Good As Gold By Susan McLean
This is a playlist to listen to as you watch the leaves turn orange. It was heavily inspired by the Turnover album Peripheral Vision, the new TWIABP album Harmlessness, and the blending of music tastes.
Special thanks to Lauren for help finding a vibe, and for contributing really great content.
The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die's new album is titled Harmlessness. (Shouldn't that have a few more words to it???) Released just a few days ago, on September 25th, Harmlessness has been all the buzz. Harmlessness is a much more cohesive album than Whenever, If Ever, but still has all the elements that (I) love about TWIABP. Founded in Willimantic, CT, where I'm living currently, I have some special ties to this brand of emo revival. But as Noisey notes, this isn't emo revival anymore, it's post emo.
TWIABP has about a million members, so if you're wondering who's actually singing to you (it's a toss up) here's what their Facebook says: "Members: lineup is constantly expanding and contracting. recording and live performance lineups vary. CURRENTLY: David Bello - Vocals Josh Cyr - Bass Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak - Guitar, Vocals Steven Buttery - Drums Chris Teti - Guitar, Trumpet Dylan Balliett - Guitar, Vocals Katie Shanholtzer-Dvorak - Keyboards, vocals Tyler Bussey - Guitar, vocals Nick Kwas - Violin, vocals, being a real-life Waluigi"
I've seen TWIABP live quite a few times, most recently at Broken World Fest, and there were more members than stage. This album does an amazing job of blending (Pitchfork says it better than I'll ever be able to):
Emo is a genre built on divisive vocals, and the World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die represented the entire spectrum of such voices on their debut Whenever, If Ever. Between the screamy guy, the yelpy guy, the nervous guy who sang as if sweating through his pocket protector, and the open invitation for anybody else in the band to pipe in whenever they felt it might lend an extra energy to a song, it was a love-it-or-dismiss-it affair, even by the standards of an emo revival that favors messy, overstuffed statements. The eight-piece band may have filtered their updated emo through the sensibilities of some of the most broadly popular indie rock of the '00s, but they were fundamentally a niche act.
The album is beautiful and smart (not that TWIABP isn't always) and my words won't do the ambiance justice, so I highly suggest that you put this album on, fairly loud, and lay back in bed, and just listen.
A few of my favorites are You Can't Live There Forever, January 10th, 2014, The Word Lisa, and I Can Be Afraid of Anything. I only implore you to listen to the album as a whole before you pick and choose. Please also support TWIABP and buy the album as well as merch (their stuff is hilarious), and for a fairly amusing time, follow TWIABP on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.
Note: All reviews linked, and the photo of the album art is from Pitchfork. All opinions not cited are my own, but since everyone loves this album so much, maybe give it a listen?
#THRASHERTHURSDAY By Susan McLean
As your resident middle-school-shitty-pop-punk aficionado, I've made an executive decision that #thrasherthursday is going to be a thing. What is this, you might ask? It's a day to release all the pent-up middle school angst you've been harboring all week. To participate, all you have to do is headbang to all the shitty pop punk tracks that you lived for in middle school. Think Say Anything, Blink 182, Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heights, and New Found Glory. This is Spotify's Pop Punk Powerhouses playlist for your thrashing pleasure.
Hidden behind Main St. next to the train tracks lies Willimantic Records, a small used record shop. You'll find old books, vinyl, cassettes and CDs all organized alphabetically and by genre. With surprisingly large local and international sections, it's easy to find something for any taste. I came in looking for old Hostage Calm on vinyl, or other sad punk things, but couldn't find any so I dug through the decently large 99¢ table for something with cool cover art for my apartment.
Check their blog, Facebook, and Tumblr for upcoming dates with live music, and special promotions. Willimantic Records can be accessed by Main St., but look for the sign, and you'll have to cross through the alley, as the entrance is in back. It's labeled as 744 Main St., and more parking is available in back as well as further down on Main St.
This is not an establishment for those who shy away from the hunt, and thumbing through loads and loads of records with no promise of success. I, however, love the hunt, and was happy to dig a little to find a gem.
Now, I'm a little slow on the uptake with finding new music, so don't be surprised that this album came out in May. Turnover released Peripheral Vision as a more indie rock diversion from their pop punk roots (Pitchfork). And though (Pitchfork) still thinks they have a lot of growing to do, I can really appreciate this album for what it is. It's music to chill and think to, music to relax and reminisce and vibe to. My favorite tracks include Cutting My Fingers Off, Hello Euphoria, Diazepam, and Take My Head.
I've found that this album is really cohesive, and you can play it as a whole on repeat for hours while cooking dinner or just hanging around and the soft melodic beats won't get irritating. I'll probably post a playlist including a few tracks off this album in the next few days, so stay on the lookout if you like this vibe.
Note: Photo of the album art, as well as analysis summary from Pitchfork, don't sue us. Also, thank you to the friend who suggested I give this a listen.
“Badlands” By Allison Pinski
Adorable blue-haired Halsey just released her much-anticipated album “Badlands” at the end of August.
Halsey sounds like a mixture between Lorde, Ellie Goulding, Hayley Kiyoko, and Twenty One Pilots. “Badlands” is filled with countless, catchy electro-pop songs that will have you listening again and again. The album reminds me of long night rides, and is definitely a CD I would invest in for my car.
I don’t actually have a favorite off the album yet, because I like them all so much. Each song sounds very similar, but has its own unique meaning and beat, while still fitting in with the album as a whole. I couldn’t imagine Badlands without any one of these songs, which is hard to say about some albums (there’s almost always one or two songs you don’t connect with).
This album is all I’ve been listening to for the past day (and I will probably be listening to it tomorrow and the next day and the next day too). I had never heard of Halsey before this past week, but she’s definitely created a name for herself in music. If you like bouncy pop music that has darker lyrics (think Twenty One Pilots, Tove Lo, or even Lana Del Rey) with a blue-haired female narrative who sounds like Lorde’s long lost cousin, I highly suggest you take an hour out of your day and listen to Badlands.
NOTE: All images were taken from Halsey’s Facebook page and are definitely not our own
The 1991 release "Revolution Girl Style Now!" is being reissued with previously unreleased tracks like "Ocean Song." A bit more mellow than the usual Bikini Kill sound, fans will still appreciate the unique lyrical style that Bikini Kill always has. Listen here on Soundcloud.
What we're listening to.