Changing it up from his Pearl Jam days, Eddie Vedder’s Into The Wild Soundtrack is some of his finest work. Ever since I read the book and watched the movie, I’ve been obsessed with this soundtrack. It captures everything I love about being in the outdoors. “Society” is definitely the highlight of the album for me. It is both my go-to adventure stoke song and my song for a good Sunday night existential crisis.
I can’t quite remember the first time I heard a ‘Kinks’ song, but it was definitely before ninth grade, when this song became my weekend anthem: almost every Saturday evening, I would catch the train back from Waterloo Station in London back to my house, looking for the fabled sunset that, unfortunately, rarely appeared; England is really submerged in clouds most of the time.This song has a lovely, Beatles-ey rhythm, that so far I’ve found perfect for people-watching, driving back from DIA at three a.m., and, of course, watching the sunset. I have no doubt that the list of places and times that this song fits impeccably goes on and on.
Ravyn Lenae hails from the Chicago music scene. She has already collaborated with Noname and Mick Jenkins and is part of the Zero Fatigue collective in Chicago. In “Blossom Dearie,” Lenae’s lyrics pulsate through the song as her ad-libs guide the listener & various sounds loop in the background. “Blossom Dearie” is featured on Lenae’s most recent EP, Moon Shoes.
Mick Jenkins and Jean Deaux link up for a great track with “Noah and the Reign.” The song comes from Mick’s 2013 mixtape “Trees and Truth.” Mick Jenkins’ entire discography is worth checking out and this track is a small sample of his range from catchy, poppy funk on “Your Love” to hard-hitting bars on “The Truth” (also from Truth and Trees).
Coining the term “Beach Goth,” the Growlers are known for their psychedelic/surfer blend of garage rock. However, “I’ll Be Around” shows the Growlers distancing themselves from this genre, delving deeper into the neon-soaked night sound they explored in their previous album Chinese Fountain. Produced by Julian Casablancas, the song has a danceable beat and is rife with spooky synth solos. It’s the perfect tune for a Halloween night out.
My first exposure to Broadcast was “Come On Let’s Go” off of their stellar debut LP The Noise Made By People. That track, characteristic of Broadcast’s glitchy, psychedelic brand of dream pop is truly unique. “Black Cat”, while still retaining the repetitive, minimal melodies and atmospheric drones Broadcast mastered on their first two records, is a different beast; Broadcast trade in live drums for a drum machine and replace gentle synth swells with glitchy melodies and walls of feedback. “Black Cat” features a simple groove that gets turned on its head by fuzzy, stuttering synths and swells of guitar noise. The late Trish Keenan’s hypnotic vocals rise above the droning instrumentation, floating gracefully above a sea of static. It is rare for a band to so successfully incorporate noise and experimental elements into pop music, but Broadcast do it flawlessly. Certainly one of the more original and inventive groups of the early 2000s, Broadcast is a fantastic band well worth a listen. Fans of Animal Collective, Stereolab, MBV, or Yo La Tengo, this’ll be right up your alley. Check it.
If I ever go on a road trip, this will be the first track on my playlist. “Me & Magdalena” fills me with nostalgia and makes me think of wide open spaces. The lyrics are gorgeous, especially the two-line chorus (And I don’t know if I’ve ever loved any other/ half as much as I do in this light she’s under). Play it while walking across campus at sunset for a full listening experience.
After a full day of class sometimes the best medicine is some hazy, lo-fi, dream pop. Cigarettes After Sex delivers with “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby.” The droning of lead singer Greg Gonzalez lulls you into a relaxing listening experience. Repetitive drum beats help reinforce the lull, while still giving this song some backbone. With a very similar vibe to “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star albeit slightly slower, if you’re a fan of Mazzy Star then you are bound to like this.
I can still remember being front row, the most enthusiastic in a small crowd at froyo ma’s set in New Orleans. I was screaming “I LOVE YOU!!” to one of my favorite artists who looks suspiciously like Napoleon Dynamite (I may be his biggest fan). His sound is very unique and I’m a sucker for his album art. When I saw his new mix out with Nick Hakim i was even more excited, and have been listening to it often for the past month. Love you froyo ma, you’re killing it.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard produce deafening, propulsive shredding that echoes from a villain’s dungeon in your Saturday morning cartoons. Throughout their career, the seven-piece outfit from Melbourne has imbued jazz, soul, surf, and metal into their distinct blend of psychedelia. While it’s tempting to pigeonhole them with all the other emerging garage rock revivalists, this band is entirely its own animal. A first listen to “Am I In Heaven?” and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is already distinguished from the rest. The mind bending song begins in a serene haze of jangly acoustic guitars and quickly descends into apocalyptic, adrenaline-fueled inferno. Check it out: