Since this week will be cut short by Thanksgiving, I only had one prime slice pick: Speedy Ortiz’s newest album Twerp Verse. Although beginning the recording process all the way back in the fall of 2016, the band decided to rethink a lot after election day (for obvious reasons). As a band that prides themselves on releasing politically driven music from their very first project, Speedy Ortiz felt that they couldn’t release some of the tracks that had focused on more frivolous topics. The title “Twerp Verse” is a phrase coined by front woman Sade Dupius to describe “when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part.” This album acts as one big “Twerp Verse” for Speedy Ortiz, holding some pretty substantial messages about the struggles faced in the current, skewed world we live in.
Moving Panoramas – Baby Blues [single] – (indie rock)
This week, indie rock band Moving Panoramas caught my attention with their incredibly groovy new single, “Baby Blues.” It has a great energy that reminds me of bands like Soccer Mommy and The History Of Apple Pie. This is the first single from the highly anticipated sophomore album In Two and if this is what’s to be expected, I can’t wait either. The compressed bass and drums together give the song a very driving feeling that really makes you wanna tap your feet. The melody and lyrics compliment each other nicely and get stuck in your head pretty fast. Give it a listen!
Rose Droll – Your Dog (singer-songwriter)
The only reason I classified this album as “singer-songwriter” is because I could not think of a single other way to fully encapsulate all that I was hearing. It begins with a bass line reminiscent of Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” accompanied by a looping drum machine and breathy background vocals. The second track, “Hush” completely caught me by surprise by opening with a line from “This Little Light of Mine,” followed by some seriously cutting rap verses spoken in an almost whisper. This album is seriously unique and, to top it all off, Rose played every single instrument on the record. The lyrics are complex and completely honest, but definitely require a few listens to fully unpack.
Poppy – Am I A Girl? – (future pop)
Probably one of the more memorable albums of this year is Poppy’s second album Am I A Girl?. After the first record it was hard to tell where she would go stylistically and the answer is heavier and even more strange. Going track by track, each one has a distinct theme, whether it be poking fun at pop culture or even herself, they’re all adding to the robotic character that is Poppy. The Song “Time Is Up (feat. Diplo)” describes her waking up in the factory she was made in and finding herself in a dying world she doesn’t understand; eventually saying there’s no going back and that humankind will inevitably be erased. The title track then talks about her programming not being able to process whether she’s a boy or a girl despite everyone saying she’s a girl. Now, as far as genre, the album is pretty consistent. That is until the last two songs. Continue reading “Curtis’ Prime Slices (11/11 – 11/17): Poppy, Y La Bamba”
Joji – BALLADS 1 (dark electro pop)
After receiving this album in my inbox, I suddenly started seeing a ton of Spotify video ads promoting Joji. Although I had already given each track a brief listen, like any good millennial, I decided to revisit the album after realizing people online thought it was a big deal. And it totally is! BALLADS 1 opens alternating between a simple piano line and distorted heavy bass in its first track “ATTENTION” grabs just that from the listener. “CAN’T GET OVER YOU (feat. Clams Casino)” is super unique, relatable lyrically, and probably one of my favorite tracks off of the album. Definitely check out Joji and keep up with him as I am sure this is not the last we will hear from him. Besides, when is the last time you listened to an album with song titles in all caps that didn’t turn out to be a complete success??
WAAX – Wild & Weak EP – (Hard Rock)
On Tuesday, female fronted hard rock band WAAX gave me a good start to my shift with their new EP, Wild & Weak. I got that excited feeling that happens when you first listen to something really good. And it happened for every song. The release holds so much energy in each track that it feels like you’re listening to a live show. The drums are well rounded and sound full, the guitars are punchy and tight, and the vocals are raw and in your face. None of these songs sound out of place or thrown in. they sound like they’ve been shedding these tunes for awhile and needless to say, it’s paid off.
Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus – Boygenius (indie / contemporary folk)
The moment I heard that all three of these incredible indie gals would be collaborating on an album, the world just seemed to make a little bit more sense. Lucy Dacus begins the six track project with her rich, ever smooth lead vocals on “Bite The Hand,” the clear fan favorite of the album. The blend of tones during the chorus when all three artists join in harmony makes me want these women to form a permanent trio and release music forever. A close second in terms of my personal favorite tracks would be “Salt In The World,” again because of the euphoric blend of harmony. Check out this album and buy some tickets to their show in Boston this Thursday, 11/8 at the Orpheum Theater before they are sold out!
Big Bliss – At Middle Distance – (Post Punk)
Sliding into my DM’s this afternoon was Post Punk band Big Bliss. I seriously haven’t heard a band who nails this genre quite like they do since Interpol’s, Turn On The Bright Light’s. This being the bands first album release after only one EP and two singles, I’d say they’re at a pretty good place musically. There’s songs like “Conscious Being” that turn you into a human bobblehead and others such as “Richard Race” that make you want to aimlessly sway back and forth. Each song throws something different at you yet their sound still stays in it’s place. Straight ahead with reverb that makes it sound like an arena. Rarely does a new band strike me like this so definitely check them out.
Carbonas – Your Moral Superiors – (Punk)
Released just yesterday is a big compilation of singles and rarities from Carbonas. It’s just under a half hour but don’t worry because there’s a total of 37 tracks on this thing! Again this is the first time i’ve listened to this band and they too absolutely kill it in the genre. These guys sound like they belong in the 70’s/80’s punk scene but their first release wasn’t till 2003. Although Punk is considered a very simplistic style, I can only agree so much. Anyone can play 3 chords but it’s the emotion, anger, and attitude that’s inside the 3 chords that a lot of musicians can’t convey whatsoever. Carbonas on record, sound exactly how they would live. Raw, unapologetic, and spitting in your face.
Valley Maker – Rhododendron (indie / folk rock)
This album is lyrically intricate while also maintaining an airy atmosphere that is easy to listen to casually. Austin Crane, the man behind Valley Maker, named the album after “the common plant which springs up in both Crane’s native south and his current home in Washington” – a metaphor that is very central to the overall theme of each song and transition. It is honestly hard to pick favorites on this one, so just chill out and listen to the whole album whenever you get the chance.
Bleu – Love You So – (pop)
It took about 10 seconds for me to decide I needed to review this single. “Love You So” is the feel good single I’ve been so desperately waiting for this year. Written by one of Berklee’s own, Bleu (a.k.a. William James McAuley III), the songs simple chorus and infectious melody have your finger on the repeat button every time it ends. As well as the chorus, the verses are simple. With just a few words it gets across the message easily, talking about the panic of being madly in love with someone and feeling undeserving of that level of happiness. The chorus then sums it up by saying “Why do I love you so? I don’t know, but that’s all I need to know.” It’s catchy, it’s sweet, and it’s three minutes long. CHECK IT OUT!