Looking Ahead: August 24th

Blood Orange: Negro Swan

Blood Orange continues his delicately lush sound with the flourishing “Charcoal Baby.”  Album out this week.

Devon Welsh: Dream Songs

Former Majical Cloudz frontman continues his ridiculous emotive vocal work over a less suicide-induced instrumental texture.

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Ok.

We’re about halfway through 2018.

I was pretty consistent at the very beginning of the year, then fell off the face of the earth with the end of University/finals/moving to Rhode Island, but of course I’ve still been listening to music.  Here’s my midway list of songs and albums!

Albums:

1. kacey musgraves-golden hour

2. Snail Mail-Lush

3. Janelle Monae-Dirty Computer

4. car seat headrest-twin fantasy

5. Sophie-Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-sides

6. charli xcx-pop 2

7. Against All Logic-2012-2017

8. Porches-The House

9. DJ Koze-knock knock

10. Goat Girl-Goat Girl

songs

1. snail mail-pristine

2. car seat headrest-bodys

3. frank ocean-moon river

4. charli xcx-femmebot

5. ought-desire

6. cardi b-I like it

7. kacey musgraves-slow burn

8. Ravyn Lenae-4 Leaf Clover

9. Troye Sivan-My My My

10. Sophie-immaterial

11. Migos-BBO

12. andersen paak-bubblin

13. The Carters-Apeshit

14. Janelle Monae-Pynk

15. sidney gish-Sin Triangle

16. soccer mommy-cool

17. hop along-how simple

18. westerman-confirmation

19. natalie prass-short court style

20. drake-nice for what

21. empress of-trust me baby

22. cupcakke-duck duck goose

23. Jorja Smith-Teenage Fantasy

24. rae sremmurd-Powerglide

25. illuminate hotties-Patience

I’m graduated now and although I have other goals in life/career, music journalism is something I think will be a big part of it so I want to beef up my credibility and consistency.

Here’s my plan.

Brevity is key, so I’m going to reward roughly one 8 out of 10 per week, giving it a 400-600 word review a week after release.  This is my main recommendation of the week.

Then, I’ll probably have a 7.5 review weekly which is a secondary recommendation and perhaps another review of something that I’m interested in writing about.  Both of these will likely be less than 200 words.

I want to post everything on Fridays so I can have the whole week to look at some releases, compile my ideas, and get them out there all at once at a specific time rather than feeling like I could always be posting something and feeling overwhelmed all the time.

Also I would like to post the singles for the albums I’m interested in for the next week on Friday, maybe write a blurb about the big ones.

My biggest thing right now is I feel overloaded all the time with blogs talking about mountains and mountains of good albums that you NEED to check out so I’m trying to be really precise with recommendations.  Also, I’m inspired by John Oliver.  He basically releases a video every Sunday evening so I know that Monday morning I have a story to watch on youtube every week.  I want my blog to be a place that people know to visit at a specific time and get a few things to check out, then come back next week when they need more recommendations.

Also, summer tends to be pretty slow so maybe I’ll try and catch up on the albums on my midyear list that I’ve given you no explanation for yet? I probably won’t write a review with a number of say Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves because I feel like it’s key to review albums that get swept up into the PR frenzy when they happen because they become these massive cultural things so quickly and I want to be able to formulate my own opinion BUT I could ruminate on my personal relationship to it or something like that.

Music that doesn’t get a shit ton of buzz… if it’s good it’s good and I’d like to be open to taking a look at it whenever. IF THIS APPLIES TO YOU send your music to me on twitter @burtandonovan my email is a mess and I don’t get any music from it anymore lol.

If you read this, you’re my GOLDEN HOUR.

Also check out my new Snail Mail t-shirt, and please text me your thoughts on Pristine, it’s a gay anthem, the “Chanel” of 2018 in my humble opinion.

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XOXO

On the Monthly: January 2018

Lol actually successfully reviewed a lot of stuff this month, enjoy my favorite albums, not really in order although Pop 2 is a masterpiece

Charli XCX-Pop 2

“Pop 2 is a new world that’s not entirely comfortable for all of us but Charli XCX charges up her batteries with ease and sets her sights on the tron-like neon violence of the future.”

Porches-The House

The singles for the latest from Aaron Maine see two sides of the singer-songwriter. “Find Me” is Maine the detached partier, accompanied by rattling horns and driving rhythm, whereas “Country” is a confessional croon, the climax articulated by flourishing vocal layering.  The album leans a bit towards the later, oftentimes showcasing autotuned vocal wandering over sparse territory, but Maine finds ways to sneak uplifting dance-isms into the overarching gloom.  “Goodbye” offers the full scope as a mournful departure finds enlightenment with a soaring chorus and bright beat.  It’s a more patient listen than “Pool,” but Maine’s comforting intimacy again shines.

Cupcakke-Ephorize

“Cupcakke may have difficulty fitting into the FCC regulations for radio play, but her music is wide-reaching—perfectly tuned to tell young folks everywhere that their desires are valid.”

Tune-Yards: I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life

“I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life also sees a little bit of an evolution to sharper and tighter sensibilities, but Merrill Garbus and her collaborator Nate Brenner remain in their relentlessly unique niche, any extra fans coming as a result of sheer will.”

Profligate-Somewhere Else

“Who’s counting but a singular work spanning noise, spoken-word, post-punk-rock, electronic feels so right on Wharf Cat Records and so fresh in the year of our lord 2018.”

Year in Review 2017

This is wicked late but here’s my personal listening list from 2017.

Top 25:

  1. Lorde-Melodrama
  2. Tyler, the Creator-Flower Boy
  3. SZA-Ctrl
  4. Jaimie Branch-Fly or Die
  5. Moses Sumney-Aromanticism
  6. Mich Cota-Kijà/Care
  7. Kelly Lee Owens-Kelly Lee Owens
  8. Bibio-Phantom Brickworks
  9. Jessica Moss-Pools of Light
  10. Tim Berne-Incidentals
  11. Julien Baker-Turn Out the Lights
  12. Jay-Z 4:44
  13. Palberta-Bye Bye Berta
  14. Common Holly-Playing House
  15. Jay Som-Everybody Works
  16. Brockhampton-Saturation Trilogy
  17. Priests-Nothing Feels Natural
  18. Paramore-After Laughter
  19. Mount Eerie-A Crow Looked at Me
  20. Arca-Arca
  21. The Courtneys-II
  22. Kendrick Lamar-DAMN
  23. Slowdive-Slowdive
  24. Perfume Genius-No Shape
  25. Laurel Halo-Dust

 

Pop:

  1. Lorde-Melodrama
  2. Paramore-After Laughter
  3. Kesha-Rainbow

 

Rock:

  1. Slowdive-Slowdive
  2. The Courtneys-II
  3. Jay Som-Everybody Works
  4. Waxahatchee-Out in the Storm
  5. The National-Sleep Well Beast

 

Punk

  1. Priests-Nothing Feels Natural
  2. Palberta-Bye Bye Berta
  3. Downtown Boys-Cost of Living

 

Indie/Dream Pop

  1. Mich Cota-Kija/Care
  2. Perfume Genius-No Shape
  3. Japanese Breakfast-Soft Sounds from Another Planet
  4. St Vincent-Masseduction
  5. Dirty Projectors-Dirty Projectors

 

Electronic/Dance

  1. Kelly Lee Owens-Kelly Lee Owens
  2. Laurel Halo-Dust
  3. Blanck Mass-World Eater
  4. Arca-Arca
  5. Yaeji-EP2
  6. Vince Staples-Big Fish Theory (lol)
  7. Four tet-New Energy
  8. Blue Hawaii-Tenderness
  9. Ibeyi-Ash
  10. Pierre Kwenders-MAKANDA: The End of Life the end of Time

 

Folk/Singer/Songwriter

  1. Moses Sumney-Aromanticism
  2. Julien Baker-Turn Out the Lights
  3. Mount Eerie-A Crow Looked at Me
  4. Common Holly-Playing House
  5. Feist-Pleasure

 

R&B/Soul

  1. SZA-Ctrl
  2. Sampha-Process
  3. Kelela-Take Me Apart

 

Hip Hop/Rap

  1. Tyler, the Creator-Flower Boy
  2. Jay-Z: 4:44
  3. Brockhampton-Saturation Trilogy
  4. Kendrick Lamar-Damn
  5. Migos-Culture

 

Jazz

  1. Jaimie Branch-Fly or Die
  2. Tim Berne-Incendentals
  3. Nicole Mitchell-Mandorla Awakenings II
  4. Kamasi Washington-Harmony of Difference
  5. Whit Dickey/Matt Maneri/Matthew Shipp-Vessel in Orbit

 

Ambient

  1. Bibio-Phantom Brickworks
  2. Jessica Moss-Pools of Light
  3. Kara-Lis Coverdale-GRAFTS

 

LIVE:

  1. Austra/Jessy Lanza @ Pop Montreal
  2. LCD Soundsystem @ Laval
  3. Slowdive @ Olympia
  4. Henry Threadgill @ Newport Fest
  5. The Roots @ Newport Jazz Fest
  6. Tim Berne @ Newport Jazz Fest
  7. Jaimie Branch @ Suoni Per il Popolo
  8. The Courtneys @ M for Montreal
  9. Lightning Bolt @ Foo Fest
  10. Tom Rainey’s Obbligatto in NYC

 

Old Albums I couldn’t stop listening to:

  1. LCD Soundsystem-Sound of Silver (they’re back!)
  2. Carly Rae Jepsen-Emotion
  3. Radiohead-OK Computer
  4. Roscoe Mitchell-Sound
  5. Nas-Illmatic
  6. Mobb Deep-The Infamous
  7. Sleater Kinney-All Hands on the Bad One
  8. Laurie Spiegel-The Expanding Universe
  9. New Order-Power, Corruption & Lies
  10. Arthur Blythe-Illusions
  11. Bjork-Homogenic
  12. Daft Punk-Homework
  13. Rihanna-Anti
  14. Katy Perry-Teenage Dream
  15. William Basinski-The Disintegration Loops
  16. Kate Bush-Hounds of Love
  17. Underworld-Dubnobasswithmyheadman
  18. Death Grips-The Money Store
  19. Grimes-Visions
  20. Frank Ocean Blond ❤

 

On the Monthly: June 2017

Kelly Lee Owens-Kelly Lee Owens

“taps into ambient and drone traditions while also delivering a constant stream of danceable bass lines and bouncy synth arpeggiations.”

Full Review

Lorde-Melodrama

“Lorde took a while to come back, but the last four years have been all growth and her empire is just beginning.”

Full Review

SZA-Ctrl

“SZA pinpoints relatability while avoiding tired cliché”

Full Review

Clark-Death Peak

“a great deal of variety in the project and the logical march from light to mean makes it digestible and addicting”

Full Review

Vince Staples-Big Fish Theory

“Staples maintains his usual drawl speech and coy attitude as huge, biting electronic-influenced beats explode beneath him and hooks talk up his come up, moving from little pond problems to ‘countin’ up hundreds by the thousands.'”

Full Review

Kara-Lis Coverdale-GRAFTS

“‘Grafts’ is one of her more condensed projects and although works like “A-480” and “Aftertouches” certainly offer blissful sublimity from beginning to end, “Grafts” is certainly her most no-moment-wasted work to date.”

Full Review

 

On the Monthly: May 2017

I swear I’m catching up.

Jaimie Branch-Fly or Die

‘“Fly or Die” didn’t come together in a conventional manner and it owes a little bit to each of the traditions that Branch has experienced over the years.  The record seamlessly incorporates post-production guitar ramblings, live set interpolations, and dubbed over trumpet trios without losing the sense of a single paint stroke.’

Full Review

Jessica Moss-Pools of Light

“Moss doesn’t need much to craft beauty, but her many different songwriting approaches make her debut surprising at every turn.”

Full Review

Perfume Genius-No Shape

“Perfume Genius has been prolific throughout the current decade and never fallen short of staying true to their songwriting footing.  “No Shape,” their latest, isn’t earth shattering and doesn’t mark a dismissal from Hadreas’s glam-baroque pop (with a dash of heartfelt ballad) background, however, it’s a logical step forward and never falters in delivering entertaining, emotionally moving material.”

Full Review

Arca-Arca

“Arca’s video “Reverie” is a good marker for the overall effect of his self-titled work and a true must see of 2017.  Stilted up like a gazelle, Alejandro Ghersi painstakingly inches back and forth on screen, before an animalistic phallic shape emerges out of his groin and takes control of his body, leaving his face in even more pain.  From his rear, the viewer sees blood stains.  It’s confrontational, unsettling, and carries the scars of the queer experience.”

Full Review

Feist-Pleasure

‘“Baby Be Simple” finds breathtaking delicacy at the hook and “I Wish I Didn’t Miss You” rides a cathartic lilt, but the title track finds a bit of punky bounciness and “Century” throws in a collage of punching vocals.  Tackling life’s general ups and downs, her lyrics don’t cut too deep on their own, but the intimate instrumentals make for an impactful emotional experience.’

Full Review

Blanck Mass-World Eater

‘“World Eater,” the latest from UK-based industrial/noise producer Blanck Mass, pummels and jolts.  After the quick, introductory track, “Rhesus Negative” fills itself to the brim with chaotic noise—tapping into some Aphex Twin influenced vocals and a bit of a hardcore punk bluntness in the percussive sounds—for a riveting nine minutes.’

Full Review