I’m trying to decide if I should work backwards from now until May, when I last wrote, or vice versa. I think instead of choosing, I’m gonna write about some music instead.
Anthrax Shirt— Just Nick
This is a great song by one of Fiona’s friends named Nick. It’s just him. I accidentally played it for my friend from Minnesota who has purple hair, and I think she thought I did it on purpose. It be like that sometimes.
Howl— Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra
I like the songs from the first three seconds I ever heard it. For real. The beginning is so catchy and the lyrics are so good and his voice fits the tone very well. I spent a lot of time driving in the car trying to get all the words right because I like how they sound together and they kept getting jumbled up in my head. I just leaned that it’s named after the poem Howl (by Allen Ginsberg) and that they have the same beginning.
I don’t know what it is about this song. It just makes me want to dance.
Next Year— Two Door Cinema Club
This song makes me think of Colin sometimes because it’s on that playlist he likes. Sometimes it just makes me think of driving in the car. I think you should go listen to the original first, and after you’ve listened to it enough times you should go listen to this remix. They’re both very good.
Bear Creek to Dame Street— Hudson Taylor
Yay Hudson Taylor! Woohoo! It’s always fun when they put out something new. It’s even more fun when it’s (mostly) good! (Sorry, but I can’t really so You Don’t Wanna Know. Too dramatic.) The new stuff is good, but the live stuff is better. This is the first time Hudson’s Taylor’s officially put out anything life, which is kind of surprising given how much live stuff they’ve put up online over the years. the last four songs showcase their energy, and they’ve got a great crowd to back them up. It even has Chasing Rubies with a proper amount of “and I don’t want to let you go”s! Top track: I Love You and You Don’t Even Know.
Nina Cried Power— Hozier
NEW HOZIER. I REPEAT— NEW HOZIER. This completely blindsided me. I did not know there would be new Hozier (cause I apparently do not pay enough attention) and then it was there. And it’s great. It satisfied my constant need for more of Hozier’s incredible voice, reassured me that the next album would be on par with the first, and made me hungry for more. He’s just the best. Top Track: Shrike, but it’s all good. If anyone fought me about that it would be fair, because it’s all so great it just comes down to a matter of taste.
And The War Came— Shakey Graves
Dearly Departed is the best halloween song. The drum beat makes you want to head bang and wave your body around and yell. And it’s about ghosts. For a while, it was the only Shakey Graves song I really knew. Alden put some more of his stuff on a playlist they made for a drive we went on last fall, and while I liked it, I never really thought twice about it. When I was making a fall playlist for this year, I went back to that playlist, and moved a few things over, including Pansy Waltz, which is really just an incredible song. The beat drives his voice so well, the lyrics are interesting, and they chorus is incredibly catchy. Since then I’ve been listening this album (which both songs are from) and it’s just perfect for the fall. Shakey might take a little bit of getting used to, but it’s worth it for sure. Top track: I can’t decide. Both songs I’ve mentioned are so very good, and so very different and you should listen to both.
Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down— Noah and the Whale
I’ve known about this album for a while, and known at least two or three songs from it, but I didn’t really listen to it all the way through until this summer. It has a great flow, and Charlie has a unique voice and range that add a lot to their sound. The songs can be fun, and sad, heartwarming, and all together they compliment each other very well. Top track: Give a Little Love.
Live at Cedar Rapids— John Denver
I feel like everybody has at least some relationship with John Denver, and it’s always a good one. I had always listened to specific versions of specific songs from various specific albums (once you get attached to one version there’s no going back), and none of them were live. We’ve been listening to a lot of John Denver at school this year, and Trisha told us about how she and her oldest sister, separately, and different point in their lives, memorized everything he says at the beginning of one of his live albums (I don’t remember which but if i find out I will edit this) and a few days later I decided to listen to a live album of his while I did my homework. His interludes and stories between the songs are incredible and add so much more to his music that what is already there. I just love him. Go listen to him talk— whether it’s this album or any other live one. Top track: impossible to say.
I already knew some Hippo Campus before this fall. I saw they open for the Mowgli’s in 2015, and they just had an EP at the time. They were fun, and I liked them well enough, but I only really hung on to one or two songs. Over winter break of last year, after their first album came out, Jordan and Amy played this song on our way to the beach. It’s fantastic and probably remains my favorite of theirs. When I learned they were coming to New York right after my birthday I though I might get a ticket, but figured it was best to learn more of their stuff before I committed. I listened to the This Is Hippo Campus playlist pretty much everyday from mid September to mid October. Jake has a fantastic voice (and falsetto!!!!!), and their music is so much fun. Highlights: Buttercup, baseball, The Halocline, South.
Kevin has being trying to get me to listen to Pat the Bunny for at least two years— little did either of us know, I already had! I hadn’t heard any of Pat’s stuff as Pat the Bunny, but I did know stuff by two other groups he fronts (Ramshakle Glory and Wingnut Dishwashers Union). I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know enough of his stuff, but I can say pretty confidently that Pat is one of the best folk punk artists there is. His lyrics are honest and sad and encouraging and they give me the shivers every time. Pat retired in 2016, but has a bunch of amazing stuff out that everyone should give a listen to. Highlights: I’m Going Home; Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist; For a Girl in Rhinelander, WI.
Mal Blum is so frickin’ cool. So cool. They went to Purchase! They just toured with Welcome to Nightvale! They once signed a fan’s lab coat “Be gay, do science”! Their music is catchy and funny and real. Their songs tell good stories and it makes you feel just like how they say they’re feeling. New Year’s Eve is sort of always stuck in my head. Highlights: New Year’s Eve, Baltimore, Watercolors.
We saw I’m With Her at Traveler’s Rest! They were wearing matching jumpsuits and were extremely cool. The three women making up the group all have had separate careers solo or with other groups, and they clearly have so much fun playing together. They’ve go a very fun folky sound with lots of string and banjo, and seeing them live was great. They only have one album out right now, but it’s definitely worth a listen! Highlights: Game to Lose, Ain’t That Fine.
I love them. Everyone knows I love them. This is nothing new. But I saw them last night and they’re on my mind and I want to talk the time to go tell everyone to listen to them. The rock to hard and folk so hard and they’re great. Their album concepts are incredible, and very worth listening to and learning more about. Highlights: all of Through the Deep, Dark Valley.
This is mostly what I’ve been listening to this summer and fall that’s new to me. You should listen to some (or all) of it and tell me what you think!