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WSUM's Weekly Adds: 3/6

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Fri Mar 06 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.

Bell Towers, Junior Mix 

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Golden Wool,” “Roll With Me,” “Privacy”

GENRE: Deep house, synth-pop

RIYL: Lipelis, Kuniyuki Takahashi, DJ Jenifa 

Junior Mix, the debut release from house musician Bell Towers, is a lively collection of hypnotic synths and danceable beats. Many of the tracks feature Bell Towers' vulnerable sounding vocal delivery. For an example of this, look at the track “Want You (Need You).” This same idea is echoed on tracks such as “Privacy,” a very melancholic and impassioned house track. If you're in need of some sensitive synth-pop and house music in your life, Junior Mix should be able to satisfy.  —  Matt Jarosinski

Caribou, Suddenly

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Home,” “New Jade,” “Never Come Back,” “Ravi”

GENRE: Electronic

RIYL: Four Tet, Jacques Greene, Jamie xx, DJ Koze

Dan Snaith's sixth album under his “alternative-electronica” moniker Caribou continues the dance trajectory set by his previous two albums, Swimand Our Love. He explores breakbeat on lead single, “Home,” Jacques Green style house on “New Jade,” and even rave style techno on “Never Come Back.” While his production has matured to the point where he can nail any genre at will, Snaith's songwriting has clearly deepened as well; in one example, “Like I Loved You,” he examines a past relationship in emotional detail over a backdrop of weaving synths and Thundercat-esque bass. Suddenly does not disappoint. — Jack Karnes

Jane Herships, The Home Record

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Resembling the Neighbors,” “Caroline,” “Scott Carpenter”

GENRE: Folk, singer-songwriter, soft rock

RIYL: Jim Croce, Leah Senior, Vashti Bunyan

On her new album, The Home Record, singer-songwriter Jane Herships invites the listener into an intimate and private dream orchestrated by soft and reverby guitar chords and plinky keyboard passages. Her voice is timid and airy, riding smoothly over her atmospheric instrumentation as she sings of astronauts and whispers of the hardships of love. Her somber and wistful tone conjures allusions to Jim Croce and Vashti Bunyan, among other prominent artists of late ‘60s and early ‘70s folk and soft rock.

With its soft instrumentation and daydreamy song writing, the sound of this record is both relaxing and motivating. As the weather lightens up and we transition into spring, The Home Record is the perfect accompaniment to a slow evening stroll down some freshly thawed forest path. — Ayden Schultz

Ratboys, Printer's Devil

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Listening”, “Anj”

GENRE: Indie-rock, folk-rock, indie-folk

RIYL: The 1975, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, The Japanese House

For any Chicago native, “Chicago-style” music has some distinct quality to it that you don't really know how to describe but you'll know it when you hear it. In their new album, Printer's Devil, Chicago indie-rock band Ratboys embraces some of these distinguishing features while blurring the lines a bit to stray away from the traditionally named “Chicago” music. Lead singer Julia Steiner pairs her dreamy, mystical vocals to her fellow bandmates' powerful and resonating instrumentals of heavy guitar and drums to create an interesting contrast of sounds in each track of this album.

From more rhythmic tunes to slower, mellower songs, Steiner's lyrics are very specific to each track; together with the music, you could almost imagine being in a page from The House on Mango Street, surrounded by iconic Chicago scenery — the downtown skyscrapers towering above Millennium Park, the rusty  historic water tanks, and narrow alleyways between houses with flower boxes on their front porches and lacy curtains in their windows. A musical postcard of Chi-Town, this album is the passport if you wish to travel to this archetypal genre with a universal twist. — Martha Kowalski

Soccer Mommy, Color Theory

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS:  “circle the drain,” “crawling in my skin,” “lucy”

GENRE: Indie Rock

RIYL: Snail Mail, Phoebe Bridgers, beabadoobee 

On Soccer Mommy's Color Theory, Sophia Allison uses just that. As illustrated on the album cover, Allison employs color to represent the album's themes: blue for sadness and depression, yellow for physical or emotional illness and gray for darkness and emptiness. Allison is frank about these topics, showing her emotional range without trying to act older than she is. Instead, she demonstrates the perilous emotional landscape that comes with being a 22-year old with striking lines like “Sedate me all the time / Don't leave me with my mind.”

Allison writes with the frankness of a journal entry, opening a window to her mental health in songs like “circle the drain”: “Hey, I've been falling apart these days / Split open, watching my heart go / ‘Round and around.” While her softly processed vocals create distance between Allison and the listener, her astute observations on life as a 20-something make you feel closer to her than ever.

Zoey Knox

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