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WSUM's Weekly Adds: 4/17

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Fri Apr 17 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.

Jackie Lynn, Jacqueline

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Not So Bad,” “Tell Me What's True,” “Can't Sleep,” “Here With You”

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Casino Queen,”“Shugar Water,” “Dream St.”

GENRE: Indie

RIYL: Circuit des Yeux, Bitchin Bajas, Weyes Blood

Haley Fohr has reinvented herself again. The artist who previously recorded as Circuit des Yeux, her experimental indie project, has a new release under the moniker Jackie Lynn, Jacqueline. This time, Fohr plays as her fictional persona, unconvicted felon Jackie Lynn, with a full band borrowed from contemporaries Bitchin Bajas. Jacqueline is made for the listener who is easily distracted, and feels everything. The album is dark and danceable, and more rock-leaning songs like “Shugar Water” reveal Jackie Lynn to be the “new Queen of the Highway.” In the album's dreamier moments, Fohr's low voice reminds me of Emma Louise's manipulated vocals on Lilac Everything, while synth-forward spacey percussion on songs like “Control” calls to mind Titanic Rising. The highway that runs through Jacqueline is full of twists and turns, but as Jackie Lynn tells us “Dream St.,” “You can find anything / In your life / When the current's moving just right.” — Zoey Knox

Thundercat, It Is What It Is

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Dragonball Durag,” “Miguel's Happy Dance,” “Unrequited Love”

GENRE: R&B, Soul

RIYL: Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, The Internet

Thundercat is wacky and I love it. I listened to “Dragonball Durag” by accident when the music video got pushed through my YouTube queue. The song was captivating and I was disappointed to find that the album wouldn't be released for a few weeks after I discovered the single. The album was well worth the wait. Each track is crisp, and it is clear the amount of time that went into each song. Thundercat pieces together beautiful tracks to create It Is What It Is. What I find exciting is how each track can stand on its own but also work cohesively in an album, the true tell of a brilliant musician. Take a listen, you will not be disappointed. — IzziBavis

Methyl Ethel, Hurts To Laugh

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Majestic AF,” “Honest,” “The Quicker”

GENRE: Art pop, indie pop

RIYL: MGMT, Tame Impala, Little Dragon

Just a year after their last full length album, Triage,, Methyl Ethel have released a short and sweet EP filled with glimmering synths and theatrical vocal performances. Hurts To Laugh is dreamy and driving, its sound always soaring on glittery instrumentation but never slowing down. “Majestic AF” features hooky bass and synth lines as well as a mesmerizing vocal melody. It's as majestic as the title suggests, and much of the EP follows in the same style. Full of shimmering swagger, Hurts To Laugh will put your head in the clouds at the same time you get down. — Ayden Schultz

The Dream Syndicate, The Universe Inside

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “The Regulator,” “Apropos of Nothing,” “Dusting off The Rust” 

GENRE: Psychedelic rock, jam band, krautrock, jazz rock

RIYL: Earthless, Can, Soft Machine, Oh Sees, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

The Dream Syndicate, a band revered for their seminal and influential ‘80s output which helped shape the landscape of alternative rock, take an unexpected and otherworldly turn on The Universe Inside. Gone are the days of the band's jangly roots, instead what The Universe Inside provides is nearly an hour of full fledged psychedelia and phantasmagorical jam sessions, drawing from elements of jazz, prog rock and krautrock. It's hard to break down this album into tracks to recommend, considering only one track, “The Regulator,” has a conclusive ending. Apart from this song and the closer, “The Slowest Rendition,” the album flows seamlessly from one track to the next. Until the end of the album The Universe Inside offers no silence; it's an albumthat's meant to be listened to as a whole.

If I were to recommend one track, it would be “The Regulator,” with its steady driving instrumentation featuring smoothly frenzied saxophones and what appears to be a sitar cutting in and out of the track. While The Universe Inside is a far cry from the band's previous works, the album still is absolutely worth your listen. The Universe Inside feels like The Dream Syndicate is finding their new calling and sonic direction with this release. It is one of the most creative, riveting and adventurous twists a band has taken this year so far. —  M. Jarosinski

Le Groupe Obscur, Pondecen


GENRE: Dream pop, neo-psychedelia

RIYL: Beach House, Melody's Echo Chamber, Mild High Club

Pondecen marks the second release from the Rennes, France based band Le Groupe Obscur. Their name and the fact that they often sing in a made up language reminiscent of Sigur-Ros coined “Obscurien” might lead you to think that Pondecen would present as and esoteric and somewhat pretentious. However, I found Pondecen to be incredibly accessible and enjoyable, albeit short collection of dream pop songs. The opening track “Fhëmë” is a minimal, avant-folk, dare I say Gregorian diversion from the dream-pop world they later cultivate, a very strange and unsettling way to set the stage. In the following tracks like “Voliansor” and “Pondecen I,” extremely heavy-handed reverb on the guitars takes over while the virtuosic, traditional-folk-inspired vocal style and a sprinkling of psychedelic synths act as the icing on the cake. What Le Groupe Obscur have shown in Pondecen is their uncanny ability to create atmosphere —  I only wish it were more played out into a full-length LP to show what else Le Groupe Obscur has in store. —  Shelby Len

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