Every Tuesday 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.
beabadoobee, Fake It Flowers
HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Care,” “Worth It,” “Further Away,” “Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene.”
GENRE: Slacker rock, shoegaze, alternative rock, pop-punk.
RIYL: Japanese Breakfast, illuminati hotties, Veruca Salt, Pixies, Mannequin Pussy.
In her first full length album, London native, Bea Kristi, more known by her moniker beabadoobee, shifts away from the trendy lo fi bedroom pop towards 90s inspired fuzzy guitar riffs coming straight out of britpop and grunge bands. This record is a clear evolution for Kristi, her songs are still fun and catchy but this time around they reflect her new challenges with fame and love. The simplistic two-cord songs from her debut EPs are now replaced with grunge changing tempos and different tunings. The first two songs from the records are clear stand outs — the opener, “Care,” has constant build ups reminiscent of Pavenent’s prog-rock vibes, and the energetic follow-up in “Worth It”, a power anthem about growing up and setting yourself free from past relationships. Fake It Flowers is Kristi’s best work yet, the increase in production value allowed the British songwriter to reflect on her influences, and continue the 90s renaissance movement in alternative rock. The artist managed to bridge lo fi bedroom pop with 90s alternative rock masterfully in this must-listen debut record. — Arthur Machado
Ginger Root, Rikki
HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Karaoke,” “Le château,” “Nominated,” “Rikki.”
GENRE: Indie pop, soul, funk.
RIYL: Jay Som, Still Woozy, Vulfpeck,Tame Impala.
Rikki is writer/producer Cameron Lew’s third full length release under the moniker Ginger Root. Featuring a collage of groovy, vintage textures, the album has a lush, dreamlike quality ripe for enjoyment. The second track, “Karaoke,” features a simple, straightforward groove, giving way to a dynamic chorus full of soulful drum hits and shifting time feel. On “Le château,” a bossa nova feeling tune, Lew creates a dreamy soundscape, complete with snippets of French conversation. “Nominated” is a danceable, Wurlizter tinged track that best fits Cameron Lew’s self-prescribed genre of Aggressive Elevator Soul. Overall, the album gives off a soft, sometimes contemplative, sometimes joyful energy, using vintage instruments and retro textures to create a warm, nostalgic feel. Clocking in at just under forty minutes, Rikki is a relatively quick listen that will pump some soulful sun-bleached vibes into your day. — Gunnar Schmitz
Open Mike Eagle, Anime, Trauma and Divorce
HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Headass (Idiot Shinji)” “I’m a Joestar (Black Power Fantasy)” “Bucciarati”
RIYL: Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Action Bronson
Open Mike Eagle’s latest album, titled Anime, Trauma and Divorce recounts the last year of his life, using his relationship with anime as an overarching metaphor. Only 34 minutes in total, Open Mike Eagle covers his deteriorated marriage, career hardships and the importance of anime in both his life and the black community. The tenth song on the LP “I’m a Joestar (Black Power Fantasy)” is the most blatant example of this theme, a reference to the fantasy adventure anime, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. All 12 songs carry a similar dreamy, hip-hop sound which Eagle has stuck to for the majority of his work. While not Eagle’s most exciting work, lyrically this is his most important yet. — Camila Trimberger
HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “POWER FANTASY,” “CYBERPUNK 126.96.36.199.,” “COLORS.”
GENRE: Dance, Electronic, Experimental, Indie Punk, Techno.
RIYL: Liars, Alice Glass, METZ, clipping.
I’ll be honest, this kind of music is not usually what I listen to. Despite that, it was quite the interesting album; with songs ranging from lofi beats to chill/study to intensely dark screamo all the way to mumble rap and some more conventional pop sounding tunes. I’m assuming this is due to the wide variety of feature artists included, providing a little something for everyone. If you’re into this kinda thing I would highly recommend giving it a listen and I would implore everyone reading this to check out the music videos from this album, they’re the definition of an acid trip. — Riley Jauch
Dorian Electra, My Agenda
Highlight Tracks: “Sorry Bro (I Love You),” “F The World,” “My Agenda.”
RIYL: 100 Gecs, Charli XCX
On Dorian Electra’s second album since 2019’s Flamboyant, the genderfluid artist delivers a deeper dive into topics of societal gender structures on My Agenda. With eleven songs, Dorian Electra approaches each track with a biting edge and a steady wink to the audience, and ties together the album with a neat bow. The concept at play here is a scathing protest of toxic masculinity and incel culture, portrayed especially in the back-to-back “Gentleman” and “M’Lady,” then later on “Edgelord” and “Ram it Down.” In these tracks, the caricature Dorian represents on the album cover sporting a fedora and a medieval broadsword spouts out: “Just keep it your secret behind closed doors / we don’t want to see it.” The album clocks in at 25 minutes, and not only does Dorian tackle the incel community effectively, they also approach a number of other issues involving toxic masculinity, especially the tendency to remain emotionally distant. Dorian Electra interacts with this on “Sorry bro (I Love You),” produced by Dylan Brady of 100 Gecs, and embodies the trope of a “nice guy” on “Barbie Boy.” — Griffin Blue Emerson