Discover: Eli’s Playlist, Feb.6-13

By Eli Shively, Music Director

I never use my Spotify Discover Weekly, and yes, it’s definitely a pride thing. As someone who spent the majority of their formative years poring over Wikipedia articles and exploring the darkest corners of YouTube in order to find music (sort of like the 21st-century answer to good old-fashioned crate digging, if you think about it) using a personally curated playlist in order to find good stuff I haven’t heard of seemed like the poser’s way out. A shortcut. A cheat code to music nerd-dom. ‘No way,’ I always think to myself whenever I’m bored with my current listening rotation and tempted to dive in, ‘you’re better than that.’

However, since I’ve been putting off doing one of these ever since our brilliant Rock Lobster team came up with this equally as brilliant idea about a year or so ago, I’m taking a much-needed break from my “one album review a week” routine and writing about what Spotify’s algorithm thinks I should listen to instead. To my surprise, I came away from the experience quite humbled and with a boatload of new music to explore. That algorithm sure knows what it’s doing. Here are the ten tracks that impressed me the most.

 

Gøggs – “She Got Harder”

This takes me back to being 16, blasting Pissed Jeans and No Age in my 2003 Honda Accord on the drive home from school like the misunderstood adolescent boy I was. It’s fast, crunchy, loud, kind of sounds like The Hives, and keeps the BPM locked into peak headbanging tempo. What’s not to love?

 

Surf Curse – “Christine F”

Okay, I’ve technically heard this song a bunch of times before and am still listening to it on (at least) a twice-daily basis, but dang, isn’t Surf Curse incredible? This track is proof that it only takes a few simple things to win my heart: Starting a two-piece garage rock band, naming said band “Surf ___,” and writing a few catchy lines about being a depressed introvert. That’s literally it. Free 10/10 reviews for life.

 

Joy Again – “Another Song About Ghosts”

“I’ve got nothing to lose / Except my physical form, which I barely use” is officially one of my favorite lyrics of all time now. I said it on the Internet, so everyone reading this has to hold me to it. I have a feeling I’m going to have a special relationship with this song in the future and I’m very excited for that to happen. The way it deals with a topic that’s been especially anxiety-inducing to me throughout my life — death, dying, ghosts, being alive, etc. — in such a carefree and self-assured way mesmerized me. Joy Again did something special with this one.

 

Leapling – “Don’t Move Too Fast”

This is a pretty typical, straightforward indie rock tune — the only reason I felt like it was worth talking about was the fact that there seems to be a phaser effect on the drum track, which is pretty nuts. It actually becomes kind of distracting as the song goes on, now that I think about it. Just a little “whoosh” noise every time the drummer hits the snare. What a weird idea.

 

Sea Ghost – “Blood”

The way this song uses synth, keyboard, and even mallet percussion sounds to support its excellent power chord groove is pretty incredible. A good balance of dreaminess and urgency is what made it stand out.

 

Enemies – “Play Fire”

I’m a sucker for noodly, atmospheric rock to begin with, but add 3/4 time to the mix and there’s pretty much no way I’ll want to listen to another song for days on end. Definitely will coming back to listen to the rest of this record at some point.

 

The Luyas – “Self-Unemployed”

The fact that this song exists and was released in the year of our lord twenty-seventeen is all the proof we need that the guy from the Dirty Projectors was definitely wrong about all indie rock being bad nowadays. I can picture him listening to this song and slowly becoming very embarrassed and upset with himself, realizing (as everyone who’s ever said something similar will hopefully eventually realize) that he just wasn’t looking in the right places. It’s a nice thought. Seriously though, what sounds are these? What notes are those? What instrument is that? What dimension was this written in?

 

Ka – “Conflicted”

I’ve been listening to a lot of Liquid Swords lately, so this track being included was probably a direct result of that as well as a pleasant departure from the standard “indie rock” fare making up the majority of the playlist. Not only is the record it’s off of called Honor Killed The Samurai, there’s also an obviously Wu-Tang inspired Japanese movie sample at the beginning. Nice. Aesthetic aside, Ka really goes in here. The beat’s very minimal but he douses it with enough developed and vivid imagery so that the song as a whole doesn’t feel watery or weak. It’s no GZA, but it’s a solid alternative for fans looking for something new.

 

American Wolf – “Our Weight”

Oh my god, I am positive I’ve never been so instantly and deeply drawn into a song by an opening snare drum roll in my life. I want to bathe in that snare roll. I want to pry the sixteenth notes apart and crawl inside of it and like, take a nice little nap inside of it or something. The rest of the song is pretty good, but if you just want to keep pausing the song at the eight-second mark and hitting the back button (which is what I did for a good minute or so after hearing that glorious, glorious snare roll for the first time) I wouldn’t blame you one bit for doing so. Whoever produced the drums on this record should be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

 

The Weakerthans – “(manifest)”

Being a white college-aged male involved in punk rock circles, I get hit with my fair share of Weakerthans hype on a day to day basis from around the web. It kind of annoyed me for a while to the point where I gave them “band I keep saying I’ll get around to checking out but know deep down I never will” status, so yes, this was my FIRST WEAKERTHANS SONG — and to tell you the truth, I was very impressed. Nothing too unexpected, just fantastic lyrics with a distinctly anthemic vibe to the whole instrumental scope of the thing. Next time I’m craving On The Impossible Past I think I’ll try this instead.

Discover: Cailynn’s Playlist, Feb. 1-7

By Cailynn Beck, Contributor

I have finally dipped into my Discover Weekly playlist by Spotify again. I typically don’t look in here much, but I have recently been listening to better music, so I figured Spotify would hook me up with an even greater selection.

 

  1. N.A.S.A – “The People Tree”

I have never heard of N.A.S.A (the band… I’m not an idiot) before but as I did my research on this group, and more specifically the album which this song is featured on, I realized a lot of different artists were featured in this album like M.I.A, David Byrne (who is in “The People Tree”), Karen O, Kanye West, Tom Waits, Lykke Li, Z-Trip, RZA, Scarface, and many more. This is a great R&B/alternative album and has overall a pretty decent rating by various listeners and reviews.

  1. Dâm-Funk – “Free”

This number is a lengthy funk-tronic instrumental with a repetitive melody that is perfect background noise when you are studying or doing homework. Anybody that’s a fan of Quasimoto, J Dilla, MF Doom, or Madlib can get behind Dâm-Funk’s sound. I’m impressed, so far, with his work.

  1. Pretty Girls Make Graves – “Speakers Push the Air”

Listening to this my first time listening to twee-indie-rock. Although it isn’t necessarily “twee,” it carries a very old 90s indie rock feeling. It’s got great, fun lyrics that you want to shout through a microphone and crowd surf.

  1. Serengeti – “Doctor My Own Patience”

This song consists of repetitive lyrics that are mildly depressing, however the instrumentals and synths in this song are awesome, especially as the song progresses and they crescendo more and more. I did some research on Serengeti and was really amazed to read that he—David Cohn—is actually a hip-hip artist. As I continued to research more, I realized he is “Geti” from Yoni & Geti (he collaborated with Yoni Wolf from the band WHY?), which I feel like is something that could be easily connected. If you’re a fan of any of Yoni Wolf’s music, you’d definitely love Serengeti’s “Doctor My Own Patience” album.

  1. The Walkmen – “We’ve Been Had”

Ah, yes, this is a mixture between Jack’s Mannequin and Arctic Monkeys, for sure. Something about the mood of this song makes me feel nostalgic, especially the title of the album that it’s from, “Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone.” If you miss your old intro-to-indie-bands-phase, definitely check out this band.

  1. Sleater-Kinney – “Modern Girl”

I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this, as I am biased and have an affinitive love for Carrie Brownstein and all that she does. In all honesty, though, this song is a peaceful lo-fi listen and I recommend it to everyone.

  1. Air France – “Collapsing in Front of Your Door”

This song did something to me emotionally and I’m not quite sure why. It could’ve been the sample or the beautiful sound of the flute, but it did something and I feel like anybody that likes instrumental songs with a lot of sampling (i.e. The Avalanches), then they’d definitely enjoy this song specifically.

  1. The Flaming Lips – “She’s Leaving Home (feat. Phantogram, Julianna Barwick, and Spaceface)”

This is the coolest cover of any Beatles song I’ve ever heard. I love the female vocals and the electronic beats that are added in with it. If we’re being honest, I think this is even better than the original song, which is saying a lot.

  1. Aphex Twin – “Milkman”

Honestly, I just think of David Firth’s video that goes along with this song. If you don’t know who David Firth is, he created Salad Fingers. I hope that is a good enough explanation of what this song is like.

  1. Octagon – “Earth People”

Dr. Octagon is known for his eccentric, abstract lyrics. If you’re into 90s rap that tells a bizarre story in the process, you’re looking for Dr. Octagon. This song is the epitome of just that.