Kim Petras-Clarity

Kim Petras’ debut single “I Don’t Want It At All” was an electric, fun burst of sugary pop with 80’s inspired instrumentation and a compelling personality at the forefront.  Her further singles continued the magic that “I Don’t Want It At All” started.  On her debut album, Clarity, Petras lacks the charisma and instrumentals that her singles provided. Continue reading

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Titus Andronicus-6/21/19 at Rough Trade, Brooklyn, NY

Jack White was in the building earlier that day.  On a day when The Raconteurs put out their first album in over ten years, the band played a small in-store that afternoon at Rough Trade in Brooklyn-the first of three intimate NY shows for the band.  The Raconteurs would go onto play Rough Trade Saturday night and Coney Island Baby Sunday afternoon.  Jack White exists within a realm that few working rock musicians do; Dave Grohl is probably his only true contemporary.  This is all to say that these 200-250 cap rooms are a rarity for someone of Jack White’s stature to perform in.  He’s a rockstar in the truest definition of the word, which is very different from how someone would perceived Titus Andronicus who headlined Rough Trade on Friday Night for the release show for their new record An Obelisk.

 

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Top 20 Albums of 2018

badaoty

With a huge output of great records and songs this year, there were a ton of contenders for this year’s best albums.  So many of pop’s biggest names either took a gap year to tour last year’s records (Taylor Swift, Lorde), take time to build hype (Carly Rae Jespsen, Adele), or indulge in passion-projects (Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar), this year has been an open opportunity for a number of smaller acts and newcomers to make a big splash, and there’s been a ton. Continue reading

Petal-Magic Gone

               Despite 2015’s Shame being a powerful debut filled with pounding hits (“Tommy”) and emotive ballads (“Heaven”), it didn’t really deliver nearly as much as one would hope a debut would.  Kiley Lotz, Petal’s songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist, revealed in a recent piece for Out that this would be the first album where she has songs about her sexuality.  Magic Gone sees Lotz jumping over any hurdles that Shame couldn’t completely clear.  The songs are fearless and well-crafted on Magic Gone.  Lotz retains the charm of her first album, but she holds nothing back here. Continue reading

Frank Turner-Be More Kind

               Frank Turner isn’t exactly a musician out of time.  He’s made a career embracing the past while making fairly relevant music.  He’s also noted for having a diverse taste in music.  If one had to guess, he has an equal affinity for ABBA and Queen as he does for Rancid.  He also will unashamedly speak his political views and point a finger at those he sees as fallacies and evil.  Be More Kind sees Turner seeking empathetic people while taking a step away from his folk and punk roots and leaning into a more radio-friendly indie rock sound. Continue reading

The Wonder Years-Sister Cities

Philadelphia punks The Wonder Years have continually shown that they’re more than just punks.  Since the release of Suburbia, they’ve never really had an adequate match within the Warped Tour scene that they’re often lumped into, and they don’t really mesh with the artsy DIY punk scene that creates artists like Long Neck or Pinegrove.  This is all to say that even though Sister Cities isn’t their best, The Wonder Years are still in a class all their own. Continue reading

Mount Eerie-Now Only

               This is all terrible to write about.  Last year’s A Crow Looked at Me was a career-defining album for Phil Elverum.  That’s terrible to say, because it’s an album so rooted in the tragic loss of his wife, Geneviève.  It’s also somewhat ignorant, because Elverum had been working as a musician for over two decades.  While a popular artist in his own rite, A Crow Looked at Me was the sort of album that propelled him into a certain level of mainstream success.  His near-immediate follow-up Now Only should not be nearly as good as it is, but it’s a similarly haunting and honest album. Continue reading

Titus Andronicus-A Productive Cough

To say I wasn’t really looking forward to Titus Andronicus’ new album wouldn’t be right.  I really wanted to hear it, but I also planned to dislike it.  In the interview that was released with “Number One (In New York),” Patrick Stickles declared that A Productive Cough would have no “punk bangers.”  Those were my favorite Titus songs, and now Stickles wanted to get rid of them?  These fears evaporated upon listening to “Number One.”  A Productive Cough doesn’t have the same sort of gritty, shout-along songs like “Dimed Out” or “A More Perfect Union,” but the songs aren’t any less punk bangers. Continue reading

Camp Cope-How to Socialise & Make Friends

Camp Cope has positioned themselves as a hyper-political pop-punk band that will fight against sexism, gun rights, sexual abuse, and so much more, but the Australian trio is so much more than that.  While Camp Cope utilize their platform to speak about equality and representation, their best songs are deeply personal.  The band writes numbers that rage and songs that can let your entire world break around you, and How to Socialise & Make Friends really makes way for both of those worlds. Continue reading