What Are You Listening To?
Saint Motel might be the best band I found by accident this year. There's something so familiar about their sound but the way they play with expectation and mix genres up makes them insanely interesting. The tonal shifts in this song make them the Yakuza of the music world.
Nothing But Thieves' What Did You Think When You Made Me This Way EP. The core of the band's sound is this very engaging blend of melodic and dramatic vocals with hard hitting and energetic guitar play. I only wish it was longer. Definitely putting this band on my radar now.
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JPEGMAFIA's album, Veteran. It came out earlier this year but I just recently discovered it, and damn it's really good. If experimental rap isn't your thing then you probably wouldn't like it, but if you do then this is the album for you.
Peggy comes off as a sort of villain in this album, with his accusatory and abrasive nature seeming almost satirical. His flow is solid and his instrumentals are truly something else. He fits in a niche of the rap game that is not touched on enough, and boy has he made that niche his domain.
Top 50 list from the melon. I've honestly only heard about 3 or 4 of the albums on this massive list. I think I might give his top 10 a spin, genres be damned, and see if I come out liking anything.
So I decided to listen again to my favorite albums of 2018 and declare a real winner. It came down to:
Gorillaz - The Now Now
Cursive - Virtola
MGMT - Little Dark Age
Interpol - Marauder
After listening to all 4, the answer was super clear in my mind.
Cursive's Vitrola is emotionally impactful, well written, and musically interesting. Basically, it's a Cursive album and the main reasons they're always a band I spend time with. I'm probably going to get to see these guys in February for the first time, so I'm really excited for that.
Like I mentioned in my last post, I planned on working through the Melon's top 10 and I've tackled his number 10 and number 9 so far.
Sons of Kemet - Your Queen is a Reptile
I grew up listening to jazz on the radio but I couldn't name out many jazz artists/songs nor have I really sought it out very often, besides maybe when I'm cleaning. This entire album is such a journey and feels so fresh, there's a very vibrant energy pulsing through the entire thing.
I also listened to his number 9, Death Grips - Year of the Snitch. This is the second time I've tried to listen to a Death Grips album and the second time I had to stop halfway through because I was annoyed. It reminds me of a decade ago - hanging out at a friend's house with a group of people, smoking, playing a variety of instruments ranging from drum machines to synths to an actual organ, where we just jammed for hours and occasionally it sounded okay. I know these dudes have a cult following but I just don't get it.
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I suppose i can make my top album list of last year too. Here's mine:
- Death Grips - Year of the Snitch
- Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
- The Voidz - Virtue
- Against All Logic - 2012-2017
- MGMT - Little Dark Age
- Interpol - Marauder
- Sons of Kemet - Your Queen is a Reptile
- Last Dinosaurs - Yumeno Garden
- Twenty One Pilots - Trench
- Jack White - Boarding House Reach
2018 was such a great year for music, for me personally. Many of the artists i mentioned above were artists that i didn't think too highly of before, and all of them came out with fantastic records this year. I previously struggled with Death Grips, and this time i completely fell in love with the new record. It's pretty much like that with the others, except for The Voidz (I have always enjoyed anything Julian Casablancas makes), A.A.L. and Sons of Kemet.
Also, shoutouts to JPEGMAFIA's Veteran, Kids See Ghosts' self titled, Daughters' You Won't Get What You Want and Brockhampton's iridescence.
Capnbobamous last edited by Capnbobamous
I guess I'll jump in with a top 10 as well:
- JPEGMAFIA - Veteran
- Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs
- Pusha T - Daytona
- Kids See Ghosts - Kids See Ghosts
- Denzel Curry - TA13OO
- Vince Staples - FM!
- Anderson .Paak - Oxnard
- Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer
- Twenty One Pilots - Trench
- Noname - Room 25
To be perfectly honest I only really enjoyed the first nine on there, but I can't just do a top nine and leave it uneven, so insert Noname. I really like that Noname has her own unique style -- and I think her production is really great -- I just don't enjoy the sound of said style.
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Sekai no Owari's Rain that is ending song to Mary and Witch's Flower
Also their other song RPG
and Bump of Chicken x Hatsune Miku and yes he is wearing a kilt
SabotageTheTruth last edited by SabotageTheTruth
Three albums from artists I enjoy came out last Friday. Whew!
Deerhunter over here quietly dropping an album of the year contender in January. I was reading an interview with Bradford Cox before the record released where he touched on some interesting subjects - how he believes nostalgia hinders us as people, how this album isn't as introspective as their others, and his views on the various forms of escapism. While I don't necessarily agree with all of his viewpoints, he's always had an interesting perspective on life and that shines through on every Deerhunter release. My only complaint about this album is its length - my favorite Deerhunter moments are long and drawn out, exploring every corner of a sound. Here, we're given ten tracks and none of them are especially long. Still, it's lush and varied, worth many listens in the future.
Speaking of album of the year contenders.... James Blake comes out swinging with his usual moody, experimental, slightly hip-hop influenced record. I've always loved how he's intertwined some somber piano melodies into his work and with collaborators like Andre 3000 on here, it really elevates things to a whole new level. With Blake, I usually enjoy a handful of songs on an album but not the entire thing. Luckily, this breaks that streak for me.
Toro y Moi's first three albums are extremely close to what I'd consider perfection, especially Underneath the Pine. After that, I've been becoming less interested with each new release and his last work (Boo Boo) felt like it didn't even have a pulse. When Freelance dropped as a single, I was immediately hooked and ready for what this album would bring. Unfortunately, there's about two or three songs that are real bangers and the rest feels like something a failing radio station might play at 3 am. I can't fault Chaz for trying new styles all the time but a lot of this record just lacks a heart for me. Listen to Ordinary Pleasure and Freelance though, those are great.
Foals announced they'll be releasing two albums this year, Broken Social Scene has a record coming out as well. 2019 is a beast in the music world so far.
Stumbled upon this thanks to Youtube recommendations, this is pretty sick.
@bam541 That's crazy, she just got announced to play in my city in May.
@sabotagethetruth Nice. I would love to see her play, checked out her other songs and it's pretty cool.
Sonic Mania's Stardust Speedway Zone 2 music reminded me of this. Absolute banger.
I've really been feeling Modest Mouse lately, so I decided to go back and listen to a few of their albums. I started with my favorite from them, The Moon & Antarctica. It's very mellow (mostly) like the albums that proceeded it, but there's some nice production techniques like strings that really tie the whole thing together. There's also some tracks (The Stars Are Projectors, for instance) that are just dense and sprawling and create soundscapes that were absent in their earlier works. I will say though, this is the first time I feel like the back half of the album is a little weaker than the first half. It's still my go to Modest Mouse record though by far.
Listened to 3 electronic EPs:
Iglooghost's Clear Tamei & Steel Mogu. Clear Tamei feels... classical, and has pleasant moments, while Steel Mogu is energetic and violent, rushing at high speeds to hit you. Both are amazing, can't pick which one's better.
Aphex Twin's Collapse. It's like being in VR and seeing the digital world around you collapse wink, producing frantic, otherworldly and inorganic sounds. It's also amazing, might be my favorite among the three.
LCD Soundsystem's new live album, Electric Lady Sessions is awesome. It's mostly live renditions of their songs (mostly from american dream), with some covers. The performances are great for the most part, great song selections too. I really loved every song here except for Home, this version's first few minutes kinda weirded me out a bit.
I have cleared out a good amount of my music backlog since the end of last month. Here's some the good ones:
Ought's Sun Coming Down. Man, this is so fun to listen to! It's quirky and ridiculous, thanks to the absurdly good vocal performance. The band always tries to change things up a bit, and it's executed flawlessly. I have all the songs stuck in my head at some point. I can see this being one of my favorites ever, only time will tell.
Protomartyr's Relatives In Descent. Also a post-punk album, and also a good listen. It sounds way more serious, can be menacing at times, and is overall a very moody record. Some parts are a bit too slow and/or too long, but it makes it up with how atmospheric and badass it can be.
Remo Drive's Greatest Hits. No, it's not a compilation album, it's the name of their debut album, and it's a really catchy and fun emo indie rock record. It has classic emo lyrics that isn't cringe-worthy for the most part, and the perfect vocalist voice that fits the tone of the album. I'm mostly impressed by the energetic and dynamic instrumentation, they really help build the tone of the album and keep it fresh throughout. There's some dumb moments that keep me away from fully enjoying it though.
Japanese Breakfast's Soft Sounds from Another Planet. I think i talked about this band's previous album before, and how boring it was. Well, this is the complete opposite. It has lots of beautiful, spacey instrumentation mixed with soft, yet strong vocals. It's not very consistent in quality, and some parts can be a bit too soft, but it's still a good album overall.
I also listened to Toro y Moi's latest record, which was already talked about. It's my first Toro album, and i enjoyed it. First three songs and Freelance is amazing, the rest can range from decent to boring. Still enjoyed it though. I plan to listen to his older stuff soon, along with exploring 2 other bands that I haven't listened to before.
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I recently decided to watch a video that has been appearing in my YouTube recommended for a while, and it got me really into City Pop/Shibuya-kei, which are kind of like a blend of Japanese indie, funk, pop and jazz. The main difference between the two is that Shibuya-kei leans much more into the indie than City Pop. Here are a few of my favorite songs from those genres:
Tatsuro Yamashita - Sparkle
Lamp - 君とぼくとのさよならに (I truly don't know what that translates to in English)
Serani Poji - Octopus Daughter
The only problem with City Pop is that it was most popular in the 80s, so much of it sounds incredibly outdated. Hell, Lamp might not even fit but I like it enough to include it anyway.
Listened to Kid Bloom's A Different State of Mind EP. I stumbled upon one of the EP's song on Youtube a while back, and I only got around to the whole EP yesterday. It's a really groovy lo-fi indie rock, with a good amount of style and confidence. Loved all of it's 13 minutes runtime. The first song's my favorite, can't get enough of that guitar.