Tag Archives: New music

Next Best Thing: What’s To Come This Spring

words by bridget conway

The list of what will be 2018’s great releases already feels a mile long; it seems like almost every day we hear a new song or read a new tour announcement (or both!) from both emerging and established artists. While this can be overwhelming, it’s also exciting—2018’s releases seem to be building on music of the past to feel fresh and unexplored, foregoing previous limitations of genre while drawing inspiration from music of the past. I’m eager to see where 2018 takes us, so I’ve compiled a list of a few of the album releases I’m excited about in the next few months.

Screaming Females: All at Once, out February 3rd

Screaming Females make brazen, high-energy, catchy punk. Marissa Paternoster, the band’s frontwoman, characterizes the punchy backing instrumentals with a rich, dynamic voice that never fails to demonstrate robust expression, which is no different on the two singles released from All at Once thus far; “Glass House” is rhythmic, alternating Paternoster’s potent vocals with showy guitar riffs and pounding drums. “Deeply” sounds less traditional than Screaming Females’ rock sound than “Glass House” and more indie pop-influenced, featuring synthesizers, Wurlitzers and xylophones and a more wistful vocal style . Both singles are, hopefully, an indication that All at Once will be rooted in Screaming Females’ past powerful sounds and expansive to new ones.


Palm: Rock Island, out February 9th

Last year, Palm released both an EP, Shadow Expert, and a full-length, Trading Basics, and don’t show any signs of stopping. They’ve released two singles: “Dog Milk” and “Pearly,” which build off the bright art-rock Palm released in 2017. Rock Island deals in what seems like its own new musical language, compulsively creating as it moves. Palm disregards the rules of indie rock, disregards the archetypal groupings of certain instruments or chords to build their own concepts and vocabulary from scratch. It’s impossible, therefore, to anticipate what the next moment of a Palm song is like, let alone a whole new album—but, like Palm’s discography thus far, is sure to be excellent.


Hailu Mergia: Lala Belu, out February 16th

Ethiopian Jazz builds on traditional Ethiopian rhythms and jazz to create music that can only be described as limber, stretching and adapting across genres and cultures. Hailu Mergia has been making incredible Ethio-Jazz since the ‘70s, but he’s releasing a new album this February—the first major (non-compilation) album of the genre in more than twenty years. The first single off of Lala Belu, “Gum Gum” feels at once fresh and authentic to the genre, and I’m excited for Mergia to bring new Ethio-Jazz to 2018.


Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy: Mirror to Mirror, out February 16th

I can’t say with a clear conscience that “excited” is the word I’d use to describe how I’m feeling about Will Toledo’s announcement that he’s done a studio recording of 2011’s richly lo-fi Twin Fantasy, but leaving this off this list felt untrue to my anticipation of the release, regardless of doubts I have. The songs released thus far off Twin Fantasy: Mirror to Mirror, “Nervous Young Inhumans” and “Beach Life-In-Death” are certainly not bad—Toledo is a talented musician, and his studio re-recordings of these songs he made are still sonically powerful. What lacks is the organic, emotional, private-diary quality of the original—Toledo’s voice doesn’t break and expand in the Mirror version of “Beach Life-In-Death” the way it does in the 2011 version, and I’m afraid the studioization of the album will take away from these aspects so many listeners have come to love.


Current Joys: A Different Age, out March 2nd

Nick Rattigan may be known for being half of Surf Curse, but this year he’s releasing music as his solo project, Current Joys, Relying on drum machines and solitary guitar melodies as backing, Rattigan’s voice is heart-wrenching; beautiful not only for its sonic qualities, but for its earnestness and honesty, communicating a sound of nostalgia, of sadness, and of emotional vulnerability. Not only will A Different Age feature Rattigan’s musical strengths, but also his cinematic ones, as he is releasing it as a visual album. The first two singles, “Become the Warm Jets” and “Fear” have been released as both songs and videos, with narratives and symbolic elements that follow those of the sonic and lyrical qualities of the respective songs.


Ed Schrader’s Music Beat: Riddles, out March 3rd

Much of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat’s discography is fast paced, bizarre, and above all, decidedly electrified; the first single, “Dunce,” off Riddles, is no different. However, the addition of minimalist-pop artist Dan Deacon on Riddles transforms Ed Schrader’s Music Beat’s aggressive post-punk sound into something more intricate and nuanced than they’ve shown on their previous records.


Rough Around The Edges: The Understated Honesty of “Phases”

words by Bridget Conway

With the release of My Woman last year, Angel Olsen cemented herself as a powerful force in music. Multifaceted, rich, electric, My Woman burst away from the minimalist style of Olsen’s previous folk albums, while incorporating the same tender and honest lyrical and vocal style. In Phases, the recently released collection of demos, covers, and never-before-released tracks, Olsen pulls a thread through much of her work, revealing tenderness, nostalgia, and a strange sense of confidence. Olsen’s lyrics have always been honest; speaking to love and loss, masterfully crafting narrative and metaphor. Like a chameleon, her voice is ambiguous and symphonic, reflecting and intensifying whatever mood the song conveys (this also comes across in her recent duets with both Alex Cameron “Stranger’s Kiss”and Hamilton Leithauser “Heartstruck”, both of which I highly recommend). Whereas Olsen’s previous albums are more stylistically cohesive, what is cohesive about Phases is Olsen’s lyrical genius, her stunning voice, and her personal growth. Phases places Olsen’s history on show for all to hear; it is a curated collection of Olsen’s musical process.

Phases is organized chronologically, literally into Olsen’s musical and personal phases; the album opens with her two most recently recorded songs—“Fly On Your Wall” and “Special.” “Fly On Your Wall,”which was previously included on the Bandcamp-only, anti-Trump fundraiser Our First 100 Days, utilizes deep bass and drums, building up to a crescendo that showcases Olsen’s voice in the lyric “A love never made is still mine/If only real in my mind.” Olsen demonstrates a certain type of confidence found in honesty by siphoning musical power from admission of vulnerability: “I found a feeling inside/Or should I say it found me/I turned into someone I/Never imagined I’d be.” Olsen’s unwavering voice and open lyrics tells us that she’s confident in her ability, her emotions, and her music–old and new. “Special,” a new song recorded at the same time as My Woman, languishes in this same electricity, unapologetically pulling the listener through seven and a half minutes of emotional movement. The song relies on Olsen’s dynamic voice and guitar. Beginning with both vocals and backing low and subdued, as the song expands, piercing guitar notes build toward a slow, almost psychedelic ending.

The next two songs on the collection are “Only With You” and “All Right Now,” demos of releases off of the 2014 release Burn Your Fire For No Witness. In their minimalist, solo style, they both lament and confront past loss. Olsen takes the strength discovered in “Fly On Your Wall” and “Special” into emotional vulnerability on “Only With You.” In “Only With You,” she places the raw, tender emotions associated with the loss of love directly in front  Despite this pain, Olsen is still herself—singing, as though a mother would to a child, that she does “not have to reach out/To somebody new” because it’s “always been right” in “All Right Now.” In this chronology, Olsen creates a narrative of self-reliance, demonstrating how this quality has been present since the beginning of her work. “Sweet Dreams,” “California,” and “May as Well” are also all re-releases of work off of Olsen’s previous albums, tenderly and earnestly calling to a sense of nostalgia for listeners. The raw, rougher sound of these songs translate well to Phases, calling back to Olsen’s earlier work. “Sweet Dreams” and “California” are playful, sinking into a solid, rhythmic pattern that makes you want to sway, even if the songs aren’t particularly upbeat. “May as Well” uses just one acoustic guitar, not the full backing of “Sweet Dreams” and “California,” but this rhythm is still very much present in the mellow cadence of Olsen’s voice.

“Sans” and “How Many Disasters” are previously unreleased songs that demonstrate, perhaps better than any other set of songs on Phases, Olsen’s quiet honesty. On these two tracks, her voice very much seems as if she’s on the verge of tears; she invites listeners to be part of her vulnerability, as if we were experiencing these emotions simultaneously.  On “Sans,” Olsen earnestly tells us of the pain of being in “the darker hour when you’re far away from home” with a low, constant strumming of electric guitar while singing along with a high voice. Following “Sans” are “Sweet Dreams” and “California,” two rollicking, poetic folk ballads from her 2013 release Sleepwalker. Following is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Tougher Than the Rest,” to which Olsen perfectly adapts to her own sweeter, more folk inspired style with acoustic guitar and coy, playful vocals. She also covers Roky Erikson’s “For You” and Hoyt Axton’s “Endless Road.” Olsen manipulates these classics and puts her own twist on them; they become stunning and otherworldly, both feeling like vintage classics and modern contemplations, ultimately her own.

Phases seems like Olsen’s manifesto—in releasing this compilation, it seems like she is laying herself out without any pretention or assumption, for listeners to view her candor and raw emotion—this is who I am and this is where I have been. Whereas her past albums focus on one distinctive sound each, Olsen lays out her musical phases to create personal narrative in Phases–one that is proud of her folk roots and her rock future.  Phases is an album of introspection and honesty, not just for Olsen, but also for the listeners she invites into this intimate space.

Outreach Workgroup’s Hot Halloween Playlist

Check out this beautiful playlist created by WOBC’s outreach workgroup! These are the favorite spooky songs of the outreach team here to help you enjoy your halloween and keep the spirit up as we enter november!

Leatherface -The Final Nightmare

Sarah Jessica Parker -Come Little Children (from Hocus Pocus)

Tomasa Del Real -La Vampira

Kitchen & the Plastic Spoons – Ice Cream to God

Bobby Pickett -Monster Mash

Antsy Pants -Vampire

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Intro -This is Halloween

R.E.M and Sesame Street -Furry Happy Monsters

The Misfits -Ghoul’s Night Out

Gravediggaz -Mommy What’s A Gavedigga?

Primus -Coattails of a Deadman


Thanks for listening! Tune in to hear Community Hour Sundays @1pm and Turn Up! The Radio with the Ty Squad Tuesdays @5pm !!

WOBC-LFSB 003: Beer Shits

Live From Studio B 3

Proud to present the third installation in Live From Studio B, Beer Shits!

Download this set and more Here

See videos of Babes, Bunk Acid, and Theme Song (Beer Shits) below!





Dont forget to catch the rest of the Live From Studio B videos Here

New in Classical, 4/1/13

Gloria Cheng and Calder Quartet - The Edge of Light Messiaen, Saariaho - Artwork

The Edge of Light // Gloria Cheng and Calder Quartet // Harmonia Mundi UK — Radiant sonorities by Messiaen and Saariaho, including Saariaho’s Prelude and Ballade, two works for solo piano.

Le Cirque // Anderson-Fader Duo // Furious Artisans — Contemporary classical played by guitar duo with refreshingly catholic tastes, from Wuorinen to Lang. Despite this variety, the album holds together well — maybe because things can’t help sounding good on guitar duo, including a haunting Gillian Welch arrangement here.

Handel: Bad Guys // Xavier Sabata with Il Pomo d’Oro and Riccardo Minasi // Aparté — Grab bag of villainous Handel arias, incongruously written for the warbling counter-tenor range. Sabata sings strongly and expressively, but he’s not going to make anyone quiver in their (historically informed) boots.

Haydn: Piano Concertos, Nos. 3, 4 & 11 // Marc-André Hamelin with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie // Hyperion — Remarkably clear and lively performance, though Hamelin’s playing is sometimes too dry & distant for my taste

Girls Broke Up, What’s Next for Christopher Owens?

My favorite band, Girls, broke up this summer. I wasn’t too distraught, because I held the hope that the two guys in the band would continue making music, but it was still upsetting; I had no idea what was next for Girls, so as a fan, I was in limbo. I was mainly focused on news from Christopher Owens, the lead singer and primary force behind Girls’ success. Aside from a few twitter posts from his account “Cri55yBaby,” there was no real news. It wasn’t until October that Owens resurfaced, announcing his intent to release his solo debut Lysandre in January 2013.

The only tracks from Lysandre released to this point have been “Lysandre’s Theme” and “Here We Go.” In my opinion, both tracks are successful, yet it’s necessary to acknowledge that musically, Christopher Owens solo project isn’t really similar Girls. Sure, the singer is the same, but the instrumentation is very different, with Owens citing classical guitar as one of his inspirations. It shows. “Lysandre’s Theme” is an instrumental, consisting of Owens on guitar, with a flute laced through the track. It provides an effective transition to “Here We Go,” in which the flute serves as continuation. Owens opens with guitar, largely similar to Girls’ “Just a Song,” before providing vocals, about 20 seconds into the new track. Hearing Owens’ voice for the first time provides relief and familiarity, and for a moment, it’s like Girls are back again. This nostalgia primarily was at the 2 minute mark, in which Owens solos on electric guitar, but it’s only for about 10 seconds.

Although there is only a glimmer of Girls in Christopher Owens’ solo project, fans should still find solace lyrically. The themes of heartbreak and love, focuses central to Girls’ prior success, are still present, and Owens still is able to convey the multitude of emotions he encompassed while still part of Girls. “Lysandre’s Theme” and “Here We Go” are both definitely work checking out, they’ll get you through until the album’s release.