20. Parannoul – To See the Next Part of the Dream, [Self Released; 2021] By Ethan Bloomfield, Staff Writer Korean mystery artist Parannoul released a hidden gem for 2021: To See the Next Part of the Dream, a shoegaze album that expresses a level of skill not heard in the genre in many years. As…
10. Mastodon – Hushed and Grim, [Reprise; 2021] ACRN Contributor Mastodon’s latest project, Hushed and Grim, brings almost nothing to slake fans’ thirst for innovation. The album isn’t terrible, but it is a 90-minute exercise in patience with close to no payoff. Keeping Mastodon’s trend of memorializing loved ones through their projects, Hushed and Grim…
[True Panther Sounds/Matador Records; 2021]
Key tracks: “A Slide In (New Drugs) – Live”, “Stoned Again – Live”, “Easy Easy – Live”
Closing your eyes to a live album can provide a euphoria to the listener, like you are actually there, and in my mind, I am here: at one of King Krule’s concerts right before quarantine. King Krule (Archy Marshall) is an indie rock/post-punk musician hailing from London, U.K who has released projects under multiple names, including Zoo Kid and Edgar the Beatmaker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down is King Krule’s second live album release aside from Live On the Moon and overall his fifth project he has released under the King Krule moniker. You Heat Me Up, You Cool Me Down features live performances from past projects such as 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, The OOZ and Man Alive!.
By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[Asthmatic Kitty Records; 2021]
Key tracks: “Reach Out”, “Back To Oz”, “You Give Death A Bad Name”
Stevens is one of the biggest indie folk figures of the 2000’s and 2010’s, and he has released some of the most essential pieces of indie folk music within that time. It was a bit of a shock to see him drop his second album of the year, A Beginner’s Mind, just four months after his last album Convocations.
Texas blackgaze outfit Sadness have already proven themselves to be a competent artist in their niche. 2019’s I Want to Be There was well-received critically and by fans, marked as a lovable and sometimes very blissful, uneven experience. Since then, two more EPs have been released, the latest of which being Rain chamber. A sonic departure from past records with its electronic influences and massively cleaned up production, Rain chamber is an all-around pleasant experience.
Two years after Young Thug’s debut album So Much Fun, Thug returns with his sophomore album Punk. Despite its name, Punk is not what an average person would consider a punk album. In fact, most would consider it the opposite of a punk album. Young Thug justifies his reasoning for this name in a recent interview with The FADER, where he explains: “[Punk] means brave, not self centered, conscious. Very, very neglected, very misunderstood. Very patient, very authentic.”
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.