All we have now is music right? In a year where it felt like the world was falling apart, there was so much to take hope in (even songs that were written and recorded long before things started going to shit). A number of artists created work that both reflected the current moment inadvertently (Punisher, RTJ4) and very intentionally (Taylor Swift, Charli XCX). These are my top albums of the year:Continue reading
Do you ever sit up late at night watching videos about how close we are to global catastrophe? Are you bothered by the creeping inevitability of death? Have you ever sat and read the Wikipedia page for predictions for the day the world will end and contemplate your own existential meaning? If you answered yes to any of these, Better Oblivion Community Center is the band for you! Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst’s new collaboration finds solace in nothingness and sees it as an excuse to indulge in the spectrum of life’s emotions. Continue reading
The idea of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus forming a band and releasing a great EP almost sounds like a joke. While each is distinctive from the next, they’re all within the same ballpark; it’s sounds too good to be true. Also, this record is the real fucking deal. It wouldn’t be a shocker if it was a cheap cash-in EP for a massive tour, but it’s an unbelievably dynamic record. If each of these women wanted to quit their solo careers and just focus on boygenius, I’m sure it would be just as compelling. What makes boygenius an engaging listen is the exact same thing that makes each singer’s solo albums engaging, they’re strong women who find that strength in being vulnerable and emotional. Continue reading
Earlier this year, I made an effort to keep track of every album (regardless of release date) I listened to in 2017. I gave up around May, but maybe I’ll try again for 2018. By the time I called it quits, I’d listened to 122 albums, and upon reviewing the list, I did see a bunch of albums I did really enjoy but forgot about. My best-of list will feature my top picks of albums that stuck with me from the time they came out until now, but these honorable mentions were also pretty great albums that I feel deserve some recognition. In no particular order, some of the other great albums from 2017 are:
Lil Peep-Come Over When You’re Sober (Part One)
The morning I found out about Lil Peep’s death was strange. I’d liked some of his songs, but his music hadn’t really grabbed and held me like it had for others. I still felt sad, mainly just seeing someone younger than me die of an overdose. I went back and listened to this album again that day, and I was surprised by how much it resonated with me. Lil Peep is the sort of artist I wish I had when I was fourteen, because it’s relatable and catchy. It really makes me upset that I wish I could’ve seen what else he could’ve done, not just for music, but for young sad kids that I do see a lot of myself in.
Black Kids’ first album in nine years was a lovely return to form. It’s an easily danceable indie-rock record with a bunch of quotable lines. “Iffy” and “Obligatory Drugs” are perfect examples of how Black Kids maintain the same energy that could’ve left them an indie one-hit-wonder. Continue reading
It would have been really simple to write off Phoebe Bridger’s debut album as a Julien Baker clone. Both singer-songwriters write ambient folk rock with a large emotional weight placed on the lyrics. Still, Bridgers’ voice is a refreshing one that really resonates within the pop-punk and emo community. Even though she is a singer-songwriter through and through, her heart-on-her-sleeve and pop culture referencing lyrics certainly welcome her to a number of melancholy artists that have welcomed the likes of Julien Baker. Whether it’s the sweetness of “Killer” or the sadness in “Smoke Signals,” Stranger in the Alps is probably the most exciting debut album to be released this year. Continue reading