As It Stands: Music 2018
"It's April." I say begrudgingly. Yes, it's not halfway through the year, but it might as well be. It's all spinning on so rapidly, and with that some of the greatest music has been produced so far. In the last month alone, countless of my favorite bands have released music and I can hardly keep up. Thank goodness my commute is long so I can cram all the listening in. So here's my top list so far, sure to change, and sure to stay the same come the end of 2018.
1. Porches - House
Porches is so dreamy. All hands raised when I ask if you liked their debut, Pool. With Cosmos and this sweet, dream pop bedroom large comforter softness. It's just wonderful. It's not simple in the slightest way with beautiful vocals, carefully constructed beats, and a tinge of sadness. The House doesn't work quite as well as Pool but then again, that's asking for a lot. I love this album for the overall style that Porches provides, the lyrics, and calmness it instills.
2. Hinds - I Don't Run
Hinds! Hinds is the reason why I felt like I had to delve back into the music currency list because I just couldn’t wait to listen. I love their grit, whine, and guitar licks to keep you locked in. This album takes their last album Leave Me Alone and just breathes even more life into it. Their last was a wonderful piece, but I Don’t Run feels much more refined in production quality, lyrics, and instrumentals. Overall, it’s an amazing album that doesn’t encourage the “sad girl” genre, or take itself too seriously. It’s a sandy corona at the beach after a long day; relaxed but actually perfect. Give it a spin, and definitely check out: Linda, Soberland, and I Feel Cold But I Feel More. I really hope to see these babes live soon too. They’re on tour :)
3. Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar
Young Fathers is difficult to describe as one genre. It’s a mesh of rap, jazz, rock, experimental, and even with glints of soul. Collectively it’s beautiful and I’m punching myself for just now discovering them. I am hooked. Kayus Bankole’s voices marry so well with the experimental music progression and the sometimes darker lyrics. It’s awash in political ideas, romanticism, and realism. The specific song, Turn is the antithesis of Chance’s Blessings stating, “no such thing as blessings.” Though it sounds darker, it’s refreshingly real and not forcing you into a certain mentality. It leaves room for you to think and mull. I love lyrics that do that to you. Overall, the entire album is solid. Songs like Tremelo and Wire are at the top of the list. Listen to this when you’re trying to get inspired or get moving because it’ll motivate for sure.
4. Soccer Mommy - Clean
Soccer Mommy is sad. Maybe now I’m a little sad, but it’s that kind of depth in emotions that does a listener good.
I think the reason why this album is so beautiful is the clarity of it. The lyrics are beautifully sung and performed without strings. There are no weird gimmicks or difficult lyrics. It flows into the places that you once udnerstood emotionally, or are understanding now. Piercing vulnerability and this sense of realness make this album fit closely to anyone's heart.
5. Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
Car Seat Headrest, Will Toledo, what wrong can this young and talented man do? Apparently none because Twin Fantasy was yet again another fantastic album. Teens of Denial was perhaps the best album of 2016 (and still growing on me now) but some of the tracks on Twin Fantasy, namely, Beach Life-in-death and Cute Thing blew me away. "Give me Frank Ocean's voice..." Is Will in love? Some of these "love" songs really hit me in the right place too and I love how his lyrics and instrumentals tell a story. His rasp and sound always presents itself as though Toledo is giving it his absolute all. I’m so glad he’s not holding back this round and only pushing himself and refining more. This album is an epic meditation and I'm so stoked that Toledo is unstoppable.