Check out this video essay by Kristian Williams:
Code Orange started 2017 off with a bang when they released Forever, a new album that leaves different aftertastes with everyone who listens to it.
If there’s one band that perfectly overlaps hardcore and metalcore, most can agree that it's Code Orange.
The record holds true to the Pittsburgh-native’s usual intensity and chaos, while throwing in a couple tracks that leave listeners with a sense of darkness from the brief moments.
Jami Morgan explained that the goal of the album was to stress the highs and lows in a short amount of time-- Forever is a little over a half-hour long.
Die-hard Code Orange fans were more than satisfied with the newest release; most agree that the record embodies the best aspects of hardcore.
Despite the angry atmosphere of the music, the lyrics are about “trying to become better than what you’re summed up as,” as the drummer told the Pittsburgh Gazette last month.
Audience favorite tracks include the namesake track, 'Forever' and 'Bleeding in the Blur.'
You can listen to Forever on Youtube, or support the band by purchasing the album on iTunes.
Stream below via Spotify:
Watch Touché Amoré's video for "Benediction" here via NPR:
Watch the new Hippo Campus video for "Way it Goes" here via Youtube:
Watsky just released the music video for his song, “Stick To Your Guns” featuring Julia Nunes. You can watch the video below, or here.
The video is visually modeled after a storybook, with bright colors and cartoon sheep. Despite the seemingly simplistic nature of the video, it aims to tackle the controversy of gun violence and mass shootings.
In an NPR article, Watsky writes;
“My aim was to present one archetypal shooting, each verse coming from the perspective of a different person involved in the event, and highlight the similar pageant we go through every time this happens in America. The first verse is from the perspective of the shooter — I'm trusting the audience to listen on, because until you get to the second verse, it's almost impossible to know the song is satire. I did worry that this could come off as callous to people who have lost loved ones in shootings, but ultimately decided that I would let the song stand on its own merits.
Purchase Watsky’s most recent album, ‘X Finity,’ here.
Fans have been patiently awaiting the return of Ed Sheeran since January 2016 when he proclaimed that he would be taking a year off from music and the spotlight. Ed resurfaced in January 2017 and quickly released two singles “Castle on the Hill” with cover art of a horizontal black line on a blue background, as well as “Shape of You” with a back colon on the same blue background.
Rumors of an upcoming album are already swirling amongst fans, and based on the singles’ cover art as well as Ed’s social media accounts being riddled with division signs one can only assume the upcoming album will be entitled . This album title makes thematic sense following X released in 2014.
“Shape of You”
Based on all of the romantic songs he has released, and those that have received significant accolades, Ed is surely a hopeless romantic. In the past he has expressed a desire to settle down and have a family, and this song appears to mark guys’ nights out and an attempt at love, or simply lust. Regardless, we are back to the catchy rhythmic beats alongside the lyrically talented and borderline rapping Ed.
“Castle on the Hill”
From what I can tell this track was written while Ed was on his way home one year ago, a love song to his childhood and life in Hebden Bridge, UK. He reminisces on old relationships, and scenes from his younger years. You can sense his excitement and anticipation of being in a familiar place, living a simpler life with old friends.
Drake’s success within the hip-hop community has been impressive, but his most recent accomplishment might just solidify his place as the primary artist to represent our generation’s mainstream hip-hop artists.
According to Pollstar, Drake’s Summer Sixteen Tour took 11th place of highest-grossing 2016 worldwide tour, grossing $84.3 million.
This ranking places Drake significantly above Kanye West and the Saint Pablo Tour at 29th place grossing $52.8 million. According to Pollstar the Summer Sixteen Tour has sold 752,141 tickets at an average of $112 per ticket.
Regardless of whether you are a diehard Drake fan or found yourself siding with Meek Mill a few months ago, or you couldn’t care less about him, that is an impressive number of people who are willing to pay at least $100 to see Drake perform.
And yes I am very bitter that I was unable to be present at the Summer Sixteen Tour, but clearly it was a fantastic accomplishment.
“Hwages” exposes the current Saudi Arabian guardianship system with music, imagery, and humor.
Featuring multiple women, but directed by a man, this video has been altered to highlight focal points, for a wide variety of social media platforms and languages. All videos have been shared and viewed thousands, even millions of times, people worldwide are listening.
Read more here or on The Fader.
J. Cole released his album 4 Your Eyez Only in December 2016, which was also a significant month for him personally. Around the same time 4 Your Eyez Only was released it came out that Cole had secretly married long time college sweetheart Melissa Heholt, and in the same month Heholt gave birth to their first daughter.
Theses events are reflected within the album, with multiple songs- mainly “For Whom The Bell Tolls” and “Foldin Clothes”- focusing on aspects of healthy monogamous relationships. As well as “She’s Mine Pt.1” seemingly written to Heholt, and “She’s Mine Pt. 2” about his newborn daughter. My favorite track is definitely “Change” which is extremely sobering a real, yet somehow uplifting and hopeful. The entire album is matured and focused, Cole’s intentions and priorities are very clear.
What we're listening to.