Omar Apollo is an up-and-coming icon. Also known as Omar Apolonio Velasco, this 23-year-old singer-songwriter started his music career back in 2017. His success story involves making it big off…
King Krule’s The Ooz starts out modestly with “Biscuit Town,” leaning more towards the jazzy, hip-hoppy, slow-talking side of his elusive persona than the urban stoner aesthetic he embodies on, say, “Bleak Bake” from his 2011 self-titled album. Its quiet and enticing first track is a good palette cleanser for the rest of the album: The Ooz meanders through a staggering hour and six minutes of pleasantly cohesive yet disparate directions, taking us from peaceful piano to ethereal cacophony and back again. It’s, in fewer words, nothing short of beautiful.
Moses Sumney’s debut full-length Aromanticism, released Sept 22nd on Jagjagwar, is a shimmery showcase of Sumney’s smooth-as-butter voice that marks an artistic departure from his 2016 EP Lamentations. While the EP revolves around layers of Sumney’s vocals and guitar, his latest release incorporates a much wider color palate, replete with beautiful orchestration and swirling synths. There’s a higher production value, which in turn sacrifices some of the intimacy of his earlier releases which made his music so powerful.
The National’s most recent album, Sleep Well Beast, released September 8, 2017, is characterized by a tracklist that can be compared to a morning commute. “Guilty Party” resembles the melancholy of waking before the sun has risen, a sheet of morning dew still covering the hood of your car. But the sun does rise and the gloom quickly turns into anger and frustration. “Turtleneck” embodies the morning drive itself — the agonizing slow burn of exit after exit, when you begin to tailgate cars just to feel like you’re making progress. Unlike previous albums, where each track transitions from one to the next like the tranquil flow and ebb of a stream, Sleep Well Beast is a complete mishmash.
While on a music-deletion rampage sometime last week, I realized that a lot of the albums I
downloaded legally purchased ages ago only had roughly 2 or 3 songs on them that I recognized/ever listened to. I gave some of these albums that I originally didn’t like more of a chance to woo me, and on most accounts I was pleasantly surprised.
Parquet Courts released Human Performance April 8th, and admittedly, after their last album, I can’t say my expectations were very high. Perhaps that is why Human Performance was so easily lovable—or, perhaps, it was because it was the band’s most innovative album yet, exploring new territory and playing with sounds they hadn’t ever touched before.
“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.
Possibly one of the most notable things about Death of a Bachelor is that it is the first time Panic! at the Disco wrote an album with only one member. After the departure of drummer Spencer Smith in April 2015, Brendon Urie was left to carry on and write what actually may be the band’s best album yet. Already, it has done much better than the previous four. In its debut week, it sold more than 190,000 album units and scored a spot as number one on the US Billboard 200, the first album by the band to accomplish such a feat.
Alex Giannascoli—Alex G, as he is known—has been particularly prolific this year, releasing Rules earlier this year, and then, satisfying the anticipation of his small but loyal fan base, Beach Music last Friday. Beach Music does far more than just satisfy, though: in typical Alex G fashion, it will take you on an introspective journey that is far from kitschy and saccharine, and yet remains surprisingly accessible.