Jams: Week of May 26th

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Albums


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Cende #1 Hit Single

Cende is a bit of DIY rock super group with members from LVL UP and Porches, this band was formed by college buds who all loved the music of the band The Marked Men. Cameron Wisch leads with infectious melodies and passionate vocals that often morph into screams, backed intricate guitar riffs and killer solos. Really there’s nothing super flashy or distinct about this band, they just make some really well constructed and super catchy rock, sometimes bordering on punk, with heartfelt lyrics. The opener “Bed” consists on the relatable premise of not wanting to get back up.  “What I Want” features Cameron’s former Porches bandmate and fantastic musician in her own right Greta Kline a.k.a. Frankie Cosmos. These songs a short, sweet and powerful. Hear Brian play “Bed” on Best Song Ever.


Kite Base Latent Whispers

Another band that Brian played on the show, maybe that’s why it took me longer to do jams this week, cuz they’re all Brian’s band (really it was because I moved and have been busy). The name Kite Base comes from the beginning fold in origami, that allows you to branch and create other folds. Our last episode of Best Song Ever ended with the awesome opening track of this album “Transition” which talks about making “something new from the old.” That’s just what Savages bassist Ayse Hassan did when she joined with her friend and fellow bassist Kendra Frost, using their bass skills in a new way. These songs are comprised solely of skeletal electronic beats, pulsing bass, and brooding synths, walking the line between electronica and post-punk. With how bare the composition is these songs reach surprising heights, with vocal crescendos backed by various electronics. This a unique sound that I don’t hear enough of and it’s executed flawlessly. Ayse heads in an interesting new direction with a thread you can trace back to her other band, and slight nods to their female punk predecessors.

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Pet Symmetry Vision

Canadian singer/songwriter Daniel Romano has trafficked in country revival until recently. On his new album he channels 70’s psychedelic rock and folk, reminiscent of the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Rod Stewart, and Grateful Dead. Daniel’s distinct timbre is backed by elaborate compositions with bouncy bass and drums, and killer guitar riffs, The guitar is the star on this album, harkening back to the time when guitar rock ruled the world of music. Overall the production flawlessly emulates his vintage influences, yet employs some current production tricks and vocal effects. I love when a songwriter can take inspirations and situations from modern times and make them sound from another time and another place and give them a grander scope than you would expect. The common theme on this album is love, whether a failed love like the one on “Ugly Human Heart” or the love that took time to mature in, “When I Learned Your Name.” The beautiful album closer feels like finale of a broadway show, saving the most powerful song for last. On the chorus Daniel desperately questions, “What’s to become of a lover like me, who’s been hid from the light but now finally sees? And what are the wish of the stars from above? Tell me what’s to become of the meaning of love?” Daniel’s performance on this closing track becomes increasingly more volatile ending in a frustrated scream, this song has really stuck with me and become one of my favorites of the year. This album is incredible, it evokes nostalgia, yet comments on Modern Pressure. Hear Brian and I listen to “When I Learned Your Name” on Best Song Ever.


Loved Ones Harness

The lovable lads from Liverpool return with their sophomore album, no not The Beatles, it’s the band Loved Ones (full disclosure that’s the third time I’ve done that joke). The liverpool quartet’s debut was more lo-fi ambient rock, but their return finds them with crisp, elaborate production and orchestration. They retain some of the ambient atmosphere on songs like “End of an Error” yet they demonstrate some significant growth. This is bright and airy, and while the songs may not be bangers they are well done and enjoyable to listen to. Listen to me play, “Without Face” on Best Song Ever.

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Lil Yachty Teenage Emotions

In Noisey’s doc about Atlanta’s trap music scene Killer Mike said that Yachty brought a brightness to trap that was previously missing. In that same doc I got to know some interesting facts about Lil Boat: He was in high school living with his parents when he got famous and he doesn’t drink or smoke weed, which is unheard of in the rap world. Yachty’s music is auto-drench trap, but it's usually in a major key which is a stark contrast to most trap. Let’s be real he’s an awful singer, but this is a style that values style and swagger over technical talent. While I sometimes cringe at how much he repeats phrases (he seriously says peek-a-boo a hundred times) and can’t hit notes, damnit if the songs don’t get stuck in my head. I also respect him for being a part of rap culture while being sober. On this album he reminds us he’s still a teenager with Teenage Emotions, yet that’s juxtaposed with him being a superstar. So you have a strange blend of talking bout bitches and talking about "being together forever,” I guess that’s the uncertainty of Teenage Emotions. Though I find some of this album unlistenable, I do like that he blurs the line of what rap & trap can be. Certain songs like “Better” just sound like a Jason Mraz-esque pop song, not resembling rap in the slightest. All these mainstream rap albums are so long it’s annoying, it’s because it is more about the persona rather than the actual content so they just pretty much word vomit any of their thoughts over well produced beats. It’s quantity over quality, but that’s part of the style, it’s not my favorite but it’s got some songs that are fun. After a plethora of mixtapes Yachty has finally made him proper debut, and he continues to do something different, whether it’s good or bad is up for debate. Yachty had to apologize for the line, “she blow that dick like a cello,” because he thought it was a woodwind. That’s why you need to stay in school kids. Finish high school, then become a superstar.