Thanks to Justine Vanderpool for shooting Fleet Foxes last weekend for Sonically Awkward! Check out her gallery below, and if you dig her shots, give her a shout out on Twitter/Insta! Also thanks to Maddie Corbin for the access to this wonderful show. Get tickets to one of their upcoming US shows below to take in their savory, glistening guitars for yourself.
These days new music comes out at a feverish, insatiable pace. My aim is to help pick some gems out of the vast amount of music that gets put out each and every week, and help funnel them into your ear canals. You can use it to help dig deeper into the artists you like, or just stick with my playlists - that's all up to you. Without further pause, let's dive in!
The album/EP selection this week was challenging. There are plenty of projects worthy of listening that did not get the nod here, but let's start with Moses Sumney's Aromantacism. Moses' dreamy, ambient, slithery vocals and minimal, beautiful production is a true piece of art. In fact, in LA they're even having a listening party to this record, while you're able to create free floral arrangements. This unique promo method is genius. Next up is the very different sounding group Knox Fortune's Paradise. The Chicago artist has an experimental alternative sound, with some tracks leading you to question where it is going, only to have him pull you back in with his great taste in beats. Third on the list is the EP from The Neighbourhood! You'll most likely remember their hit 'Sweater Weather' first and foremost, but the new EP shows a more pristine ear for their production, avoiding traditional pop song arrangements. The last selection was very tough to make, having to choose from Lecrae (All Things Work Together), The Killers (Wonderful Wonderful), Macklemore (GEMINI), and a couple others, but I had to give the nod to Jhene Aiko's Trip! The 22-song beast of an album has tracks with her favorite collaborator Big Sean (both as a solo artist and in their TWENTY88 group), Swae Lee, and Kurupt.
For singles this week, let's kick off the discussion with Dame D.O.L.L.A.'s first single off upcoming album Confirmed, and it is a banger. 'Run It Up', featuring Lil Wayne (who was also on his debut album), incorporates the all popular flute, pounding drums, and a pace that comes in second only to Damian's pace on court. It is an instant add to any and all workout/running playlists. Russ' latest single 'Wife You Up' is fantastic, opting for a piano-heavy production and slower pace, a welcome change-up on this list. A Boogie wit da Hoodie's latest song 'Say A'' is another that is perfect for your workout playlists, with a fast paced beat and quick bars. Lecrae's new album wasn't featured this week, but I did add two of his tracks off of it for the playlist - 'Fast' and 'Whatchu Mean', both top of the line tracks from Lecrae. The other artists featured are Ty Dolla $ign, The Killers, Wolf Alice, Young Thug, and as a bonus, Maggie Rogers' 'Split Stones', which was this week's Song of the Week!
On the new artist/band front, Rationale's final single in anticipation of his upcoming debut album is 'Into the Blue', a classic Rationale track full of African influences all over its production. Keep an eye out for the album! Dermot Kennedy's latest single 'Moments Passed' is just as unique as his previous track which helped bring him into the spotlight ('Glory'). It uses voice overs, echoes, and his own voice which is an intricate part of each track of his. Lizzo isn't a new artist at this point, but her single 'Truth Hurts' follows up 'Water Me', and is arguably her best song to date. She mentions dating a Minnesota Viking - could it be Anthony Barr? We digress. Jack & Jack are not new by any means, but for me they are - they rose to fame via vine videos, and now produce and record their own music. Their single 'Beg' is clean, pure pop fun.
I'm adding 2 tracks from each new album featured to the 'New Release Playlist' below - let me know what you loved/hated in the comments, and be sure to share the post with anyone looking to find new music!
Moses Sumney - Aromantacism
Knox Fortune - Paradise
The Neighbourhood - Hard - EP
Jhene Aiko - Trip
Lizzo - 'Truth Hurts' (E)
Jack & Jack - 'Beg'
Russ - 'Wife You Up'
A Boogie wit da Hoodie - 'Say A'' (E)
Dame D.O.L.L.A. ft. Lil Wayne - 'Run It Up'
Rationale - 'Into the Blue'
Lecrae - 'Whatchu Mean' (ft. Aha Gazelle) & 'Facts'
Ty Dolla $ign ft. Jeremih - 'Dawsin's Breek' (E)
The Killers - 'Life to Come'
Wolf Alice - 'Heavenward'
Young Thug & Carnage - 'Liger' (E)
Dermot Kennedy - 'Moments Passed'
Bonus - Maggie Rogers - 'Split Stones' (Song of the Week)
New Music Friday - 9/22 Playlist
When local Portland acts get to play Doug Fir for the first time, it's not just a normal gig. On this night for Alexandra Savior, it was not just an ordinary show either. For starters - it was her Grandpa's birthday. She began the set acknowledging the crowd, and said: "I think I know or am related to every single person here!" Almost, Alexandra. She was backed by a drummer, bassist, guitarist, and keyboard to help round out her live sound.
For those who are unfamiliar with Alexandra's music, there are several ways to describe it. In the normal, genre-specific sense, it has been described as the all-encompassing alternative, atmospheric pop, and even 'desert rock', which I'm not exactly sure what that means. I like to think of her music in other terms. When Alexandra started the set off with 'Frankie', 'Bones', and one of my personal favorites 'M.T.M.E.', it felt like you were transported to a live recording of the Twin Peaks soundtrack from the early 1990's. The aforementioned atmospheric pop, mixed with her dreamy psychedelic voice made you feel like the 'Log Lady' could walk on stage at any moment.
As Alexandra progressed throughout the set, she played more fan favorites such as 'Mystery Girl', 'Audeline', 'Risk', and more before calling it a night. The fans downstairs weren't having it though, and urged her to come back out for an encore - the first of which she said she had felt compelled to do. The finale 'Mirage' was the perfect send-off to the night of music from Portland's own Alexandra Savior. Upon leaving Doug Fir, the bright lights of fans' cell phones requesting lyft's outside the venue confirmed we in fact had not traveled back to the 90's, but Alexandra sure did have me fooled for awhile.
Alexandra Savior - Doug Fir 9/7/17
Pics by Hans
Maggie is back folks! Well, for today at least. Her brand new single 'Split Stones' is the selection for Song of the Week here at SA, and it marks a goodbye from Maggie to her fans. Tonight is her final show in support of her debut EP (which you can find a review for here) in Brooklyn, and she'll be going off the radar as soon as the show is done to work on her debut record. There is lots to love about this artist who gained viral fame a mere day after she moved out of her college apartment following graduation, thanks to 'the Pharrell video' going live. Her pin-point ear for production, samples, and dreamy voice are the result of lots of hard work, and it shows throughout this jam, as well as her entire EP. Dig in if you haven't yet!
In an interview with Zane Lowe this morning, Maggie described that there are some extremely unique samples used on this record. She detailed how there is a drum loop at the beginning of the song that she obtained by banging on a silo across the street from where she was staying during the summer before her Senior year in college. Maggie then went on a hike that same summer in Oregon with some other artists, and recorded her breath on the hike as a sample as well. These are just some small tidbits that make me extremely excited for her future, and help to show that she's truly pursuing art as opposed to a hit.
Sonically Awkward recently completed the Songs of Summer Contributor series - you can find all of them right here! This would be a great time to consider becoming a Contributor, or feel free to submit a track or two for us to devour. Remember to follow @SonicallyAwk on Twitter and stay tuned for the giveaway!