Ear Candy: A Semester of Sweet Tunes
by WRMC Middlebury College on November 5, 2015
Posted in: Hip Hop, Music, Punk, Rock
The downside to college is that there no rummaging around your candy bag in post Halloween sugar cravings. You may think that sneaking a couple pieces from the kids you babysit for is going to suffice, but at the end of the day you didn’t get the candy yourself and it just doesn’t taste the same. In the event that you have the post-Halloween delirious craving for some sugar, here is a coping strategy, pop some sweet tunes in your ear. The members of the WRMC executive board have put together a list of their “big bars” of the semesters. No tricks, just treats.
Kate Leib, General Manager
Ava Rocha – “Mar ao Fundo”
The information about Ava Rocha online is scant, and what is available is mostly written in Portuguese. What I know is that she’s from Rio de Janeiro, she’s the daughter of Brazillian film maker Glauber Rocha and that she works with another Brazilian artist, Negro Leo, on this track. When I first heard this song I was in the midst of pulling an all nighter in Johnson. After one listen, my fried brain, hankering to process something other than the computer screen and the dull hum of an empty building, had melted. After ten more listens, I was thinking clearly again. My stress evaporated and my mind was at peace—or maybe I had just fully lost it at this point. There are so many elements of this song that excite me: the whistling, the soothing instrumentals, the disorienting build of fuzz and distortion, the fact that I don’t understand a word of Portuguese? It starts off so sweet and builds into a clattering mess at the end and I don’t know what it means but it’s so full of longing that it doesn’t really matter. It’s Portishead meets Grandaddy meets Django Reinhardt in the heart of Brazil and I love every second of it.
Sleater-Kinney – “Get Up”
If I weren’t afraid of ruining this song by associating it with waking up (RIP “A.M. 180” and “Adrenaline Nightshift”) I would make it my alarm clock. “Get Up” feels ominous, urgent, and positive all at the same time and I find myself returning to it again and again when I need a bit of life force to jolt me out of a rut. Let your body go. Let it all go at once. Get up. Fall down on the world before it falls on you. I know it’s fine to not be fine, but sometimes I need Sleater-Kinney singing it into my ear.
(plus the music video is directed by Miranda July <3)
Charlie Dulik, Concerts Manager
Majical Cloudz – “Are You Alone?”
I haven’t been able to stop playing any of Majical Cloudz‘ new album, but there’s a special place in my heart for the title track. Majical Cloudz have always been a group cutting to the core of grandiose emotional experiences; their debut album Impersonator focused on growing up, Are You Alone? grapples with a possibly even more challenging subject matter: love and relationships. With such a straightforward and minimalistic style, the group always runs the risk of being too earnest and too simple to be challenging or interesting. However, with more complex, atmospheric instrumentals and more insightful lyrics than ever (like: “‘You’re gonna die’ so you say, / but you’re here still / You feel okay, / you’re just tired of the feelings that you have for yourself”), Majical Cloudz has once again created an immersive, introspective musical experience. They’re also playing Grooveyard, in the Bunker, this Saturday!!! Get your tickets at go/alone.
Kodak Black – “SKRT”
Though it dropped at the very end of 2014, it took until mid-October for Kodak Black‘s subdued hit to get a long-overdue music video. Most of the video is comprised of appropriately mundane scenes. Kodak breaking up with a girl. Kodak driving around looking moody/triumphant/ambivalent. Kodak dancing around on a football field. There’s also a few seconds here and there of more exciting scenes, for example: Kodak in the club, Kodak doing a drug deal, Kodak getting head while simultaneously counting money (lol), but even those are portrayed with overwhelming normalcy. There’s no mistaking this song as one to just zone out, get introspective and ponder all the different meanings of “SKRT” (the phrase) to, regardless of your life’s similarity to Kodak’s. Plus, it’s the most satisfying flips of an ad-lib to come along in a long while.
Brandi Fullwood, Music Director
Shopping – “Take It Outside”
If you can imagine the conflict of wanting to sound as fun as Siouxsie and The Banshees’ “Hong Kong Garden” but as covert and genuinely serious as post-punk has tried to be, you can imagine listening to Shopping‘s latest album Why Choose. The band has evaded the idea of taking a stance in lyrics just for the sake of it and have approached their fun, retro-surf rock inspired sound post punk as just the process of creation. That said, after CMJ I found myself happier that I had wandered downstairs to find this eclectic art punk band moving bodies. It was in a word brilliant, but indescribable in experience. “Take It Outside”, may be one of the band’s more subtle address of opinions, but also a great example of mood and thought process being exemplified in it’s manifestation. Amazing find and I’d definitely would recommend to those seeking a fun and explorative side of the genre.
The Radio Dept. – “Heaven’s On Fire”
This 2010 jam has made it onto every passive aggressive playlist I’ve made this month. At the opening the song brings in a Thurston Moore reference, from the documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke. It’s a basically a critique of the overreaching arm of big business in music and youth culture—clearly a fave topic. Besides the political and economic argument, I’ve been loving this song so much that I was bumpin’ it almost everyday of October. The best part for me is to mask the emotion with twinkly upbeat chimes and surf rock inspired guitar riffs. It practically makes the most depressing and eerie topics of today sound like a summer romance.
Emily Becker, Library Manager
EL VY – “Paul Is Alive”
Been listening to the most recent EL VY single because it fits with my aesthetic as a sad suburban dad who loves The National. It’s also just a really good song.
Mitski – “Texas Reznikoff”
As for my older option, Mitski’s last album, Bury My Heart at Makeout Creek, has been on the forefront. I completely missed the boat on this last March, but I’m on board now, and I like the album a lot. Even her most upbeat tracks are depressing in the extreme, but if there’s a time of year for that it is certainly autumn: season of death (of leaves). I like “Texas Reznikoff” best.
Andrew Goulet, Creative Director
Old table – “JUBILEE HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN”
The greatest band in the tri-state area’s cover of the CCR song with the lyrics reworked around Jubilee (the young X-Men mutant (specifically the Jubilee of the X-Men TV series of the ‘90s) and environmental justice. That’s potent.
Bob Dylan – “Like A Rolling Stone (Live @ the Isle of Wight)”
Every year I end up going through a phase of listening to “Like A Rolling Stone” on repeat, and every year it hits home, but in totally different ways. This version is doing that for me right now. I don’t know anyone for whom Self Portrait Dylan is their favorite Dylan, but damn is this version some kind of beautiful, living, IDGAF sludge. Mumbles and gibberish, repeat lines, the Nashville Skyline voice — #potent
*Note: the live version referenced above is not available for streaming online. You’ll have to do some digging to find it.
Aashna Aggarwal, Programming Director
“Dil Se Re”
This summer, every morning on the way to work, “Dil Se Re” would be the first song I would put on. I love the way it is soothing but also gives me energy. Like most of the songs I listen to, it’s about being in love. It’s definitely one of my favorite Bollywood songs. Also the actor in the video (Shah Rukh Khan) turned 50 this week and it was an international celebration.
Made of Oak – “Pinebender”
Nicolas Sanborn from the duo Sylvan Esso recently started his own solo project called Made of Oak. “Pinebender” is haunting. The way he interweaves the melodies and the beats is fascinating. You’re at once scared but also curious for more. The track has no vocals but really needs none.
Rachael Morris, Music Director
Painted Palms – “Refractor”
This song is addictive. Like you go in for one chip but then you eat your whole fridge addictive. Also you’re dancing around your house and you feel winded but that’s cool because this song is so good.
Milo – Going No Place
Milo is a wonderful human. His newest album demonstrates his perfect ability to blend his weirdness into his raps.
Garrett Griffin, Technical Director
Omi – “Hula Hoop”
Omi is back babyyyyy!!! Never didIi imagine that I would like a song released this year more than cheerleader or classic man but here we are and hula hoop is a song off Omi’s fresh new album me 4 u. check it out when ur hella sad and let it wash over you.
Frankie Teardrop – Suicide
oh frankie frankie oh frankie frankie oh frankie frankie we’re all frankies.
Kyle Kysela, Business Director
SOPHIE – “Just Like We Never Said Goodbye”
SOPHIE’s Product is set to be released on November 27th. It will include a number of previous releases, including but not limited to the “MSMSMSM.“
The Primitives – “Crash”
Aaron Slater, Concerts Manager
Monte Booker – “Kolors” ft. Smino
Gang Starr – “Work”