by Evan Welsh
1. Jeff Rosenstock- POST-
A surprise new year’s day release from the man behind Bomb The Music Industry! POST- follows up Rosenstock’s 2016 Worry. and is reactionary to the most recent U.S. election. It is a punk album that excels most in its anthemic song writing and anxiety driven lyrical content. The tracks from this album will be a pleasure to hear in the future during one of Rosenstock’s always great live performances.
While POST- is not a perfect album and never quite reaches the classic status that its predecessors, We Cool? And Worry. seem like they are bound for, Jeff seemingly refuses to make a truly “bad” record. POST- is an angry, fun, and addictive punk album that is absolutely worthy of Rosenstock’s immense and storied catalogue and currently the most vital protest album released this year.
Fav Tracks: USA, Let Them Win, Yr Throat, 9/10
2. Nils Frahm- All Melody
This album stands as a great starting place for those looking to climb into the world of Nils Frahm. Frahm is an artist that creates neo-classical piano pieces as well as swirling and hypnotic electronic soundscapes. If you’re looking for an album that dabbles in either of genres this album as well as his previous albums will be perfect for you.
All Melody is ABSOLUTELY a headphone required listening. In the tracks that are piano led the listener can hear and feel each key being pressed, the intimate sounds of dancing fingers in an otherwise silent room. The synth and electronic driven tracks similarly mirror this intimacy, probably due to the analogue equipment Frahm prides himself on working with, while also obtaining an entirely encapsulating feeling. The room that was once so quiet and close in the piano track “Forever Changeless” feels immediately filled by pulsating and spiraling electronics on the next track, “All Melody.” The inclusion of voice and instruments outside pianos and keyboards also lend to this album feeling incredibly fresh for both longtime fans of Frahm as well as for those who are just being introduced to his music.
I really haven’t been able to get enough of this album since it released and my anticipation in seeing Frahm perform all this magic live and in real-time has only grown exponentially.
Fav Tracks: Sunson, Kaleidoscope, My Friend the Forest, #2
3. Misha Mishajashvili- 2018
This is an album that I learned of completely by accident while browsing through bandcamp. I couldn’t even tell you how I arrived at Misha Mishajashvili, but I’m very glad I did. Mishajashvili is an artist from Estonia creating… sample-based-ambient-industrial-noise-dub music(?).
The album begins with an old sample that wouldn’t be out of place on any of the most recent albums by The Caretaker when about 10 seconds in the listener is slapped in the face with so much distortion, gunk, and heavy drums I thought my eardrum popped. The album continues to morph between these Soviet-era ballroom samples to straight up dub-driven auditory ballistic assault.
It’s strange, Mishajashvili lists this album on his bandcamp as “sovietcore” and “stalincore,” and somehow that is an excellent description of the album. If a listener doesn’t look at the genre tags before listening, the album cover for 2018 also completely fits the albums feeling and sound. All that I have left to say about this album is this: This record is nuts, but for whatever reason, I haven’t been able to stop listening to it.
Fav Tracks: С баках моей страницы, мстить, Сколько сотен, последнее дыхание перед падением
4. scallops hotel- sovereign nose of (y)our arrogant face
If you’ve been following along the underground rap scene over the past 5 years or so you have undoubtedly come across Rory Ferreira a.k.a Milo a.k.a Scallops Hotel. If you’ve been a fan of anything he has released in the past, this album is absolutely for you. Mr. Ferreira has been ridiculously prolific during the 2010s and has shown zero sign of slowing down.
This new album, sovereign nose of (y)our arrogant face, is the second of a trilogy Ferreira is releasing under the Scallops Hotel moniker which started with over the carnage rose a voice prophetic (2017). It has everything you’d expect from a Milo/Scallops Hotel project. Ferreira delivers his poetic and nerdy-reference filled lyrics over smooth beats with a spoken word type flow.
This is a super easy album to just put on and jam to if you’re looking for something that gives off good vibes. I’ve been a fan of Ferreira’s since Milo’s I wish my brother Rob was here, and he has yet to disappoint me since. If you haven’t enjoyed any of the projects he has released in the past I can’t see this short new album winning over any new fans; however, he is going to do what he does regardless of what anyone thinks. Go support the Ruby Yacht and give this record a listen.
Fav Tracks: ryu drums (fat tummy riff suite), temple in the Green, private temple hours ft YOUNGMAN, sedans (co produced by steel tipped dove)
5. Water From Your Eyes- All a Dance
The first show I had at KUPS was a D.I.Y. show called “Behind Closed Doors.” It comprised of all music that was recorded by the artists themselves in their bedrooms, basements, and whatever in-home studios they had made. I did a lot of research for that show and spent a lot of time scavenging the interwebs for the best D.I.Y. artists I could find. Two of my favorite artists that I found while looking for music for that show was This Is Lorelei and thanks for coming.
Well, Nate Amos (This Is Lorelei) and Rachel Brown (thanks for coming) started to work collaboratively through Amos’ unfortunately now defunct label Grandpa Bay. Taking, in my opinion, the best pieces from each of their solo work, they called their project Water From Your Eyes and have released a few EPs and one other LP as a group since 2016. This new album, All a Dance may be my favorite thing they’ve ever released.
Brown’s of the moment, Frankie Cosmos, Ó, and Florist-esque vocal delivery fits incredibly well over Amos’ layered and bouncy pop production. For what is, at its most simplified, a D.I.Y. bedroom pop album from bandcamp, All a Dance takes risks that few other artists in this now very wide genre choose, and create long-mesmerizing electronic dance tracks. All a Dance is patient and infectious leaving me as a fan of both these artists selfishly wanting way more than the 37 minutes given.
Fav Tracks: We’re Set Up, That’s the Girl, All A Dance, Out of Town