Albums We’re Listening To Right Now
by Jeffrey Holland and Maddy Goodhart on March 5, 2017
Posted in: Album Review, Music
From music directors Maddy and Jeff:
The holiday slump is finally over at WRMC and we’ve got plenty of new music to warm us up while we wait for spring. These new albums are from many different genres all across the world of new music, and they’ve all got us excited, so consider playing them on your shows!
Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors (Domino)
With this neo-soul and hip hop-infected stunner of a rock record, David Longstreth’s musical rebuttal against the “bad and boujee” indie music of our time shows that he can put his money where his mouth is. Although not everyone shares Longstreth’s pessimistic view of today’s musical landscape, few can deny the power of this eclectic, cathartic breakup album.
Fav tracks: 1, 2, 3
RIYL Vampire Weekend, Grizzly Bear, Kanye West, Solange
Sampha – Process (Young Turks)
Sampha’s debut album is an artful mix of electronic and R&B. The artist lost his mother to cancer in 2015, and Process maintains a meditative quality while exploring the dark isolation that he has experienced since then.
Fav Tracks: 1, 7
RIYL: Kelela, James Blake, Mount Kimbie
Homeshake – Fresh Air (Synderli)
What if Mac Demarco liked to play around with synths and listened to a lot of R&B? That’s essentially the recipe for Homeshake, the project of Mac Demarco guitarist Peter Sagar. Catchy melodies and chill vibes populate this smooth but decidedly lo-fi album, a perfect soundtrack for lazy Saturday afternoons.
Fav tracks: 3, 4, 10
RIYL Mac Demarco, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foxygen, King Krule
Thundercat – Drunk (Brainfeeder)
Thundercat’s fourth full length release combines his signature bass lines with his best album production to date. This psychedelic 23 track long electronic album features many famous collaborators including Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Wiz Khalifa, and Pharrell Williams, and toys with the notion of what one must do to truly live a full life.
Fav Tracks: 9, 10, 14
RIYL: Flying Lotus, KAYTRANADA, Teebs
Xiu Xiu – FORGET (Polyvinyl)
This prolific experimental group, known for their depressive lyrics as well as harsh noise and blaring synths revolving around the emotive, breathy baritone voice of Jamie Stewart, has hit us with another excellent punch-in-the-gut pop album. Last year they gifted us with a somber, pensive record of Twin Peaks covers, but it’s refreshing to hear them return to their signature noisy electronic pop sound, albeit this time with disco, dance, and hip-hop influences scattered throughout.
Fav tracks: 3, 4, 6
RIYL Deerhoof, John Congleton, Swans, Death Grips
Vagabon – Infinite Worlds (Father/Daughter)
Recently labelled an “indie rock game-changer,” Vagabon (aka Laetitia Tamko) is one of the most exciting up-and-coming indie rock artists right now. Not just because she is a young black woman playing in a conventionally white and male-dominated genre, but also because she is a brilliant songwriter and a dynamic singer.
Fav tracks: 1, 3
RIYL Frankie Cosmos, Florist, SPORTS, Diet Cig
Ron Gallo – Heavy Meta (New West)
This rootsy glam rock debut album puts Ron Gallo on the map as a force to watch. He balances cynical lyrics such as those in the song “Put the Kids to Bed” (When we were young we said one day/ you and I, we’re gonna share a grave/ I didn’t know it’d come so soon) with a biting sense of humor that makes for a lively and intensely self-aware album.
Fav Tracks: 2, 4
RIYL: Ty Segall, Susto
Jens Lekman – Life Will See You Now (Secretly Canadian)
This unbearably charming Swedish singer-songwriter tells stories full of clever witticisms as well as real emotions. His melodies are catchy, and his instrumentation combines acoustic and electronic elements to create a vibrant and unique pop sound.
Fav tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6
RIYL Jose Gonzalez, Andrew Bird, The Tallest Man On Earth
Tinariwen – Elwan (Anti)
It’s not hard to see why this Malian world-jazz-rock ensemble has attracted international attention (enough to win them a Grammy in 2012). Their mesmerizing grooves are irresistible, and even if you don’t understand the Tamasheq language, their refrains are still powerful. Tinariwen prove that great music transcends cultural and linguistic barriers.
Fav tracks: 2, 4, 6
RIYL Herbie Hancock, Tunde Adebimpe, world music
The XX – I See You (Young Turks)
Indie pop group the XX’s new release ups the ante from their first two albums. Previously the group had kept their arrangements simple so that they could easily perform live, but I See You delves into a more complex realm of samples that adds new energy to the band’s atmospheric sound.
Fav Tracks: 1, 4, 8
RIYL: Jamie xx, Phantogram, SBTRKT
Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick (Secretly Canadian)
If you’ve ever been a teenage girl or had an appreciation for teenage girls then you should probably listen to this album. Female vocals compliment the band’s garage punk sound for a cathartic experience that will make you feel like a grunge queen regardless of your gender.
Fav Tracks: 2, 7 (Pls listen to the song Lucid Dreams it is so fucking good.)
RIYL: Girlpool, Wavves, No Doubt