Album Review: Sinai Vessel – Ground Aswim

By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor
[Single Occupancy; 2020]
Rating: 8.5/10
Key tracks: “Where Did You Go?”, “All Days Just End”, “Antechamber”
The rise of maximalism in music is an arms race soon to come to a close, but being as blown out, loud and abrasive as possible can only go so far. It is a spectacle, but one with a firm ceiling until noise becomes a Merzbow-esque discordance of sound and static. All that to say this: understatement in music is almost unfashionable in the modern zeitgeist. The meteoric rise of the likes of 100 gecs might seem like a death knell for the stripped-back, contemplative sounds of Sinai Vessel, but this contrast works to the North Carolina indie rock outfit’s advantage; this true alternative manifests itself in their second studio album, Ground Aswim. It’s an understated and expressive piece of indie rock that’s full of bare-naked lyrics and poignant instrumentals to achieve a captivating, though quiet, forty-seven minutes.

Album Review: clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

By: Kwase Lane, Features Editor
[Sub Pop Records; 2020]
Rating: 5/10
Key Tracks: “’96 Neve Campbell”, “Looking Like Meat”, “Eaten Alive”
clipping.’s commitment to fictional perspectives could be really interesting if Daveed Diggs bothered to put any energy into his delivery. Visions of Bodies Being Burned is a testament to how flaccid an album can be if the artist sounds terribly bored by the concept of making music. Every featured artist rides the beat far better than Diggs ever allows himself to, much to the album’s detriment. This project’s production is as unique as ever, but I can’t help but find myself wishing anybody else was responsible for rapping over it.

Album Review: boy pablo – Wachito Rico

By Maddie James, Contributor
[777 Music; 2020]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “honey”, “te vas // don’t go”, “mustache”
Wachito Rico sounds like either incredibly well-produced brain candy or sexy elevator music. The newest release from boy pablo, Wachito Rico is the debut album of the indie-pop project headed by Chilean-Norwegian artist Nicolas Muñoz.

Album Review: Tricot – 10

By: Kwase Lane, Features Editor
[cutting edge/8902 Records; 2020]
Rating: 9/10
10, Tricot’s second album of the year, demonstrates an almost unbelievable amount of technical and conceptual refinement compared to their previous projects. Like always, the quartet weaves together complex polyrhythms, gentle melodies and impassioned cries, but 10 is marked by the sense of ease that each piece generates. The album flows from aggressive guitar riffs to mild, barely whispered vocals, all the while being imbued with an intricate serenity that feels unknowable and familiar at the same time.

Album Review: Machinedrum – A View of U

By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director[Ninja Tune; 2020]Rating: 5.5/10 Key tracks:”Kane Train”, “Believe in U”, “Inner Eye” Machinedrum, a.k.a. Travis Stewart, delivers a product fitting for his moniker. A View of U is a clean, percussion-heavy project hosting a total of nine different features, from Father to Tigran Hamasyan. Reflecting this lengthy list of collaborators, the…

Album Review: Teenage Halloween – Teenage Halloween

By Jonah Krueger, News Editor
[Don Giovanni Records; 2020]
Rating: 7/10
Key tracks: “Drown”, “Racehorse”, “Turn Right, Goes Straight”
New Jersey power-punk collective Teenage Halloween may have just served up the sweetest existentially-concerned cocktail this side of Jeff Rosenstock. One part Pacific Northwest indie, two parts California ska/pop-punk, with a dash of Springsteen and modern folk-punk for garnish, Teenage Halloween’s self-titled debut is a satisfyingly melodic crowd-pleaser.

Album Review: Field Medic – Floral Prince

By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor
[Run For Cover Records; 2020]
Rating: 7/10 Key tracks: “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z-”, “older now (it hurts)”, “before your body goes” 2020 is not a year for connection. Amidst the pandemic and months of isolation, it is sometimes hard to feel a true, heartfelt connection with others. During this time, though, music remains one of the main defenses against boredom for many people, and reminders of humanity and closeness still shines through in it. This is more than evident on Floral Prince, the new full-length project from lo-fi musician Field Medic, aka Kevin Patrick Sullivan.

Movie Review: Enola Holmes

Sometimes a movie throws too many balls in the air, and though it might catch some, it will always end up dropping just as many. That’s basically Enola Holmes, a movie following the titular character (Millie Bobby Brown) as she chases after her missing mother (Helena Bonham Carter), all while being pursued by her brother, the legendary Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill). Brown is excellent as the lead, and she delivers every line with a tremendous energy and owns every one of her scenes. While not the most earth-shattering performance, Brown proves here that she can hold her own as the lead.

Album Review: Father – Tha Thingz I Do 4 Money

Clocking in at just over 13 minutes, Father’s newest project Tha Thingz I Do 4 Money, sees him returning to old habits. For fans of Father, this means new content you will undoubtedly enjoy; however, if you’ve grown tired of his signature sound, then this probably isn’t the project for you. Tha Thingz I Do 4 Money takes a little while to heat up, and even though it ultimately does, that wasted potential is only made more evident by the EP’s extremely short runtime.

Album Review: Bladee – 333

333 came without any warning, following EXETER, released only months before. Lacking a promotional lead up, it comes with no expectations but delivers some of Bladee’s most expressive and melodic tracks thus far. Shedding all collaborations, even close friend Ecco2k, 333 is an intricately expressed creative vision from Bladee and executive producer Whitearmor.

Album Review: Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By

By Jackson Stein, Staff Writer [Shady; 2020] Rating: 5.5/10 Key tracks: “Darkness”, “Yah Yah”, “Lock It Up” If Eminem dropped a surprise record 20 years ago, listeners across the world would scramble to their nearest record store, needing to hear what the Detroit rap legend had to say. After all, Eminem was hip-hop’s brilliantly diabolical…

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…