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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

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Soccer Mommy Hints at New Sound at Mission Creek Festival

Overall, Soccer Mommy earned the headline spot at Mission Creek Festival with their bright-sounding indie underpinning the deeper, darker meaning looming in the lyrics. Sometimes, Forever releases June 24th and can be pre-ordered through her website. 

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On Cloud Nine with Beach Bunny

Beach Bunny had had their first performance of their tour at the Englert Theatre. The theater quickly filled with excited young bodies thrilled to see Beach Bunny live.

The Best Albums of May: Music Staff Picks

Written contributions by Jaden Amjadi, Derek Tate, and Jake Bisson Jeff Rosenstock – N O D R E A M Throughout his career, though especially the last decade of it, Jeff Rosenstock has done more than possibly any artist to remove the stigma from pop-punk. His earworm melodies, impassioned shouts, and nervous energy consistently produce cathartic listening experiences. His newest effort, the surprise-release N O D R E A M, is no exception to this rule. Acting as a soundtrack to yet another anxious breakdown, songs respond to perceived personal inadequacies (“Old Crap”, “Beauty of Breathing”) and political helplessness (“Scram!”, “N O D R E A M”). While many tracks aren’t more than four minutes, most have a tremendous sense of pacing and dynamism, never wearing out a melodic or sonic idea before moving onto the next. The title track’s different musical phases cover a … Continued

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Wasteland, Baby! is full of references and asides to pop culture, politics and the spirit of survival. However you may choose to embrace or reject the void, there’s a track to speak to the contradictions of fear and hope, love and loneliness, anger and joy that buoy us from day to day. (Image via Pitchfork)

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In my quest to be ahead of the curve in who becomes big in music for once, a friend from home (who has claimed to have liked Young the Giant, Khalid and Tove Lo all before they became “mainstream”) suggested I check out British artist Nao‘s sophomore album, Saturn.  The self-described “wonky funk” artist and East London native is well established in her home country; she performed in the Glastonbury Festival and even earned a Brit nomination in 2017 for Best British Female Solo Artist for her 2016 album For All We Know. I’m hoping Saturn, released on October 26, will put … Continued

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The first thing I noticed about Julie Byrne was how much she smiles. Listening to her music, one would assume the singer and guitar player would be as downcast as her ballads. However, watching her bound up onto the stage with a giant smile over her face, I realized that was not the case. Julie Byrne’s show exuded joy and was a wonderful experience. Opening with one of her most popular songs, “Sleepwalker”, Byrne’s show helped me find the joy in her music. Each of her songs seemed livelier and genuinely happier live, as she exuded a calming euphoria. She … Continued

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