Ocarina of Our Time: The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Ocarina of Our Time: The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

The Nintendo 64 was the first video game system that really and truly impressed me. The flat graphics of the 16-bit generation were, from my adolescent viewpoint, limited but the N64 presented games in three dimensions, changing what video games could be and allowing for a previously inconceivable level of immersion. And while the Sony [...]

Internet Famous: Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Internet Famous: Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Roughly halfway through Hank Green's debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, protagonist April May steps back from her story of alien statues, cable news blowhards and contagious dreams to evaluate and identify the varying tiers of celebrity. It's an instructive moment that allows Green to examine his own position in the hierarchy of the famous [...]

Final Fantasy XV in Review

Final Fantasy XV in Review

It may be that the final campfire scene in Final Fantasy XV is the single most emotional moment I've ever experienced through a video game. After spending 50-some odd hours with Noctis and his lovable band of dude-bros, having been absorbed into their friendships through a near-endless Road Trip to Save the World and subsequently [...]

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 [...]

The Best Albums of 2016

The Best Albums of 2016

This post was originally included in a group discussion at Type In Stereo. 5. Letters to Lost Loves by Tyson Motsenbocker. There were a handful of albums contending for this final spot, from PUP’s rambunctious The Dream Is Over to Panic! At the Disco’s surprisingly enjoyable Death of A Bachelor but I’m going to go with a more subdued choice in Letters to [...]

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 [...]