MJC Picks!

  • Post Author
    by Music director
  • Post Date
    Wed Nov 17 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. 

Dirty Art Club, Basement Seance (2017)

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Queen Persephone,” “Daysleeper,” “Painkillers”

GENRE: Electronic/Dance

RIYL: Blockhead, DJ Harrison, Monster Rally

It's unclear whether Dirty Art Club was composing the soundtrack for a dream or a nightmare with their haunting 2017 release. Prior to Basement Seance, Dirty Art Club had a certain heaviness present in their works, however a certain layer of darkness is added in their fourth album. Dirty Art Club is effectively able to combine rather upbeat samples into sinister tracks, such as The Jefferson Handkerchief's “I'm Allergic to Flowers” in the first track “Queen Persephone.” There's no lack of strong beats with heavy, hypnotic bass lines running through the entire album and connecting with droning drums. With six albums total, Dirty Art Club can't stop making filthy good beats.  — Kait Fueger

Blossoms, Blossoms (2016)

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Charlemagne”, “Honey Sweet”, “Smashed Pianos”

GENRE: Brit-pop, indie rock, synth-pop

RIYL: The Doors, Arctic Monkeys

This self-titled album was the British quintet's debut in the mid-2010s, emerging onto the UK and Scottish scene and defying their original label of psych-pop, instead gaining popularity with their catchy, preppy synth-indie sound. The band's songs are best characterized by resonant bass and guitar riffs, driving the track “Smashed Pianos,” and keyboard runs that ring differently depending on the mood of the song – airy in “Honey Sweet,” rich and bell-like in the outro of “Smashed Pianos,” or intricate labyrinthine in “Cut Me And I'll Bleed” and their hit classic “Charlemagne.” The vocals pair nicely with the structure of the songs, often layered with keyboards, and work well with or against the beat – syncopation is a staple of the band. Blossoms's songs are very full and busy, with a lot of components from each band member, but the band is able to strike a perfect balance so that nothing is overwhelming and nothing is lost so that the listener can appreciate all the little details of their songs.—Martha Kowalski

Sun Kil Moon, Benji (2014)

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love,” “Dogs,” “I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same”

GENRE: Folk, Singer/Songwriter

RIYL: Eliott Smith, Mount Eerie, Songs: Ohia, Carissa's Wierd

It's difficult to think of an album more melancholic than Benji by Sun Kil Moon. Project of Mark Kozelek from Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon's Benji was written primarily about the multitude of deaths that haunted Kozelek–particularly that of his mother's. The instrumentation is sparse but intricate, forcing the listener to pay attention to Kozelek's matter-of-fact, poignant lyricism. Here, Kozelek defines himself as more than just a musician or songwriter, but a detailed storyteller. As morbid as it is, Benji is honest, comforting listeners in a way that many albums can't. Its darker tones make it perfect to turn to during the colder months of October and November. —Amany Khreis

Parcels, Day/Night

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Famous,” “LordHenry,” “Inside,” “LIGHT”

GENRE: Funk, yacht-rock

RIYL: Daft Punk, NEIL FRANCES, Myd, Miami Horror

Back in 2016 Parcels performed their first show in Paris with the members of Daft Punk secretly in attendance. Their music caught the attention of the famed French duo, and Parcels was invited to Daft Punk's studio. Out of their studio sessions, Parcels crafted their song “Overnight.” This song was the final song that Daft Punk worked on together as a group. After Daft Punk broke up earlier this year, the torch had to be passed on, and Parcels has seemingly taken this mantle. Their new double album, Day/Night, takes the best sounds of Random Access Memories and puts a new spin on them. — Quentin Holle

Silk Sonic, An Evening With Silk Sonic

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Fly As Me,” “After Last Night,” “Skate,” “Smokin Out The Window”

GENRE: Funk, r&b, quiet storm

RIYL: James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, CHIC, Earth, Wind & Fire, Curtis Mayfield

An Evening With Silk Sonic has quickly become one of my favorite projects of this year. I initially didn't expect much out of the project, but I'm happy to say that my expectations were subverted upon listening to the full album. This album by Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak is a love letter to the music of the 1970's. The album might not be the most experimental or original in sound, but the execution was absolutely flawless. The production on the tracks is immaculate. Every song was so good that any song on the album could be considered the best. Highlights for me include “After Last Night,” a stunning R&B love ballad, which features Thundercat and Bootsy Collins, and “Fly As Me,” which channels the instrumental sound of James Brown and features a fantastic performance by Anderson.Paak. — Quentin Holle