Silly us, starting a blog right around Mel’s busy season at work! We’ll get to all the good date night stuff soon, but for now, this time of year means a lot of baseball spreadsheets and leftovers at home in solitude for yours truly. I’m guessing you don’t want posts on either.
But there’s also plenty of new music, of course. (Played loudly because no one’s here and the apartment downstairs is unoccupied.) Polaris cutoff is coming up quickly and bands are putting on their Sunday best for festival season. Here’s what I’m listening to right now.
- “Emerald Rush” by Jon Hopkins
That one year MUTEK sold out a little remains one of the best concert weeks of my life. Seriously, check this lineup: John Talabot, Matthew Herbert, Laurel Halo, Jamie Lidell, Andy Stott, Nils Frahm, Pantha du Prince & the Bell Laboratory and more. Hopkins might’ve been the highlight of that stacked week. His meditative but heavy beats are one-of-a-kind and have a way of overwhelming you without going overboard. The new album is going to be a journey and “Emerald Rush” is a mind blowing return. The amazing animated video was directed by Robert Frank Hunter and you can check out some stills here. It really fits the music and actually made me appreciate the single edit of the song as opposed to the full version.
2. “Pristine” by Snail Mail
Checked in on Matador Records (the home of Interpol, among other bands) recently and they’re really running the new rock game. Can’t say I’m loving the new Lucy Dacus but it’s getting considerable acclaim, and Julien Baker has a knack for putting a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye. Snail Mail is definitely more my speed, and a strong candidate to soundtrack my first lazy hazy spring thaw brown bag of 2018. Lindsey Jordan is only 18-19 but it’s clear she’s going to be huge.
3. “Baseball” by Gulfer
Another perfect brown bagger, but this one has the added benefit of being about baseball. Gulfer’s a talented local band that doesn’t necessarily sound like they’re from Montreal, and that’s a good thing. They released an album in 2018, Dog Bless, that I like putting on when I’m doing busy work around the apartment. We don’t have any plans to road trip to any ballparks this summer, but if we do, I’ll bring Gulfer’s latest along with us.
4. “Lingo” by CJ Flemings
The West Island rapper dropped his album Forever Wanted More in the December media dead zone so invariably I didn’t give it the time it deserved. I still think Flemings has better music ahead of him and is still trying to find his way in our Drake-ruled universe, although I’ve warmed to parts of the album and can’t deny he has the lyrical chops and sense of vocal melody needed to make it. Specifically, the Sources Boulevard-referencing “Lingo” is a fave of mine, which shines with some bouncy vocals even if it’s very If You’re Reading This-era Drake on the production side. It’s also short and to the point, which apparently is all the rage right now.
5. “Sweet Fire” by AKA
You can thank the almighty algorithm for this one. Spotify thought I’d dig it, probably because I’ve been listening to a lot of South African music lately, and lo and behold they were right. Does he drop a “do-re-mi-fa-so-la” in the hook? Julie Andrews would be proud.