The Best Albums of 2017

The Best Albums of 2017

Okay, so that title is misleading. These aren't necessarily the best albums of 2017 - who am I to judge? - but they're certainly the new releases that I enjoyed most this year. (Presented alphabetically by artist.) I'm Only Dreaming by Eisley By the end of the album's very first song, it's clear that I'm [...]

Tessa Violet – Halloway

Tessa Violet – Halloway

When discussing Halloway, the late-2016 EP from Tessa Violet, the natural inclination is to focus on the album's jaunty electropop feel. While it's true that 'Dream' moves along on the back of a bouncing hook and that 'Not Over You' sounds like the musical lovechild of Tillian and Carly Rae Jepsen, these salient points do [...]

This Is Ours Now

This Is Ours Now

I. There was a time when Third Eye Blind's self-titled debut was the only album I listened to for an entire calendar year. Literally. That seems like an exaggeration, an overreach of the figurative use of “literally.” It’s not. I was ten during the summer of 1997, when 'Semi-Charmed Life' took over every radio station [...]

Violet Days – Your Girl

Violet Days – Your Girl

I am nothing if not a (wayward, powerless) arbiter of pop music. Over the years I have advocated for indie darlings, universally acclaimed megastars and criminally underrated savants. And now I've got a new addiction: 'Your Girl' by Violet Days. I don't want to get too technical here but, guys, that song is awesome. It's got smooth hooks! It's got [...]

Owel – dear me

Owel – dear me

Goddamn if this album isn't beautiful. From the moment it begins, with three twinkling strikes of a xylophone, Owel's dear me is a gorgeous, sweeping ode to the power of beauty in music. Each song across the album's 66-minute runtime brims with tenderness and passion; when, for instance, vocalist Jay Sakong sings the titular syllables of 'Pale Soft Light' during [...]

Artifex Pereo – Passengers

Artifex Pereo – Passengers

There's an old Jerry Seinfeld bit about the hazards of choosing a cold medicine. “This one's quick acting, but this one's long lasting,” he notes. “When do I need to feel good, now or later?” Weirdly, this is not so different from some of the listening choices that we make. Some albums use shortcuts to jump [...]

Parallel Lives

Parallel Lives

Two of my best friends are brothers; one is a comic artist and the other a musician. We used to play in a band together. Bands, actually. The most successful was probably our high school band, a pop-punk/screamo outfit that consistently covered both Finch's 'Letters to You' and the Limp Bizkit version of George Michael's [...]

The Best Albums of 2015

The Best Albums of 2015

For a few years I was lucky enough to work as a staff writer at Type In Stereo where I got to voice all my strange and needlessly in-depth opinions about music. It was a great time. So I'm happy to announce that some of my fellow writers from Type In Stereo are dusting off their [...]

Something to Believe

Something to Believe

Alliance Commander: "Seems odd you’d name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of." Malcolm Reynolds: "May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one." Firefly, ‘Bushwacked’ --- When we lost Gatsbys American Dream after their self-titled album in 2006, they were - in their own [...]

What’s It Worth?

What’s It Worth?

During the summer of 1999 I spent an inordinate amount of time inside, hiding from the heat by playing a computer game called Total Annihilation and listening to Silverchair's Neon Ballroom on repeat. I learned about Silverchair when I saw the video for 'Ana's Song (Open Fire)', a grinding confessional about singer Daniel Johns' battle with [...]