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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

The Best Releases of September: Music Staff Picks

Niiice. – internet friends  On Niiice.’s sophomore album internet friends, the band combines punk energy with tender introspection to pull together one of the most memorable emo records of the year. By the time last year’s Never Better EP was released, the band had already cemented themselves as Midwest DIY staples. Now, after a Summer of banned Twitter accounts and fake leaks, they prove their staying power. Across the new album’s 12 tracks, distorted chords melt into mathy breakdowns and vocalist Roddie Gadeberg’s soft melodies explode into throat-shredding screams. The drums only relent for moments of poignance before driving into another punk banger. Lyrically, the album focuses primarily on the desire to stay/leave home, friendship turmoil, and weed. On “coachella”, a song that diverges from these themes, Gadesberg focuses his pen towards … Continued

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