So much great music was released today and throughout the week. We wanted to acknowledge some of our favorite albums, songs, and music videos. Anything that doesn't make the top 5 can still be found in the playlist. Don't take the ratings too serious, they're mostly a way to stay organized. If there's an artist on the playlist they are worth listening to, but there are a few we wanted to call out specifically.
Will This Do?
Jersey native Lily Mastrodimos used to be in the band Jawbreaker Reunion and now makes music under the name Long Neck. She wrote this album during 2016, we all know too well how shitty that year was, not only was there a lot of loss on a cultural level but Lily also experienced personal loss. From sludgy and explosive rock songs to tender folk ballads, these songs grow and change in surprising ways. Though Lily is only 24, you would think she's been writing songs for decades. Her writing is deft and clever, like on "Hive Collapse" comparing the natural phenomenon to her own personal collapse. The climax of the album comes on "Milky Way" with the frustration and anxiety building, Lily exclaims, "I sat to watch the sunset," and she's joined by a chorus of voices shouting, "AND I JUST FUCKING LOST IT!" It's unfair how awesome this album is, these songs won't leave me alone they keep pulling me back and I can't get enough.
"This real rap, no mumble." Early in their sophomore full length, Quavo makes this statement establishing that this trio stands apart from the cavalcade of fuckboys who try to do what they do. These days any dickhead can mumble some garbage over a boring beat and say it's for the culture, neglecting musical concepts and focusing only on the lifestyle represented in the music. On this album they make it clear they respect musical concepts, while doing their own thing and representing their culture. Aptly name "Migos Flow," the boys signature style is in full force here. While Offset shows off his skills as a classic rapper, while Quavo and Takeoff exemplify the trap sound, with auto-tuned harmonies and melodic hooks. They deliver inventive verses over well crafted compositions created by an all-star team of producers that include Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, not to mention features from Drake, Gucci, Cardi B, and many more. Though I prefer more socailly consious hip hop, this is some good escapist entertainment when I don't worry about the world's problems I can just listen to Migos talk about their crazy life. When I'm sick of a certain musical style, all it takes i one artist to do it right and get me back on board. I trust the trap sound in the hands of the Migos more than anyone else.
The sophomore album from Austrian electro-pop duo Leyya is a tricky little number. Singer Sophie Lindinger's voice could be suited for some generic hazy synth-pop, yet the duo outfits her smoky vocals with all manner of electronic innovation that change the feel of the song completely. These two dissimilar forces work insanely well together. Depending on what sounds make appearance, the musical style can shift in-songs. I don't even want to spend much longer describing the songs because you just have to hear all the elements come together to appreciate it. This is a masterfully composed, understated electro-pop album that sneaks up on you with how good it is.
The Spook School
Could It Be Different?
The new album from Scottish pop punk band The Spook School is bright and delightful. Their songs deal with "gender, sexuality and queer issues." They explore the diversity of the human spirit with jangly guitars and catchy power pop hooks. I feel like if this band were around ion the early 2000's they would be played on the radio constantly, as their positive pop punk sound song is reminiscent of that era. There is a sort of coming of age feel to this album, especially on the album closer wondering how life would have been different, "if I played sports in high school." This is a sort of feel good album that deals with heavy topics, but does it with a light foot and a sure hand.
This band started as an art school project, then continued on to deliver this awesome punk debut. The band's name in itself is a comment on sexism, so you know they're going to give you some insightful lyrics, relevant subject matter, and badass punk instrumentals. They don't dissappoint, on "Somebody" Rakel Mjöll sings, "I am not my body, I am somebody." In the age of a new sexual misconduct scandal every day, it seems us men are in desperate need of this obvious yet powerful reminder. However, not all the subject matter is all heavy there's sweet loves songs, furious punk jams, and infectious guitar riffs throughout. This album is the perfect blend of hard-hitting rock and breezy pop punk, making powerful statements while remembering to have some fun.
I Am Here (I Am Alive)
Detroit band Bonny Doon released their debut last year and it was one of the best records of the year, hazy folk rock with relatable lyrics. Last spring the band bunked at a house on Mystic Lake in Michigan with the intention of honing their sound. The result was more expansive jams, with repetitive rhythms that inspired the guys to improvise and be creative. On this song you hear them exemplify this new sound with measured guitars delivering a smooth, steady groove. This guitar riff will get stuck in your head eternally. The lyrics deal with the frustration of feeling like your alive but not living. This single promises that the band's sophomore effort will be as effective as their debut.
Philly band Hop Along came on my radar in 2015 with their album Painted Shut. That album rocked super hard so I was expecting their new one to be full force rocking out, but instead this song takes it's time with different guitar sounds and harmonies coming in and out. Francis Quinlan's voice is strong and smooth with little falsetto cracks at just the right moment. She becomes frightened by, "how simple my heart can be," as she sings about how people change and relationships change stating, "Don't worry we will both find out just not together." This is an extremely well crafted work of music and I can't wait to hear what Hop Along has planned for this next album.
New For You
Spanish band Hinds debuted in 2015 with a fantastic album and now they're back with a tighter sound and more introspective lyrics. Two of the members date musicians and saw it as a boy's thing until they decided to give it a try themselves, then created one of the best all female rock bands around. These sort of moments of relationships and self-discovery are what they explore on the albums. On this song they sing about finding your best self over crunchy and rubbery guitar riffs. This song is a perfect poster child for the revitalized sound you'll hear on the album
How To Socialise and Make Friends
Australian band Camp Cope have a knack for writing crunchy rock songs with heart-wrenching lyrics and Georgia Maq's gorgeous vocals build to the a powerful bellow. She sings about trying to get out into the world as she deals with an ex who's married among other things. Every song from Camp Cope just kills me and I can wait for their sophomore album.
How To Socialise & Make Friends is out March 2nd on Run For Cover Records
Losing The Light
This song was my introduction to the London band Night Flowers and based on this song I just might be their newest fan. Shimmering synths create a dreamy pad for a quickly picked guitar part that creates an epic and inspiring pop song about moving on. In the chorus Sophia Pettit sings, "Darling I see you falling and I do nothing," and also called the person she's speaking to, "my yesterday." The melancholy lyrics and blooming instrumentals create an interesting dichotomy, like a hopeful morning after a bad storm. Hopefully we'll get a new album from this band, either way I'm gonna keep spinnin' this song.
Dear Future Person
Taken from Mellow Waves out now on Rostrum Records
Kali Uchis feat. Bootsy Collins & Tyler, The Creator
After The Storm
Dir: Weird Life
End of Time
Dir: Jeanne Lula Chauveau
If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead
Dir: Alexander Brown