Meet the Exec Board – Drew Buchser (’18)
by Andrew Buchser on August 7, 2017
Posted in: Music
Hey! I’m Drew (he/him) and I’m the Creative Director for the fall. I spent this summer in NYC but I’m from New Jersey originally. I’m always keeping up with new music, especially pop/r&b/folky stuff. Here are some songs and albums that have made my 2017 pretty good~
Thinking of a Place – The War on Drugs
- The 12” vinyl that Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs released on Record Store day has made a profound impact on my 2017. This song is a soundtrack to solitude, distance, and discovery that never tries too hard to grab your attention, but never loses you throughout its 11 minutes. Even though we can expect The War On Drugs’ new album in August, “Thinking of a Place” has the magnitude of a full album within itself.
Cut to the Feeling – Carly Rae Jepson
- Carlegend Slay Yourfavecouldneverson.
Boys – Charli XCX
- With lyrics and a video that completely reverse the male gaze, this song is everything.
While We’re Young – Jhene Aiko
- This song does a great job in capturing nostalgia, but it’s all about living in the moment. Cute!
Not Even Happiness – Julie Byrne
- Not Even Happiness is easily my favorite album of the first half of 2017. Coming back from my fall semester in Cuba, Not Even Happiness romanticized the winter at Middlebury, making it beautiful and bearable. Despite the weightlessness of the album’s sound, the lyrics try to reconcile the heaviness of walking the line between solitude and loneliness. Byrne reduces the expansiveness of lands, skies, and seas into meticulous melodies that make you feel at peace with how small you actually are.
About U – MUNA
- This was my album of the month in June, not coincidentally because June is pride month. When I hear “I know a place we can run / Where everyone gonna lay down their weapon / Don’t you be afraid of love and affection.” I’m ready to ditch my straight friends at the bar they took me to and live in a queer haven for the rest of my life. Those lyrics are from standout “I Know a Place”, a song that was explicitly written for queer people, people of color, immigrants, and people who don’t feel comfortable in their skin. To me, the entirety of About U literally sounds like that kind of liberation: it recognizes the isolation that so many of us feel and then commands that we dance to it together.
Melodrama – Lorde
- Even though everyone everywhere knows who she is, Lorde has a rare ability to blend into major cities, riding on public transportation, eating at 24-Hour diners, and hotel hopping, all while not get spotted in the process. Melodrama was written and recorded in New York City, where Lorde admitted that nobody recognizes her. In my opinion, this puts her in a position to understand what her listeners want to hear. If 2013’s Pure Heroin demonstrated teen boredom, Melodrama captures the essence of young adult life. You try and have more fun than everyone around you, but the high wears off and you’re left thinking about what you have to do tomorrow.
City Music – Kevin Morby
- What I love most about City Music is that it talks about feeling out of place in the city while sounding absolutely nothing like it. It sounds like he recorded opener “Come to Me Now” while waiting for his train in Penn station, and immediately retreated to the beach in California (where the album was actually recorded) to write about how uncomfortable the city experience was. “Downtown’s locked up for the night / And I don’t have a key”, he sings on the final track. I don’t either, and I’m very at peace with that.
Ctrl – SZA
- Honestly, just read last year’s General Manager Brandi Fullwood’s discussion of this album on NPR. Ctrl is so confident: SZA is painfully honest about her life and she’s unapologetic about it.
Bedouine – Bedouine
- Azniv Korkejian’s debut as Bedouine is stunning. The lyrics and arrangements both see silence as a virtue: she opens the album with a statement that she’ll keep her head nice and quiet for you. She criticizes citygoers who “talk in exclamation marks”. Oh, and she protests conflict in Syria, her native country. This summer, I listen to these songs on my solitary weekend trips away from New York, when “Everything around me is / Exactly as it should be.”
Crack-Up – Fleet Foxes
- Besides being dragged to a Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana/Jonas Brothers concert when I was 12, Fleet Foxes was the first band I ever saw live. It was that experience that so many of us have where I knew that I loved music. Every time I hear their music I’m transported to the moment I heard the opening harmonies of “He Doesn’t Know Why” and cried a little bit. Crack-Up is a far less accessible album than Helplessness Blues or Fleet Foxes (especially lyrically), but if you spend as much time on Genius as I do, certain songs have a new clarity. “- Naiads, Cassadies”, for example, searches for those complicit in an act of violence against a woman, and then reassures her: “Fire can’t doubt its heat / Water can’t doubt it’s power / You’re not adrift / You’re a gift / You know you’re not a flower.”
Something to Tell You – HAIM
- HAIM are a trio of perfectionists, but what makes them even better is that no one sounds like them. They are rhythmic geniuses, and it shines through especially on “Ready for You”, “You Never Knew”, and “Walking Away”, the second of which is my favorite on the album, probably because of Dev Hynes’ signature on it.
Hope you enjoy this music as much as I have! See you in September.