MJC's Records of the Week: 2/26

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Mon Mar 01 2021

Every week at WSUM, our Music Director, Izzi, chooses her favorite new releases to add to our music library. In turn, WSUM's Music Journalism Club shares what records they've had on repeat. From new releases to classic albums, here's what the members of MJC have been listening to.

Midnight Kids, The Lost Youth

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Monsters,” “Bad For You,” “Last Time”

GENRE: Electronic, electro-pop, electro-indie

RIYL: The Midnight, Gryffin, Dabin, A R I Z O N A

Welcome to yesteryear, where you stay eternally 16 and your greatest joy comes from the newly-printed driver's license in your wallet, with your best friend or high school sweetheart in the passenger's seat next to you. Now welcome back to 2021. In these days when we need an escape, let Midnight Kids take you on a musical road trip down memory lane, pedal to the metal on the wistfulness of what once was fading out in the rearview mirror. Self-describing their sound as a “rally around a youthful sentiment crafted by dreamers, believers and late night rebels,” Kyle Girard and Dylan Jagger Lee of Midnight Kids fuse electronic, pop and 80's melodies in this debut EP that reminisces the delightful freedom of childhood where “we can make our own damn rules and break 'em too” turning into the inevitability of growing older and carrying more responsibility. Pure nostalgia all the way, the title The Lost Youth captures the bittersweet essence of this album perfectly. Even the song titles like “Innocence” and “Last Time” mirror the same theme: the overwhelming bliss of youth and the following realization that time goes on and you move with it. To relive those memories of way back when, let Midnight Kids be your time machine when you “want to stay this young for every day the bills keep coming.” — Martha Kowalski

Girl Friday, Androgynous Mary (2020, Hardly Art)

Girl Friday Fight Boredom With <i>Androgynous Mary</i>

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “This Is Not the Indie Rock I Signed Up For,” “Eaten Thing,” “Public Bodies,” “Gold Stars”

GENRE: Indie punk, post-punk, grunge, goth rock

RIYL: Mannequin Pussy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Chastity Belt, Oceanator

Along this past year where I have been writing for WSUM a very clear pattern began to form in the bands I chose to review. Whether it was unconscious or unintentional I have always felt very drawn towards female fronted punk-rock bands. Week after week I discovered more bands within this microsphere, some were captivating from the start, others were those you only listen to once as if you're doing a chore… and then Girl Friday came along. The LA based group's debut album Androgynous Mary was released last year in June, featuring 10 diverse tracks that seemingly shift between genres, but all under a cohesive theme of morbid detachment and existential solipsism. The LP opens with “This Is Not the Indie Rock I Signed Up For,” a compelling post-punk anthem that serves as the perfect introduction to what's about to come next, showcasing all four interchanging vocalists harmonizing with each other and jam-like prog-rock inspired instrumentation. The existentialism present throughout the record can be found here in lyrics like “How great is your faith if it keeps you up?” and the solemn comfort of friendship is also established as a motif for the record as well. This track is a highlight of the record, and sets the tone for the following 33 minutes of your experience. The experimentalism within the band's genres yields stellar results like the 80s Cure-inspired feminist anthem “Public Bodies.” Followed by the body horror indie punk “Eaten Thing,” where angsty vocals generate an ever increasing tension-building crescendo resolving in a jam-like breakdown. I am so glad I was able to discover this record (albeit half a year later), it's been in a constant loop on my Spotify for this past week as their angst pushes me through midterm assignments.  Androgynous Mary serves as a perfect example of a debut album, where Girl Friday establish themselves in the genre but don't feel the need to fit themselves into one narrow genre, experimenting to create an unique identity. If you're feeling fed-up with school-life and want a way to share this angst with someone this is the record for you, by the end of the 10 track journey I guarantee you'll feel reflective yet hopeful about everything. —Arthur Machado

Astrud Gilberto, The Special Magic of Astrud Gilberto (Verve Records, 1974)

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Without Him,” “Don't Leave Me,” “I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do”

GENRE: Bossa nova, jazz, female vocalist

RIYL: Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, Herb Alpert 

Astrud Gilberto's voice filled my living room at 4 AM this past Saturday. The disco lights my friends turned on floated around the room and I felt at peace. Astrud Gilberto's voice is like honey oozing out of the jar, her cadence is repetitive but reassuring. Songs like “Without Him” and “Don't Leave Me” made me wish I had a partner that I was yearning for. Each track floats into the next and I found myself coming back to this record throughout the weekend. Nothing beats a beautifully sad record to close out the night. — Izzi Bavis