New Album Review

Jenevieve: Album Review

The debut record from rising R&B artist Jenevieve establishes her as an artist with lots of promise, talent and the potential to create even better works in the future.

Sonically, I was pretty impressed with “Division.” The production and mixing on this album were very solid, and producer Benziboy did a fantastic job curating sounds that fit well with Jenevieve’s voice, allowing both the production and the vocals to shine. Although this album was produced entirely by Benjiboy, he still manages to show range and diversity in his production choices. The album has upbeat, pop-inspired tracks such as “Mellow Eyes” and “No Sympathy,” but also includes a few warmer, down-tempo tracks such as “Baby Powder” and “Nxwhere.” Benziboy and Jenevieve seem to make a great pair, and I respect their ability to create a collection of tracks that fit together in a cohesive group without sounding too repetitive.

Lyrically, this project was solid, but nothing remarkable. Jenevieve delivers with a beautiful vocal performance, and her lyrics are enjoyable to listen to, but very little of the lyrical content is especially captivating. However, I’ll admit that I typically don’t pay the closest attention to lyrics, so I could be biased.

I have few criticisms with “Division,” one being that the album didn’t have a very strong ending. I don’t dislike any of the tracks on the album, but I definitely prefer the first few tracks of the album to the rest of it. All the tracks after “Mellow Eyes” are solid, but they’re the weakest tracks on the record, in my opinion. However, I won’t be surprised if my opinion on this changes as I give this album a few more listens.

My only other criticism is that Jenevieve still needs to work on creating her own distinct sound. While I enjoy this album, there are only a few songs on it that separate Jenevieve from other up-and-coming R&B artists. That’s not to say that Jenevieve has no individuality — tracks like “Baby Powder” and “Résumé” show that she is perfectly capable of sounding unique — I just think she should continue to make more songs like these, and I’m confident that with time, she’ll develop her own unique sound.

All that being said, “Division” proves to be a solid body of work and a very impressive debut project. Overall, I give this album a 7.5/10. Jenevieve has established herself as a driving force in alternative R&B, and I’m excited to see what she releases in the future.

— Marshall Morgan

Band/Artist Profile New Album Review

“SYS03” by FJAAK (EP Review)

EP: “SYS03” by FJAAK



RATING: 8.5/10

BEST TRACKS: “Fabric” and “Blitz”

Berlin based duo FJAAK is back with their new EP “SYS03”, the third installment in the “SYS” series. It’s no secret that clubs all over the world have struggled to stay financially afloat amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing an opportunity to give back, FJAAK created the “SYS” series, a charity project where four club-titled tracks are released with all revenue generated going directly to the four clubs. The clubs featured in “SYS03” are London based Fabric, Munich based Blitz, Brussels based Fuse, and Cologne based Gewölbe. 

The idea behind the whole project makes each individual track and EP installment a unique listening experience. Before playing the opening track “Fabric”, I decided to search for a couple images of the dancefloor. Hearing the heavy and slightly reverberated bassline as the track played, I envisioned the bass vibrating and reverbing off the brick walls, the subtle melody kick-in drawing oohs and ahs from the crowd.  For a club that looks like a residential brick house, it perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere. I followed my same process for the second track “Blitz”. While maintaining the similar heavy bassline form “Fabric”, the melody is much more pronounced with vocal echoes and hi-hats alongside an almost euphoric synth breakdown. Located in a former museum hall with two dancefloors, two bars, and a vegetarian restaurant, Blitz is a world away from the underground basement setting of Fabric and FJAAK’s ability to portray this juxtaposition throughout the EP is why I gave “SYS03” an 8.5 out of 10.

I have proudly done my part in supporting these clubs and many others by purchasing all three installments, and I hope you will all do the same.

New Album Review

“Solar Power” by Lorde (Album Review)

Lorde is notorious for the story-like nature of her albums, often starting and ending an album with similar or juxtaposed themes. On her debut record, “Pure Heroine,” she begins the first track with “Don’t you think that it’s boring how people talk?” and ends the final track with the line “But people are talking, people are talking / Let ’em talk.” And on her sophomore album “Melodrama,” she tells the tale of a house party. The concept for her brand new album, “Solar Power”? Nature. In 2019, Lorde visited Antarctica and that trip bore her memoir/photo-book “Going South.” The book was released in June 2021 as a “precursor” to “Solar Power.”  

It seems to me that Lorde’s proven superb ability to procure cohesiveness has leaned more into sonic repetitiveness this time around. The production, done by Lorde, Jack Antonoff and in part by James Ryan Ho (better known as Malay) leaves something to be desired. I understand that not every album is going to be as blatantly over-the-top pop as fan favorite “Melodrama,” but the whole album falls one step short of whole, and is almost too understated.

However, songwriting is one area in which I’m convinced Lorde will never fall short. “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All),” “The Man with the Axe” and “Big Star” are the three lyrically strongest tracks on the record. The following is a collection of my favorite lyrics from the album:

  • “I should’ve known when your favorite record / Was the same as my father’s you’d take me down” — “The Man with the Axe”
  • “Couldn’t wait to turn fifteen / Then you blink and it’s been ten years / Growing up a little at a time, then all at once / Everybody wants the best for you / But you gotta want it for yourself, my love” — “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All)”
  • “I used to love the party, now I’m not alright / Hope the honeybees make it home tonight” — “Big Star”
  • “In the future / If I have a daughter / Will she have my waist / Or my widow’s peak? / My dreamer’s disposition or my wicked streak?” — “Oceanic Feeling”

And it does possess the aforementioned circularity that her previous albums boast. The first track, “The Path” begs the audience to understand that she is not a savior nor a messiah (despite her stage name). “Oceanic Feeling,” the closing song, ends with the lyric “… I’ll know when it’s time / To take off my robes and step into the choir.”

Aside from the previously mentioned production collaboration, the album also contains much collaboration with other artists. Clairo, Phoebe Bridgers, Lawrence Arabia and Marlon Williams provide backing vocals on numerous tracks. Swedish musician Robyn, co-wrote and did the spoken outro on “Secrets from a Girl (Who’s Seen It All).” Jack Antonoff also has songwriting credits on eight of the twelve tracks. 

Fan and critical reception has been decent but far below par for a Lorde album. In my opinion, she had a vision and executed it, which is all you can ask for in art. She wasn’t trying to make another “Melodrama,” she was trying to make “Solar Power,” and she did just that.

New Album Review

Lingua Ignota: Sinner Get Ready

With 2019’s “Caligula,” Lingua Ignota established herself as one of the leading voices in a number of genres. She’s achieved a level of mainstream indie success that eclipses most her peers in classical, metal, darkwave, or power electronics. “Caligula,” was a dark and trying indictment of extreme music, tying the genres violent and misogynistic imagery with Hayter’s own experiences of abuse within the community. Her live shows were known for having most audience members in tears by the intermission, her music reflected that reputation. This is all to say that Lingua Ignota had a very established brand going into her next album cycle, and she had seemingly already released her masterpiece. Personally, as someone who loved “Caligula,” a little too much, I was skeptical as to whether she could really evolve from this without abandoning her brand entirely because she’d seemingly achieved all she possibly could with her current style. Boy was I wrong about that.

“Sinner Get Ready,” is a stylistic and thematic shift, starting at roughly the same emotional point her last album ended on, with Hayter’s operatic elegy to God of “I don’t give a f—, just kill him, I’m not asking.” But this initial desperation gives way to a more melancholic and instrumental experience centered on sacred music. Hayter has occupied roughly every position on faith you could imagine, from alter girl to new atheist, but she returns to religious imagery from the perspective of a respectful outsider here. Like I said earlier, I love Lingua Ignota’s music enough that I’m probably not able to give an evenhanded or objective review of this album. Instead, I want to take on a tour of the religious aspects of Ingota’s music, because while her faith was always a part of her music, it really takes centerstage on “Sinner Get Ready.”

During the pandemic, Hayter moved to Pensyltucky and immediately needed incredibly painful and debilitating surgery on her spine. This pain, combined with the rural atmosphere, saw Hayter looking to the sacred music of Appalachia for inspiration. This move is not entirely out of character. While we associate folk with lighthearted music and upbeat country songs, traditional Southern folk music, especially music dealing with religion, is pervaded by ambience of death and millenarism that meets Ignota’s dark and theatrical energy. She sings songs of the apocalypse on “REPENT AND CONFESS NOW,” which features such uplifting religious messages as, “I can’t say I don’t deserve it, he took my legs and my will to live.”

Ignota’s vision of God might be unfamiliar to you if you didn’t grow up Catholic or hardline Calvinist. The current tone of megachurch-style evangelical Christianity is positive, uplifting, and focused on the love and mercy of God, and this dominates public perception of Christianity as very chipper and a little detached from reality. Lingua Ignota focuses on the God I remember from the Presbyterian Church: the God of wrath and suffering. This makes her new album about as depressing as music can get, as she combines harsh and dissonant instrumentals with lyrics preoccupied with death, hell, and the day of judgement.

Now, if that sounds like something you would never want to listen to, that’s very understandable. However, there’s something deeply beautiful at the bottom of all this angst and atmosphere. Lingua Ignota has a deep genuine respect for the types of music she’s using, going as far as to learn banjo and cello for this project. Many a classical composer has taken inspiration from this region, but what “Sinner Get Ready,” does that is absent in “Appalachian Spring,” is empathize with the deep sadness and intergenerational pain that the music’s beauty masks. So, when Ignota draws in samples that challenge the culture she’s appropriating, such as televangelist Jimmy Swaggart’s crocodile tears of repentance or a woman proclaiming that she will not get covid because she’s covered in Jesus’ blood, it doesn’t feel like a cheap insult (see The Queitus for that terrible take on this album). Instead, it feels like a shot of realism to balance the unconditional musical admiration in display in the instrumentals.

The least discussed, and in my opinion, most important sample on the album comes very early. It’s an interview with a mountain hermit discussing his solitary lifestyle and his music. He sings a few lines of an old hymn, before recalling to the audience that he can still her his dead mother singing it in a church pew decades ago. It’s a sample that pulls the emotional weight and the perverse addictiveness of this kind of hopeless caterwauling. It’s one of countless touching but sad moments on a touching but sad album.

New Album Review

Scout [EP] by Samia Review

ALBUM: “Scout” by Samia


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.  


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

New Album Review

“Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night” New Album Review

ALBUM: “Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night” by Bleachers


LABEL: RCA Records Label

RATING: 7.25/10

BEST TRACKS: “Chinatown” “How Dare You Want More” “Stop Making This Hurt”

FCC: None

“Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night” is finally out after over a year of teasing by Jack Antonoff, who said at the beginning of 2020 that his third album would come at some time that year. 

With a total of 10 songs that clock in at nearly 34 minutes, this album contains collaborations with Annie Clark (better known as St. Vincent), Lana Del Rey and Bruce Springsteen. The three singles “45,” “Chinatown” and “Stop Making This Hurt” are indubitably three of the strongest tracks.

As a fan of Antonoff, I was somewhat surprised by how reminiscent of Bleachers’ previous album, “Gone Now,” this release was. To Antonoff’s credit, he did experiment more than usual on this record, as seen with an instrumental solo in the back half of “How Dare You Want More” and strong vocals in the opening track, “91”. However, he seemed to fall back into his own tropes of big jazzy instrumentation and writing about the same themes he’s been writing about for his entire solo career (shadows, heroes/being saved, and waking up being just a few of the tropes he falls back on). What once felt like a refreshing take on pop music is now starting to feel somewhat trite.

What some may see as repetitive, others may interpret as cohesive and consistent, so it’s a matter of how you frame the context surrounding the album. Criticism aside, the album is good, and definitely worth the listen, but simply not what I was hoping to see from Antonoff. 

Track 9, “Strange Behavior” (previously known as “Behavior”), is a cover of a song he had written in Steel Train, a former band of his. The new rendition is more soulful and intimate than the previous, but I’m partial to the rock instrumentation and the overall execution on the Steel Train version.

As always happens with a Bleachers record, the album’s themes and generally upbeat nature left me feeling hopeful, which is a rare and beautiful gift that Antonoff possesses, and is one that just can’t be taught. Although I definitely prefer Bleachers’ two previous records, “Strange Desire” and “Gone Now,” I appreciate the artistry and love that clearly went into “Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night.”

New Album Review

New Album Review: Thirstier by TORRES

In this age of music consumption, I find myself listening to albums in a way that wouldn’t have been done fifteen years ago. I’ll often listen through one time, extract the songs I like into a playlist, and rarely go back to it in album form if it’s not one of my absolute favorites. I’ll often measure albums on how many good to great songs I can pull from it, or the ratio of those to the total number of songs. If you listen to music that way, and I’m pretty sure most people my age do, “Thirstier” will be a very memorable experience, otherwise, it might seem like less than the sum of its parts.

The parts themselves are great. Over the last decade, TORRES has built a strong discography around whip-smart lyrics, genre fusions and emotive guitar work, and those are all here and putting on a show. Opening tracks are usually some of my least favorite songs to listen and relisten to because of how much they need the album around them to really hit, so it was refreshing to see “Are You Sleepwalking?” just go for it and be fun and hard-hitting on its own terms. The lead single “Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head” combines her country-adjacent vocal style with a pulsating base of synthesizers and a driving rock beat that turns what could have been overly wordy choruses into butter. This song feels like if The Killers remixed her previous best songs and it had me very excited to hear the rest of the project. The album finishes strong too. A glitchy electronic drumbeat propels “Kiss the Corners” into your memory immediately, but it’s kept there by instantly iconic vocal harmonies in the chorus. And “Hand in the Air” finds its groove instantly and stays in it the whole time, with subtle but attention-grabbing piano parts leading into warm walls of sound that mirror the urgent and powerful vocal delivery.

The issue, therefore, isn’t the foundations or the highlights they produced, but the uneven pacing. I pretty much skipped over the whole middle for a reason, there isn’t much there to talk about. Nothing here is bad by any means, but it just doesn’t click in that ethereal way the best songs on the album figured out how to do. “Big Leap” has a mournful tone that hooked me in, but the narrative being told felt a little unfocused and I wasn’t taken to where I felt the song wanted me to go. Both “Hug From a Dinosaur” and “Thirstier,” both felt slightly clunky; either a chorus that didn’t land or sounding just too overblown for their own good. And all of these otherwise small issues are magnified when they’re all stuffed into one section.

Now, this isn’t a big deal if you listen to albums like I do. The aforementioned highlights truly are highlights and songs that I don’t see leaving my music rotation for a long time. If that’s how the album is remembered, then it’s another classic from TORRES. But if you prefer to knock out entire albums in one sitting multiple times, then you might be skipping more tracks than you’d want.

– Erie Mitchell

New Album Review

Scout by Samia EP Review

“Making it look easy is the hardest thing in the world to do” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

One of the best ways an album can be enjoyable to listen to is by sounding effortless. This works for any genre; being able to settle into a groove and make the listener think the carefully planned lyrics are just coming out in a stream of consciousness. Samia’s last album, 2020’s “The Baby,” thrived off this concept. Lines didn’t sound forced but like they flowed out under their own steam, taking center stage over minimal and light instrumentals. This wasn’t an album that clicked with me right away, but a year later, it’s stayed in my music rotation and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. It managed to walk that very thin line between trying too hard and sounding lazy. This is a very difficult balancing act, and it’s one that at times hurt “Scout” but kept its true potential in check.

One thing it got perfectly right was its choice of the lead single. “Show Up” has been one of my favorite songs of the year and one that perfectly captures this spirit of effortlessness. It tells a vaguely defined story, name-dropping characters we don’t hear from again, to draw the listener into its world before hitting us with its understated and inspirational chorus. The ability for Samia to pull narratives from conventional song structures and not feel like it was forced in is a highlight of the EP and Show Up was the best example of that.

Ironically, the other highlight was the song that ditched the understated feel the most and went big with hard-hitting drums and a strong vocal feature, “The Promise.” This made no effort to hide its best qualities and was some of the most immediate fun I’ve had with a Samia song.

The other two tracks weren’t bad by any means, but they had some issues that require a separate category to mention. “As You Are” had a vocal sample at the beginning that lasted for far too long and got in the way of the actual singing. These kinds of choices jump out to me. I really don’t know why that was played as long as it did, and consistency is a big part of why I like any song, so having something irksome like that is when I tend to look at a song less favorably. It, along with the other track “Elephant,” also ran into the issue of trying to mimic a style rather than go for something different. It’s not too egregious, as it is her style, but both of those songs to me felt like the weakest off “Scoutm” or maybe B-sides. Elephant” did come alive at the end with some neat wordplay and a well-executed chorus but it just didn’t grab my attention that way I’ve come to expect from Samia’s discography.

I was probably a little too hyped coming into this EP. While of course EPs aren’t a bad art form, in my experience I tend to prefer an artists’ album output. “The Baby” was intimate, gripping and meditative, but most of all it was surprising, a debut album that absolutely blew me away. “Scout” was a strong EP and follow-up, but it just couldn’t surprise me like her previous release. Now her next album though…

– Erie Mitchell

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


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.  


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

Band/Artist Profile New Album Review

Faye Webster- Artist Profile and Album Review

Faye Webster isn’t a huge star right now, but she definitely deserves to be. Her latest album is a triumph, and it’s exciting to see her get both critical attention and actual commercial success from it, as it’s currently on Billboard’s Heat Seekers and folk charts. So let’s get to know Faye Webster, and see what she has to say for herself.

Webster is, first and foremost, a country musician. Based out of the ATL, she has a very retro countrypolitan sound reminiscent of Emmylou Harris, Patsy Cline and Linda Ronstadt. 70s pop country is uncool both within country music, where it garnered a pretty big backlash for selling out, and outside of country where it’s mostly been written out of pop history. But for several years, country musicians were having number one albums getting multiple pop hits a year by being just aggressively sad.

Webster has forgone the pop hits and success, but boy can she be sad with the best of them. She takes the twang out of her voice and relocates to some deeply melancholy lyrics (and some great slide guitars). Her album “I know I’m funny haha,” is perhaps the best indication of what kind of artist she is. It makes her music engaging and beautiful, but in a way that’s not much fun to talk about. If you’ve heard any indie folk, you know what to expect.

Her last album, “Atlanta Millionaires Club,” however, yields a few more interesting details. The album is a tribute to the musical history of Atlanta, both White and Black. The default instrumental palate is a fusion of her countrypolitan aesthetic with classic 70s soul, a fusion that works so well I’m honestly surprised it’s not done more often. There’s even a token country rap song, which, despite not really blowing me out of the water personally, beats the heck out of Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan.

So, if you want to know where to start, I might suggest listening to a few of her top songs on Spotify, then hitting up the new album when you’re feeling a little blue. Fusions of country and indie are just getting better and better these days, and Faye Webster is an excellent addition to that trend.