The DIY Scene’s Impact on Artistry and Alternative Careers

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [Photo by Kiah Easton] The DIY music scene in Athens, Ohio, provides a crucial launching pad for various art forms and alternative lifestyles. Although the Athens scene is small, the movement reflects a broader trend toward artistic freedom, sustainability and independence, resulting in far-reaching impact. The local youth subculture is…

Album Review: galen tipton – recovery girl

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [DESKPOP; 2020] Rating: 8/10 Key tracks: “big loud & violent”, “recovery girl ”, “dont be my light” galen tipton is starting out 2020 with a bang, releasing her debut project under the alias recovery girl through the experimental pop record label DESKPOP Music. Undoubtedly big, loud and violent, as the…

Album Review: Yeule – Serotonin II

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [Bayonet; 2019] Rating: 7/10 Key tracks: “Eva”, “Pixel Affection”, “Veil of Darkness” London-based dream-pop artist Yeule’s debut project, Serotonin II, is a product of the digital age that feels like a soft, artificial ambiance dwelling in the recesses of our increasingly digital existence. Whispy vocals sprawl across a host of…

Contexturally: Grouper – “Headache”

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor Music is unique when compared to other forms of media in that it has the innate ability to be paired with other experiences separate from what was intended by the artist. Music can always be in the background, bleeding into everything that you do. At least for me, the things…

ACRN Celebrates: JPEGMAFIA

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [Photo via Spotify] JPEGMAFIA took the alternative rap scene by storm in 2018 with his breakout project Veteran. Elements of political activism, abstract production and shitpost-inspired lyrics brought Peggy critical acclaim within weeks of its release.  Read more: ACRN Celebrates: Lizzo Born to Jamaican parents, Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks spent his childhood…

Album Review: Hannah Diamond – Reflections

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [PC Music; 2019] Rating: 7.5/10  Key tracks: “Love Goes On”, “Concrete Angel”, “Fade Away” Hannah Diamond has been a driving musical force not only as a member of the PC Music label but also as a hyper-pop pioneer. She takes the elements of traditional pop and deconstructs them, transforming familiar…

Album Review: Earl Sweatshirt – FEET OF CLAY

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [Warner Records; 2019] Rating: 6.5/10 Key tracks: “MTOMB”, “EL TORO COMBO MEAL (feat. Mavi)”, “ TISK TISK / COOKIES” Following Earl Sweatshirt’s critically acclaimed masterpiece, Some Rap Songs, Earl’s latest EP FEET OF CLAY feels more like the B-sides of his previous project. However, being compared to the B-sides of…

ACRN’s Top 25 Albums of 2019

25. Big Thief – U.F.O.F., [4AD; 2019] By Jonah Krueger, Staff Writer Big Thief’s U.F.O.F is just like it’s accompanying album art—dreamlike, deceptively simple, beautiful and packed full of details that are just obscured enough to avoid being fully grasped. It’s an album of compelling folk rock that pulls you in with some of the…

Album Review: Caroline Polachek – Pang

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [Perpetual Novice; 2019] Rating: 7.5/10  Key tracks: “Pang”, “I Give Up”, “Door” Caroline Polachek’s debut album, Pang, is full of emotional swings and subtleties that go unnoticed but not unfelt. Danny L. Harle and Polachek’s production feels light and airy, sweeping through you in a way that barely rustles your…

Album Review: Eartheater – Trinity

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [Chemical X; 2019] Rating: 7/10 Key tracks: “High Tide”, “Super Soaker”, “Pearl Driver” Trinity is the third full-length studio album from American multimedia artist Eartheater, a.k.a Alexandra Drewchin. Her composition is dark sludge spread thinly across the project, as each track surrounds its listener in a cloud of ambiance structured…

Album Review: fake meat – galen tipton

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor [Orange Milk; 2019] Rating:  9/10 Key tracks: “touch”, “orbs w/ frere tuck”, “tender” This article cannot accurately represent the experience presented by galen tipton’s fake meat. It is like broken glass smashed on the floor, light sparkling off of multi-faceted surfaces or a combination of textures and composites that never…

Mindful Miditation: Hotline Miami

By Kiah Easton, Columns Editor Composed by Various Artists The experience of Hotline Miami is distilled into its soundtrack with a level of cohesion rare to the world of media. The role of the OST within video games is to support the experience, increasing the immersion felt by the player. Without question, Hotline Miami’s OST…