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The Best Releases of August: Music Staff Picks

Tropical Fuck Storm – Deep States Aussie noise rock band Tropical Fuck Storm’s third album, Deep States, is as messy and disorienting as the doomed political landscape it was birthed out of. Reflecting mind-poisoning social media discourse twisted through the filter of a distortion pedal, vocalists Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin deliver some of their most compelling melodies over lacerating guitar and synth lines. The opening track, “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, writes from the perspective of Jesus’ second coming to Earth to proclaim in a grand chorus “There ain’t no end of days.” Even at its loudest, a sense … Continued

Music
The Best Releases of June: Music Staff Picks

Spellling – The Turning Wheel The Turning Wheel, Chrystia Cabral’s third album under the project Spellling, offers bewitchingly captivating progressive folk and neo-soul songs. A shift towards natural instrumentation marks a stark change from 2019’s synth-heavy Mazy Fly, giving these songs a new liveliness, and pushing Cabral’s songwriting towards the theatrical. The sonic palette on its own can be bewildering at first–veering off without warning into performances of soul, hard rock, classical, folk, and of course, synthwave. It’s no surprise that the personnel list reveals more than thirty performers–all of whom sound great. The songs are left with an enchanting … Continued

This month I traveled into the belly of our town’s burgeoning coffeehouse scene by way of Cortado—a newcomer to the 52240 zip code located on 26 South Clinton Street between late-night Iowa City staples The Airliner and Pancheros. After its grand opening on January 23rd of this year, the café has quickly developed a reputation for hot drinks and quality baked goods. Looking at the menu posted outside the establishment, potential customers can find almost any type of caffeinated beverage imaginable. Edible offerings appear subject to change; however, an abundance of variety is consistent across these listings as well. Upon … Continued

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