Don’t have a significant other or tales of abounding academic success to bring home for winter break this year? Fret not—what you may lack in a love interest, all As,…
Starting back in the early 2010s, this weird-ass genre started popping out of the UK. It was taking the wonky aesthetics of EDM and pitching up the melodies and vocals…
Jon Bellion, a New York singer-songwriter and rapper, has steadily been gaining fame and success with each successive album that he releases. His five albums have been released over the…
The 1975 has never been the band to shy away from extravagance. From the self-titled song appearing on all three of their albums to their ostentatious project titles — I’m…
Earlier this year, Ghost released Prequelle, a near-perfect arena rock record dripping with the band’s classic satanic doom-metal aesthetic and dashes of really fun pop glimmer. Every song on the album fits ingeniously and further establishes the band’s repertoire of new rock classics. Even the two instrumental pieces continue the energy of the other songs seamlessly, creating a beautifully cohesive album. Some tracks have lush orchestral intros and outros which act as gorgeous reprises or previews of other melodies on the album and enhance the overall flow. Somehow, amidst our current music climate of the widespread reappropriation of the sounds and textures of the 1980s, the clear 80s influence on Prequelle still feels fresh and exciting, balanced perfectly against 70s hard rock and 21st century dance sensibilities. Thematically, the album perfectly intertwines deliciously cheesy imagery of the Black Death with entertaining and incisive disses on some of the former members of the band who levied a lawsuit against the frontman. At a fairly concise 41 minutes long, Prequelle doesn’t squander a second; every moment on the album feels important. It’s a strong top 5 contender for my AOTY, and so I had very high hopes for the tour.
On their fourth LP, MGMT joins in the revivalist trend.
Next up for Cranberry Jam we have Nashville’s own Arlie! Formed in 2016 around singer-songwriter Nathaniel Banks and featuring WRVU’s Carson Lystad, Arlie specializes in creating a smooth blend of…
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.
Sunday at Panorama was a whirlwind of heavy hitters. A Tribe Called Quest headlined, and some notable highlights included Glass Animals, Cloud Nothings, and Dhani Harrison. Check out our gallery below:
Released in the after-hours of the Grammys on February 12th, DJ Khaled’s “Shining” is definitely one of the best songs in its genre of this very young year, and just about everything about it works. It’s Khaled’s trademark pop production firing on all cylinders, and its arrival after last year’s “For Free” is evidence of Khaled’s sustained return to form as a hit-maker.
In retrospect, Twin Shadow/George Lewis Jr. always belonged on a major label, though this wasn’t obvious at the time of his 2010 new-wave-revival debut, Forget. On Forget, retro guitars and a lo-fi drum machine kept Twin Shadow grounded in New Order’s more restrained brand of new wave instead of something flashier. Also like a New Order single, nearly every song on Forget reached for lasting vocal melodies. Songs like “At My Heels” and “Slow” were slick ‘80s style exercises in part, but the striking vocalist and memorable choruses left the lasting impression. Twin Shadow’s next album Confess (2012) honed in on these features and jettisoned potential distractions. While some missed the relative subtlety of Forget, this kind of pop music can benefit from directness. The intoxicating “This isn’t loooooove” on “Run My Heart”, “Five Seconds” with its “can’t get to your heart…”, “Golden Light”: Confess blew relationship feelings into massive proportion. If Forget is the Breakfast Club kids developing meaningful ‘80s connections, Confess is John Cusack in your yard with a boombox.
Proving he’s more than the iconic work he did with The Beatles over forty-five years ago, Paul McCartney has yet again placed himself in the musical spotlight. As many of you are probably well aware, McCartney released several songs recently in collaboration with contemporary pop artists. First was his collaboration with Kanye West on the song “Only One” as previously discussed by WRVU earlier this month. McCartney popped up again with Kanye on Rihanna single “FourFiveSeconds”. Finally, it came out just before the Grammys that McCartney is currently working with Lady Gaga.
If you’re unfamiliar with these recent events, check out the “FourFiveSeconds” video:
Last Thursday, WRVU hosted Kishi Bashi for an in-studio performance ahead of his Cannery Ballroom show that evening. The acclaimed chamber pop solo artist, real name K Ishibashi, played three stripped-down songs from his 2014 album Lighght: “Bittersweet Genesis for Him AND Her”, “Q&A”, and “Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!”. You can check out the three-song performance below via RVU Records.
Originally this was going to be titled “12 Non-Cheesy Love Songs” but as I have come to realize, there is no such thing as a completely non-cheesy love song. Here are my picks for the best love songs to listen to this Valentine’s Day.
1. The Moldy Peaches – “Anyone Else But You”
Anyone who is a fan of Juno probably added this to their playlists the second the film ended (I know I did).
2. Ryan Adams – “When the Stars Go Blue”
A lot people may be familiar with Tim McGraw’s recording of this song, but the original Ryan Adams version is a lot more stripped down and romantic.
3. Coldplay – “Yellow”
This may be one of the more cheesy songs on the list, but there’s no denying that it’s beautifully written.
4. Vance Joy – “Georgia”
Not as upbeat as his hit “Riptide,” but definitely more sincere.
5. The Lumineers – “Dead Sea”
Almost any Lumineers song could easily fit on this list, but “Dead Sea” is by far my favorite from their album.
With the Grammy’s less than two weeks away, there is lots of speculation surrounded who will win. I’m here to tell you who (in my humble opinion) should be taking home those golden statues on February 8th.
Record of the Year
Nominees: Fancy (Iggy Azalea feat. Charlie XCX), Chandelier (Sia), Stay With Me (Sam Smith), Shake It Off (Taylor Swift), All About that Bass (Meghan Trainor)
My Pick: Chandelier
In terms of overall song quality, Chandelier is the song that encompasses the best lyrics, music, and overall performance by Sia. It also seems like Sia is a bit overdue for some recognition – she’s been making music (really really good music) longer than any of the other nominees in the category, especially considering 3 out of the 5 nominees are newcomers. Overall, Chandelier takes the cake for me.
Album of the Year
Nominees: Morning Phase (Beck), Beyoncé (Beyoncé), X (Ed Sheeran), In the Lonely Hour (Sam Smith), Girl (Pharrell Williams)
My Pick: Beyoncé
With it’s incredibly successful surprise release, Beyoncé’s self-titled was undoubtedly one of (if not the most) buzzed about albums of the year. Not to mention Beyoncé managed to do what few artists do anymore – focus on creating songs that work together as a cohesive album, not just a few hit singles. If this is the direction music is headed, I’m all for it.
The first thing that I noticed walking in to Memorial Gym last night for Commodore Quake was the oppressive heat. The second thing that I noticed once I found a seat was the atrocious, garbled acoustics of our re-purposed basketball court. I wish I didn’t feel like I have to include these sour notes as the very first thing in this recap. I wish I hadn’t noticed these things about Quake at all. But most of all, I sincerely wish that these weren’t the most memorable aspects of my entire night at Quake.
We recently had WRVU members vote for the best and the worst song currently in the Billboard Top Ten. Here are the results from the 17 WRVU-affiliated responders. Hopefully their comments will shed some light on the current state of pop music.
Looking for someone to swoon over this Valentine’s Day? What about a song? Fall in love with the sweet melodies of Emily Hearn’s voice. You’ll forget all about your love life as you dive into the music. Emily’s latest single “Found A Heart” from her EP called “Promises” showers love and hope on those of us that are not as fortunately in love as she is. It characterizes the path of her and a guy falling more and more in love up until their wedding day (which is featured in the music video).
Next week is easily the best week of music releases so far this year. While most weeks may have one or two big releases, this next week has so many interesting listens for fans of all genres, a few of which have me giddy in anticipation.
Here’s just a sample of the smaller releases coming this week. For jazz/hip-hop fans, you have pianist Robert Glasper’s Black Radio 2, the sequel to his smooth album Black Radio featuring guest spots from Jill Scott, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Norah Jones, and more. For you Odd Future fans, Mellowhype drops their new album on Halloween. For hip-hop heads who want to look outside the Americas, UK synth-funk hip-hop group band Paper Tiger (not to be confused with the incredible Minneapolis producer/Doomtree affiliate of the same name) has a new album coming. Metal fans can check out new albums from Toxic Holocaust and Skeletonwitch. Garage-rock/soul/funk-rock fans can feast their ears on the new album from White Denim. And those are just the smaller cool releases I wanted to highlight. Here are the top 5 reasons that the 29th of October is going to be a quite exciting day in music.