|Photo by: mushrecords.com|
Key Tracks: “I’ve Been Waiting,” “Too Convinced to Care,” “Golden Years”
If there ever was an album that had the ability to produce smiles and sheer joy, then Golden Years is just that. The debut full-length of recent Ohio University grad John Jagos, aka Brothertiger, Golden Years is a solid release filled with warm, melodic chillwave that pulls you in and leaves you exceptionally relaxed.
Golden Years is a step above anything Jagos has previously released. The most apparent improvement is the production value. Songs with outstanding drum loops like “I’ve Been Waiting” are more intricate in their dynamics and sampling than some of the more basic lines in past work. The synth production is just as upbeat and bubbly on up-tempo songs, as well as gritty and bass-y on the lower-tempo tracks, but more layering is added than in the past and effects are used more liberally.
Apart from instrumentals, Brothertiger's vocal quality has also become more varied. Already known for his ability to smoothly transition from a boyish soar to masculine troll, Jagos’ vocal range has increased on both ends of the spectrum. Vocal effects give Brothertiger’s voice more depth and exposure, all while retaining the quirky fuzziness that fans love.
“Golden Years” and “I’ve Been Waiting” both give off strong dance vibes, with brilliantly layered high and low synth parts that go along perfectly with Jagos’ warm voice. Both tracks have a high emphasis on their melodies, making them borderline synth-pop rather than his typical chillwave.
The low-tempo “Too Convinced to Care” has less emphasis on the melodic snyth parts, but more on the low bass lines, letting Jagos bring out more of his lower register. The bass line sounds like something more akin to a slow indie rock song. “Turquoise (Skyline),” while another slowed down track, is almost the complete opposite with more emphasis on icey keyboard parts and upper register vocals.
The two instrumental songs show Brothertiger’s ability to create vocal samples, as well as use them to his advantage whether they be the background “oohs” and “aahs” in “The Young Ones” or the soft-breathy tone in “Suddenly, Voices.”
“Out of Line” is a funkier number that belongs in Studio 54. It has the best use of instrumental sampling, ranging from classic dance claps to glitchy matrix effects.
Brothertiger takes the experimental diversity of the local scene in Athens and creates electronic bliss. Just one listen causes excitement for future releases, and subsequent listens presents new discoveries. The overall change and new styles on Golden Years make it a true gem.
This may be feel-good music at its finest, but there's nothing "wild" about Wild & Free.
New Zealander Gin Wigmore's sophomore effort is an album full of catchy lyrics and soul.
Comedown Machine is a bold move to be sure, but that boldness has yielded a batch of songs proving that the members of The Strokes haven’t lost a step.
Senses Fail is reborn with their new album, which hints at a bright future to come.
Diverse and extremely well written, Depeche Mode's 13th album to date is one of its best releases in 33 years of music.
On Afraid Of Heights, Wavves makes one thing clear: Life is pointless, boring and worthless; so why not have as much fun as you can while you’re here?
If The Mars Volta was combined with any contemporary post-rock group, put on a festive tropical island and was told to play a rock concert, it might sound something like All Hail Bright Futures.
A decent first major release for the young country musician, but look for Musgraves to pick better tracks in the future and stray away from the Little Miss Innocent image.
You sure this isn't just hear an album of GarageBand loops?
The Invisible Way manages to sound mature and polished, while still referencing the debut album that started it all. Please, just do not call it “slowcore.”