Staying engaged with music via this blog is rewarding; it offers a chance to reflect on my habits as a musical consumer and how my tastes have expanded and grown over time. At the same time, committing to the blog is a way to assure that I stay engaged with music and continue discovering more.
This three-piece Sub Pop band released a gorgeous record, Don’t Shy Away. The band bio drums up this story about them forming and soon getting noticed by Brian Eno (who produced the last track on the record). It makes sense: the simultaneously sparse and rich atmosphere could be titled “Music for Deserts.”
My partner and I argued about Positions. He said it was a very 90s R&B record and I disagreed. Any 90s R&B reference that might be there is not as strong as, say, Bruno Mars on the track “Finesse” or better yet Erika de Casier in Essentials. Instead, I found this album to call back to Yours Truly, her debut album. The tracks have a Disney/Glee/theatrical quality to them that reminds me of “Honeymoon Avenue” and “Baby, I” — never mind that she was on Nickelodeon and never mind that these songs are filthy sexy.
Despite a 25 year career, I never listened to Róisín Murphy, but Róisín Machine made me pay attention. The best incarnation of disco pop. I’m transported to a dance floor and I s2g I can see dance floor lights glowing through my closed eyelids. The wiki says it’s a departure from her artsy/trip-hop past work (mentally note, I should dive into the discography).
Meme music that is actually amazing. “Thos Moser“, their debut song, is a Hyperpop-defining track. The maximal production, the crazy vocal effects and mixing, the incoherent but clever/meme-y but earnest lyrics. Anticipation for this album was high.
This album has great tracks (“8 Now,” “Pharmacy,” “Ride,” and more) and delivers on the promise of Food House while somehow falling short as a complete unit. Compare Food House’s 36 minutes to the 23 minute 1000 Gecs. I love Frax and Gupi, do not mistake me, but the album should have been a bit shorter. Explains why I love Frax’s two 2020 EPs: Music at 13 minutes and Feeling Cool & Normal at 9 minutes
Part of me thinks, for whatever reason, it is not fashionable to like the Gorillaz these days. They feel far from “alternative” given how well Damon Albarn and company have mastered the spotlight they have created for themselves. Song Machine is an interesting concept: basically a TV Show and an album. They call it a “seasons” even. They are the whole package as a pop star band: cartoon lore, star-studded appearances, a solid hour of pop, rock, hip hop, an endless drip of momentary bliss. Gorillaz have mass appeal for a reason.
Dorian Electra’s second project My Agenda had me worried in the run-up to it’s release. HadDorian missed the mark with the incel / neckbeard / fedora-wearing studied-the-blade era? The singles “Gentleman” and “M’lady” didn’t convince me you could make a whole album out of it. But upon hearing the whole thing, which features a bizarre cast of features (Rebecca Black, the Village People, Pussy Riot), I was somehow won over. Dorian so fluidly inhabits the POV of masculinity-turned-rotten by the internet and explores a whole sonic world within it.
It may not have the playability of 2019’s Flamboyant but totally serviceable for those moments you want to rage-quit life because you ran out of mountain dew.
Okay hear me out: this mini album is not that good. However the single slaps soooo hard. It feels related to American hyperpop/hip hop (like Aaron Cartier). Is Dawn getting me into boy K-Pop 😧 I pretty much only listen to Red Velvet, ITZY, Blackpink, Twice, etc… but I guess I have room to grow as a kpop stan.
Others on the Playlist
Not gonna write a review for absolutely everything on the list but other artists are Willy Crooks, Petal Supply, Slayyyter, and Beanboy. I’m excited a lot by Petal Supply and her collaborations with Himera and Gupi. Slayyyter, boo boo, when are you releasing a new project?? Beanboy is an enigmatic one that I want to explore more. Willy Crooks releases so much music; my honest opinion is that he should slow down or maybe get some radically different producers involved to help him expand and have more range between projects.