New Music Mondays | 10.23.17

Congratulations, you didn’t die during midterms! Celebrate with some #NMM.


‘Sweet Dreams’ – BØRNS

“BØRNS’ latest single has just the decadent, dreamy sound that its moniker suggests. ‘Sweet Dreams’ is a glittering and groovy track that is an extension and deeper exploration of the electro-pop sound that BØRNS developed as his own in his debut album Dopamine. BØRNS’ archetypal falsettos carry the song along, while pounding background beats give the song a darker feel. The single is still just as danceable as BØRNS’ previous records, with psychedelic synths layering and building dazzling, spacey rhythms. Beneath the glam-rock groove, the lyrics invoke a sense of woeful disbelief, with the refrain lamenting ‘You didn’t even call and wish me sweet dreams / I really thought we made a sweet team.’ While the wording is admittedly simple and arguably lacking in profundity, BØRNS makes up for it in the instrumentation of the song and in his sincere vocal delivery. It’s a catchy tune without sounding too mainstream. It flows with emotion and explodes with intensity. ‘Sweet Dreams’ melts over you and sweeps you into a kaleidoscopic reverie from its jolting start to the gentle, humming finish.” – Casey Martin

‘Feels Great’ – Cheat Codes, Fetty Wap, CVBZ

“‘Feels Great’ is a great summer vibe. With a similar feel to the 2017 Summer jams ‘Party on the West Coast’ and ‘Young Dumb & Broke,’ it was instead released when the falling leaves are mere torturous reminders of the impending winter storms. That being said, I vote we make this song the first addition to the Summer 2018 playlist, sit on it for the next 6 months, then come back happily surprised that procrastination throughout the school year will not make its way into your summer jam sessions. Let’s talk again more about how impressive it is that Cheat Codes decided to work with Fetty Wap again in May.” – Andrew Szendrey

‘Crumbling Castle’ – King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

“King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are on a path to try to release almost as many albums as words in their name in 2017. Three albums deep into the year, they’ve hit us with another freaky banger. ‘Crumbling Castle’ manages to encompass a variety of signature King Gizz sounds as well as some new experimental bits, acting like a little check-in to sum up how they’re so far this year and potentially hinting at what’s to come with their next two (!!) planned releases. Layers upon layers of instrumentation from the seven members (including two drummers playing with polyrhythms) build upon each other throughout the track without any single one outshining another. It’s a weird acid trip through a world that they’ve intricately, yet effortlessly crafted. The journey takes the listener across smooth terrain with funky riffs and basslines, through calm waters with flute sections, through rocky mountain ranges with fast-paced beats and fuzzy guitars, and finally off a damn cliff with the last minute and half consumed by a breakdown. As the song goes through so many changes, not a single part feels out of place. Even the Stranger Things-esque synth bit that pops up as a transition a few times acts like it has always been a part of the King Gizz sound, just like the harmonica that always seems to find a way into their music. Stu’s voice acts like an instrument as well, blending into the instrumentation as the lo-fi effects make his lyrics nearly indistinguishable at times. Even with the amount of detail present, they still manage to make it seem like a jam session that just so happened to be recorded instead of a track that was arranged prior. The twelve-minute timestamp is daunting, but trust me, there’s not a single second of this song that will lose your attention or even let you hit pause and walk away, even when everything turns to curated chaos for the last minute.” – Ingrid Angulo

‘Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad’ – The Rentals

“The Rentals is former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp’s on-again off-again project. He left Weezer after their commercial fail Pinkerton to pursue the group, his side project at the time. The Rentals are essentially Weezer with some violin, female backing vocals, and a noticeable lack of Rivers Cuomo destroying fans’ hopes and dreams. Instead, Matt Sharp consistently delivers a perfect mix of ’90s alt-rock and quirky, nerdy lyrics that Weezer fans could only dream of from Rivers. ‘Elon Musk Is Making Me Sad’ is no exception. As the title suggests, the song is about Elon Musk, but even weirder; it’s about a fictional world in which Matt Sharp and Elon Musk were childhood friends. As the song progresses, Sharp laments the loss of Musk’s friendship as he soars to new heights and leaves Sharp’s relative musical fame in the dust. It’s an absolutely ridiculous concept, but in some way, it totally works. There are some hilarious lines like ‘But for a second, there’s no question. I had the lead in 95,’ where Sharp pokes fun of the fact that 1995 was one of the last years more people knew who Matt Sharp was than Elon Musk off the back of Weezer’s hit album. Later, Sharp asks ‘what will they write on my tombstone?’ and receives the reply ‘Just that last little line from the Happy Days Video. Not so good, Jonze.’ This is a reference to Weezer’s ‘Buddy Holly’ music video set in the diner from the television series Happy Days, where Sharp’s last line is ‘Not so good, Al.’ (Al is replaced by Spike Jonze who directed the video). Overall, the song is hilariously self-deprecating and absurd, but still manages to keep your attention for an entire seven minutes, something Weezer hasn’t been able to do since 1996.” – Grant Foskett

‘Love You Like That’ – Dagny

“Dagny is paving a seamless road to pop stardom, and as of right now, she’s about one full-length away from changing the game. After ‘Wearing Nothing,’ which quickly became my most-listened to song of all time on Spotify within the first two weeks of its release (no, I’m not kidding), I had some high expectations for her new music, and she delivered. Her new song ‘Love You Like That,’ released on October 13th, is yet another upbeat tune that shows off her flawless vocals backed by a catchy pop melody. While there’s nothing special about this song compared to her past releases, it still presents Dagny as a versatile and well-abled vocalist who has a lot left in her. If you need me, I’ll be (not-so) patiently waiting for her debut LP.” – Brooke Baumgartner

 

‘Wheel’ – Visible Cloaks

Visible Cloaks released Reassemblage less than a year ago. That album’s spellbinding melange of glassy synths and free flowing cascades of Japanese textures was enough to chew on for a good long while. The electronic duo from Portland, however, would rather not wait for us to catch our breaths, and has already treated us with the new single ‘Wheel,’ taken from the upcoming 12″ Lex. The track is sonically similar to much of Reassemblage, taking everyday sounds like voices, chimes, and flutes, and transforming them into an eerily pure soundscape of unquestionable beauty. It’s a surging, organic product that is never quite natural, but also never quite alien. ‘Wheel’ is structurally simple: a repeating pattern of flute-like tones simply runs and runs, surrounding by a subtly shifting haze of clatters and drones. It’s not the most compelling piece Visible Cloaks have written, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. The collection of songs it’s taken from is apparently about living in a utopia, which could be really lovely or really boring depending on how you look at it. I’m not sure which of those states Visible Cloaks has tapped into with this track, but let’s hope it’s the former. – Craig Short

‘You & Me’ – Marshmello

Yeah, I didn’t think I’d be talking about a Marshmello song either. This song is just a perfect sonic combination of my two summer jams. The first was ‘Found You (Make Me Yours)’ by Throttle, a bouncy and fun EDM bop about finally finding the person you love. It featured a wild vocal-sample hook and a rad guitar solo after the second chorus. The other song, currently my most listened to song on Spotify, was ‘DRUGS’ by Little Aaron. This Pop-Punk jam may have the sleaziest lyrics of all time (‘We pop a couple xanies now she’s taking off her panties, I only say I love her when I want to fuck her’), but it is an absolute bop and no party this summer was complete without it. This brings me to ‘You & Me’, a bouncy Pop-Punk song with an EDM drop. The repetitive lyrics are very fun to sing along to, and according to some sources, Marshmello sung the hook himself, which is unexpected for this secretive DJ. His identity is still not publicly known, though most people believe that Marshmello is Christian Comstock, an American DJ. Whether the masked identity is a publicity stunt or not, Marshmello is one of the best DJ’s in the main-stream. The songs polished production is dynamic and fun as the instrumentals switch between All Time Low guitars and Marshmello’s trademark bubbly synth lead. It’s a little late for it to be a summer jam, but this is certainly a tailgate jam for me this season.” – Matt Wikstrom

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