3 Albums I Slept On

There are some albums out there that take more than one or two listens in order for me to fully realize how glorious they truly are. At first, I’m extremely underwhelmed by the artist’s efforts to deliver a great album. I disregard the album for some time until I oddly decide to give it another chance. And that’s when it clicks. The album that I had written off as dull and disappointing has become an album that is remarkable in every facet. It is then that I find myself beating myself up over not noticing the record’s true beauty earlier. Here are a three albums I wholly regret sleeping on.

Sylvan Esso – What Now

With the three singles that this electropop duo released prior to their latest album “What Now”, I must admit I had high expectations coming into it. It was my mistake to expect every song to be as blissfully frenetic as “Kick Jump Twist” and as upbeat as “Radio”. It turned out that most of the album was quite passive and insipid on the first listen. So I quickly cast off the album, only listening to the handful of tracks that were worth playing over again. However, I felt guilty that I had given up on the album so soon. After a second listen, I found myself scooping my jaw up off the floor. The beauty of the album is found in its passive moments. They are perfectly crafted in a fresh way that makes you feel different when listening to it. Not each song is wild like “Kick Jump Twist” and that’s okay. It’s the idyllic moments on “Sound” and “Slack Jaw” that turn heads. It’s the softly rhythmic tracks like “Song” and “Die Young” that balance out the much more rapturous songs on the album. Balance turned out to be the key on this record. The calm tracks made the raucous tracks even more intense and vice versa. This gorgeous album by Sylvan Esso is an eye-opener from start to finish, and I regret rolling my eyes to it the first time around.

Top Vybes: “Sound”, “Die Young”, “Kick Jump Twist”, “Slack Jaw”

Vybes like: Chairlift, Little Dragon

Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us

The metalcore giants Architects dropped an album that honestly was quite disappointing at first. Each song blended together, sounding like mere imitations of both each other and the previous album. Each followed practically the same formula: spacey atmospherics followed by Sam Carter firing off a few memorable lines before screaming his signature “Blegh!” to usher in the same rapid riff tweaked only slightly. This is what put me off. I found it unoriginal and lazy on the bands part. However, after a second listen, I found myself enjoying this album more than ever. All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us is in no way revolutionary. It’s not Architects adding radical elements to their music. It’s Architects refining their sound and creating an album that is memorable in its intricate details found both in its soft and heavy moments. It is a very cohesive album that really comes to life if you let it.

Top Vybes: “Nihilist”, “Gone With The Wind”, “Phantom Fear”, “Gravity”

Vybes like: Northlane, While She Sleeps

Madeintyo – Thank You, Mr. Tokyo

I gave this album a chance after hearing Madeintyo’s “Uber Everywhere” practically everywhere. It was a breakthrough hit for the young rapper, and I was curious to see how he would follow it up. When I listened to it, it just never caught my attention. I knew tracks like “Skateboard P” and “Mr. Tokyo” were phenomenal, but apart from those two I was left scratching my head. It turned out that all I needed was another couple listens before it grew on me. Each song was great, from the production to his flow. Yea, he may sound the same on every track, but so does Future and he’s one of the top artists in the game as of now. The lighthearted, playful sound of Madeintyo is novel and original in the trap/hip-hop scene. The way he crafts catchy songs on top of K. Swisha’s phenomenal production is infectious and capable of getting anyone singing along.

Top Vybes: “Mr. Tokyo”, “Gucci Polo”, “Skateboard P”, “Untitled”

Vybes like: Ugly God, Nebu Kiniza

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Vince Staples, Sworn In, Mura Masa

“Big Fish” – Vince Staples

From production to the lyrics, Vince Staples is reasserting himself into the discussions on the best new school rappers. With “Big Fish” as his second single off the upcoming album Big Fish Theory, Vince demonstrates slick flow that he effortlessly meanders through. He displays his exceptional lyricism that groups him with highly-esteemed artists like Kendrick Lamara and Earl Sweatshirt. The production on the track does not smack you in the face with lots of bells and whistles, but through its sleek subtlety it perfectly accompanies Vince Staple’s smooth rapping.

“Make It Hurt” – Sworn In

As if Sworn In couldn’t get anymore raw and gritty in terms of lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation, they really button-smash the unbridled aggression that they have become known for. Yet they deliver above and beyond with a chorus that is as catchy as it is unsettling. The disjointed instrumentation keeps it heavy and raw. In fact, most of the song is jumbled and would seem as if a flight of ideas from the band. However, the abrupt nature of the different sections of the song adds an extra punch to a song that is both disquieting and head-turning.

“All Around The World” – Mura Masa ft. Desiigner

I had to double-take when I saw that Mura Masa, an artist I adore, had a track with Desiigner, an artist I could care less about. However, the collaboration gets a shocking thumbs-up. Both artists triumph on the track. Mura Masa kills it on the production, crafting a wavy, flute-filled trap song. My fear was that Mura Masa would produce a track that Desiigner would come up flat on, yet Desiigner delivers a catchy hook and does a sufficient job on the verses. And thanks to his clear enunciation on this track, I can definitely see people singing the whole song at the top of their lungs this summer.

Hundred Waters – Currency

Sometimes you stumble upon an album, and it proves to be quite lackluster. Other times you wander into a gem of an album that leaves you forever grateful for your discovery. The latter was the case for Hundred Waters’ Currency. The electro-folk trio crafted an impeccable extended play that got me wishing it was a full length.

Being signed to Skrillex’s electronic label OWSLA, I was expecting an album steeped in electronic synths and sonic bass drops that would get a party up and moving. Yet the Currency was on the opposite side of the spectrum. This minimalist release is fresh and idyllic, thriving more on the otherworldly atmospheric vibe akin to the xx rather than what is expected of any artist signed to OWSLA. With Nicole Miglis’ ethereal vocals, each song transports you out of body on a journey through the delicately crafted production. This EP is truly an experience rather than just another album. I would highly recommend the first listen to be solely through headphones. Like Flume’s Skin and Cashmere Cat’s 9, Currency is a magical, sonic experience that ought to be listened through a good set of headphones to be fully impacted by the subtle grandeur of this release.

Collect the ethereal, electro-pop vibe, the poetic lyrics sung by airy vocals, and the subtle ambiance that paradoxically makes for a grander feel, and you have a masterpiece of an EP from a band that is probably not on many people’s radar. Yet after this release, they most certainly should be.

Top vybes: Currency, Particle

Vybes like: the xx, Chairlift

9.5/10

Marshmello, Pvris, HAIM Reviews

Lots of amazing music came out today, so I decided to review three songs at once. Expect an album review of Russ’ There’s Really A Wolf and an artist to watch over the weekend. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the new vybes given to us by Marshmello, Haim, and Pvris.

“Moving On” – Marshmello

Marshmello is killing the EDM game, and he continues to do so with his newest track “Moving On”. The enigmatic producer who weaves trap and EDM together so effortlessly crafts another song that will have you dancing nonstop and singing at the top of your lungs. Marshmello is very much an artist who seeks to spread positive vybes through the music he creates, and “Moving On” is nothing short of positive. It’s simply a jovial song that will make you smile at one point or another. From the bludgeoning bass to the jolly melody throughout, the song is crafted very well. The shrill vocals before the drop act as the icing on the cake, something one should expect on a Marshmello track. “Moving On” certainly isn’t Marshmello’s best track, nor does it do anything drastically mind-blowing, but it is solid track that will continue to get people ready for an album release that seems to be closer than we may think.

For those who vybe to: Galantis, Slushii

“Heaven” – Pvris

Pvris can do no wrong. Following a large period since their debut release White Noise that came out late 2014, the three-piece alternative rock outfit is back with an impassioned song titled “Heaven”. This song is impeccable on every level. The song is composed to perfection, transitioning from a piano-driven ballad into the moody atmospheric anthem that is the band’s signature. The lyrics are poignant, the pinnacle being the chorus where vocalist Lynn Gunn belts out the passionate “You took my heaven away” that is a quite quotable and pertinent for any person subject to heartache. Pvris seems to be going down a darker route as this single is different from “Fire” and “My House” off of their debut. But this is not a thing to be feared, as Pvris has proven that they can craft masterpieces whether they emanate lighter or darker tones.

For those who vybe to: The Neighbourhood, Tonight Alive

“Want You Back” – HAIM

Their breakthrough debut put them on the map back in 2013, but they are destined to make bigger waves with their future release. “Want You Back” is an infectious track that provides a sparkling glimpse into what’s to come from this trio. Their music is highly tinged by the 80s, and it’s front and center on “Want You Back”. This song is highly reminiscent of The 1975, which attests to Haim’s ability to smoothly blend the 80s with pop rock. The vocals, instrumentation, production, and composition are cohesive and ultimately serve to make this song extremely memorable. As a result of “Want You Back”, I eagerly await their upcoming material which should be nothing short of remarkable.

For those who vybe to: The 1975, CHVRCHES

image via Billboard.com