billie eilish Album Review

Nothing can compare to the excitement I felt when Billie Eilish dropped her first full album on March 29th, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?  It immediately shot to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, making Eilish the first artist born in the 21st century to hit the chart’s peak. The album accumulated many recent singles released and added more diverse sounds and styles.

I have been a huge fan of hers ever since I heard her song “watch” in January of 2018. I instantly fell in love with her unique voice, her pop and indie style, and the creativity in her lyrics. After discovering her, I made sure to tell everyone about her, and I’m sure others did too, as she rose to fame with multiple single drops and collaborations with new artists like Khalid in the song “lovely”.

Her songs cover a variety of subjects: love, culture, self-image, hatred, and everything between. She fantastically combines these lyrics with incredibly chill beats and new technology to give her music an edge.

 

 

Some may say that her recent album is too dark and dismal, but I think it is a true masterpiece. There is a sense of fluidity through her album, as the last three songs are called “listen before i go”, “i love you”, and “goodbye”. There is a great combination of songs to bop to, songs to get you in your bag, and songs to sit back and appreciate musically. My favorite song on the album is called “xanny” where Billie addresses teen culture of using drugs. Other favorites are “wish you were gay” and “when the party’s over”. As her first full album, it is unbelievable how much talent and musicality is pieced into every song.

I very highly suggest you take a listen to Billie’s new album, and all her old songs too. She is truly unique to this generation of music.

 

 

By: Victoria Dionisos ‘22

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Fishing for Fishies | Review

Album Review- Fishing for Fishies by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

by Jackson Rhodes

 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, an Australian psychedelic rock band formed in 2010 and fronted by Stu Mackenzie, return after a year-long hiatus with a cohesive and sonically radical new album, Fishing for Fishies. 

The Gizz announced at the beginning of 2017 that they would release five studio albums throughout the course of the year; Mackenzie elaborated that “We had this random batch of songs. It was not a cohesive record at all. So we thought we’d split it up, and split again until it became five.” Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder of the Universe, Sketches of Brunswick East, and Polygondwanaland were released, concluding on December 31, 2017 with the release of Gumboot Soup. Although an exciting idea which produced gems like Flying Microtonal Banana and Polygondwanaland, the rate of album releases surpassing even Brockhampton was bound to birth some half-baked and rushed ideas (looking at you, Sketches of Brunswick East). It’s a credit to the band that quality was retained through the mass of quantity pushed into 2017, validating their hiatus through 2018. With the new release of Fishing for Fishies after just a year and few months from Gumboot Soup, the lack of Gizz content versus 2017’s prolific output makes the hiatus feel more like a decade.  

If there’s one thing in common between Death Grips and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, it’s a hatred of a stagnant instrumental palate. Previous works like Nonagon Infinity boast instruments as strange as the Zurna: Fishing for Fishies laughs at that and uses vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, mellotron, piano, synthesizer, organ, bass, flute, drums, vibraphone, drums, percussion, and a harmonica to create a catchy, irresistible psychedelic blues-rock sound that boogies like nothing has ever boogied before. In a similar kooky charm to Bill Wurtz or hokiness of T. Rex, King Gizzard’s leading harmonica lines and quality drumming throughout the record create an enrapturing boogie. I mean, this thing’s got boogie. There should be a warning on the album cover that, upon starting the album, your body will be paralyzed into the boogie until the final track fades away. If there’s one thing I can’t emphasize enough, it’s that if you listen to this album, the boogie shall be within you.  

Fishing for Fishies is an indication of what the Gizz can do if they allow themselves the time to do it. Songs like “This Thing” and “Acarine” methodically morph throughout their durations, easing transitions through introductions of varied instruments; “This Thing” in particular switches up the beat so much Travis Scott should be punching the air out of jealousy. While I’m talking about it, “Acarine” is an example of the environmental theme throughout the record, bringing to light the acarine disease that mortally handicaps bees’ ability to fly (and makes it psychedelic). “Plastic Boogie”, while instrumentally still an undeniable boogie, spreads the boogie into blunt lyricism, where Stu Mackenzie sings “It’s not fantastic/It’s gonna come and kill us/It’s gonna be massive/It’s gonna be brutal/Death will come from plastic/Death will come from people”.   

Is this record a great album throughout? Absolutely not. “Cyboogie”, despite the boogie still being present, lies too flat in its electronic production, an unnecessary direction for the bluesy record. You could consequently say that “Cyboogie”, despite its annoying qualities, is a welcome point of variance from eight other songs that sound interchangeable in the tracklist. However, you gotta love this thing for what it is. If you need some well-crafted boogie, buddy do I have something to show you.

 

Sidney Gish- Coming to Campus 2/16

The amazing and talented Sidney Gish will have a concert on Dickinson’s campus, February 16th at 8pm in the Allison Community Room.

This semester, WDCV and MOB have partnered to bring a few wonderful concerts to Dickinson, so our blog will be providing articles spotlighting the artists so you can become familiar with them before they perform. First up is 21 year old singer-songwriter-producer Sidney Gish. Gish attends Northeastern University. Her latest album, No Dogs Allowed, was released on New Year’s Eve 2017 but really started to get traction this year thanks to word of mouth on Twitter, great reviews (5/5 from the Guardian, 7.7/10 on Pitchfork), and high profile shows with Mitski, Petal, and Camp Cope.

I first heard Ms. Gish’s music because of the aforementioned Pitchfork review and was immediately hooked by “Sin Triangle”. There rest of the album is just as great. Instead of merely accompanying herself on acoustic guitar as most young singer-songwriters are content to do, Gish uses samples, offbeat percussion, jazzy electric guitar playing, midi instruments, and a healthy dose of effects to add extra flavor to her songs. Her lyrics are relatable and cleverly filled with allusions and word play. “Sin Triangle” alone references Romeo and Juliet, Japan’s foreign policy, sine functions, and the Bible. “Persephone” plays with the common mispronunciation of the Greek goddess of vegetation “I’ve called Persephone by the name of purse-a-phone”.

 

 

As a live performer, Gish utilizes a looping pedal which repeats sounds so that a single performer can command a more detailed sound. I saw her open for Mitski over the summer and she was wonderful. She even wore a cowboy hat in celebration of Mitski’s classic Be The Cowboy. I am looking forward to seeing her live again and you should be too.

 

 

 

Her concert is Saturday, February 16th at 8pm in the Allison Community Room. WDCV and MOB are very excited for this performance and we hope to see you there!

 

Review by Jonah, you can tune into his show Playing It By Ear on Wednesday’s from 10-11pm 

 

Persephone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGmJ6FOiECs

Sin Triangle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EFKJbyFkgo

Artist Spotlight: Dermot Kennedy

 

Artist Spolight: Dermot Kennedy

By Lucy Patterson 

Dermot Kennedy is an up and coming artist who is a lyrical genius with soulful and hearty vocal cords. He gets his inspiration from the extremes—life and death, love and pain. His tunes express heartache and achievement that evokes a mix of genres—hip-hop and R&B in collaboration with slow rhythms and electronic pops. The Dubliner at 25 years young has experienced an overwhelming boom into the forefront of the music industry, and he owes his success to his musical inspirations. Kennedy favors Bon Iver, James Blake and James Vincent McMorrow in order to collaborate a variety of rhythms, tunes and lyrics into his amazing songs. Some of his best are Moments Passed, A Closeness and Power Over Me. If you enjoy artists that sing with a fire in their soul and expresses raw and honest lyrics, you must listen to the tunes of Dermot Kennedy.

Artist Review: Maggie Rogers

 

Review by Hannah Guy-Mozenter

 

If you have not yet listened to Maggie Rogers you’re doing something wrong. Rogers is an up-and-coming artist who’s sound is an eclectic mix of indie, folk, R&B and dance. Her tone is graceful, haunting, and intriguing, and her lyrics are beautiful yet relatable. Rogers grew up in Maryland, studied music at NYU and in France, and today resides in Brooklyn, NY. The 23 year olds’ first songAlaska, which she recorded in 2016, exists as Rogers’ claim to fame. Rogers wrote the song as homework for an NYU music school master-class, and she based the lyrics upon a hiking trip she took through the snowy wilderness. To her surprise, singer and producer Pharrell Williams attended the class the day Rogers shared her song. Williams immediately fell in love with Rogers’ soon to be hit, stating that he had “zero, zero, zero notes for that.” The piece is impeccably layered with melodic beats, syncopated taps and lyrics that take the listener on a journey. “I love music the most when it makes me feel human,” Rogers states, and I can say that Rogers’ music definitely makes me feel human, and very much alive. Recently Rogers released three new hits, Fallingwater, Give A Little, and Light On, all of which follow the similar instrumental/lyrical patterns of Alaska. If you are in the mood for some inspirational, calming, and fiery songs I do not hesitate to recommend listening to my favorite emerging female artist, Maggie Rogers.

 

 
 
 
 

Album Review: Odyssey by The Accidentals

Album Review: Odyssey by The Accidentals 

By Erica Wells 

 

The Accidental’s album, Odyssey was one of the heavy rotations featured artists last school year. I really enjoyed the couple of songs I heard in the station and played on my show, “Porch Culture” and explored more of The Accidental’s music afterwards.  The Accidentals are an American band formed in Traverse City, Michigan in 2012.  As a three-person band, their music is characterized as indie rock and indie folk.  While the band’s tune gives off folk vibes, there’s definitely an incorporation of pop and alternative accents, as well.  Odyssey is an alternative mix of slower and fast-paced songs that feels like very down-to earth and authentic music.  Some of the song highlights on the album are “Odyssey”, “Arizona Stars”, and “Crow’s Feet.”  “Odyssey” has a bit faster of a tempo, whereas the other two songs are slower, featuring strong instrumentals in the background.  “Crow’s Feet” is the longest song on the album clocking in at around six minutes, and has melodic tune.  It would be perfect for a deep scene in a romantic movie (my favorite!).  However, I have to say that “Arizona Stars” is the best song on the album, as it starts with some folk vibes that carry through the song, and features some real catchy lyrics.  Check out The Accidentals and their album Odyssey – you won’t regret it!

 

 

Concert Review: Rainbow Kitten Surprise

 

Concerts are always great. Seeing a band live, is everything compared to just listening to their music on your phone and this concert was certainly no different. The venue, Ram’s Head Live, was standing room only allowing, with some maneuvering, to get ridiculously close to the band, and the music.

I came to this concert already liking their music but I was not a super fan, not yet. By the end of a sweaty exhilarating 3.5 hours of Rainbow Kitten Surprise, I understood the more cult following of this band. Song after song was both musically beautiful but perfect for a concert, with the band clearly invested and enjoying every word, and every fan exhilarated in their performance. At times I honestly thought the leader singer, Sam Melo, had fallen down after jumping and dancing on stage, but every time he rose up again, somehow becoming better with every song.

Bands like Rainbow Kitten Surprise are the reason everyone should see bands in concert. Something changes after you go to them, after hearing a song live, the audio on iTunes doesn’t do the song or the band justice. The audio track suddenly doesn’t have enough energy as when you saw it live, but listening to the song does give you a sense of nostalgia for when you, the band and the crowd lost yourself in the music, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise proved this true.

It was a concert that allowed me to forget where I was, the responsibilities I had waiting for me at home and all the reasons why I almost didn’t come. I went to the RKS concert a casual fan and I left a super fan, so much so that I already bought tickets for a concert in January. 

 

Written by Emma Caplan

Pinegrove & I: A review of Skylight

Pinegove & I: A review of Skylight

By Jonah Skeen (his show, Playing It by Ear, is on Wednesdays from 10-11pm)

 

Pinegrove and I are both from Montclair, New Jersey. There is no avoiding Pinegrove as an indie music fan in Montclair. For a while, that was a blessing. Evan Stephens Hall, the lead singer and mastermind behind Pinegrove, worked at the local bookstore. I grew up playing the same venues with my old punk band that Pinegrove had played when they first started out. I first heard them in 2012, back when they were solely a local treasure. I first saw them live February 12th, 2016, the day Cardinal, their sophomore album and breakthrough came out. After the show, I bought it on vinyl from Evan’s parents and he signed it and we talked for a little. They had generated buzz before Cardinal was released but when it was re-released in June, they really blew up. They opened for Into It. Over It. which at the time was a big break for them, but then they became way bigger than Into It. Over It. (Julien Baker, the other opener of that tour has also gone on to become pretty huge) They played to huge crowds at Panorama, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Primavera Sound and pretty much every other major music festival in summer 2017. I saw them three times on the touring behind Cardinal including the release show. The second time was also in Montclair and I took a picture with Evan and Adan, the bassist, afterwards. The third time, they sold out the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. In Montclair, you expect everyone to know the lyrics and sing along but it was surreal seeing a band I grew up with become huge nationally.

Over the summer 2017, they recorded their third album Skylight, which this is ostensibly a review of, and in November, released the first single “Intrepid”. They seemed poised to release a hugely successful indie album. Then, sexual coercion allegations surfaced against Evan. I recommend reading this piece from Pitchfork to learn the full story. Essentially, Evan made a confusing statement regarding the situation and the band went on hiatus. I remember getting ready to head home for thanksgiving break, hearing the news, and walking around a nearly empty Dickinson campus in a haze. How could someone I grew up singing along to and identifying with do something so horrible to another human being? Many Pinegrove fans felt similarly betrayed and shocked. Over the next year, the Pinegrove story was all anyone in the indie scene in Montclair talked about. I know people who know members of the band so I heard information here and there: the album was done but it wasn’t coming out, Evan was in therapy in Montclair, Nandi, the keyboardist and other vocalist and Evan’s foil, had quit to pursue a solo career as Half Waif. Many, myself included, declared Pinegrove “cancelled”. I didn’t listen to their music, as much as it meant to me, for a year until I could hear the full story. On Wednesday, I heard the full story via the Pitchfork piece. What had happened was that Evan verbally coerced someone who was in a relationship to sleep with him. There were not multiple allegations and the victim did not want their story to be public. They merely wanted Evan to go to therapy to address his issues and for Pinegrove to refrain from touring for a year. Pinegrove decided that this was the right course of action and were planning on keeping the situation private via the victim’s wishes. But the organization Punk Talks mishandled the situation and insinuated that there were multiple allegations against Evan and the situation went public leading to Evan’s confusing statement. Buried deep within the article, Evan revealed that they had parted ways with Run For Cover, their label, and were self released their third album, Skylight, on September 28th. I thought long and hard about Pinegrove’s place in my life and if I could morally listen to their album. Since the victim approved of them releasing it and all profits from the album are going to the charities Musicares, the American Foundation for Suicide PRevention, and the Voting Rights Project, I decided that I could listen to Pinegrove again.

The album was released a little over an hour ago on Pinegrove’s bandcamp page without any posts to their social media. I’m listening to it for the third time. No one tasked me with writing this and I don’t know how many will read it but it is important for me to write. The album was completed prior to the allegations being made public but some of the lyrics eerily foreshadow Evan’s period of intense therapy, reflection, and rehabilitation. The first line of the album is “I draw a line in my life/ singing this is the new way I behave now/ and actually live by the shape of that sound.” Some of these songs have been in my life for a while. “Angelina” is a re-recorded version of a song they originally released in 2015 and the higher fidelity and more forceful drums do not even come close to majesty of the live version of their Audiotree session. “Paterson + Leo” had been a live stape of the entire Cardinal tour and the new version is vastly superior to the live acoustic version that was included on the European version of Cardinal. I saw them played “Easy Enough” and “Thanksgiving” live and watched a live video of “Darkness” on youtube dozens of times. “Easy Enough” and “Darkness” both make for perfect movie montage road trip songs. “Thanksgiving” loses some of its charm in the sober album rendition.

 

Revamping old songs is not new territory for Pinegrove: Cardinal included a new version of “Size of the Moon” one of their oldest songs and Meridian, their underrated 2012 debut album, included a re-recording of what I still say is their best song “The Metronome”. Speaking of best songs, my favorite new song “No Drugs” is not on Skylight. As much as I love Cardinal, Pinegrove are best live. Though guitarist Sam Skinner is a talented mixer and producer, (his father Steve Skinner is a profession producer and worked on the hugely successful broadway show Rent. I used to be pretty close to Sam’s sister and have talked to Steve a lot and he even gave me his pocket Constitution.) Cardinal had a messy lo fi sound that I assume is intention homage to their 90s alt country and mid aughts Saddle Creek influences. Skylight is similarly lo fi, though the drums are much cleaner than on Cardinal and hints of keyboard and dreamy guitar effects creep into songs as opposed to the banjo and slide guitar of Cardinal. My biggest problem with Skylight is how similar it is to Cardinal. Obviously, the four years between their first and second albums gave Pinegrove more time to change their sound than the year and a half between Cardinal’s released and the recording of Skylight but half of the songs on Skylight sounds like they could be outtakes from Cardinal. Early single “Intrepid” is one exception, utilizing a proggier sound with less emphasis on Evan’s vocals. The title track introduces prominent acoustic guitar into the mix alongside swells of guitar feedback and brushed, muted drums and as a result is one of the highlights of Skylight. “Amulets” clocks in at a minute and uses quiet deep synth with slide guitar. It doesn’t have much of a tune though and ends before the song can build up any momentum. “Light On” embraces Pinegrove’s country and classic sixties pop influences in a way unheard on their studio albums. Evan’s father Doug contributes piano and vocals and though the piano is poorly recorded, it gives the track a bar closing vibe. I think if I came to Skylight without the moral burden of Evan’s actions and without the year long crisis of fandom that came with it, I would be much more likely to slather praise onto Skylight. It is a very good album to my ears, but seeing them debut the songs from it live like how I heard Cardinal would have made me love it. Knowing what I know now about Evan, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to connect with his music in the same way. In the year since I stopped listening to Pinegrove, I moved away from listening to the indie music that I grew up with and moved more toward hip hop, experimental, and electronic music. After diving deep into stuff like MF Doom, My Bloody Valentine, and Daft Punk, Pinegrove sound quaint by comparison. I recommend listening if you like stuff like Mitski, Hop Along, Front Bottoms, AJJ or any other emo band. Tune in next week for my thoughts on the new Kanye West album YANHDI and in a few months for the second edition of my top ten albums of the year roundup.

Rap Songs of the Month

Rap songs of the month:

With new albums in the past month from A Tribe Called Quest, Childish Gambino, Smoke Dza, Post Malone, J. Cole, Meek Mill, Ab-Soul, and Anderson.Paak (NxWorries), there is a whole lot of good music floating around that you can find easily through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Spotify. The songs below aren’t necessarily all from the last month, but all the new music made it easy to pick favorites. Below are my top 10 picks for songs that I’ve been jamming to for the past month or so.

 

 

Song: Suede

Artist: NxWorries

Album: Yes Lawd!

Off of NxWorries first full LP, singer Anderson.Paak and producer Knxwledge come together to put out a funky 19 song album including this jazzy gem. Coupled with a live studio session video, Suede has a simple but perfect beat for Paak to go off on talking about all the girls that are after him since his success from his second album, Malibu. Paak never really has a problem getting funky and this song definitely brings it along with the heat of his funny and slick-like-suede lyrics.

 

 

Song: Monday

Artist: EARTHGANG feat. Mac Miller

Album: Torba

Another banging piano-derived beat comes through to give us such a chill cruising song for those driving far away for break. EARTHGANG brings conscious rap to another level rapping about revolutions of the Earth, world hunger, and getting kicked out of Canada. Matched with a good feature from the new side of Mac Miller, we hear about his come up into the game. The song will have you nodding your head by the end, believe it.

 

 

Song: Deja vu

Artist: J. Cole

Album: 4 Your Eyez Only

Despite the controversy about whether or not this was originally Cole’s beat or Bryson Tiller’s on his song Exchange, the beat is that rainy day fire that we’ve all wanted, despite having already heard it. Cole raps about a girl who seems to have her head on wrong and talks about wanting her to give guys with real dreams a chance. Cole’s lyricism is on point and gets very into his feelings. Might not be the song you want to play at a party, but definitely get some good headphones and let it bang.

 

 

Song: Redbone

Artist: Childish Gambino

Album: “Awaken, My Love!”

Gambino’s new album was expected to be funky every single we heard what the first single sounded like and this song is no exception. Regardless of what you expected, Childish Gambino uses incredible vocals over funky guitar and bass lines to create such a catchy vibe. In the song he reminds this girl to “stay woke” for all of the guys who are creeping around. Gambino never ceases to impress and has unleashed a whole new side of his incredible talent on Redbone.

 

 

Song: 100

Artist: The Game feat. Drake

Album: The Documentary 2

One of the only songs that I’ve heard recently where the artist hasn’t used Drake during the intro to get people hyped, The Game puts in work lyrically before putting Drake on the catchy chorus. The two keep it 100 throughout this banger talking about all of the fakes in LA and how their lives would be different if they weren’t famous. Take a listen or two because either way this will be on repeat in your house or party.

 

 

Song: Dis Generation

Artist: A Tribe Called Quest

Album: We got it from Here…Thank You 4 Your service

With their first album since I was two years old, ATCQ comes hard filling in each other’s rhymes, keeping the vibe light and not letting up over an addicting guitar riff of a beat. The crew uses lyrics from the deceased member Phife Dawg (R.I.P.) and talks about the new generation of hip-hop. Not unlike any other song on the album, the song brings complex lyrics over chill beats for an overall must hear.

 

 

Song: 4r Da Squaw

Artist: Isaiah Rashad

Album: The Sun’s Tirade

On the first full song on the album, the young T.D.E. star goes off on a funky, sleepy beat full of chimes and synth claps. Talking about his new rise to fame, Rashad talks about how he goes with the flow with just a dollar and a tour stop on his mind. The swagger in his flow and his lyricism both shine, leading to a great opening for a pretty great album.

 

 

Song: 1000 Xans (ft. theMIND)

Artist: Mick Jenkins

Album: The Healing Component

Right off the bat this heavy glitch/screech beat takes you in as you feel drowned by vibe. “I mean a buzz can last a light-year” is the kind of vibe Mick is on with his album The Healing Component (THC) and goes from the mention of anxiety to social commentary about Reagan and his interference in the market for crack cocaine. Super deep and super soulful, Mick’s entire album will hit you hard and make you take a second listen.

 

 

Song: Nights

Artist: Frank Ocean

Album: blond

Again, the slow paced sleepy beat actually goes in and brought together with a twangy distorted guitar, Frank Ocean has the perfect base for his sing-song voice. Although not rap, Frank Ocean goes from RnB to some spoken word and really brings out good vibes in both totally different section of his one track. “Every night f****s every day up, every day patches the night up” sings Frank Ocean on his stand out track for his 2016 album. Even without the Grammy nomination, Frank Ocean has one of the tracks of the year on his hands.

 

 

Song: Wanna Know Remix (ft. Drake)

Artist: Dave

Album: (single)

To be released on Drake’s album ‘More Life’ in early 2017, Wanna Know is pretty much his song about his new success and those who didn’t predict it like he did. Paired with the chorus from English rapper Dave, Drake has this international vibe he’s been trying to get with for a while now. The beat, made by one of Dave’s producer’s, completely stands out to the point where you would have thought a famous, rich rapper like Drake would come up with something similar. A great single already that is supposed to be on the album, Wanna Know should be on your playlist until the album comes out.