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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.

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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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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