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Albums with Gunner: Quit the Curse by Anna Burch

Written by Gunner. Posted in Music, Reviews

Anna Burch’s Quit The Curse album took me by surprise as being one of my favorite albums of 2018 so far, possibly because it is one of the few albums I’ve listened to that I enjoyed.  The indie-artist’s debut comes to life with the vintage sounds provided by the use of reverb and guitars.

 

Quit the Curse brings me summer vibes, with the joyous guitar strings and the energetic drums. I keep imagining 1960’s aesthetics with each song and I am in no way complaining because I love all things vintage. One of my favorites include “Belle Isle”, mostly because of the play on guitars which have a poppy melody that gives listeners an imagery of paradise. The opening of “In Your Dreams” had me swaying my head back forth on the beat of each drum.  And of course, the angelic guitar intro  was amazing. (If you can’t already tell, I love guitars). There were a few songs that lost my interest, possibly because of the monotone presence Burch displays in her songs. In the songs that I liked, her voice was paired perfectly with the instruments, which made me favor them more.

 

The entire album is composed of lyrics in which Anna Burch expresses her romantic disasters.  The entire album gives off a Lana Del Rey sound, with Burch possibly taking inspiration from the mainstream-alt artist, as well as working with the her sound engineer. I listened to this album imaging myself standing up in a vintage car, with my hair blowing in the breeze on the California coast. I would definitely listen to this album again, for aesthetic purposes of course.

 

Rate: 7/10

Albums with Gunner: Earthtones by Bahamas

Written by Gunner. Posted in Music, Reviews

 

Earthtones marks Bahamas fourth studio album. The album has tunes where one can bop their head or tap their toes to, but nothing too hard where they’ll be out of their seats dancing unless of course they prefer this type of music to jam to.

 

The album takes on a new form of indie, providing listeners with fresh r&b and soul with tracks like “So Free” and “Any Place” but it is tracks like “Alone” and “Everything to Everyone” that caught my attention with the heavy beats. “Alone” starts off very slow, but gives a taste of pleasantry with the background vocals provided by the band’s backup singer Felicity Williams. It moved me through the song, and I appreciated how the song ended with a heavy set of dreams. It set a tone for the rest of the album where drums would be essential in carrying out the tunes. Overall, the guitars in the album stand out for me, as they do in every album, because they help complement the R&B and Soul style that band has going on. Even though I wasn’t alive in the 70’s, the guitars create a sense of the groovy era.

 

Compared to their 2014 album Bahamas is Afie, which had a folk-style to it, displays the versatility of Bahama’s, enabling them to be inspired by any music and correctly projecting it to an audience. The soft vocals in Earthtones makes the album essential for days spent in coffee shops or even for fun elevator music. I personally do not enjoy music like this, but my ears were satisfied with what they heard. 

 

7/10.

 

Review: St. Vincent – “MASSEDUCTION”

Written by Gunner. Posted in Music, Reviews

 

MASSSEDUCTION marks Annie Clark’s (stage name St. Vincent) fifth album. Her previous pseudonym titled album St. Vincent went on to receive a Grammy for Best Alternative Album however MASSEDUCTION may add to that collection. The album, which was co-produced by Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff (famous collaborations include Lorde & Taylor Swift) provides a refreshing ‘80s sound with flaring synths and heavy 808’s. The sound adds to the idea of “seduction” and positively adds to the growing sub genre of futuristic pop. The captious lyrics allow for a dark expose of Clark’s life as a whole taking on topics such as addiction (“Pills”) and suicide (“Smoking Section”). However, Clark is able to turn her recovery into a work of art as she puts together the broken pieces of her life and creates a beautiful musical puzzle.

Overall, the thirteen tracks provided were invigorating to say the least but only a few stood out to me. The title track provided for the idea of attraction. Clark spoke about the title track as her either being “seduced or the seducer”. The lines “I can’t turn off what turns me on/I hold you like a weapon” stood out to me the most as both seemed go along with the idea of attraction. What she has her eye on is dangerous but the force is too strong to be reckoned then saying she can not “turn off” what turns her on.

The instrumental track “Dancing with the Ghosts” serves as an emotional prelude to “Slow Disco” whose title is often repeated into the track. I loved the melancholic strings of the track as it resonated with mood of “Slow Disco”. The introduction tells the listeners that what they’re about to hear is somber. Clark has done this before on her first album with the two tracks “We Put a Pearl in the Ground” serving as an introduction for “Landmines”.

“Pills” and “Smoking Section” seem to be the controversial since they take on such harsh topics. “Pills” begins to go on about how it is much easier to live life when drugged rather than being sober. The chorus of the track “Pills to wake/pills to sleep” describe how Clark felt during a short period of her life when she would take sleeping pills. The chorus is a play on how she felt taking pills was the way to live her life. “Smoking Section” takes listeners down a much darker road as the lyrics are critical to the safety of life.  Many lyrics in this song are ways one could possibly end their life such as the lines “Sometimes I stand with a pistol in my hand/ I go to the edge of my roof” and I feel like St. Vincent wrote these lines to discuss the thoughts she’s had. The title of the song even describes something that’s risky for health. Sitting a in a smoking section could cause second hand smoke. My analysis of the title could be a stretch however, it correlates with the meaning of the song. However, the song concludes with Clark repeating the lines “it’s not the end”. It seems as though she turned around and let go of the negative thoughts and reassured herself she has more to live for and go on.

Overall, MASS SEDUCTION provides for a new sound for both genres of pop and alternative. I truly think it could be a contender for the 2019 Grammy’s possibly allowing Clark to receive her second grammy in Best Alternative Album.  I enjoyed the unique sounds of the album and the compelling lyrics making St. Vincent an asset to the music industry.

Remember Us to Life by Regina Spektor

Written by Staff. Posted in Music, Reviews

An album review by Emma Poor

Remember Us to Life by Regina Spektor is her seventh studio album and one of her best ones yet. For most of her songs she recorded with a full orchestra that increased the intensity of her music. Her lyrics are powerful and well-written, digging to the heart and begging you to listen. Her songs are more lyrics driven than anything where the full orchestra adds to the lyrics by swelling up behind her words. In Tornadoland when her lyrics turn more jazz inspired, the orchestra remains eerie and increasingly grows louder. In most of her songs, she sings in a minor key that is balanced out by her light vocals. The minor key is common in most of her music spanning across all of her albums. The song Obsolete is over six minutes long and entirely worth listening to with the dark lyrics, questioning life and its meaning while directly after, Sellers of Flowers is reminiscent and carefree. The first two songs have hints of pop music and are more upbeat than the rest of the album. I thoroughly enjoyed the album and would definitely listen to the album over and over again.

Phantogram’s “Three” Review

Written by Staff. Posted in Music, Reviews

phantogram-three Review by Becca Malott

The electro rock group Phantogram led by Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter is getting closer to the popular alternative genre with their album “Three” released October 7th 2016. This band contains elaborate guitar riffs with electronic twists and gritty yet airy vocals that defiantly steal the attention of the audience. The band originated back in 2007 in their hometown Greenwich, New York. They have released a total of three studio albums.  Interestingly enough the group records all of their music in a remote barn near Upstate New York. The album’s number one hit “You Don’t Make Me High Anymore” is definitely pulling Phantogram closer and closer to mainstream alternative. Songs like “Same Old Blues” have an alluring mixture of almost blues and pop creating a paradox of interesting vocalizing and rhythmic beats.  Other songs like “Answers” and “Funeral Pyre” which contain a slower melody focusing the attention to the more emotional lyrical aspect of their music. This album is a must when it comes to unwinding with friends, or just jamming out in the car.

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