WSUM’s Records of the Week: 11/3/2019

It’s getting chilly, but our weekly recs remain toasty. Check out what DJs and trainees had to say about our weekly ads, featuring Aussie punk-rockers Skeggs, English DJ and producer Floating Points, and much, much more. Scroll down for the recommendations, and a Spotify playlist with our favorite tracks from each record.

Sinkane, Gettin’ Weird

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: Mango, Ya Sudan

GENRE: Experimental Rock, Electronic

RIYL: Animal Collective, of Montreal, Flume

Before embarking on his career as a solo artist, Sudanese-American artist Sinkane worked as a session musician with several experimental rock artists like Yeasayer and of Montreal, and on this EP these early influences shine in a big way. Sinkane’s usage of echoey vocal distortion, bubbly arpeggiated piano riffs and dreamy synths create a totally ethereal soundscape similar to what I would expect on an Animal Collective project. It’s a big departure from his other work which is much more funk and afropop reminiscent, but you can still catch hints of this older sound in the bongos and other African percussion instruments he incorporates throughout. I’m excited to see if Sinkane expands the dynamism of this EP into a full release in the near future. – Shelby Len


Skegss, My Own Mess

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Infinity,” “Road Trip,” “Testing”

GENRE: Garage Rock, Power Pop, Indie Rock 

RIYL: Royal Headache, together PANGEA, White Reaper 

Australian garage rock band, Skegss, provide with their debut album, My Own Mess, a spirited, sunny, and playful effort with a couple of twists along the way. For instance, several cuts on this album momentarily opt-out from the blistering and unrelenting pace often employed by modern garage rock bands. Instead, the band decelerates and becomes a bit melancholic or at the very least introspective on tracks such as “Road Trip” and “Need To Do” with both having jangly instrumentation and a general vulnerable feel. However, that is not to say that there aren’t youthful surges of energy on this record as well, take “Infinity” or “Testing” for example, both catchy, bright, and featuring the familiar overdriven guitars connected to many modern takes on garage rock. If you ever find yourself in need of some slick power pop songwriting, just know that My Own Mess is waiting for you and is looking for a good time. – Matt Jarosinski


Songhoy Blues, Meet Me in the City

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Time to Go Home – Blake Mills Mix,” “Shakara”

GENRE: Desert Blues, World

RIYL: Tahabort, Oumou Sangaré

Though a desert blues band, Songhoy Blues’ latest release Meet Me in the City pays homage to classic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix with electric guitar riffs and old-school drumming. This EP contains three songs, but Time to Go Home and Meet Me in the City have two different versions. David Ferguson’s mixes have straightforward production that closely matches western rock music, while Blake Mills’ have a more idiosyncratic and layered sound influenced by hip-hop and R&B. This EP is best suited for fans of classic rock with an interest in world music. – Daniel Palmeter


Floating Points, Crush

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Falaise,” “Requiem for CS70 and Strings,” “Apoptose, Pt. 1”

GENRE: Ambient, Glitch

RIYL: Aphex Twin, Four Tet, Burial

English electronic musician Floating Points’ new album, Crush, is atmospheric, glitchy, and diverse. Using a combination of traditional and synthesized instruments from track to track, Floating Points presents a concept not dissimilar to Aphex Twin’s Drukqs. The range of genre influences presented on this album are huge. The album opens with “Falaise,” a lifting and powerful orchestral and horn passage. Later, the song “LesAlpx” breaks in with a UK garage type beat, punchy and danceable. The album finally closes with parts 1 and 2 of “Apoptose.” A pair of low-key but tense tracks, featuring fast and glitchy drums accompanied by meandering and detuned synth passages. This album will keep you on your toes during the entirety of your listening experience; this is not one to miss. – Ayden Schultz


YueleSeratonin II

GENRE: Dance/Electronic

RIYL: Yaeji, Negative Gemini, Beach House

On Yuele’s debut album, Serotonin II, the Singapore-native, London-based artist gives listeners 41 minutes of pulsating electronic music. Equally inspired by shoegaze and avant-garde musicians, Yeule fuses her influences to create scintillating digital music. For listeners wanting new electronic music that ricochets refreshing beats and melodies through the airwaves, Yuele’s music is worth checking out.  – Sophia Abrams


The ShivasDark Thoughts

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: If You See Me, Gloria, Feels Surreal

GENRE: Alternative Rock, Garage Rock, Surf Rock

RIYL: Froth, Mystic Braves, levitation room

Portland rock band, The Shivas, have released their fifth studio album, Dark Thoughts. This new album explores the group’s experiences with negative thoughts, yet these experiences are told through a fairly upbeat sound that is easy on the ears. Carrying the essence of both garage rock and surf rock, Dark Thoughts has a sound that is anything but one-note. The album starts off with a typical rock song, one with high energy that drives. The next couple of songs follow the same structure, giving the impression that the rest of the album will follow in the same fashion. However, just when a listener thinks that have heard everything that this album has to offer, the Shivas introduce a euphonias, ballad-like tune, and tunes like this continue to pop up throughout the rest of the album. These sprinkles of melodic, slow rock feel like uncovering treasure, finding hidden gems that are imbedded within the album. The variety within the album is well thought-out and well put-together, and Dark Thoughts definitely deserves a listen. – Tatiana Jordan


Geoffroy1952

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “21 Days”, “The Fear of Falling Apart”, and “By the Water”

GENRE: Electropop, Jazz

1952, released November 1st,  is the sophomore album of Montreal-based artist Geoffroy. His mother’s death served as a central theme to the album and is reflected in his often velvety, dreamlike, adrift musings. This album reflects his journey as he grapples with loneliness, grief, and bittersweet nostalgia. It’s a mix of eclectic and dreamy, characterized by deep electric baselines, energetic clacking percussive beats, and soothing, jazzy electric melodies fusing together underneath a full, deep voice. The lyrics are the ideal combination of profound, pensive, and poetic that coaxe out the deep sadness and yearning that you’ve been attempting to bury in vain. – Monique McCormack


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