WSUM's Weekly Adds: 2/29

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Sat Feb 29 2020

Every week at WSUM, our Music Director, Izzi, chooses her favorite new releases to add to our music library. Here are this week's favorites, presented to you by WSUM's Music Journalism Club.

Parlor Walls, Heavy Tongue 

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HIGHLIGHT TRACKS:  “Lunchbox,” “Pinafore > Ignite,” “Spinning Gold,” “Rails”

GENRE: : Experimental rock, no wave, noise rock, art rock, post-industrial, minimal synth    

RIYL: Mi Ami, Liars, Girl Band, Suicide, Xiu Xiu, The Pop Group 

To say that Heavy Tongue, the sophomore effort by Brooklyn experimental rock outfit Parlor Walls, is a cacophony would be half true. Heavy Tongue is cacophonous more often than not, but this does not reflect how refined this cacophony is. Nor does it reflect the role of the many dissonant sounds found all over the album which create a sound that is both perturbed and futuristic. Many tracks on this album bleed no wave-infused energy. Take a look at the track “Lunch Box,” which exists in a realm somewhere between DNA and Xiu Xiu with its shrill synths and hypnotic delivery. The track “Pinafore > Ignite” is beyond taut, filling its almost five minute run time with cold industrial drums, seemingly both real and synthesized, as well as visceral feedback. As a whole, Heavy Tongue is unrelenting in its discordant and jarring attack, and I would give this album a heavy recommendation to anyone in search of gripping and confrontational music during these winter months. — Matt Jarosinski

Baseball Gregg, Calendar

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HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: : “Young,” “Hong Kong Hike,” “Powdered Sugar”

GENRE: : Bedroom pop, indie pop

RIYL: Mac Demarco, Beabadobee, Cuco

Each month of 2019, international pop duo Luca Lovisetto and Sam Regan released a new single, the compilation of which makes up the entire tracklist of Calendar. Like the changing of the seasons, the tracks offer a variety of different soundscapes, all the while staying within what's now widely recognized as the genre of bedroom pop. From the languid, twee-pop influenced “Waiting”to the jubilant jangle-pop flavor of “Young,” it's clear that the duo is very well-versed in the idiosyncrasies of the genre. Baseball Gregg brings a lot to the table lyrically as well, especially in the sardonic “Pleasure and Pain.” On this track, Lovisetto laments about how he yearns to feel any emotions at all, be it pleasure or pain, over a cheery, Mac-Demarco-esque instrumental. Overall, Calendar will take you on a journey that's sure to please. — Shelby Len 

James Supercave, M.O.W.O

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HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Poor George,” “M.O.W.O”

GENRE: Synth pop, R&B, indie pop

RIYL: AJR, Men I Trust, Husbands, Dayglow

With M.O.W.O, James Supercave serves the listener a heaping portion of all the smooth and glistening sounds the L.A based synth-pop band has to offer. This EP may only consist of four tracks, but it flows together like a much larger piece. From the soaring vocals of “Poor George” to the laid-back keys of “M.O.W.O,” James Supercave prove themselves to be the epitome of modern West Coast indie-pop.  Dense lyrical topics such as wealth inequality and modern capitalism are kept grounded by plucky bass lines and synths that shine like the sun over the Pacific. While some tracks may lose their potency on their own, they flourish in the context of the entire project. I would recommend this EP for anyone interested in the more hi-fi sounds of the modern indie landscape. — Sean Horvath

Kid Nobody, Discretion

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HIGHLIGHT TRACKS:  “ready or not,” “indiscretion (dream soundtrack)”

GENRE:  Electro-pop

RIYL: M83, Flume

Los Angeles duo Kid Nobody's debut discretion is a collection of songs with a mood that hovers somewhere between sad and intensely carefree. Dense lyricism floats over meticulously arranged beats. The band's production truly shines on “indiscretion (dream soundtrack),” a standout at nearly 23 minutes long. — Jack Karnes 

The Eiffels, Body Like That

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HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Body Like That”, “Heartbeat”, “You Got Me”

GENRE:  Pop-rock, dance-rock, synth-pop

RIYL: Bastille, A R  I Z O N A, BANNERS

Combining ‘80s synth pop with a contemporary rock twist, The Eiffels produce a sound that makes it nearly impossible to stay still. At the very least, you'll be bobbing your head and bouncing your foot to the catchy beat that generates a mini dance party in your head. Lyrically capturing the roller coaster of an addictive — if at times hopeless — love, a backdrop of steady guitars and drums easily mimic the excited beat of an infatuated heart. At the same time, you could picture yourself driving alone through a midnight city, the skyline lights as bright as any disco ball, with this album turned up to high volume as you tap along on the steering wheel.

The throwback melodies in the intro to “Coming to See You” might remind you of Modern English's “I Melt With You,” while “You Got Me” infuses a more modern flare of rolling synth chord progressions that create the structure of the song. But it's the title track, “Body Like That,” that is undoubtedly the catchiest song, with prominent guitar riffs and an easy to pick up chorus that is bound to be on repeat in your head. For those looking for an album which captures the nostalgia of rock from the decades past infused with a more current pop feel, The Eiffels have just the answer in this album. — Martha Kowalski

Purr, Like New

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HIGHLIGHT TRACKS:  “Wind,” “Boy,” “Bad Advice”

GENRE:  Dream pop, indie

RIYL: Beach House, Tame Impala, Wild Nothing

On their debut album, Like New, psych pop duo Purr present a collection of tracks characterized by dreamy vocals and warm synth passages. Songwriters Eliza Barry Calahan and Jack Staffen conjure a glistening and cozy mood with their coupled vocals and breezy atmosphere. The duo's ambitious compositions and aesthetic are reminiscent of Beach House's Teen Dream, with songs like “Bad Advice” and “Giant Night,” which feature competent and well developed arrangements with floral and tropical tones. This album is perfect for a day in the sun or a night at home. — Micah Gehring

ALA.NI, Acca

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GENRE:  Alternative, singer-songwriter, a cappella 

RIYL: Regina Spektor London based artist ALA.NI pushes boundaries with her 2020 release, Acca. On 11 tracks ALA.NI comments on love and heartbreak. The album is mostly a cappella, something I didn't pick up on after my first listen. You can hear her emotion in every track. on “Bitch,” ALA.NI sings “Let me hold you through the night / Doing sweet things we both like.” The track is short but made me sit back and focus on the lyrics. Her voice is layered and invites you in. As a whole, the album blends together well. I would take a listen to this if you enjoy strong female vocals and a cappella. — Izzi Bavis

Check out our playlist of this week's adds on Spotify below.