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Band/Artist Profile Music News and Interviews

“Ouroboros” by Suave Punk Song Review

Suave Punk is a great representation of modern indie roots. Suave Punk is Justin Kim, a fella who decided to sit down in his bedroom with a borrowed guitar, amp, and laptop and make some mystic music.

Since 2018 he has released an array of singles and an EP. Suave Punk’s discography is filled with heavy guitar riffs, relaxed vocals, and elements of shoegaze, grungegaze, and dream pop.

His most popular single, “Heat Death” caught my ears in 2021, and since I have been keeping up with his releases.

This new single “Ouroboros” did not disappoint; however, didn’t necessarily provide any new elements to his musical arsenal. I love seeing growth through releases, and although there wasn’t much experimentation in this track it’s clear his musical confidence is blossoming.

I really appreciated his lyrics in this track. He has a great voice and a great tone for the genre pocket he is fitting into. In his past work he really veils over the vocals with heavy strings and drumming, but I’m glad to see more of his lovely voice poke through here.

“I’m an ouroboros
No matter which way I go
I’m always trying again”

This theme of incessant self judgement fits excellently with the musical beats. The backdrop is repetitive, active, and grows throughout the track. This track is unified, succinct, and bold.

“You’re not safe from what you’re building
You’re not safe from what you do”

This track is definitely one of my favorites from Suave Punk. It provides a glimpse into the mind of Justin Kim, who up until this release has been allusive and understated.

It is great to hear more confidence in his voice, sound, and themes– I am looking forward to the releases to come. I’ll be waiting for a full album, till then, keep rocking Suave Punk.

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Music News and Interviews

“Bull Believer” by Wednesday Song Review

It is always a good day when Wednesday releases.

Wednesday is an indie rock band from our very own Asheville, North Carolina. Wednesday is made of Karly Hartzman lead vocalist and guitar, guitarist MJ Lenderman, bassist Margo Shultz, drummer Alan Miller, and pedal steel player Xandy Chelmis.

It feels incorrect to put this band in the box of “indie rock”; they have tapped into noise rock, psychobilly and in there latest album, country. “Mowing the Leaves Instead of Piling ’em Up” is a 9 track cover album that was released March 11 of this year.

I could write an entire review of this extraordinary album. It features covers ranging from “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinking Double)” by Gary Stewart, to “Perfect” by Smashing Pumpkins. Each track taking on a new life through Wednesday.

Their discography truly never disappoints. They bring so much presence with each and every release.

The New Single

The first thing I noticed about this track is that it is a hearty 8 minutes and 30 seconds. I adore a long track. I especially love a long track with good placement, and although this is not in the context of an album, “Bull Believer” arrives with the announcement that Wednesday has signed to record label Dead Oceans.

Dead Oceans has released many influential artists including Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers, and Toro y Moi.

Musically, this song is weighty. One aspect I really respect and admire about Wednesday is the authenticity of Karly Hartzman’s vocals and lyrics. They have no intention of altering their sound for the eyes of the public. Especially in this track, the vocals are stripped and raw.

Stylistically, the vocal bring such rigidity and dominance. The conclusion of this track has an almost wail-like quality. Karly Hertzman is not only providing a voice that is powerful and real into the indie rock world, but begins to break down the expectations of female voices in the music industry. Wednesday captures beauty through sheer musical power.

I want to take a moment to appreciate the lyrics of this track. I adore Wednesday’s metaphorical nature. Their previous releases have had a level of elusiveness to them, and this track is no exception:

“Comfort fools us into faith
Then fate pulls us away again
A corpse with a spirit
Got out of my bed today”

With each release Wednesday takes another step towards a stronger and stronger sound. Their musical prowess and experimentalism astounds me. They has achieved such a unique presence in their music. I look forward to new music to come under Dead Oceans; I sincerely hope this new label encourages more of what is happening in “Bull Believer”.

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Band/Artist Profile

Profile of the Week: Sprints

Sprints is a garage punk band from Dublin, Ireland. 

I first discovered this excellent band when creating my very first set for WKNC. As my right of passage into the WKNC realm, my DJ mentors assigned me to make a punk set. I had no idea where to start. Besides the classics, I didn’t listen to many punk bands I felt particularly passionate about.

When I started listening to Sprints that quickly changed. Punk quickly became one of my top genres and this band opened me up to many other female-lead punk bands.

Sprints is Karla Chubb, songwriter and lead vocalist, Colm O’Reilly on guitar, Jack Callan on drums and Sam McCann on bass. All of these musicians individually bring a lot of power.

Discography

Naturally, the first track I heard by Sprints is “Little Fix”, their most popular track, and rightfully so. This song has so much lyrical and vocal power.

“So tell me, doctor, how do you fix / A problem they don’t seem to think it really exists? / Should a stupid little girl / Ride backseat of a car / Wearing shame like a shawl and her body like a scar”

They have such a weighty sound. Karla Chubb provides such authentic rusticity and grunge to their music. 

This band is also relatively new, forming in 2019. Although they have released some of their best music in 2022. Including their newest single, “Literary Mind”.

“Literary Mind” single cover art

In 2021 they release the EP “Manifesto”. This EP was filled to the brim with rusticity. Particularly in the opening track “Drones”, I loved their use of guitar in the backing track. Their is a rich exploration of noise making within “Manifesto”.

The track “Swimming” off of “Manifesto” is my favorite compositionally. The opening strings are simply zesty. The vocals are really stripped to compliment the more rigid backing. This is a track I would love to hear live in the middle of a pit.

They have yet to release a full album, but I am sincerely hoping 2022 or 2023 is the year. This band certainly has a lot on their horizons.

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Blog Miscellaneous

Overcoming and Appreciating Creative Block

It is important to not only listen to your body but also your mind.

A quick disclaimer, I am not a psychologist or a doctor. I will be speaking from my own experiences with creative block and from observing the effects it has had on my peers.

As a college student in a creative-oriented major, I face creative block quite frequently. However, many students outside creative fields are met with creative block without realizing it.

Creative block is often defined as lack of inspiration. It can be associated with burnout, where there is a void of motivation altogether. 

In my experience the symptoms of burnout are overshadowed by creative block. 

Burnout often has a clear solution: rest. Creative block is more ambiguous.

You may find yourself asking, “Will I ever have another good idea?” or “Am I ever going to be able to create again?”. Creative block does not have a simple solution or does it have a distinct end; leaving the individual with doubt and insecurity. This doubt often pushes individuals to keep working until they find some creativity again.

However, I truly believe creative block can be a beneficial step in a design process.

Creative block is a signal to stop, stand up, and unplug. Most of all it is a signal to experience something different or new.

Taking a Break

This is not as easy as it sounds. Between the pressures of professor expectations, deadlines, and competitive peers; taking a break sounds impossible at times.

When a break feels impossible is the exact moment we should be taking a break. I am not encouraging to ignore work altogether, but rather to redirect one’s productive approach.

Building in breaks is seen to increase productivity and communal health.

Went we take breaks we are not only performing a different activity but we are experiencing different sights, smells, and feelings. This passive presception can contribute to our creativity immensely.

I believe when we experience something new we are charging our creative battery.

Redefining Rest

In college there is certainly a culture of pulling all nighters for the sake of studying or finishing an impeding project. 

I would like to highlight that everyone has there own circadian rhythm and ideal work periods— so I am not dismissing all nighters. However, I do think overworking and  lack of proper rest is a direct contribution to creative block.

Proper rest means more than just 8 hours of sleep.

It’s very important to make time for the things you enjoy. Although academics are a priority for college students, it is vital to recognize that life is more than academics.

Whether that is sports, games, reading, tuning into WKNC, meditating, etc.

To maintain a healthy mind and therefore a creative thought process, we must have compassion towards ourselves.

Conclusion

It is clear that creative block can plague the music world and beyond.

Although it is difficult to wait for your favorite musicians or bands to make a new release; it is important for everyone to take their time completing a creative project.

In my opinion, some of the best music is created through overcoming creative block and taking lots of time. It often leads to new sounds, new explorations, and a happier performer.

So next time you are faced with creative block, try to avoid beating yourself up or doubting your abilities, but rather thank your brain for telling you to take a break. Go take a break.

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Playlists

Six Songs for Studying

As NC State approaches their fourth week of the semester, the first wave of exams and tests approaches.

Testing and exams never fails to stress me out and I know I am not alone in this sentiment. To ease some of the anxiety and stress that builds up over study time I have compiled a few of my favorite focus tracks.

When studying, I find myself gravitating towards jazz and relaxed indie artists. Although, I included a mix of genres in the following tracks.

I hope you all enjoy.

“Cashmere” by BADBADNOTGOOD

This one is such an ideal instrumental to sit down and begin a study session. BADBADNOTGOOD is a fantastic jazz ensemble that provides rich compositions and excellent collaborations with other artists.

If you enjoy this track I recommend checking out their other works. They have some excellent upbeat tracks such as “To The Floor”, their newest single featuring Lil Silva. The other tracks off their album “IV” are great for raising energy after a long study session.

“Restless Song” by Shadow Community

Shadow Community is a project by Mid-Air Thief, a folktronica musician from South Korea. This song in particular evokes such an airy, light feeling. There really is no real way to describe their music. It is mesmerizing, complex and light.

“The Final View” by Nujabes

This track has a lot of nostalgia linked to me for me. Nujabes had such a gift for bringing so many powerful genres together. In this song in particular there are such graceful elements or hip-hop, jazz, and lofi.

I had a very difficult time picking just one Nujabes track to put on this list. Here are a few honorable mentions I simply cannot ignore, “Horn in the middle”, “Luv (sic)“, and “flowers”.

“Attempt” by Far Caspian

I think Far Caspian has one of the best voices to listen to while working. I typically prefer instrumentals when studying, but he has such a lovely gentle sound. His album “Ways to Get Out” was one of my favorite releases in 2021, it was a great stress reliever for me.

“Julia” by Yellow Ostrich

This is a track for those that enjoy studying to songs with lyrics. Yellow Ostrich is melding indie rock and folk together in this track. It is a really ideal indie study track due to its relaxed tone.

“Mirage” by Orion Sun

Although short, this track has so many elegant elements. Orion Sun has such a beautiful voice and genuine sound she brings to each and every track.

Listening to her music never fails to ease my nerves. Her albums “A Collection of Fleeting Moments and Daydreams” and “Hold Space For Me” are filled to the brim with musical elegance.

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Concert Review

Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes and Thundercat Concert Review

I was lucky enough to see this legendary lineup at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC on Sep.1.

If you missed it, there was a preview of this show posted just a few days ago. If you want to read up on some of the general information for each of these performers, you can find the preview on the WKNC Blog.

Overview

I want to provide a quick disclaimer before I begin: This is was my very first stadium concert. It was very large. I had a seat up in the middle section. By no means the best seat and by no means the worst seat.

My view of the stage, photo by Author.

My second disclaimer is quite a disappointing one: unfortunately due to traffic conditions and my class schedule, I missed Thundercat’s performance. So this review will just be evaluating The Strokes and Red Hot Chili Peppers performances. I know, I am sad I missed Thundercat too.

Let’s get into the general experience. Even though I was pretty far back, I had a great view of the stage. I commend the set designers for this show. As I will go more into later, the light design was phenomenal.

When paying for a stadium concert ticket you are paying for much more then just the sounds– you’re paying for the insane visual show too.

It goes without saying that this concert was stacked with talent. More than talent: skill, synergy, and pure passion for music. These guys are all legends. Without further ado, let get into the show.

The Strokes

First and foremost, I loved the energy Julien Casablancas, lead vocals, brought to this performance. I find it fascinating how different artists react to fame. It was clear to me that after a lifetime of performing in The Strokes Julien Casablancas treats his role very casually.

The Strokes had a extremely powerful performance despite their lowkey demeanor. They also had a such solid setlist.

One of my favorite moments was their performance of “Juicebox” off their 2006 album “First Impressions Of Earth”. The sheer endurance of The Strokes astonished me. Their tracks, especially this one, sounded much more grungy live than I was anticipating.

I loved the visuals they brought to the performance as well. Their backdrops displayed different dream-scape visuals. There was lots of muted colors that contrasted beautifully with their rough and energized sound.

My absolute favorite moment was undoubtedly their closing track, “Reptilia” off their 2003 album “Room On Fire”. This is one of their most popular songs for good reason. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the best songs of all time and their performance of this track made me love it even more.

The Strokes has been such a massive influence on the indie rock world. Their music inspired the creation of hundreds, if not thousands, of amazing artists and bands. Their music has been such a source of happiness in my life; being able to finally see them live was extraordinary.

Next up on my bucket list is to see Julien Casablancas perform in The Voidz.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

This performance was nothing short of remarkable. Their are few things more powerful than a group of musicians that have spent their lives performing together. The resonance Red Hot Chili Pepper have obtained is unbelievable.

I was honored to be in the presence of such a great setlist. One aspect that contributed to their musical insanity was the sheer amount of improvised riffs in between and within every track.

One of my favorite tracks they performed were “Here Ever After” off of their newest album “Unlimited Love”. I was surprised by how few songs off this album they performed; but I was so happy the selected this one.

Another favorite was their opener “Can’t Stop” off their 2002 album “By the Way”. Red Hot Chili Peppers is composed by some of the greatest musicians of our time. Chad Smith ripped it up on the drums the whole performance, there was only a handful of moments he stopped drumming. The endurance of everyone was insane.

I simply cannot write a review of Red Hot Chili Peppers without mentioning the legendary Flea. His performance did not disappoint. There were multiple instances that he stole the show, most notably in tracks “Give It Away” and “Nobody Weird Like Me”. Also, Flea had a one sticker on his bass that said, “support your local freak” I thought I should share that detail.

I would also like to note how excellent their light design was. Their backdrops were amazing. They had such great color design to competent each of their tracks. Many of the visuals melded into the videos of them performing; whoever was manning the cameras for the show did an excellent job.

Red Hot Chili Pepper light design, photo by Author.

This is all to say the performance was excellent.

Concluding Thoughts

One of my teachers once told me, “the worst part of any performance is the audience”. This was very true for this show.

As an audience member, it is important to recognize that our behavior directly impacts others around us. If you are having a bad time at a show and are not enjoying or paying attention to the extraordinary music– it is very easy to leave. Be courteous of others.

Despite the distractions within the audience, this concert was astonishing.

The performers exceeded every expectation I had. I was very fortunate to see Red Hot Chili Peppers– it is unclear how much longer they will be touring for. I dearly hope they never stop.

They seem to have no end in sight in regards to releases. Red Hot Chili Peppers will be releasing a new album, “Return of the Dream Canteen” this year on Oct 14.

“Return of the Dream Canteen” album cover art by Red Hot Chili Peppers

I’ll certainly be looking forward to this release.

I sincerely hope to see these two bands perform again one day. I hope you all get the chance to see them too, they will not disappoint.

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Blog Music News and Interviews

New Singles by Mr Jukes and Barney Artist

This is an absolutely remarkable collaboration between British artists Mr Jukes and Barney Artist. The two releases a series of 4 singles between May. 25 and Aug. 25. 2022.

Mr Jukes is the passion project of Jack Steadman, lead vocalist of Bombay Bicycle Club. In his solo work is a bender of genres– tapping into jazz, funk, soul and rhythms and blues influences.

I have been a big fan of Jack Steadman for quite some time. It is exhilarating to see him thrive in his solo work year after year.

His 2017 album, “God First” has some of my favorite tracks of all time including “Grant Green” and “Tears”, but frankly every track on that album is phenomenal.

Barney Artist was just introduced to me through the album, “The Locket”, a prior collaboration with Mr Jukes in 2021. His music has such a vibrant energy.

The pure musical talent between these two artists are simply meant to combine.

“The Locket” Album Cover Art

The New Singles

“93”, this single released May. 25. This track is such a great taste of what these two artists can do together. I honestly think this track is a little revered of a sound for them.

The back tracks are characteristically layered and rich– however the lyricism is a bit repetitive. I would have loved to hear a touch more of the verses.

This song has such a sweet sound. The happy keys and brass in the background complement Barney Artist’s voice beautifully. Mr Jukes has integrated many jazz influences into his past music. The hint of brass in this track brings a energetic jazzy sound to the whole track.

“Air To Your Hidden Lung”, this single related July. 8. The message of this track is that the current state of the music industry is ephemeral.

Barney Artist provides a sharp commentary on other’s artist’s motivations for creating music. The act of making music simply for the love of making music is fading– over shadowed by the drive for fame and money.

“Eternal”, this single was released Aug.5. You can hear how much energy these artists have in this track.

Barney Artist’s lyricism in this track is strong. This track out of the four is perhaps the most hip-hop influenced. It hast fast paced verses and a smooth chorus.

“Run Away”, this track is my favorite of the four. It released Aug. 25, and provided a great conclusion to this set of singles.

It’s unclear whether or not they will be releasing more songs in this set, but they have created a song composition of four with these tracks.

Mr Jukes and Barney Artist have formed such a rich sound together. Especially in “Run Away”, their two voices are paired perfectly. Barney Artist provides such a sharp, powerful tone. Mr Jukes brings such a gentle, smooth sound into the track.

Conclusion

Mr Jukes and Barney Artist are a powerful fusion mixing multiple genres, sounds, and influences into one.

I envy all the folks in the Brighton area that get to see these two live. I will be awaiting the opportunity to see them in concert.

If you would like to hear more of them, I recommend giving “The Locket” a listen. I’m looking forward to all these two will create in the future.

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Band/Artist Profile Blog

Artist of the Week: Andy Shauf

Andy Shauf is a Canadian indie folk musician that has become of my favorites this past year.

The first aspect that gravitated me towards his music was his ability to story-tell.

He is able to capture scenes, personalities, and characters throughout his entire discography– some of which that reappear time and time again.

With each new release I find myself invested on what story he will tell next, what will happen to these characters this time?

Discography Highlights

One of my favorite albums is his 2016 release, “The Party”, which as the title implies, describes one night at a party. It explores the array of heartbreak that can take place in one moment.

Andy Shauf, “The Party” cover art

There are many tracks I simply adored in this particular album, but “Early to the Party” and “To You” were ones that really struck me.

Both take on a really mellow, relaxed tone but describe very awkward social situations many of us face at one time or another in our lives:

“Early to the party / You’re the first one there / Overdressed and under prepared / Standing in the kitchen / Stressing out the host / Pulling teeth ’til anyone arrives.”

Andy has a magnificent way of putting us into multiple characters’ perspectives which I hadn’t seen before in such quantity in other artists.

Due to his array of characters and personas, each of his albums sound and feel very distinct. His 2020 album release, “The Neon Skyline”, describes the nightlife of a group of friends and provides a very upbeat, charming sound to his discography.

My top track on this release was certainly “Thirteen Hours”, which implements some excellent woodwinds and percussion. I had the opportunity to see Andy Shauf in concert last February at Cat’s Cradle, and hearing “Thirteen Hours” live really amplifed my love for this track.

Andy Shauf, “The Neon Skyline” cover art

“Who’s Judy?”

While on the subject, Andy Shauf was fantastic live. It was by far the chillest concert I have ever been to.

In between songs Andy would ask for questions from the crowd– perhaps the most intriguing question that arose was, “Who’s Judy?”.

The character Judy is very apparent all across his works and is often portrayed as a love interest as seen in tracks, “Where are you Judy”, “Jaywalker”, “Judy”, “The Moon”, “Jeremy’s Wedding”, and many others.

In response to this question, Andy simply stated, “Me”, then proceeded to the next song.

In his most recent album, “Wilds”, he takes a more personal approach to his storytelling. Most of the tracks are from his perspective and revolve around Judy.

His simple response at the concert greatly shaped the way I approached “Wilds” and brought a new depth to his lyrics. This album was no longer about a struggling romantic relationship, but an internalized struggle centered around loss.

Conclusion

Andy Shauf provides such a unique form of storytelling to the musical world. He has established such a gentle tone and sound. I’m looking forward to his more recent explorations into a darker tone within his 2022 singles, “Satan” and “Jacob Rose”.

His music has given me a lot of joy these past few months. His music has been a great example of the variety of sound within indie folk.

I’m looking to discovering more artists like Andy in the near future. I hope you all enjoy.

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Music News and Interviews

Similar Kind “Commercial Break” EP Review

Similar Kind is an indie pop band out of Norwalk, Connecticut that just release EP “Commerical Break” Aug 26, 2022.

I had previously discovered them during a Hot Flash Heat Wave concert, Similar Kind was an absolutely stellar opening act. Lead singer, Julia Breen, has so much power in their vocals that is prevalent in every track.

Their energy is intoxicatingly positive. Their discography is filled to the brim with upbeat, energized tracks.

My mood immediately improved upon seeing a new release on their page; their sound is always a mood booster.

New Tracks

In this release there is 4 new tracks, all of them are leaning into a more funk-inspired sound. Their bassist, Nate Porter, deserves much praise in these new releases.

The first track, “Game Show” is absolutely noteworthy. They have great production quality in this one, and it’s clear they are gaining more confidence in their individual talents. The member’s individual sounds are combining beautifully.

“Leonard St.” is the second new track on this EP. Once again, the bassist is shining in this track. I really adore this song. It has much more intense, almost grungy approach compared to their previous work. My only gripe with this track is halfway through the track the vocals are muffed stylistically– Julia Breen has such sharp vocals; I think it is a detriment to hinder them.

Up next is “Waiting”. This track is certainly the most pop influenced on the EP. If you want a good song to dance or tap your foot to, this is the one. It has more repetitiveness compared to the others. I appreciate their efforts in appeasing to multiple genres.

“Thanks for Listening!” is the final track on the ep, which as the title implies, is a musical send off. I don’t have too much to say here, other than I hope Similar Kind is not going to be gone for long.

Conclusion and Tour Dates

I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to see Similar Kind in concert. Their sound live is really electric.

They are currently touring with Post Sex Nachos and will be performing at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro next Thursday, Sep 1. They will also be stopping in Atlanta and Nashville.

I’m excited for all that Similar Kind will be releasing in the near future; this EP is just an inkling of all they will accomplish.

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New Album Review

“Shadowglow” by flipturn

flipturn is an Indie rock band from Fernandina Beach, Florida who just released their debut album “Shadowglow” this past Friday.

I didn’t know what to expect from this debut; flipturn has had a lot of success through their previous singles and EPs,  but what tone would they bring to their first full album? I wasn’t surprised by the moodiness they brought into this album. I was happy to hear their sound really mature throughout this release. 

Each song was clearly crafted with a lot of intention and the overall composition of the album was really appealing to me. It has a great mix of high and low energy tracks, but all meld together under a cohesive theme– reflection, contentment and moving forward.

Song Breakdowns

“The Fall” – This is an ideal opening track– it holds a cinematic energy while introducing some of the sounds and themes we will expect to hear throughout the album. Flipturn has such a contagious excitement here which bleeds into the tracks that follow.

“Playground” – This track is what I expected the whole album to sound like, just a solid indie pop rock sound– to be anticipated from flipturn. I was glad to see them diverge from this in the tracks that follow.

“Whales” – This one is definitely one of my favorites on the album, it’s such a great exploration of musical texture that hasn’t really been seen in flipturn’s previous releases. 

“Sad Disco” – I honestly was not expecting much from this track solely based on the name, but I was pleasantly surprised. It has a very fun energy that contrasts great with the moody vocals. My only gripe with this track is that a lot of artists seem to fall into the sad lyrics but happy song trope– I feel like flipturn could have used their newfound confidence for something a little more expressive.

“Brooklyn Baby” – There are multiple tracks on this album where flipturn is stepping away from its guitar-based-indie-rock-sound and moving towards a more layered, textured sound. This track is an excellent example of the new exploratory sound flipturn is aiming to create in this album. Every component in this track is unified– vocals, keys, bass, guitar– they are all working together beautifully here.

“Halfway” – I adored this track on my first listen, although it doesn’t take many musical risks, it has such a genuine sound. This track is probably the most vocal dominant; with longing lyrics similar in tone to their most popular track “August”. flipturn seems to have a lot of love stories that didn’t work out, “Still smell your lips, I still taste your hair / And I did not love you, and I’m well aware”. This song is unapologetically loveless and I love it.

“In Consideration” – This track, although not the most notable, greatly ties together many of the themes explored in the first half of the album: expectations versus reality. flipturn has released many  tracks that reflect on past memories and loves, and this song perfectly encapsulates the guilt that comes from not appreciating what is around you in the moment. This track takes the first step in moving forward from regret which all starts with reflection, “I’ve got more love than / I could have asked for / I never meant to say / That I needed more”. 

“Goddamn” – What an excellent placement within “Shadowglow”. It is such a refreshing release of anger that was much needed in this album. It opens with the explosive chorus, “Goddamn my poisoned mind / Goddamn the Internet / Sometimes I wish that, love was harder to find / But it’s cheap like cigarettes, and I’m running out of breath”. This song does a great job of maintaining the loveless tone from In Consideration and Halfway but begins to pick up the album’s energy. This track has a striking message encapsulated in striking music: the lack of authenticity within modern relationships and with ourselves is perhaps contributed to the growing reliance on social media. Discovering and expressing genuine feelings may be the pathway to contentment.

“Hollow” – This is one that I don’t think was needed in this album. I do appreciate the use of percussion in this track, and there is great compression and expansion in sound; but overall this track feels less deliberate.

“Burn” – In the opening of this song I had to check to make sure I was still listening to flipturn. Its electro-esque background is definitely a new exploration for flipturn but I am so glad they made this musical choice. The synthetic backdrop of this track juxtaposes with Dillon Basse’s wholesome vocals beautifully.

“Weepy Woman” – This is definitely one of my favorites on this album. The transition from Burn into Weepy Woman is so strong. I love some good bass and I love the bass line in this track. Not to mention, the high energy is simply intoxicating. The lyrics are a nice break from the repetitiveness seen in some of the prior tracks. Once again, flipturn is seen integrating a more textured sound as seen in Burn and Whales while maintaining their familiar indie rock tone.

“Take Care” – I am torn with this one, I definitely don’t think they needed this track in this album but I’m happy to see them take a bigger step into pop and electronic genres. It wasn’t quite bold enough to stand out within their other tracks, but provides a great moment of reflection within “Shadowglow.”

“Space Cowboy” – This one really roped me into the album. They released this track prior to the album, and what an excellent choice that was. This song really set the stage for “Shadowglow” without being the star of the show. It opens with a pretty standard flipturn sound but really opens up at the end into something much bolder. This track really demonstrates this newfound confidence flipturn is portraying throughout the entire album– maintaining their indie rock roots but taking strong leaps into other sounds.

“Orbit” – I really appreciate considerate album composition. I think it is important to include moments of pause and reflection within a longer album, and this final track does just that. It isn’t flashy. It’s a pleasant send off for the listeners.

Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of sounds in “Shadowglow”, after listening to this album all the way through I almost immediately bought myself a ticket to see them live. The variety of themes they tapped on in this album mirrored there variety of sounds beautifully. It is clear to me that flipturn is gaining more and more confidence with every release, and I cannot wait to see them perform these tracks live.

Stay tuned for a concert review in the near future.