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Album Review: Slowdive – Slowdive

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Slowdive’s original run in the 1990’s followed the typical indie rock narrative of the promising debut album (1991’s Just For A Day), followed by the genre-defining classic (1993’s Souvlaki), and capping it off with the polarizing and career ending third album (they were dropped by their label shortly after they released Pygmalion in 1995). Despite their brief first stint–maybe even because of it–Slowdive’s popularity and legend only grew over time. A reunion was inevitable. Read More…

Album Review: Everybody Works – Jay Som

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Every once in a while, I’ll stumble upon an album that strongly resonates with the situation the album finds me in; it can be through the emotions expressed, the lyrical themes, or simply the sound of the music. And as I inch closer and closer to graduating and entering the real world, I’ve been experiencing the existential dread and angst that all early twenty-somethings go through at this point in their lives. Melina Duterte, who writes and performs under the name Jay Som, is no different. As a 22-year-old songwriter, she’s experiencing similar emotions of anxiety, depression, and uncertainty, all of which she documents on her debut album Everybody Works. Duterte’s hopeful perspective on such topics and the expansive and diverse set of songs she uses to explore them make for an album that’s a pleasure to listen to from start to finish. Read More…

Album Review: Care – David Bazan

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If there’s one thing I appreciate in a musician, it’s honest songwriting. David Bazan is an honest songwriter; he’s one of the most honest songwriters I can think of. Bazan is an interesting character: once an outspoken Christian writing songs about his faith and doubts in Pedro the Lion, he has since fallen away from the faith and now mostly writes songs dealing with crumbling marriages, existential anxiety, and arguments with God. His newest album, Care covers all these topics and more, and it’s done in a way only Bazan could do it. Read More…

Top Ten Albums of 2016

I’ve pretty much accepted that I will never complete this list before the end of January, let alone the end of the year. I’ve got no excuse for this aside from pure laziness (though I was in Peru for all of January, but that should be no reason why I didn’t get it done in December).

While 2016 had a number of releases from big name artists including Beyonce, Kanye, Chance, Frank Ocean, Bon Iver, James Blake, and Radiohead (just to rattle off a few), as a whole, I was slightly disappointed with the year when compared to 2015. While it is by no means as disappointing as 2014 was for me, many of these releases from these big artists didn’t really live up to their hype for me. All this being said, there were plenty of albums by artists new to me that really surprised me. Stuff like Helado Negro’s Private Energy, Injury Reserve’s Floss, or Laura Gibson’s Empire Builder really impressed me (along with several others, but I don’t want to spoil the list).

Anyway, I’ve done enough deliberating as it is; it’s time for my top ten favorite albums of 2016. As usual, I’ll leave a link to a Spotify playlist of my favorite tracks and singles of the year at the end of the article. Read More…