After an eight-year hiatus, A Great Big Pile of Leaves makes a worthy return with their third album Pono. Equal parts past adolescence-laden lyrics and proof of musical growth, the album is a perfect addition to the band’s already strong discography and extends its reach far past their Brooklyn-emo roots. While their other releases are fun to listen to, if not a little naïve, Pono displays the group’s maturity while reminiscing on the same subject they’ve always catered to: the wistful feeling of youth.
By Jack Hampton, Contributor[Independent; 2021]Rating: 9/10 Key tracks: “snare of a lifetime”, “the dariacore to YTP pipeline”, “she was a star, now she works in toronto” Dltzk released their first album, Teen Week, on February 26th of 2021, and when I heard that album, I was on my way out of giving a shit about…
Lil Nas X reinvents his sound and lyricism on his first solo album debut, and his charisma and fearlessness, as always, are on full display. He’s not afraid to articulate the struggles he has faced because of his sexuality or the way he has overcome them to embrace his true, authentic self. Much like the success of his first single, “Old Town Road”, this new side of Lil Nas X mixes rap-like verses with tantalizing and upbeat choruses that allow for a smooth and consistent transition from song to song throughout the album.
By: Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer[Grand Paradise; 2021]Rating: 4/10 Key tracks: “737”, “Speak With The Dead” The indie-rock scene had a rich month. Everyone from The Academic to Deafhaven have dropped new music with no signs of slowing down industry-wide. Within this slew of new albums, St. Louis group Foxing unveiled their latest LP, Draw Down…
After making a distinct, unique mark on the lofi-house scene back in 2017 with Time Spent Away From U, Swedish house producer DJ Seinfeld, whose real name is Armand Jakobsson, returns after four years to deliver a dance record that follows in the footsteps of other influential deep house producers such as Burial and Disclosure.
By Kwase Lane, Features Editor
Key tracks: “Who Are They”, “The One”, “Aunty Lip Lock”
Crack Dreams 2, the latest project in Rx Nephew’s endless procession of releases, is a beautiful mishmash of boasts and self-condemnation. If you’re familiar with the New York rapper, you know he has a unique way with words, and if you’ve never heard his work, it doesn’t take long for his inimitable style to register. Rx Nephew’s work is ruled by contradiction. He’ll dedicate several lines to lamenting the tale of Job before irreverently declaring that he wants to “beat the shit out of Eve.” He laments his history of drug use just before criticizing individuals struggling with addiction for not kicking their own habits. Despite the staggering amount of tonal whiplash his pieces share, they are linked by a mutual understanding of pain and a desire to know what it takes to heal that hurt.
Four years after the release of her sophomore album, Melodrama, Lorde graces us with her presence yet again, with a freshness in her sound that supersedes the melancholy heartbreak anthems of her predecessors. This time, the vocalist has found inspiration both in her home country of New Zealand and in her love of summer; it feels like you’re on a beach somewhere, eyes closed with the sun blazing down on you.
By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director
[Orange Milk Records/ Rivals; 2021]
Key tracks: “Megabloom Halo ft Dai Burger & moistbreezy”, “Bounce Castle”, “The Golden Age of Content (Menu)”
By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director[Orange Milk; 2021]Rating: *_??//@@#$*&/10 Key tracks: “Earther”, “Disworld (Vocals: NTsKI)”, “Mirror Guide, Pt. II (you and me)” Published by am spritzer and ACRN Media Experimental electronic music often finds itself positioned opposite to the idea of organic sound. While electronic production has allowed for the abstraction of “traditional” sounds, it has…
Several months after the release of her sophomore album, Punisher, in June, indie artist Phoebe Bridgers uses her new EP Copycat Killers as a fresh take on four songs from the album. The EP is a collaboration with Grammy-winning string musician Rob Moose, known for his work with artists such as Paul Simon, Taylor Swift and John Legend. The new versions of the songs are well-produced but don’t stray much from the source material.
By: RJ Martin
[Atlantic Records; 2021]
Key tracks: “All My Favorite Songs”, “Here Comes The Rain”, “La Brea Tar Pits”
What if after Green Day proudly proclaimed their most recent album had “no features, no swedish songwriters, no trap beats, just 100% pure uncut rock” it actually turned out to be pretty decent despite the overwhelming snobbery? Well, you don’t have to imagine, because after a lackluster performance on their most recent records, Weezer seems to have done just that. A few weeks ago, ahead of the release of OK Human, the band took to Instagram to explain that the album was made with a time “when humans really mattered and when the dark tech-takeover fantasy didn’t exist” in mind. The album was made all analogue with a ’60s/’70s sound in mind, which isn’t a new concept.
By Jonah Krueger, News Editor
[Ninja Tune; 2021]
Key tracks: “Athens, France”, “Science Fair”, “Sunglasses”, “Opus”
Black Country, New Road accomplished something incredible—they released an album that got noticed. After forming from the ashes of a promising band ruined by the actions of a single member, the seven-piece’s trajectory seemed pretty straightforward. Gain a quick cult following off the basis of live performances, work out new material, put out a single or two, sign to a label, release a debut album—all the while remaining mysterious and developing an idiosyncratic aesthetic.