I mentioned Aubrie Sellers last week, and her album is now out. The “garage country” description might suggest an abrasive sound, but it’s more attractively scuzzy – in places it reminds me of REM’s accidental glam album, Monster. Aside from “Loveless Rolling Stone,” which I mentioned last week (and which is perhaps the apex of the “attractively scuzzy” aesthetic), other standouts are “Dreaming in the Day” (a prettier take on the sound) and “Losing Ground,” which seems like an admirably honest take on depression. Read more↴
I found out last week that Willow Smith’s Ardipithecus is finally out in the UK, and it’s fantastic. The ambition and the diversity (of musical styles, of Willow’s vocal approaches, of lyrical themes) is so impressive; most impressive is how successful it is. It varies from the post-apocalyptic wilderness of “Drugz,” which kind of reminds me of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, to the simultaneously humble and swaggering R&B of “IDK,” to “Wait a Minute,” sunny indie-pop about leaving your consciousness in the sixth dimension (while wearing dreadlocks), to dance-pop “Waves of Nature.” Read more↴
When Spotify played me Emily King’s “Sleepwalker,” I excitedly rushed off to check out the rest of her recent album. What a disappointment! Wikipedia says she toured with Emili Sandi, which is all too believable from her boring, thoughtlessly retro album. But “Sleepwalker” remains great, a kind of laid-back electronic funk which at first reminded me of Stevie Wonder, although now I’m hearing hints of Genesis. Read more↴
I don’t know very much about soca, but I do remember Destra Garcia from her fantastic track “Bonnie & Clyde” from ten years ago, so when I saw Alex Macpherson tweet about a song of hers from last year, I made sure to check it out. This led to a bit of a soca spiral on Youtube, where I found a slightly more a recent (and more EDM) track from Destra, as well as a song by Skinny Fabulous from 2014 with an absolutely gorgeous, ringing melody. Read more↴
I started writing my weekly music posts to generate some #content, or, to put it another way, to try and get back into the habit of posting here with something low stakes where I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of stuff to write about (because there’s always new music being released). I was also planning to do the same with posts about TV, although the “there’s always something new to write about” doesn’t work quite so well, unless you’re writing episodic criticism (and you probably shouldn’t be — the single episode is rarely a useful critical unit). Still, I did write a few things about TV last year, and I’ll write more this year (one of the things that’s slowed me down is that I want to write about Empire, but I also think that show is interesting enough that I want to take my time and write something a bit more substantive about it). But in the spirit of low-stakes content, and as we’re in the mid-season lull, I thought I’d write a bit what I thought about some new shows.
The new show I like most is Quantico. Read more↴