Categories
New Album Review

Scout [EP] by Samia Review

ALBUM: “Scout” by Samia

RELEASE YEAR: 2021

LABEL: Grand Jury Music

RATING: 7/10

BEST TRACKS: “As You Are,” “Show Up” and “The Promise”

FCC: None

“Scout” by Samia is the new companion to her first album “The Baby”. The EP came out July 23, 2021, around a year after the release of “The Baby”. Although this EP is not ‘quarantine music’, it still feels self-reflective. The title “Scout” is Samia’s nickname. Samia has been called a coming-of-age artist, someone who makes music that can move from earnestness to angst in a split second. This EP is full of true love feelings, Samia sings about her family and friends, promising to love them unconditionally. “Scout” plays with different genres, moving from indie-pop to rock to a touch of electronica. 

As You Are

The first track on the EP begins and ends with fuzzy and comforting voicemails. The piano accompaniment works well with Samia’s strong vocals. This track leans more towards pop, catchy and foot-tapping. 

Show Up

This song begins slow and soft, but the crescendo a minute in dramatically shifts the song. This track reminds me of Mitski, they both have hard-hitting lyrics and show-stopping vocal skills.  

Elephant

This track has a more shoegaze sound. Samia’s vocals rise above the reverb. This is the shortest song on the EP, I wish it was longer. The lyrics are powerful and haunting.  

The Promise ft. Jelani Aryeh 

A cover of When in Rome’s’ “The Promise”, Samia makes this track her own. The 80’s synth transforms the song. Jelani Aryeh’s vocals complement Samia, and they harmonize perfectly. 

So excited to hear what comes next for Samia.

-DJ lil witch

Categories
Miscellaneous

Sitting On My Shelf: Album Reviews

My record collection has been gathering a lot of dust recently, I’ve been neglecting them in favor of new releases on streaming platforms. Today I decided to revisit my albums and spin my favorites again. I inherited most of my vinyl from my mom so there are a lot of 80’s new wave artists on my shelf. 

My Top 3 80’s Records 

Kate Bush – Hounds of Love

Kate Bush’s album Hounds of Love taken by author

This album is so special to me. Kate Bush’s vocals are ethereal and blend perfectly with the textured synths. Everyone should listen to this album all the way through. My favorites songs from the album are “The Big Sky” and “Waking the Witch”.  

The Sugarcubes – Life’s Too Good

The Sugarcubes’ album Life’s Too Good taken by author

The Sugarcubes might be best known for their lead singer Björk. Their debut album “Life’s Too Good” explores experimental, post-punk, indie rock and electronica. My favorites of the album are “Motorcrash” and “Delicious Demon”. 

The Clash – Combat Rock

The Clash’s album Combat Rock taken by author

This classic album is full of fight songs. A mix of rock and post-punk, “Combat Rock” remains The Clash’s most critically acclaimed album. My favorite tracks are “Know Your Rights” and “Straight To Hell”.  

My Top Recent Record

Ohioan – Empty / Every Mt

Ohioan’s album EMPTY / EVERY MT taken by author

Visually and sonically one of the prettiest albums I have. The twangy folk-rock inspired tracks have experimental elements that draw the listener in. The lyrics paint a picture of Appalachia. My favorite song on the album is “BAD ALTITUDE”.  

Hope this inspires you to dust off your vinyl and rediscover old gems. 

-DJ lil witch

Categories
New Album Review

New Album Review: I Know I’m Funny Haha by Faye Webster

ALBUM: “I Know I’m Funny Haha” by Faye Webster

RELEASE YEAR: 2021

LABEL: Secretly Canadian

RATING: 8/10

BEST TRACKS: “I Know I’m Funny Haha,” “Kind Of” and “Cheers”

FCC: “I Know I’m Funny Haha”

The soft and sultry vocals of Faye Webster wash over you in her new album. “I Know I’m Funny Haha” is her fourth album on Secretly Canadian Records. Atlanta native Webster blends folk, r&b, and indie with her own spin. Released on June 25, this album is perfect for a sweltering summer. 

My Favorite Tracks:

I Know I’m Funny Haha

The shortest song on the album, “I Know I’m Funny Haha” is also the title track. Webster sings about her boyfriend’s sister “I made her laugh one time at dinner, She said I’m funny and then I thanked her, But I know I’m funny haha”. There’s something about how she sings “Haha”, it’s sharp and cutting. 

Kind Of

This groovy track has a swinging beat that has you nodding your head and tapping your feet along immediately. You can hear the 90s soul and r&b direction. Webster takes her time, the leisurely chorus lets her instrumental back up shine.  

Cheers

The baseline of this track is almost hypnotic, chugging along throughout the song. This track has the most rock influence of the album but still feels light and fresh. I love how unrushed Webster sounds in this song. She makes her vocals serene even as she belts out the chorus “And let’s cheers to you, And let’s cheers to me”.

If you’re looking for chill songs to accompany you sitting out in the oppressive southern summer heat “I Know I’m Funny Haha” is the album for you.

-DJ lil witch

Categories
Classic Album Review

Classic Album Review: Hello Sir by Lung Leg

ALBUM: “Hello Sir” by Lung Leg

RELEASE YEAR: 1997

LABEL: Kill Rock Stars

RATING: 8/10

BEST TRACKS: “Pop Punk Travesty,” “Kung Fu on the Internet” and “Butt Sister”

FCC: None

“This ain’t pop, it’s punk rock!”

The main vocalist of the 1994 riot grrrl band, Lung Leg, screams this lyric during the first track, “Pop Punk Travesty”. Jane McKeown (“Jane Egypt”) on bass and vocals, Annie Spandex and Maureen Quinn (“Mo Mo”) on guitar and vocals, and Amanda Doorbar (“Jade Green”) on drums, make up this punk powerhouse. The quartet formed in Glasgow, Scotland and took influence from dance rock, art punk, new wave and other riot grrrl bands.

Although they never reached the levels of fame most bands aspire to, Lung Leg was a feature of the 90s Scottish punk scene. They toured and made their mark on a male-dominated industry. To this day, they are revered for the punk spirit they embodied in their music and stage presence. They disbanded in 1999 with the members finding or creating new musical projects.

“Hello Sir” is a compilation of two of Lung Leg’s underground EP’s. The album is 12 songs, each of which is less than 2 minutes long. All of the tracks are witty, fast-paced, and will have you scouring the internet for more.   

My favorite tracks on the album are “Pop Punk Travesty”, “Kung Fu on the Internet” and “Butt Sister”. However, every song has its quirks and is endlessly listenable. I don’t think I will ever get tired of this album. Throw this on the queue and blast it through your car’s speakers. “Hello Sir” is the perfect album to pair with road rage. 

-DJ lil witch

Categories
Playlists

A Playlist Collage Crash Course

If you grew up burning CDs for your friends you might have seen a playlist or setlist collage before, which is an artwork and a tracklist of songs that are combined to set a specific mood.

“Mix cd” by mushab00m is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

I love making playlists that capture a certain feeling or have a strong theme. A playlist collage takes that to the next level by visually showing your listener what the playlist is about. By themselves, a playlist and a collage are fun but together it makes a functional art piece.

How to Make a Playlist Collage

Step 1: The Playlist

The first step is to make a playlist, I usually make mine around 10 songs so it’s easier to handwrite all the song titles and artist names. You can make it as long as you want, especially if you will print out the tracklist elements like the example above. I like to choose songs that flow together and go with the theme of your playlist.

Step 2: Gather Materials

You can choose whether to make a paper or digital collage. I love the DIY aesthetic of a paper collage. If you go that route, you will need paper (in any color you like), pens, paint, glue and magazines or pictures you have printed out. You can also use flat objects like ribbon to add a little something extra.

Step 3: Lay it Out

After you have your playlist made and your materials ready, you can get started. Cut out the images you want to include and begin trying different layouts. I like the playlist to be the main element so I will cut out a piece of paper large enough to have all the songs. After the songs are laid out, you can add a title, pictures, and anything else your heart desires. I recommend waiting to glue everything down until you’ve played around and are happy with the composition.

Step 4: Final Touches

Once you have the collage in a place you like, begin gluing everything down. I use a mix of glue sticks and liquid white glue depending on what materials I’m using. Wait a few minutes until the glue dries. Then you can add final touches like drawings, glitter, or anything you think of.

Happy crafting

-DJ lil witch

Categories
Playlists

Imitation as Art: A Covers Playlist

On June 22, 2021, the notorious indie rock band Car Seat Headrest released two EPs. These EPS are a continuation of their newest album “Making a Door Less Open.” The acronym “MALDO” marks the two EPs, the first of which are remixes from the album. The second EP “Influences” are covers of the music Car Seat Headrest was inspired by. In “Influences” they cover four tracks, David Bowie’s “Golden Years,” the Who’s “Substitute,” Nine Inch Nails’ “March of the Pigs,” and Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” I love their tributes to these classic artists that inspired their music. The cover of Kate Bush’s song surprised me; I did not know how it would compare to the ethereal original. I actually enjoyed their rendition, with 80s synth Toledo’s chill vocals fit perfectly.  

While listening I started thinking about all the covers that capture the original perfectly, the covers that end up more recognized than the originals, and the covers that take the original to new heights. When an artist records a cover there is usually a certain amount of respect and appreciation for the first band/artist. I think by adding a new spin to the track, it can elevate the initial recording. Covers are also an entry into making music for so many people. Playing covers can give folks the confidence to start their own musical journeys. 

I’ve compiled a playlist of some of my favorite covers for your listening pleasure. As a huge 80s music fan most are tracks written and recorded in the 1980s then covered recently by newer artists. You can listen on Spotify

Hope you all enjoy 

-DJ lil witch

Categories
New Album Review

Bathtub Cig – bed Review

Bathtub Cig, a project from singer-songwriter Hilary James, deals with quarantine feels and grief in their new EP “bed.” The Minneapolis project is strongly influenced by Frankie Cosmos. Bathtub Cig is the best kind of bedroom pop, soft and sweet with lyrics that hit you hard. This EP is mostly the frontwoman James with accompaniment from Adelyn Rose on wind instruments and bass. Still, the songs are simple with James shining with her vocals and electric guitar.    

My Favorite Tracks:

Sepia

The almost bluesy “Sepia” is a great start to the EP. James sings about the end of days and how everything is colored in sepia tones. The track is only a minute and a half long but is a sweet opener to the rest of the EP. The poetic lyrics “I’m floating forward as the flames unfurl” are my favorite.

Quarantine Dream

While this track is about the 2020 quarantine, there is something that resonates in 2021. The lonely lyrics complement the airy woodwinds and strumming guitar. The light synth enhances the depression-pop ambiance. “Quarantine Dream” is cozy and sleepy, a great track to drift off to bed with.      

My Friend – We are the Willows 

This song is dedicated to James’s bandmate Leah Ottman, who passed away suddenly in December 2020. Peter Miller, Leah’s friend and bandmate, harmonizes with James, crooning their love of their friend. The sentimental track focuses on channeling grief and letting go. I love the harmonies and gentle guitar.    

Each of the songs of this EP flows seamlessly together and tells an expansive story. I’m so excited for the full-length album coming out this fall.  

-DJ lil witch

Categories
Classic Album Review

MixMag Presents Peggy Gou Review

Peggy Gou is a legendary house DJ and producer. Her music was one of my first forays into electronica. Her new single “Nabi” came out on June 7. While listening and grooving along, I remembered the mix she made in collaboration with MixMag. This hour-long set is available in album form on Apple Music and Spotify. 

Gou is a master of mixing, revamping all the songs she comes into contact with. This set showcases her DJ abilities. The mix starts out with a sample from Charles Bukowski’s “Style” layered over a mesmerizing beat. From there Gou seamlessly transitions to Henrik Bergqvist & Abdulla Rashim “Tales Of Ordinary Madness (Trouble In Paradise)”. This dark dance track blends in well with Gou’s other picks. 

Favorites from the Mix

“Shero” by Peggy Gou 

This unreleased treasure is a part of the U.N’s #heforshe campaign, this track was on a limited edition vinyl for charity. The repetitive beat and quick melodies make this song one of the most danceable on the compilation. 

“Moving” by Suzanne Kraft        

The sizzling percussion and hardhat beat of this track works perfectly with the melodic synths. This lush deep house track flows well, with faster upbeat portions and calm interludes. I would love to hear this song in the middle of a club.  

“Aqua Warrior” by Aubrey

This techno tune by British artist Allen Saei, also known as Aubrey, is another favorite of mine. The basic looping piano synths and wavy baseline land the track somewhat in the acid house genre. This song is amazing for running, dancing or even studying.

“Han Jan” by Peggy Gou

This track is one of the only mixes with vocals. Gou raps in Korean, referencing 90’s electro and club/drinking culture. “Han Jan” means one shot (of alcohol) but Jan is also the name of Gou’s friend who she dedicated the song to. This sweet jam is bubbly and a perfect dance track. 

Hope you all check out this special mix and dance along.

-DJ lil witch    

Categories
Playlists

New Moon Mix

The new moon is a time to reflect and set intentions for the month to come. This month I found so many new artists and it was an amazing time for new releases. I hope to continue to listen to great new music, but also go back and revisit old favorite artists and find new bangers. 

I made a mix of new releases to refresh your queue. There are some older songs sprinkled in to ground you, but I included a bunch of June releases (including new Lorde that just dropped) to kick start this new moon. 

The New Moon Mix

To highlight just a few on the playlist…

Paprika – Japanese Breakfast

JBrekkies’ new album “Jubilee” has been on my radar for a while with the singles “Be Sweet” and “Posing in Bondage”. The whole album is amazing but “Paprika” might be my favorite right now. Frontwoman Michelle’s vocals shine on this track. The big band instrumental lifts the entire song. This is something I will be listening to for the rest of the summer.

Moon – Bachelor (Jay Som and Palehound)

The brainchild of Jay Som and Palehound AKA Bachelor might be the best musical project to come out of 2021. Their album “Doomin’ Sun” is full of hits, with punk and garage influences. “Moon” is grungy with delicate vocals. This soft rock hit is a great driving song.

Hocus Pocus – Summer Salt

This new single from surf rock legends Summer Salt is giving me witchy energy. I love how tranquil the track is with heavenly vocals and chill guitar. “Hocus Pocus” is a perfect track to calm your mind. I’m looking forward to their whole album, “Sequoia Moon”. 

I hope your new moon is fulfilling and your queue never runs dry. 

Blessed Be, 

DJ lil witch

Categories
New Album Review

Alice Phoebe Lou – Glow Reviewed

ALBUM: “Glow” by Alice Phoebe Lou

RELEASE YEAR: 2021

LABEL: Self Released

RATING: 9/10

BEST TRACKS:  “Mother’s Eyes”, “Dirty Mouth”, and “Lovesick”

FCC: None

Alice Phoebe Lou pours out her heart on her newest record “Glow.” The South African artist wrote on her website that her third album was “An outlet. A place I blew off steam. I poured my most personal feelings, experiences & realizations into it and I stand before you completely naked, encouraging you to go to that place within yourself.” You can feel the earnestness throughout the album. Lou’s soft vocals belt out heartfelt lyrics backed by soothing keys, guitar, and bass. The album was recorded purposely on older equipment to give the songs a vintage sound. Lou sings about love for the first time, bringing us into her psyche. 

Here are my favorite songs from “Glow.”

Mother’s Eyes

This track has a slowed-down groove, giving Lou plenty of time to work her lyrical magic. Delving into post break-up insecurities, this song ultimately speaks to self-confidence and self-reliance. She acknowledges it is a process with her lyrics, “feels like I’ll get there one step at a time”. Even without analyzing “Mother’s Eyes,” it is still a sultry track that has lyrics catchy enough to belt out in the car. 

Dirty Mouth

The single, “Dirty Mouth,” might be my favorite from the whole album. Lou sings energetically and with the bouncy guitar, and the highs of the song are impactfully paired with the slower lulls of the track. This track has a punk/garage influence that you can hear in Lou’s rousing vocals towards the end of the song. “Dirty Mouth” has been my get-up-and-go track for a while now.

Lovesick

With a swinging beat, this track ends the album with a bang. She sings about an unrequited romance with such hope and wild abandon. I can’t stop thinking about the bridge of this song and the lyrics, “Would it be alright if we sat side by side and didn’t say a single word? Just let ourselves drown in the sweet sunny silence.” Lou is such an evocative songwriter, you feel drenched in the feeling of a short-lived summer romance.

9/10 amazing summer album!

-DJ lil witch