Concert Review: Hardwork Movement

On Friday April 5th, Philly-based hip-hop group Hardwork Movement took the stage in Allison Community Room. Founded by two Dickinson alumni Dwight Dunston ’10 and Jeremy Keys ’11, this concert was a celebrated homecoming. With four rappers, a flutist, pianist, bassist, drummer, and trumpeter, the band’s energy immediately infected the crowd. Audience members leaned against the stage as Keys, Dunston, and the rest of the group bounced and danced through their set. Keys had a specialty for leaning up into the audience, zoning in on listener, and speaking his verses to an individual. When the music would build, the band would crouch with the tension. When the beat finally dropped, they’d all splash around the stage, infectiously dancing and singing. Dunston had multiple costume changes, sporting a denim onesie, socks and sandals, and of course Dickinson merchandise. The crowd’s favorite of course was when he grabbed our over-sized WDCV canvas poster and wrapped it around himself like a cape. Whoever sang the next verse had the honor of wrapping the sign around themselves, all the while grooving with the upbeat music. Throughout the one hour set, Hardwork Movement presented the crowd with their best songs, including freestyles in spoken verse and instrumentals. 

                 

When the set finally wrapped up, every audience member went home with an extra bump in their step. Hardwork Movement brought to Dickinson light and energy, passion and power. WDCV thanks the band for coming through, and the audience members who made it such a fun experience!

 

                      

Find Hardwork Movement on spotify!
 

Written by Julia Ormond ’19

An Interview with Professor Pulcini

Professor Ted Pulcini, now in his final year at Dickinson, signed off to do an exclusive interview with WDCV FM. We sat down with him to discuss his 24 year long career, and asked him to do a little retrospective for us on his time here at Dickinson. Currently serving as the chair of the religion department, he’s pretty renowned for his classes. Professor Pulcini’s primary focus in academia is Abrahamic religions, but particularly Islamand early Christianity. Professor Pulcini is also a priest, and this other side of him has affectionately earned him the nickname “Father Ted” amongst people on campus, although he tries to keep his religious life and his academic life separate. That hasn’t stopped him from being a wonderfully wise man who gives fantastic advice to students (and this interview has some great gems of wisdom from him) when they ask for it.

 

We at WDCV have really appreciated him reflecting on his Dickinson experience. Listen to him talk about how much has changed here since when he first began teaching here, as well as hear his own personal experiences outside Dickinson that have inspired and molded him into the academic he is today.

 

 

Interview recorded March 7, 2019 by Nuhan Abid ’22 and Ellie Doblin ’21. 

Sidney Gish Concert Review

Last Saturday, Sidney Gish engaged a large crowd of Dickinsonians and Carlisle residents. With a set list written on her forearm, Gish played many of her most popular songs, with audience members dancing and singing along with her. Songs such as “Persephone” and “Not But For You, Bunny” drew cheers after the first couple seconds. She riffed off her own recorded songs, such as “Sophisticated Space,” adding new jazzy twists to her typical rhythm. 

Check out a snippet of her concert below!

The crowd loved her, evidenced by her massive merch line. The concert was a huge success, and WDCV loved having Sidney on campus! 

 

WDCV’s next concert will be March 1st at 5:30pm with Alice Kristiansen! Join us in the Allison Community Room!

WDCV / MOB Spring Concert Series Line-Up

This semester, WDCV and MOB are teaming up to bring the Dickinson campus and wider Carlisle community a concert series for the books. Ranging from indie bedroom-pop to full-throttle jazzy hop-hop, the Spring Concert Series is sure to satisfy any music-lover, as well as introduce many to great new artists! The line-up is as follows.

 

2/16 : Sidney Gish

First up on February 16th and 8pm in the Allison Community Room is innovative loop-pedal utilizing Boston college student Sidney Gish. For more about her see here.

 

3/1: Alice Kristiansen

Next up, on March 1st at 5:30 is Alice Kristiansen. Kristiansen is a NYC-based aspiring pop star and songwriter. She initially started out posting covers on youtube, which she still frequently posts, but eventually began writing and recording her own tunes. Her newest single “Easy” was released in December and is filled with big EDM synths, distorted vocal samples, and house drums. My favorite song by her is “Lost In Translation”, which I suspect may be named after the Bill Murray film. Though the lyrics are often clunky and the production is boilerplate, the vocals are stunning and the melody is infectious. Expect her to release some even more memorable singles in the coming months.

 

3/22: Shaed

On March 22nd at 5:30, the electro pop trio Shaed will come to campus. Chelsea Lee is the lead singer and twins Max and Spencer Ernst produce. “Trampoline” is a bonafide hit with over 39 million streams on Spotify alone. It’s easy to hear why. The production is icy and propulsive and the vocals are impressively layered. “Melt”, the title track of their newest EP, may be even better than “Trampoline”. It reminds me of Ariana Grande’s most recent material. If you don’t know Shaed now, you’ll definitely have heard them in a few years so see them here while you can for free!

 

4/5: Hardwork Movement

On April fifth at 5:30, Hardwork Movement is coming to campus. Hardwork Movement is made up of 4 rappers backed up by a crack five piece live band. They also have TWO Dickinson alumni in the band! Whoever says a liberal arts education doesn’t pay off clearly hasn’t heard the sweet sounds of these Hard Movers (which is what I called them). These guys release a lot of music with two albums from 2017 and an EP that came out in 2018 but the song that I’ve been bumping a lot is “Praise”. It’s piano based beat reminds me a bit of “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear but the vocals are super cheerful. “Dance With Me” is another great song, utilizing horns and a rapid fire delivery that reminds me a bit of Ghostface Killah.

 

4/19: Danny Fisher

Danny Fisher brings his unique take on electro pop to Dickinson on April 19th at 5:30. His most recent song, “With Love Or Nothing At All” mixes layers of his own vocals with atmospheric electronics crafting what reminds me a bit of Panda Bear. There will also potentially be student performers to open this act.

 

5/3: Phony Ppl

The final concert in the WDCV/MOB Collaborative Spring Concert Series Featuring Great Free Live Music For You Lovely People (title pending) finishes up with the neo soul band Phony Ppl. “Somehow.” is a simply wonderful song mixing jazzy guitar work, indie R&B vibes, hip hop beats, and luscious strings into a sweet love song.

 

We hope to see you at our concert series!

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

Top 10 Albums of 2018

Jonah Skeen’s Top Ten Albums of 2018

 

Hey folks welcome to my second annual countdown of the best music of the year. There was a lot of great music this year and, unlike last year, I kept pretty up to date on the hot new albums. Everything on this list is truly worth hearing.

  1. Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune – Swamp Dogg

Autotune is the most deverse current sound in popular music and I love it unabashedly. I especially love when artists who I don’t expect to use it. One of my favorite uses of autotune ever was Bon Iver’s 22 A Million. I was in sheer delight when I found out that the 76 year old R&B singer Swamp Dogg had recorded an album in Bon Iver’s studio and made similar use of autotune. This album is cut from the same cloth as 22 and by is far funkier, funnier, looser and maybe even weirder in the simple fact of it existing. “$$$ Huntin’” updates the talkin’ blues formula for these trap heavy times. The most beautiful moment on the album is the cover of the standard “Stardust”. It sounds like I’m picking up a transmission from space of aliens approximating human music.

  1. Boygenius – Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers

Boygenius is a supergroup made up of Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers. If that sentence doesn’t make you excited then you have some catching up to do. These women have put out a few of the best indie albums in recent memory. And now they have joined forces for a tour and an all too brief EP. Despite their variety of styles (Dacus is more fuzz rock, Bridgers is more folk influenced, Baker somewhat emo leaning), they sound like a natural fit. The highlight of this EP are the harmonies which are tear inducing. This is powerful stuff. If you’ve just gone through a break up or something of that nature, listening to this will be cathartic.

  1. El Mal Querer – Rosalía

I wish I still took Spanish so I could understand the lyrics on this. I hear that they’re great. What I can understand is the music which is groundbreaking. Rosalia uses the sound of revving motorcycles as percussion! There’s a song that does James Blake even better than James Blake does himself! The whole thing is as fun as any pop record you’ll hear this year. It’s equally at home at a house party as it is during the comedown. It’s rare to hear experimental and pop instincts balanced this well.

  1. And Nothing Hurt – Spiritualized

If Jason Pierce is to be believed, this is the last Spiritualized album. Which is sad news but what a way to go out. Unlike their earlier records, this record is not a grand statement. There’s no Elvis samples, 17 minute song about killing cops, orchestras, or gospel choirs. And Nothing Hurt is simply a set of well constructed songs recorded in Pierce’s home studio. The strings and horns come from samples from his record collection. What’s amazing is that Pierce can still write such deeply affecting music this late into his career and how lush this album sounds despite its modest origins. The lead off tracks are my two favorites: “A Perfect Miracle” starts off with ukulele and sounds like a straightforward love song before the narrator shifts from love to ending the relationship over the course of a few verses and the music builds into a beautiful crescendo. “I’m Your Man” is the ideal classic rock. There’s a guitar solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on a late Beatles record and lyrical similarities to the Leonard Cohen classic where it takes its name. This song, like the whole album, positions Pierce in the lineage of classic songwriters. I think it succeeds.

  1. Daytona – Pusha T

Back back way back in december 2015, Pusha released the clunkily titled King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude which was to serve as an appetizer for King Push, his planned magnum opus. King Push never materialized but Push did drop his opus. Daytona is all killer, no filler. Just straight bars. This record barely bothers with hooks, which normally spells disaster but with a rapper as talented as Push, this is a huge plus. And the production! Ho boy! There’s this playlist called Kanye West – Producer of The Year that’s posted on Pusha, Kanye, Teyana, and 070 Shake’s Spotify pages which clearly signals that Kanye is aiming to be nominated for Producer of The Year at the Grammys. He shouldn’t get it, but listening to Daytona made me hope that the Wyoming Session albums would be a return to classic early Kanye. I was wrong, the production on Ye is his least focused ever, but at least I got Daytona out of it.

ALSO DRAKE WAS HIDING A CHILD COME ON

  1. Thresholder – Ian William Craig

This isn’t an album. It’s a compilation of outtakes recorded between 2014 and 2016. This album doesn’t really have songs on it; it mostly has sounds. But what glorious sounds! Ian William Craig is an artist like no other. He builds his music by combining avant garde tape manipulation with his magnificent opera trained singing voice. The end results bring to mind Bon Iver at his most experimental, a more minimal Sigur Ros, and William Basinski’s classic The Disintegration Loops. This is music that is both alien and somehow deeply human. All of Craig’s albums, particularly Centres, are worth checking out but Thresholder showcases what he does best in a comfact runtime.

  1. Sparkle Hard – Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks

My love of this album started with the lead single “Middle America”. It’s a ballad which Malkmus doesn’t do often but when he does it leads to classics like “Gold Soundz”, “Church on White”, “Freeze the Saints”, and “Spit on a Stranger”. I hoped that the rest of the album would be mature and understated. I was wrong. Sparkle Hard is a little of everything Malkmus does best. It has an extended stoner jam (“Kite”), garage rock (“Shiggy”), a country duet with Kim Gordon (the hilarious “Refute”), and a two part electronic experiment that turns into krautrock (“Difficulties – Let Them Eat Vowels”). Even more astonishing is that this isn’t even the album Malkmus planned to release. He made a completely electronic album that he planned to drop before his label told him to put out a more traditional release first. These were the songs that Malkmus just happened to have lying around. I am also extremely biased about this album for two reasons 1. I eternally love Malkmus for his work in Pavement and 2. I saw Malkmus live front row and he played most of Sparkle Hard. The songs are even better live and it felt that I was sitting in on a band practice because I was so close to the band. During the encore, Malkmus sang “Freeze the Saints” directly to me and it was among the greatest moments of my life. So listen to this album but maybe listen to a Pavement classic like Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, or Slanted and Enchanted first.

            3. Knock Knock – DJ Koze

This album will take you on a journey. I know a lot less about dance music than I ought to but I do know that this record is dance music at its best. This record brilliantly uses a plethora of samples, synths, and newly recorded vocals to create a deeply psychedelic listening experience. The track that drew me in was “Bonfire” because it has vocals from Bon Iver and I will listen to anything that Justin Vernon sings over. The whole record is worth listening to straight through but the highlight is “Pick Up” which should’ve been a huge hit.

  1. Some Rap Songs – Earl Sweatshirt

To quote my roommate Jackson, this decade finally has its Madvillainy. Earl has been one of the most adored MCs in the game since way back in ‘10 when he was a wee lad of sixteen. Now he’s 24 and just ended a three year hiatus with his best, and most experimental, record. This year has been a big one for short albums. All of the five Kanye produced Wyoming albums were 7 or 8 songs in under half an hour. Earl one ups Ye. It’s 15 songs in only 25 minutes! And each one is a winner. There is not a wasted second on this record. Every verse is insightful, filled with allusions, and poetic. Earl isn’t rapping with precision; he’s rapping with purpose. He turned from the prodigy of Odd Future to a wizened philosopher. The beats on this thing are just insane. They’re more like soundcollages than traditional rap beats but hit all the pleasure points of classic old beats from someone like Dilla or Madlib. Earl’s father, South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, died earlier this year and though much of the album was completed prior, his death hangs over the project. This album is both surreal yet hyper emotional. People will be dissecting the meaning of the lyrics and trying to wrap their heads around these mind-bending beats for years.

 

Before my number one pick I’d like to shout out a few honorable mentions that didn’t make the list:

 

Iridescence – BROCKHAMPTON: BEST BOY BAND SINCE 1D! Also, “San Marcos” may be my absolute favorite song of the year.

Freedom’s Goblin – Ty Segall: a great double album covering everything from hardcore punk to folk to psychedelic rock.

KTSE – Teyana Taylor: Underrated R&B vocalist backed by old school sampled heavy Kanye beats.

Room 25 – Noname: live soul beats with unmatched lyrical wit.

Virtue – The Voidz: Strokes frontman returns with his best record since Room on Fire.

Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves: Psychedelic country recorded in Sheryl Crow’s barn.

The Longshot – The Longshot: Green Day frontman solo album in disguise. If it were a Green Day record, it’d be their best since American Idiot.  

  1. Be The Cowboy – Mitski

The first time I heard this album, it was on the train into Manhattan with two of my friends. We were all listening to it and exchanging excited looks. The second time I heard this album was about two hours later and it was live. Seeing Mitski the day this album came out no doubt influenced my opinion on it. I didn’t care for the single “Nobody” until I saw her singing and dancing and realized it was meant to be sarcastic. Now, it’s among my favorite tracks of the year. This album is Mitski’s huge leap forward. Her last record, Puberty 2, was a great breakout album that cemented her as one of the most popular up-and-coming artists in indie rock. This album loses the grungy guitars, screamed vocals, and most other indie signifiers. It cements Mitski as one of the greatest artists of our time, full stop. Not just indie. Over 14 songs, and only 32 minutes, Mitski breezes through too many genres to name and often forgos standard verse-chorus structure. Sometimes, her lyrics read more like freeform poetry than pop lyrics. Yet this does not feel like an experimental album. It is as catchy and emotional as any of the best pop records. Each song conveys an incredibly detailed story in around two minutes. It is truly hard to pick highlights on a record as great as this, but “Remember My Name” is sung from the perspective of a lonely musician who wants her audience to keep her in their mind after she’s done performing. There is no way I’ll ever forget Mitski’s name after this album.

 

 

Written by Jonah Skeen ’21

10 R&B Songs for Post-Finals Feels

10 R&B Songs for Post-Finals Feels

 

Everybody should be on their way home from school soon and putting finals behind us is the best thing we can do. With so much good R&B projects coming out this year and WDCV’s commitment to sharing underrepresented artists, here are 10 R&B Songs for Post-Finals Feels that we hope you like or already vibe to. For those that aren’t exactly R&B, we couldn’t resist including them and for those who aren’t exactly “underrepresented,” we thought they still seriously deserved the shout out. 


On Your Own – Jorja Smith

Jorja Smith, an English R&B singer, should be recognized as one of this year’s standout vocalists with the release of her debut album Lost and Found, with popular singles like “Blue Lights.” Smith has such contemporary heartfelt lyrics, but maintains a retro vibe citing Amy Winehouse as one of her influences. “On Your Own” shows off Smith’s powerful pipes as she carries out beautiful notes about one of her past breakups.

If you like “On Your Own,” listen to “Wandering Romance” and “Blue Lights”

 

Around Me – Brent Faiyas

23-year-old Grammy-nominated singer Brent Faiyas already has his name all over the hook of last year GoldLink hit “Crew” which has amassed over 150 million streams on Spotify alone. On “Around Me,” Faiyaz talks about loyalty and fame over a beautiful melody. Separate from releasing his own solo music, Faiyaz is the lead singer of the group Sonder – a word capturing the understanding that everybody you see has a life as complex as your own. Sonder released their debut EP Into last year which was one of Complex’s Top 100 Albums of 2017.

If you like “Around Me,” listen to “Insecure” and “Gang Over Luv”

 

Lovely – Sonder

With the mention of leader singer Brent Faiyaz, we had to include a great song by the crew Sonder themselves. The crew’s other two members are producers Atu and Dpat that put an electronic feel to the normal R&B harmonies. “Lovely” shows off Faiyaz’s range as he sings about being mesmerized at the strip club. The soul and passion that Sonder puts into every track is unmatched and the whole Intro EP is a masterpiece.

If you like “Lovely,” listen to “Too Fast” and “Sirens”

 

 Hiding Place – Jordan Rakei

Impressive singer, songwriter and multi-instrumental Jordan Rakei brings soul and jazz a new name with his track “Hiding Place” off of his second album Wallflower released in 2017. Collaborating with the likes of Tom Misch and more recently Loyle Carner, Rakei has also focused on the beautiful simplicity of his background instruments while touching souls with his voice. Jordan Rakei is the definition of a complete artist and at the young age of 26, he is only getting better.

If you like “Hiding Place,” listen to “Ottolenghi” and “Alright”

 

Been A While – 6LACK

Despite also being Grammy-nominated this year (along with Brent Faiyaz) and having one of the most complete R&B albums of the year with East Atlanta Love Letter, 6LACK (pronounced “black”) continues to not get the widespread love he deserves. Both EALL and his first album FREE 6LACK deserve Grammys for their respective years as 6LACK’s moody failed relationship vibes will win almost everybody over. His raspy, unorthodox voice hits deep and makes you remember the ex you never had.

If you like “Been A While,” listen to “One Way (feat. T-Pain)” and “Never Know”

 

Stand Still – Sabrina Claudio

22-year old Sabrina Claudio is a Cuban-American singer who continues to blow minds straight from her first EP Confidently Lost released in early 2017. Her voice hypnotizes you with her long notes filled with sensual vibes about love and fighting. While difficult to describe, her voice speaks for itself. Start from her first EP and see how her musical growth!

If you like “Stand Still,” listen to “Orion’s Belt” and “Runnin’ Thru Lovers”

 

The Real – SiR

Another one I can’t put my finger on as SiR has not yet gained much commercial success, even after being signed to Top Dawg Entertainment with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and SZA. SiR’s mellow and soulful voice lingers on tracks like “The Real” on top of a deep, twangy bassline. SiR has been kept lowkey despite featuring on Anderson. Paak’s Venice and Masego’s latest album Lady Lady. TDE’s soulful specialist released his sophomore album November earlier this year and it’s definitely worth a listen or two.

If you like “The Real,” listen to “The Perfect Remedy” and “Right By You”

 

Facts – H.E.R.

H.E.R. (H.aving E.verything R.evealed) is a 21-year-old singer signed to RCA records who has done songs with Bryson Tiller, Khalid and Daniel Caesar. Her music goes through her toxic breakups, her stable relationships and her vulnerability throughout. Her confidence is heard in her soothing voice and can combat this vulnerability, leaving the listener with two very powerful sides to love. H.E.R. also was seen on the charts for her cover of Drake’s “Jungle.”

If you like “Facts,” listen to “Fate” or “Could’ve Been (feat. Bryson Tiller)”

 

FRIENDS – BLAISE MOORE

Blaise Moore is a Toronto-based singer who combines trippy rolling electronic synths to accompany her sometimes muffled vocals. Moore comes off as raw and real, singing about her ex-boyfriend Laurence, who she named her EP Laurence after. She’s young, confident and definitely has the voice to back it up. She released her second EP Temporary Her in late 2018.

If you like “FRIENDS,” listen to “HE DON’T” and “HANDS”

 

To Love & Die – Jhene Aiko

Although she’s been a star for years, Jhene’s last full-length album Trip didn’t get the respect it deserved. Despite saying this, spotlighted today is “To Love & Die (feat. Cocaine 80s).” Jhene shows here her true mastery of her powerful voice with well placed rhyme schemes, bridging the gap between R&B and Hip Hop. Jhene can do it all and it’s no secret, having artists like Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Common ready to work with her. An incredibly talented artist, her whole discography deserves a listen.

If you like “To Love & Die,” listen to “Stay Ready (What A Life) (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” and “Jukai”

 

-Written by Myles Parker (’19). Look out on our schedule for my show Double Decker next semester, you can catch some of these songs and more beats and rhythms there

Concert Review: AJR

AJR has been known for many single hits, such as the most recent “Weak” and “Sober Up”. AJR is a band composed of three brothers Adam, Jack and Ryan Met, who write and produce all of their songs in their own living room. They are a known band, but they still have the personal touch and small-scale concert environment.

AJR had only recently entered my radar of music. After hearing their hit “Sober Up,” I immediately started listening to all their other top hits and albums. So when my friends said there was a nearby AJR concert, I knew I had to go. They mostly played songs from their new album, The Click, and other older hits like “Pretender” and “I’m Ready”.

One of my favorite songs they played was Sober Up, because I love the chill beat and combination of acoustics and violin. The concert was very upbeat and AJR worked to really engage the audience. They performed a lively and entertaining show, including lots of dancing and lighting special effects.

Another great part of the concert was when they played a remix of The Office theme song and the crowd really enjoyed it. The energy throughout the concert was awesome as fans sang along to every song.

Seeing AJR live definitely made me like their music so much more, and the concert was an overall amazing, high-energy experience.

 

 

By: Victoria Dionisos ‘22

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.

Concert Review: Mumford & Sons

On December 7th, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, Mumford & Sons performed for about two hours of sheer enjoyment. Even from their opening act (Maggie Rogers, a ridiculously talented emerging artist in the indie music scene reviewed by another DJ– read about her here!), I knew this was going to be an unforgettable experience.

Even though my love for this group has fluctuated over the years as they release each new album (it takes me a while to adjust to the changes in style), I’ve been a pretty big fan from the get-go. Honestly, my fondness for their usage of the banjo knows no bounds, and its absence in their later work hit me pretty hard. The titular album of this particular tour, Delta, also took a bit of getting used to. The banjo was still lacking, but the chill, sweeping orchestral nature of the tracks won me over.

They did a fantastic job of mixing high-energy jams with slower-tempo tunes, and the combination of their new music with fan favorites helped me understand why the mood of their newest album was made to feel so different. It’s calmer and flowing, and songs like “Picture You” and “The Wild” were a perfect fit among staples like “I Will Wait” and “Little Lion Man”. Regardless, the rhythm and soul behind each and every song was infectious, and any audience member could clearly see the group’s joy and energy throughout the entire performance. They were just enjoying themselves, and that made it all the better to watch. Even though I was up in the nosebleeds, I felt connected to the action below.

 

They gave it all they had and came across as so humble. The crowd around me was extremely responsive too, and we managed to make them laugh through some lyrics a couple of times. It kind of reminds you that they’re human, not just celebrities.

 

I was already a fan of the group before this concert, but I have an entirely new appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into their performances, and their genuine talent amazed me. Each band member played multiple instruments throughout the show, with lead singer Marcus Mumford actually playing the drums at one point while he was singing (an impressive feat).

 

 

I can’t stop listening to their albums now, and each song brings back the wonderful memories of that night. Everything sounds different, but in a good way, and I find myself smiling after almost every track. Seeing them perform these songs live has brought a new dimension to them that I hadn’t heard before.

 

But the best part? Getting to see someone absolutely shredding on a banjo.

 

By Nina Spoelker ’21