I've been a fairly big Somos fan since 'Temple of Plenty,' and I've been very excited for this album. I loved 'Alright, I'll Wait,' which was released as a single. The album was all that I expected from Somos, and it's easy to trace their musical progression from 'Temple of Plenty' and their splits with Sorority Noise and Have Mercy. Highlights include 'Thorn In The Side' and 'Problem Child.' Stream below for Somos' sophomore album, as they grow in maturity.
Yung Lean is a *young* upcoming Swedish rapper who specializes in what may or may not be sarcastic trance rap or some form of hypnotic mind control. His previous work is almost mellow to a fault- I've found myself three quarters of the way through a song completely lost and zoned out, only to restart it and do exactly the same thing.
His new album, Warlord is a lot less mellow, and almost more aggressive. Most of the album I could take or leave, but I really do enjoy 'Hoover.' I also liked 'Stay Down,' 'More Stacks,' and 'Hocus Pocus feat. Bladee.' The rest of the album is fairly standard, nothing groundbreaking or very interesting. There's been a lot of hype behing 'Fantasy feat. Lil Flash,' but honestly, it's not a spectacular track. Frankly, I expected more from Yung Lean, and hopefully his next releases will be a little bit more impressive.
Pinegrove released their new album 'Cardinal' on 2/11. After much hype, 'Cardinal' does not disappoint. The first track, 'Old Friends' is really really nice a sweet, nostalgic kick-off to the album. I think 'Old Friends' might be my favorite. 'Cadmium' follows, which was released earlier as a single. Next is 'Then Again,' which feels like road trip music. 'Aphasia' follows, as an emotion-packed snippet of human consciousness. 'Visiting' and 'Waveform' follow, and the album closes with 'Size of the Moon' and 'New Friends.' 'Size of the Moon' is another favorite, I really appreciate how candid it feels. I also love opening with 'Old Friends' and closing with 'New Friends.' it feels whole and complete. Overall, a solid album. Stream below via Bandcamp
Landing released 'Thither' on 2/24 ahead of their upcoming album. 'Complekt.' It's a beautiful, gauzy, track they describe as psychedelic space rock, but the shoegaze elements are heavily evident, in the best possible way. To me, it feels like laying on your bed in the dog days of August, when it's too hot to move, and looking at particles of dust in beams of sunlight. But hey, that's just me. Stream below via Soundcloud
The Lumineers released the new single 'Ophelia' on 2/11 ahead of their new album 'Cleopatra.' Ophelia is beautiful and haunting, I featured it on the Bruised Knuckles February playlist 'Try' because I can't stop listening to it. The video is very aesthetically pleasing, but a little light on content.
I first saw Reduction Plan (below) at Hardcore Sweet with Kississippi back in January. I really enjoyed the set, so I jumped at the chance to see them again. Equally impressive this time, Reduction Plan's weird interesting vibe was a good time.
The Dangbats (below) are new to the scene, and this was, admittedly one of their first few shows. Regardless of that, I was highly impressed by their sorta folky, sorta indie rock, sorta punk style. I hope to see them again soon.
The Shrinnirs (below) have been on and off since the 80s and really know how to shred. The audience was thrashing along and was a little salty to see the set end. I think that's the sign of some killer music?
A friend recommended I listen to The Downtown Boys (below) knowing that I'm super into punk rock as well as aggressive social justice and smashing the white heteropatriarchy. The Downtown Boys were even better than what I was promised, addressing major social issues (Flint water crisis, police brutality, etc.) but also bringing the cool, weird, sax heavy punk rock that no one expects from a punk band. Rolling Stone calls them a dance party, and I'll admit, I had to stop myself from dancing along for the pictures' sake.
Willimantic Records is a local mainstay and to celebrate it's fourth year, they stacked a bill with Becky Kessler, Landing, Major Stars, and Mountain Movers.
Becky Kessler (from Violent Mae) payed solo and was arguably even better alone.
Landing (below) was great, interesting sound.
Major Stars (below) were hugely energetic and incredibly fun to see live.
Mountain Movers (below) were also killer.
It's incredible to have a space like 25 Meadow St. in Willimantic where local artists can show work, as well as a new, larger venue for music. The photos below feature dozens of artists, and performances by Izikhotane, Greyglitch, and many many more. Shoutout to Vulturetown Arts for manking all this possible.
I was able to stop by the Hanging Hills EP release for 'Sewn' but had to leave before Hanging Hills came on, Below is Losing Season, Losing Season was really interesting and I look forward to seeing them again. I really liked their sound, and they felt like a breath of fresh air,
Below is Dr. Martino.
What we're listening to.