of the various single artwork, Softee is picking up where Beyoncé’s Renaissance left off by axing regressive representation and re-establishing the dance floor as a harmless melting pot of all human behavior. In teaming up with Berlin’s Sweetbbyj, Natural is enhanced by an extra Eurodance aesthetic over which Softee goes hard. It’s like a mixtape of all the best electronic styles swirled together by Softee’s virtuosic vocal performance and sanguine synth work. Hear for yourself on Natural‘s latest offering “U + Me (WDYT)”, whose “Apache”-esque breakbeat, instant classic of a hook, and wah-drenched funk rhythm guitar all make the bed for Softee to uphold the prowess of pre-millenium electro-pop-R&B queens like Robyn or Janet Jackson. So…what do you think?

A giant tourism investment is coming to North Texas

A big announcement that could add up to a major boost for tourism and the economy of North Texas. Underscoring the explosion of population and business growth in the Lone Star State, the announcement of plans to build a Universal Theme Park in Frisco is generating excitement in some quarters and concerns in others. We’ll hear all about it. Also after supply chain disruptions and worse, why Laredo could be at the center of a shift in how U.S. companies do business. And talk of a federal ban on gas stoves ignites a political firestorm, and fresh concerns about the safety of a common appliance. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 11, 2021

The 5th circuit court of appeals lifts a lower court stay on Texas new abortion law. What comes next? Doctors who performed abortions in the state during a court-ordered stay on the new Texas abortion law could be subject to lawsuits. We’ll have the latest. Also could the Woodlands become Texas’ newest city? Why the developer opposes an upcoming vote to incorporate. And what this coming winter spells for energy demand in Texas. We’ll hear a forecast. Plus, pregnancy during a pandemic: new insights from a Texas study. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 26, 2019

From guns to lemonade stands, new laws about to take effect. Experts from the Dallas Morning News and the Texas Tribune tell us all about em. Other stories we’re watching, amid record heat, there’s one place in southeast Texas keeping cool without fear of rolling blackouts or skyrocketing electricity prices. We’ll take a look at how they’re doing it. Plus gun control in the aftermath of El Paso: the president first said he’d support tightening gun purchase background checks, then seemed to step back after a call with the head of the NRA. What’s the real story? All of that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 11, 2017

Published reports say the US set to decertify the nuclear agreement with Iran. Deal or no deal? And what’s the big deal for Texans? We’ll explore. Also, the question a lot of folks in lubbock and way beyond are asking right now: how could a student get a gun into a Texas Tech police facility? A specialist in law enforcement says that may be the wrong question. Plus despite Republican efforts, it lives: But sign up less than a month away, what should Texans expect? And will the Houston Rockets ever be the sort of team that’ll be talked about like the Lakers or the Celtics? The new owner says that’s the plan. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Museums

Almost every city in Texas has a museum or historical site of some kind. Whether you’re interested in history or science, there’s something for everyone. That was the inspiration for Typewriter Rodeo’s Sean Petrie as he wrote this week’s poem.