Last summer, a friend and I somewhat spontaneously decided to go to Shaky Knees music festival in Atlanta, partially to avoid the mess of Vanderbilt graduation and partially because of the killer 2015 lineup. We each had our own personal ideas of bands we wanted to see, but as with any music festival (especially a smaller one like Shaky Knees, where there were only at most two bands playing at the same time), we often had a bit of unscheduled time to casually listen to bands that we weren’t familiar with or didn’t know at all. One such band was Dr. Dog.
Per recommendation from a friend, I recently decided to check out Black Mountain and, more specifically, the band’s fourth studio album, aptly titled IV. Released on Jagjaguwar, the Canadian band’s fourth album truly reminds me why I fell in love with space rock back in high school. The album is jam-filled, spaced-out, and altogether trippy at times, but it also has some really great in-your-face guitar riffs worth mentioning.
“I’m twenty, washed up already,” Frankie Cosmos proclaims in the aptly-named “I’m 20,” the eighth track off her newest release, Next Thing. With poignantly simple lyrics that paint her persona as one fearful of being a corporate sellout, “I’m 20” most notably marks a transition point in both Greta Kline’s latest album and in her career as Frankie Cosmos—marking a kind of profound recognition as she fears it’s happening, rather than after the fact. With words that touch on the flirtatiousness of being playfully young and also scared of not being young, Frankie Cosmos’ Next Thing is a monument of youth and its fading, and adds tremendously to her body of work, showcasing both consistency and novelty.
Rap’s vitality has always been a condition of it being dynamic; rappers come up, styles are birthed, stolen, recycled and then tossed aside. The new stuff rises to the top while remaining indebted to the old at the same time. The resultant mixture is perfect, in a sense, as both listeners and rappers are constantly kept on their toes, and new sounds are abundant. If only someone would come around ever once in awhile and offer some perspective and observation on rap’s current sounds, lyrical trends, and subject matter though.