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Album Review

SOCC Writers’ Albums of 2022

It’s been a big year for new music. Check out what some of our DJs and writers here at the SOCC consider their favorite albums of 2022.

Sexy by Coco and Clair Clair

Although everyone I know would likely expect to see Crash by Charli XCX as my top album (and I don’t blame them!), I have not been able to get Sexy by Coco and Clair Clair out of my head since its release. This aptly titled album is full of witty disses, hedonism, and most importantly, fun, that makes the pop duo so special. The playful rejection of men and self-centered attitudes play a defining role in these tracks, like in “Bad Lil Vibe“: “I just wanna party baby, I don’t want a man. Don’t want you, want a couple more bands”. Much of this album offers remnants of nostalgia for previous internet eras; “Pop Star”, the closing track, could fit right in on the wall of a celebrity gossiper/sparkle addict’s MySpace page. With lyrics like, “Girl built like a vape pen and think that she compare”, need I say more? As pure confidence exudes from every second of the short half-hour runtime, the listener is reminded that, although this is Coco and Clair Clair’s world, they can be a part of it too. – Lillian Fuglsang

Ants From Up There by Black Country, New Road

Working your way through this album is utterly exhausting, but once you’re done the only thing you want to do is jump back in headfirst. The catharsis provided by stellar almost theatric instrumentals polished by months of performing and improvising these songs in front of crowds for months, and the hauntingly beautiful lyrics written by Isaac Woods littered with little gleaming metaphors that you won’t decipher until your fourth listen, is exhilarating. Those two sentences were a mouthful but I could talk my mouth off about this album any day of the week. While it is disappointing we may never see this band in this form again due to Isaac’s totally understandable absence (he often cried while performing this album), you can’t help but be excited for what’s to come after such a masterpiece. -Issa Nasatir

NO THANK YOU by Little Simz

NO THANK YOU is Little Simz’s timely followup to her monumental Sometimes I Might be Introvert album last year that won her multiple accolades, including a BRIT and a Mercury Prize. I couldn’t stop listening to her last album; it was on repeat wherever I went. Simz, whose given name is Simiatu Ajikawo, grew up in North London to Nigerian parents and has been developing her musical career for a little under a decade. NO THANK YOU promises consistency with her recently developed sound and feels like the mark of an artist detailing and shaping her craft. The inclusion of dramatic orchestral sounds between her flow creates an entirely original and emotional sound. This album deals with themes of racial inequality and Black power, as well as her own personal struggles as an artist. It entirely sucked me in, just like the last one did. Give it a listen and I promise you won’t regret it. -Sadie Fleig

Get On The Otherside by Bobby Oroza & Cold Diamond Mink

Bobby Oroza is a BRAZEN VOCAL GOD with an incredible voice. You can hear the heartbreak and the passion in this man’s timbre on all twelve songs. With the talented, soulful musical stylings of Cold Diamond Mink in the background, this album is sealed as my top album of 2022. -Robby Brooks

Ants From Up There by Black Country, New Road

BCNR’s Opus blends the passion of Bowie, the animal rawness of Conor Oberst, and the behemoth goals of Godspeed You! Black Emperor into an hour of emotional surrender. This monolith has amended itself into the music canon quicker than any record in memory. Repeating themes lodge themselves into your head just to tighten your pull into the album’s space. Agh I just feel like I’ve listened to a band sacrifice themselves to a higher power in order to create something more powerful than the Elephant’s Foot. – Jack Madison

American Heartbreak by Zach Bryan

I know country might not fall to the top of many people’s list, but on the pure fun scale, this album topped my year without any question. This album completely changed my perception of country music- that is showing it is incredibly listenable, and was a perfect summer album. Although it’s a little long of a project, coming in at a whopping 34 songs, most of them are deeply replayable. It’s just easy, fun, and exciting; perfect for summer car rides, backpacking, and really anything in the warm weather. It’s my favorite album of the year for the memories its accompanied, and how it does a great job moving far, far away from hyper-commercialized trucks and republicans mainstream country. I’d recommend a listen. -Theo Tannahill

Time Skiffs by Animal Collective

As a longtime Animal Collective fan, I was so excited to hear some of their initial songs from this album on the radio at the beginning of 2022, with hits such as “Prester John” and “Strung with Everything” that were palatable enough for the avg. indie listener but still had traces of their signature experimental sound. The organic instrumentals throughout are reminiscent of a favorite AnCo album Sung Tongs, but offered even more meaning behind their songs thanks to Josh Dibb’s thoughtful lyrics. Not going to lie, I was not liking the trajectory of their discography before this album… BUT I know Time Skiffs is going to be a classic that I will keep coming back to. Favorite song: “Royal and Desire” -Emily Faulks

Florist by Florist

Florist opens up with June 9th Nightmare that is an eerie ambient tune that sounds like spiderwebs and creaking doors, yet you feel cradled by its cyclical nature. The two duets feel as if a waltzing battle is spiraling in and out your ears. The album pans out in a very beautiful way, much like how a flower blooms. Florist was made on the porch of a rented house in the Hudson Valley where the band focused on collaborative creation nestled into their daily routine and outdoor endeavors. The retreat into nature and intuitive processes make up the album’s dominance of raw elements. Ambient music outnumbers those with lyrics which requires the listener to be patient and invites them to move into a space of retreat, much like the creation of the album. The dominance of ambient sound forces a personal interactive experience that feels like flower petals reaching out like dangling intrusive arms rearranging your brain chemistry. The short abstract wording and ambience allows you to connect with it in just the way you want it to; if you allow it to be, it provides reflection of self. Though the album is about loss, homecoming, grief, and healing, Florist has mastered the art of saying a lot without saying anything at all which forces individualized interpretation. Just when you think the album picks up, it shoots you back down with beautifully nurtured hums, chirps, wind, fingerpicking and crickets. It plays with your mind and places you into pockets of your brain you have never visited before. Florist is an experience. It is spiritual, free, intuitive and alluring. Favorite songs: Spring in Hours and Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning) -Marina Malin

Reset by Panda Bear and Sonic Boom

As members of Animal Collective and Spacemen 3, respectively, Panda Bear and Sonic Boom’s first album as co-songwriters was a big splash in psychedelia. But the album doesn’t call attention to itself as such: the yipping and screaming of AnCo’s early albums and the drones of Spacemen 3 are relinquished for easygoing melodies and arrangements. But as pleasant as is the spiraling music and its sampled foundations of 50s-60s hits, the lyrics detail a frustration that would be fit for sonic frenzy if its source wasn’t in the stillness of indefinite languishing. Reset is hopeful and bright with its darkness in plain sight. Released in August, I listened to it as this school year approached and found an album suited for beginnings and for staying in place—an encouragement to grow and a comfort in stagnation. -Tate Gibbons

Super Champon by Otoboke Beaver

Super Champon is the band’s third album since forming in 2009, in Kyoto. Its rhythmic and fast, and super exciting they are preserving the same feeling as the 2019 release Itekoma Hits. The album comes in at 20 minutes of super punchy and girly sound. PARDON? is my favorite track. – Isabella Garcia

Dissolution Wave by Cloakroom

It really comes down to the guitar tone. This album rolls through expansive distorted sounds built on simple song structure. It’s slow, heavy, and intentional, more shoegaze than metal. Many songs feel like a guitar-centered symphony, others are more pared down, fringing on indie, but overall the record swims between genres and tempos in an exploration of sound and texture. -Asa Gartrell

Ants From Up There by Black Country, New Road

The dissonant cacophony of sounds that introduces Black Country New Roads’ debut album, Ants From Up There, rightly sets the tone for the next jam-packed 58 minutes. This album, like nothing before and never will be again, brings together the unusually melancholy sounds of the 7 young British band members. The band’s first and last album together brings you on a pilgrimage to a not-so-classic breakup album. It is the breathless emotion throughout each and every one of the unparalleled tracks that made this album stand out as the best album of 2022 for me. -Meleah Silverstein

Bin Reaper 3: Old Testament by Babytron

Bin Reaper 3: Old Testament is Babytron at his best. It’s the third album in Babytron’s Bin Reaper series, but this album shows him in a whole new light. Songs like Silly Me, Wake Tf Up, and Airtron are reminiscent of the sample-heavy beats that gave Babytron his initial claim to fame. Tron doesn’t stay beholden to this style though, as songs like Drake & Josh and 8th Wonder of the World sound unlike anything he’s put out previously. Whatever the beat’s style is and whoever is producing it, his rapping is always fast-paced and entertaining to listen to. -Peter Gottsegen

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Music

SOCC Writers’ Favorite Fall Albums

Our first collaborative post of the school year brings new names and faces to the blog! With autumn in Colorado Springs coming to an end, SOCC writers reflect on their favorite fall albums- old and new- as we gather in the amphitheater under snowy Pikes Peak.

Sam Briley

This fall I have been listening to Dots and Loops by Stereolab. I really enjoy is relaxing instrumentals and the friendly voices throughout the album. Its a very light album that I love listening to while I drive and appreciate the changing weather!

Charlie Marks

One of my favorite albums ever, and what you can hear me blasting in the shower is, Steven Miller Bands Greatest hits 1974-78. This album is put together so incredibly well that every song flows in and out of the next. A mixture or rock and roll and psychedelic synth makes it my jam

Emily Faulks

Negro Swan by Blood Orange (2018): I have been listening to this album since it came out every fall! This album feels very autumnal to me, specifically located in DC: with ambient traffic in the backdrop of a relaxed yet moody atmosphere- something is in the air… other than midterm elections! Blood Orange creates a dysphoric image of change and that’s how I view fall: disorienting and sometimes dreadful while sonically serene. This album always feels new as there’s so much going on thematically and instrumentally, I can dip into new sensations and the old nostalgia of when I first discovered the album.

Finn Russell

This fall I’ve been listening to an old album from Ezra Bell titled “Don’t all look up at once”. It’s a short album which makes it a great album to binge listen and the alternative bluegrass style of Ezra Bell fits with well with fall weather. Song highlights from the album include, “Pick a place and read”, “Junk food chimney”, and “Dear old dad”.

Royce Hinojosa

Bad Self Portraits by Lake Street Drive captures, nearly perfectly, the essence of the fall season. As fall transitions between the warmth of summer and the coldness of winter, so does Bad Self Portraits. The longing for different types of love throughout the album mimic the ways in which the leaves fall, almost as if each yellow appendage that leaves the tree is an expectation not met coupled with some notion of new beginnings.

Linnea Anderson

Either/Or by Elliott Smith: No matter my mood, the time, or the season, this album is in my rotation. It’s sweet and soft and quiet and effortless. It reminds me of the rain back home and all the things I miss about Portland’s charm.

Sadie Fleig

Feeding Seahorses by Hand by Billie Marten: This 2019 album is the quintessential fall album and the perfect thing to curl up into bed and drink tea to. She’s managed to fill it with soft indie folk that’s loose and dreamy, yet streamlined. From the croony and upbeat Blue Sea, Red Sea to the whimsical and melodious Mice, she does it all.

Annie O’Neill

Demon Days by Gorillaz is THE album of fall. Demon Days is the perfect transition into ski season; it’s a British pop masterpiece perfect for shredding the slopes. The album is a definitely a journey with its harsh beats and hip hop undertones, perfect for this winter’s ski playlist.

Crosby Williams

For You by Parmalee. I love this album because it tells a love story and all of the songs are so sweet. The songs each talk about something different however each is also unique. They are all sing along songs and just makes me happy.

Issa Nasatir

This fall I’ve been listening to Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt. For me, his instrumentals really encapsulate a dark brooding feeling that comes with the season. Inspired by the loss of his father, listening to it will make you feel like you’ve lost something as well.

Ruben Margolis

I’ve been listening to Death Cab for Cuties new album “Asphalt Meadows” this fall. the singles released before the album convinced me that the band was unenthused and a bit burnt out. I was pleasantly surprised when the album itself followed the rugged and upbeat indie pop rock/focused and purposefully placed acoustics and light synths that death cab is known for. Although it’s not my favorite album of theirs, it still has the same death cab effect, where after listening, the songs bounce around curiously in your head ready to be played aloud again.

Marina Malin

Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues is absolutely stunning and audibly pleasing, I cannot stop replaying it in its entirety. This album is especially undercoated in fall melancholy which is not only telling in its harmony, but the golden fall hues of its album cover. There is so much to be said about what makes this album so special, but it’s better to hear it for yourself then me attempt to tell you!!!

Peter Gottsegen

The album I’ve been listening to this fall is Cooking it: Legends of the Sesh by Tricky Mac and Benny T. These 2 Australian rappers explore a bunch of different styles through the album, but always focus on their love of partying, drinking, and doing drugs. The album has great vibes, and you can tell that both Tricky Mac and Benny T are having fun on every track. The album is goofy, it doesn’t take itself too seriously but each track has a couple lines on it that are fun and catchy enough to get stuck in your head. The perfect album to put on and not think too hard about

Theo Tannahill

For just about the whole fall, I’ve had Live At the Shoals Theater on repeat. It’s a live album/concert recording from Jason Isbell, Mike Cooley, and Patterson Hood from 2014. This was the first reunion of the group since Isbell left the Drive-By Truckers, and the collaborative skills are not lost from time. Isbell’s notorious voice and song-writing shines through, and the group performs an amalgamation of the band’s and Isbell’s best songs. The crowd, as well, makes the recording feel like a celebration. The album isn’t really related to fall, but captures an amazing moment in time that fully meets its auditory potential.

Oliviero Zanalda

Bladee’s 2022 project Spiderr has been dominating my headphones for the past few weeks. This album is a victory lap for Bladee as his last album “Crest”, a collaboration with Ecco2k, received stunning reviews from major music outlets after years of Bladee being neglected by the industry. The album is mostly produced by longtime collaborator Whitearmor and features Bladee’s signature autotune crooning over a variety of psychedelic and playful beats. What’s really exciting about this album is the introduction of drill production, an area that Bladee has just begun to explore. While Bladee’s lyrics are simple, his exploration of spirituality and Taoism is deepened in this project. This is one of Bladee’s best solo projects in years, and can be enjoyed by both newer listeners and the ones that have been there since 2013.

Grant Thompson

The album I’ve been listening to on repeat this fall has been Melophobia by Cage the Elephant. I really enjoy the album as a whole and have found that the juxtaposition of the more abrasive songs like Spiderhead and Teeth to the softer songs like Cigarette Daydreams and Telescope encapsulates my current college experience and the roller coaster the first few months have been. I also feel that this juxtaposition reflects how fall makes me feel. Going from aggressive windy and cold weather days to cooler, more mellow and colorful days ties in to the overall mood of the album and is a great reflection of how fall has made me feel recently.

Isabella Garcia

The Sugarcube’s 1989 album Regina has always been in my headphones, but especially this fall. Bjork and Einar Orn’s emotive, unpredictable, and sometimes ominous vocals wake you up on the dreariest fall days. The band’s animated sound will throw around the thoughts in your head and make you feel like a tiger is about to rip out of the music and jump at you.

Jack Madison

The ghostly voice of Nick Drake tends to reenter my life when the leaves turn from soft to crunchy. His gentle call reminds me of the wooden noise you hear when you tap on an acoustic guitar. His final album, Pink Moon, is almost entirely him and his finger picked guitar filled with delightful autumn colored ivy growing on it. This album is a home base for anyone that needs to be grounded in a time of changing colors and weather, anyone who needs to Indulge with an eternally beautiful soul.

Matan Fields

John Vincent III – Songs from the Valley. This is the perfect electric folk album for you to listen to as fall turns to winter. To me, I am reminded of home – as though I’m sitting next to a warm fire or driving down curving country roads in Western Massachusetts. I don’t have a car and it hasn’t quite snowed yet, but this album makes the cold feel a little warmer.

Liv Normandeau

I’ve been listening to Pinback’s 1999 self titled album this fall.This album has a perfect autumn moody sound while still being unpredictably fun. I’ve been on a big nineties kick recently and this has bits of everything I love. It’s a great album to listen in the late afternoon or twilight when walking around, comfortingly nostalgic. My favorite songs are Crutch, Shag, and Tripoli.

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The War on Drugs at Mission Ballroom

By: Quinn Jones

I was eating Burger King in an empty Lowe’s parking lot as dusk fell. Earlier that day I had received an email from a close friend. The SoCC had a press pass to see The War On Drugs that very night at the Mission Ballroom. I responded to the email expressing my interest, but I didn’t think I had any chance at the tickets, given that I wasn’t a SoCC reporter. Because I felt that my chances of getting that press pass were slim, I decided I would spend the evening with my sister. Mid-burger, I get an email back from my SoCC liaison: I got the press pass! I wolfed the rest of the meal and set my course for the Mission Ballroom.

The energy in the ballroom was palpable. Hipsters young and old were forced to pack themselves into the cavernous hall. The hype was real, but the band came on stage with little fanfare. Front man Adam Granduciel, dressed in his usual button down and jeans, walked on stage balancing several beverages in his arms as the crowd erupted into applause. After Granduciel was armed with his Fender Stratocaster, the band launched right into “Old Skin” off of 2021’s I Don’t Live Here Anymore, their latest release and the subject of their current tour. As Granduciel strummed, he was joined by synthesizer player Robbie Bennett, playing a soft organ over Granduciel’s delicate chords. The crowd swayed and sang along to the melancholy, aching first verse. Granduciel and Bennett built a massive wall of texture, bringing the energy to its boiling point till drummer Charlie Hall brought in his thundering back beat, launching the song into its anthemic finale.

As they tuned and traded instruments after their first song, people around me talked to each other, predicting what would come next. Someone said “It’s gonna be ‘Pain.’” I hoped that this guy was right; 2017’s “Pain” was something of a pandemic anthem for me. As I waited with bated breath, Granduciel strapped on a beautiful Fender Jazzmaster and began to pick the somber arpeggio that begins “Pain.” The crowd positively burst into shouts of appreciation Apparently, I wasn’t the only fan of the song. The song reflects on how we experience loss and anxiety in conjunction with our own personal growth, or lack thereof. Saxophonist/keyboardist Jon Natchez played a haunting bass motif on his baritone saxophone, ensnaring the audience in the song’s innate gloom.

Image courtesy of FirstRowConcert

To use Granduciel’s lyrics, The War On Drugs exists “in the space between the beauty and the pain.” Though TWOD lyrics ponder the inherent pain and loneliness of the human condition and try to work through various traumas, the band crafts lush instrumentals that can move one to tears with both their tremendous beauty and their agonizing sadness. With their seven members, the band is up to this monumental task. Granduciel is flanked by some of the finest musicians on the scene. On his right, there is guitarist/keyboardist Anthony LaMarca, who adds a great deal of texture with his acoustic guitar. Then there’s bassist David Hartley, a no-frills rhythm player holding down the low end of the band’s infamous jams. Keyboardist/vocalist Eliza Hardy Jones stands on the risers above Granduciel, adding unique textures to the band’s vocal arrangements. In case you haven’t been counting, that’s three keyboardists on stage at the same time. This is how The War On Drugs achieve their infamous wall of sound.

The band fed off the crowd energy. Granduciel bantered with the crowd all night long. He praised the tenacity of the Denver audience, applauding their willingness to put up with the freezing temperatures to see the show. Halfway through the set, an audience member shouted “Play ‘Born in Time!’” Granduciel responded enthusiastically, and the band launched into the impromptu Bob Dylan cover. As the show drew to a close, Granduciel addressed the audience. He said “We’re only going to do three or four more songs. We’re not gonna do that bullshit where we walk off” to great applause. It’s this down-to-earth charm that cements both Granduciel and The War On Drugs as one of the great indie acts of our time. For anyone interested in seeing the band, they will be playing Red Rocks on September 19, 2022.

Watch their performance in Denver of their recent album’s title track song below!

video courtesy of FirstRowConcert

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Interview with Jonah Mutono

By Oliviero Zanalda

Jonah Mutono is a multi-talented recording artist who released one of the best, and one of the  most underrated, albums of 2020: GERG. This album is a story of accepting identity – it tells Jonah’s story. Born into a religious Ugandan family, Jonah struggled to accept his identity and come out as a queer man. This album describes just that. GERG, as he explained to me, was the secret name he saved his now ex-boyfriend as on his phone. This was done in an effort to cover up the fact that he was dating a man. If he ever got a heart emoji text from someone named GERG, his religious friends and family wouldn’t suspect him of dating a man, it could be anyone. This story is just the tip of the GERG iceberg. As you listen to this album, you’ll begin to learn more about Jonah as a person, whether it’s over intricate, catchy production on songs like “If You Mean It” and “Circulation” or on songs like “Spare” and “Smith Johnson Williams Brown”, where his voice dominates the simpler, but no less captivating production. I sat down with Jonah for an interview about his previous work, but also his future projects and next steps. He’s currently on tour with Kacy Hill and is working on a new project set to release sometime next year.

It’s been over a year since you released GERG. What are your thoughts on the album now? Do you think it’s aged well?

Yeah. I haven’t actually listened to a lot of it since I put it out since it’s a pretty accurate time capsule of my life for the four years it took to make. That’s not to say I was working on it every day, I was traveling a lot. I was in between continents and so in between I would sort of work on these songs. Lyrically speaking, I think it has. I think that people still feel the same way. People still feel isolated or out of place and so that’s why people are still discovering and realizing the album over time. I think to myself “we’ll see if people keep listening to it”. I don’t know if it’s my place to say if it’s aged well sonically. It sounds like the time it was put out and that’s for the best.

Who were your biggest inspirations and influences when you were working on the album (both musically and personally)?

I would always say Sufjan Stevens. I don’t think anyone can hear any Sufjan Stevens in my music but I really fucking love him. Everything he does he seems to have a great process. He puts out so much music. I think a lot of artists hold music back but he’s 12 albums in and I’m very very jealous. I love the brushes that he paints with.

On a personal level, I’d say my brother. My brother worked on 3-4 of the songs on the album and he’s an amazing producer. Anything he produces blows my mind. I’ve stolen and been inspired a lot from him as well.

Being emotionally vulnerable on songs like “Spare” and “Smith Johnson Williams Brown” must not be easy due to the fact that strangers are going to be listening to them. What did you do to get into a space where you can be emotionally vulnerable on a song? What advice would you give other artists that want to do this but are hesitant?

That’s interesting you say that. I try not to write with people in mind like that – that people are gonna be listening to it – I try to write for myself. I’ll probably be writing songs till the day I die, and maybe they won’t be released, but I do so to process information and process emotions. As long as you’re telling the truth, whether that sounds emotionally vulnerable to people or not, I think that’s all you can do. My advice would be to tell the truth and don’t skimp on the messy parts.

The transitions between each song on GERG feel natural despite stark differences musically. How did you choose the order of the songs? What did you do to make sure the transition between each song made sense despite the moods of the songs being different (e.g. Circulation -> Spare). Well, I actually did that mathematically. There’s a thing you can look up that’s really fascinating about how some of the biggest albums’ tempos do the same thing. They start at a certain point, they come down and then they peak again but at a place lower than the first peak. You’ll find it in albums like Random Access Memories, Innervisions, Channel Orange. Because I could hear the style discrepancies between songs, I just broke it down by tempo and mood. It’s almost like a film – you have acts 1, 2, and 3 – and it climaxes at a certain point and you always know when it’s gonna happen. When you start listening to a lot of the great albums, they all do exactly the same thing. It was a mathematical equation really and it worked out for the best. There was a point where I wasn’t sure if “Spare” was gonna go after “Circulation

Has this album found success in the LGBTQ community? Has it inspired certain members living in hostile environments to embrace their identity?

I don’t really know. I’m not sure what the metric of success is. I’ve received some really beautiful letters from people in places all over the world who are queer and who have really been suffering. They thanked me for telling the truth about my situation. I had a fan even tattoo some of my lyrics on his shoulder which was crazy. The fact that it touched anyone is a success in my eyes. I saw it as successful because it came out in the first place. The fact that anyone listening to it at all has been fantastic and the fact that, for a few people, it’s gone that extra step and helped them through a time in their life in any way is really important and cool. I’m so glad that I was able to be a part of that. It’s important that I get to tell my story as it is and exactly as I want to tell it instead of having to be an activist at all times or to feel like someone who has to be up on a pedestal. There are so many important voices along with mine. I think that as long as we stay together and we stay visible, we’re doing our jobs.

What are your plans for your next project? How is it going to differ from your previous album?

It sounds a lot different. I moved to LA recently. I feel like it’s a very Los Angeles record. There are a lot of guitars and a lot more natural sounds. We’re actually recording string sections. Sonically probably a lot more cohesive. I really like the songs so far. I feel like I’m seeking natural instruments to offset the artificiality of my new environment. I still feel very new here because most of my time here has been during the pandemic. We’re maybe 75% of the way through it. I want something to come out next year – whether that be a whole album, an EP, or a short film with some songs in it. Something to sort of show what my life looks like now. It will happen, next year maybe, spring/summer there will be something new

In the process of making an album, how many times do you need to re-record a song?

At worst I’ll record something three times and at best I’ll record something in 30 minutes. I “Smith Johnson Williams Brown” recorded in 30 minutes and never did anything to it. I re-recorded shoulders for a year because there’s 10 harmonies in every chorus and the bridge part has 20 different vocals at once and I kept having to re-record those vocals. It took a long time. When you listen to the finished thing it doesn’t sound like the case but I feel like maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe everything should sound easy but be difficult to make.

Who are your favorite artists currently? Who do you hope to collaborate with in the future?

Definitely Sufjan Stevens. I keep meeting people who know him and I’m like “hook me up”. I would totally work with him if we was down. I’ve been listening to Little Dragon a lot. I’ve been going over their album The Puma Rubber Band. It has this song “Clap Clap” on it which is incredible and the album as a whole is fantastic. Little Dragon is really cool and I’d love to work with them. I’ve been listening to this artist Yullola. She only has a couple of songs out and they’re very “vibey”, for lack of a better word. I’d love to work with her. I’d love to do something with Wet, I really like the music they put out. The music they put out recently is so good. I’m liking Lil Nas X for what it’s worth. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to work with him – we live in completely different universes. I did a lot of my first EP with Take a Day Trip who’s now doing all of Lil Nas X’s music. Now they’re out in the big time and I’m very proud. I love what they’re doing with Lil Nas X.

How did you get to know Kacy Hill? Are you planning on working with her in the future? What do you hope to gain from this tour?

I actually met her for the first time 6 years ago. We have very similar collaborators. We’re in the same little community of musicians. Many times I’ve seen her with our mutual friend Max, maybe Max is the one who introduced me in the first place. She’s fantastic. I love her and I love her new album. During the pandemic, we sent some things back and forth but nothing came to fruition or materialized. At some point it will though, mark my words. It’s been such a hellish two years and just being able to perform is great. The last show I did was at the end of February [2020] and I want to do a lot more shows next year headlined by myself. I need to get my sea legs backs in terms of performing because I wouldn’t call myself a big performer. I think I’m really exposed and vulnerable singing in front of a crowd. There are those people at the party with the guitar but that’s not me. My dad used to have to force me to play piano for people and I had a lot of stage fright. It’ll be nice to have a friend around and Kacy’s fans are so chill that I think It’ll be a good experience. Getting out there and performing in front of people is what this tour will be good for.

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Easy On Me Review: Adele’s Return to the Limelight

By Tess Rittenberg

Adele released her previous album, 25, on November 20, 2015. After that, she disappeared from the spotlight, leaving listeners unsure when she would make music again. six years later, almost to the day, Adele’s new album, 30, will be released on November 19, 2021. However, she released a sneak peek for her viewers; her new single “Easy On Me” dropped on October 15. Let’s take a deeper dive into the lyrics and hopes for the new album!

Image courtesy of The Edge

When Adele was asked on Instagram live what her new album is about, she famously responded “divorce, babe, divorce” in her lovely British accent. But what is “Easy on Me” about? It is about the baggage that Adele has in her previous relationship, which happened when she was “still a child”, and to be gentle when letting her in.

Musically, this song was modeled after water. In the visuals of her music video, she is seen making waves with her arm outside of the car window to the song’s first line, “there ain’t no gold in this river.“ She also refers to herself as drowning in prior baggage. This metaphor is also shown vocally through runs, aka words that consist of several notes, that seem like waves. These runs are modified constantly throughout the song which shows that baggage is fluid and strong but it can also be beautiful. 

I am looking forward to hearing the process of Adele‘s divorce in the upcoming album and possibly some more tributes to her son. Adele‘s infectious talent and personality shine through in her press interviews and in her music. 30 will be the best and most uniquely “Adele” album yet!

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Album Review

Album Review: Grouper’s “Shade” LP

By Jack Madison

Grouper’s new LP, Shade, is a collage of her unique sonic styles, where every song falls into its place with gentle sincerity. This variation makes sense, as Shade was recorded over a fifteen year span from Mount Tamalpais in northern California to the oceanside town of Astoria, Oregon. Grouper’s Shade can be a peaceful helping hand to those in need of an intimate conversation. 

Discovering Liz Harris’ versatility as the mind behind Grouper a month ago was an introduction to many new paths, all ethereal and romantic. One night I plugged in my earphones and turned on Dragging a Dead Deer up a Hill, her third album, to drown out the sound of the infinitely spinning fan in my dorm that had been blowing since summer. At first I heard the familiar atmospheric melancholy of Mazzy Star and the nature-inspired drones of Phil Elverum. I would realize how special Grouper’s sound was as I drifted off. Her dark-purple whispers and hums were not only sublime, but Liz Harris’ holds enough subdued power to transport her listener to any environment she pleases. 

Image courtesy of Pitchfork

Fifteen years into her career, it is fair to say that Harris is a master of creating atmosphere. On Shade, she first takes the listener out of reality with the disengaging track, “Followed the Ocean.” Similar in feel, “Disordered Minds,” holds reverb-soaked, ambient songs that follow much of Harris’ earlier work, acting as palette-cleansers to remind us of the altered plane of existence we will drift through for the duration of the album. 

In the past, Grouper often sedated the listener with piano ballads on albums like Ruins. On Shade, she uses slow guitars, sometimes to hypnotize us into a world more peaceful than our own. The slow folky guitar on “Ode to the blue” and “Promise” do not create a sense of eeriness, instead one of curiosity and comfort. Like a child seeing the beauty in emotional connection for the first time, Grouper sings “you have the prettiest eyes… and I promise to take good care,” in the most simple, lovely way possible. The lyrics and instrumentals are stripped back, resulting in an intimacy and connection, as if we are in the room with Harris.  

In the soft melodies of songs like “Pale Interior,” a highlight of Shade, connections between Liz Harris and her listener have never been stronger. We hear her conversations at the end of the songs and the somber slides of her chord changes. On “The way her hair falls,” Grouper is at her most human, she makes mistakes and restarts verses, but this vulnerability only brings us closer to her. It takes a lot for me to compare anyone to Elliott Smith, but the intimacy Grouper created on these songs mirrors Smith’s whispery vocal link between himself and his listeners on albums like Either/Or

Grouper created an experience similar to rising and falling tides, where we drift further away during her dissociated songs and drift back during the folk ballads. Although we’ve been comfortable through this whole journey, “Kelso (Blue Sky)” is the final and most accessible song on the album; Grouper brings us back to land here, we can hear the faint hoots of owls. The listener has to allow themselves to feel rather than think while listening to Shade; this works as Grouper knows how to guide us into letting go of reality. Shade is a mosaic of Harris’ styles over the last decade and a half, and she could not have made each song fit with more ease and comfort. This album does not build a haunted environment or grand transcendental experience like some of her previous work, but it does allow the listener to drift away into a quiet state of peace for just a bit.  

Image courtesy of Pitchfork 

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Uncategorized

Dead and Company Concerts: Red Rocks and Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheaters

By Emily Faulks

Two raccoons huddle together for warmth on top of the gigantic red sandstone slabs that surround the venue, our source of entertainment for the 45-minute wait into the amphitheater. Hunter’s moon, the full moon following a Harvest moon that signaled preparation for winter, begins to rise over the hills up into the clear sky- setting the scene for the cold night ahead. Having suffered the mistake of not bringing a coat to the last October concert at Red Rocks, I am bundled and excited for the four-hour performance Dead and Company has in store for us. 

This past summer, my friend Natalie and I took a trip down to Bristow, Virginia- the closest location that Dead and Company was traveling to on their 2021 tour- our first Dead & Co. concert. We brought heavy rain gear after checking the weather that forecasted 90% precipitation, but were pleasantly surprised when the skies cleared up towards the end of our drive and raised our spirits. Jiffy Lube Live is an outdoor amphitheater shaped like a wide bowl, with the stage positioned in the basin. Natalie and I were essentially at the rim of the bowl laying in the dewy grass, but we didn’t mind- because right when we entered the bowl, Dead and Company stepped on stage and immediately started playing “Cold Rain and Snow,” that reminded me that we were, in fact, not in the cold rain. The songs were lively and felt emblematic of completion, not only with summer coming to an end in less than a week but also with the looping thoughts of stress and anxiety that were with me until the concert. Bob Weir, one of the lead singers of Dead and Company, shared messages of letting go in some of his songs, with personal favorites such as “Bird Song,” “He’s Gone,” and ending with “Black Muddy River” that speak about the unexpected joys of going on a path alone, and leaving someone or something with grace. “Black Muddy River” in particular struck a chord with me, as Bob Weir opened with the verse “When the last rose of summer pricks my finger/ And the hot sun chills me to the bone/ When I can’t hear the song for the singer/ And I can’t tell my pillow from a stone/I will walk alone by the black muddy river/And sing me a song of my own;” an obvious parallel to the inevitable end of summer and departure back to Colorado- but also reminding me that spending time alone at school is not a bad thing and can lead to necessary reflection. Many of their songs were less introspective as well, and prompted the multicolored sea of Deadheads to kick their shoes off and break out into unrestrained dance- myself and Natalie included. After the two sets and encore song, the sun had long been set and we made our way back to the car. The Dead and Company concert in Bristow was so unique in that the setlist felt rooted in space and time so that the audience would appreciate the deeper messages of the music, beckoning me to come back and learn more. 

Dead and Company at Jiffy Lube Live

Two months later, Natalie flew halfway across the country and accompanied me to our second Dead and Company concert of the tour. We weaved through the enlarged steps to join the rest of my housemates in the middle of the crowd at Red Rocks. The band entered the stage, just in time for all of us to start dancing to “Bertha” together. Bob Weir, wearing what I think is the same white cowboy hat from Bristow, was looking as Western as ever, singing “Bertha don’t you come around here anymore” in the opening song. Despite the rugged western motifs that occupy the landscape of Dead and Company songs, so many of them serve as allegories for the band’s values. During the song “Hell in a Bucket,” I turned to my friends and said “Is it just me or does they sing a lot about roads?” And looking back at the songs chosen by the band, I still stand by my original statement- although, most of the time the road is a metaphor for the paths of life. Whether it be by train, car, or foot, Dead and Company encourages listeners to choose the path that leads to love- sounds very corny, but I totally buy it. The band played about a 10-minute version of “Bird Song” again, but this time with the musical motifs more subtly weaved into a trance-like jam. “He’s Gone” was also played at the Red Rocks show- when Bob Weir sang the line “Nothin’ left to do but smile, smile, smile” while tracing his hands to mimic a smile, the audience mirrored it back to him, staying in-tune with the cues from the band throughout the set.

Deadheads are certainly an interesting group of people. In the corner of the audience on the patch of foliage near the stairway, artist Scramble Campbell painted a canvas in monochromatic blues to the sound of the band. Near the end of the concert, he raised his finished work and the crowd cheered enthusiastically, the large screens on both sides of the stage zooming in on his painting. After the second set, similar to the Jiffy Lube Live intermission, the two drummers created a percussive wave resembling either a fever dream or indigenous adjacent (might I say slightly appropriative?) music lasting about ten minutes. Some people sat with their eyes closed, while others were swaying and wildly flailing their extremities. Mickey Hart played the legendary Beam, a large metal string instrument he invented for his percussive intermission, creating a haunting sound that I have never heard before. The second set of the night fit the ambient atmosphere of Red Rocks, with many trance-like guitar improvisations and echoing vocals. John Mayer, bundled up in a black jacket and hair pushed back haphazardly from his headphones, carried many of those guitar solos that night- I am continually impressed and surprised how well his musical style compliments that of the original Grateful Dead members. The show ended on a lighthearted note with “Ripple” that brought my friends and I close into a huddle.

The biggest lesson Dead and Company has taught me from the two concerts: wherever you are, and whoever you are with (or without), “enjoy the ride.”

Dead and Company at Red Rocks

Scramble Campbell’s painting from the night can be found here

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New Music

New This Week: Benjamin Franklin by Snail Mail

By Tim Smith

Snail Mail is easily one of my favorite bands, and what I have loved so much about them is their simplicity. On Habit and Lush (Snail Mail’s debut EP and album, respectively), the group perfected their crisp, yet jangly, garage rock sound. It’s what got me into them: crunchy loud guitar (usually in some open tuning), clean bass and drums to back it up, and Jordan’s piercing and personal lyrics. Their new track, Benjamin Franklin, however, is a complete departure from their trademark sound. The song starts with bouncy drums and a poppy baseline, and we don’t even hear Jordan’s guitar until two minutes in. For the first time in a Snail Mail track, synths take the place of lead guitar to create the melody. There’s something distinctively different about Jordan’s vocals too, as she employs a lower, more breathy and raspy sound. I really like the new sound, but I think it’s for the betterment of her vocal health. If you watch her live shows just before covid, Jordan’s voice seems depleted – it seems like her past vocal style just wasn’t sustainable.

When I first heard this track, I was a little confused. It wasn’t what I expected, but as I listen to it more the song is growing on me. I miss their old sound, but I feel like this is a necessary change for them. Snail Mail had gone three years without releasing new music, and I always worried that if they made a third album without changing their sound that it would stifle their progression. I think its stupid to expect an artist to never push their own norms – and its clear that Snail Mail has had plenty of personal growth these past three years. Lindsey Jordan admits on this song (and later in an interview) that she checked herself into rehab in 2020 and Ray Brown, the drummer, started doing more solo work. Snail Mail’s new sound is indicative of the necessary maturation the group went through over the last three years.

Check out Benjamin Franklin. See what you think. Don’t let me tell you what to do! Snail Mail’s album, Valentine, will be out November 5th on Matador Records

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Artist Spotlight Personal Piece Uncategorized

Artist Spotlight : Xavier Wulf

By Oliviero Zanalda

Every so often, an artist or group of artists will emerge and immediately cause an impact, becoming widely acknowledged by the public as influential. While certain artists have been fully credited for their music and influence, as they should be, many artists haven’t received the full recognition they should get. This series is meant to highlight artists that haven’t been fully credited for their experimentation, artistic capabilities, and influence on music. 

Xavier Wulf is by far one of my favorite artists of the past decade. The Memphis born, LA based rapper is one of the pioneers (along with Bones, Chris Travis, and Black Smurf) of the dark, underground Memphis rap scene that created the “trap-metal” subgenre of hip hop. Some of the most notable current mainstream artists include $uicideboy$, City Morgue, 6ix9ine (in sound, not persona), and XXXTentacion. This sub-genre utilizes loud, often vulgar, and in-your-face lyrics, dark trap production, and reckless personas that aren’t focused on money and fame like many mainstream trap artists. In its birth in the early 2010s, trap-metal was highlighted by its rejection of the mainstream and its embrace of skate and BMX culture. While many of these artists have changed and conformed to current trap standards, Xavier Wulf has always been the self-proclaimed king of the underground, which we hear in “Request Refused”, where he states, “I’m an underground king and I ain’t gonna drop the belt”, and that’s why he has such a loyal fan base. 

Biography and Early Career

Xavier Wulf, whose real name is Xavier Beard, was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1992. He started rapping in his late teens around 2011, originally going by the name Ethelwulf as a part of the rap group RaiderKlan, which included rappers such as Spaceghostpurrp and Denzel Curry. He released his debut mixtape The Wolf Gang’s Rodolphe in March of 2012, before leaving RaiderKlan to pursue a solo career. RaiderKlan’s importance can’t be understated as they were one of the first rap groups to exclusively release music through free streaming services, being cited as early pioneers of the 2016 Soundcloud movement. Wulf’s early work was heavily inspired by Memphis legends Three-Six Mafia with absurdly violent lyrics and rudimentary production (listen to “Who the F**k is You” and “Help Yo Self” for early examples of Wulf’s solo work). It wasn’t until the release of Blood Shore Season 1 in 2014 that Wulf started to develop the sound that he’s so well known for. His breakthrough mixtape Blood Shore Season 2, released the same year as the first mixtape in the series included “Psycho Pass”, which blew up on the now non-existent social media app, Vine. This is how I was introduced to his work. 

How I Discovered Him

When I discovered Xavier Wulf, I was a moody 7th grader in late 2015, the era of hoverboards, Fetty Wap, and Vine. I was coming off a three year long Eminem phase and I was searching for rappers who broke the lyricism mold that I had become so accustomed to. When I first heard “Psycho Pass”, I only heard seven seconds of the song, which was only the beat drop, but I was immediately hooked. The song’s repetitive, submarine-radar-like beeping accompanied by the rapid 808s and slow bass, which are all introduced separately, counter Wulf’s pugnacious voice and lyrics. His lyrics in this song are simple and almost as aggressive as his delivery, with the topics consisting of infidelity, smoking weed, ridding himself of his opponents by any means necessary, and burning incense for some reason. One of the best parts of the song is when Wulf says, “I’m standing on a boat finna set the damn sail/I burn incense because my brain likes the smell/She get a whiff and thought that it was a spell/I ain’t say, ‘Come,’ but she at the hotel” which he spits right before the aggressive beat drop where the production finally matches his energy. I continued to listen to the rest of Blood Shore Season 2, which is widely considered as his best project by critics and fans alike. Following the success of the mixtape, he continued to drop similar two Tundra Boy Season projects and Project X, which includes the song “Akina Speed Star”, another breakthrough song for Wulf which includes an intro sampled from the anime Initial D.

 

Anime

Another aspect that sets Wulf apart from many rappers of the genre is his love of anime. In many of his songs, including “Akina Speed Star”, he references anime characters and settings. In “Tis the Season” he states, “Princess Mononoke chiefing chee out with Chiyoko”, Princess Mononoke is a reference to the 1997 anime Princess Mononoke from anime legend Hayao Miyazaki and Chiyoko is from the 1998 anime Akira, which is also referenced in the title “Akira Speed Star”. On “Tokyo Drift”, he remixes the Japanese hip hop group, Teriyaki Boyz iconic song “テリヤキ・ボーイズ TOKYO DRIFT (FAST & FURIOUS)”. These days, the fusion of hip hop and anime is common in the industry as Rappers have adopted the Japanese art style to design album covers, merch, music videos, and public persona. Rapper Lil Uzi Vert’s Instagram bio makes the controversial claim that he’s “Asian on the inside”. In 2018, Kanye West claimed that Akira “is not only the greatest animation achievement in history, the subject matter is so relevant to the current state of the world” on Twitter. Some fans even claimed that his outfit at the first Donda listening event was inspired by the film. What Xavier Wulf does differently from these artists is how he is (relatively) subtle about his passion for Japanese culture. He doesn’t have wrapped cars like Uzi and doesn’t go on rants about anime on Twitter like Kanye, but instead makes references to characters in his music and collaborates with Japanese artists (listen to “Riding Shotgun in Japan”, Xavier Wulf’s collaboration with Japanese rapper KOHH). His merchandise doesn’t contain anime characters and most of his album covers lack any reference to his love for anime. I appreciate this because I think that the way Lil Uzi uses anime is borderline cultural appropriation, a theme that I’ve noticed is emerging in hip hop.

Fashion and Public Persona

Another aspect that makes him stand out from other rappers is his taste in fashion. Wulf and his collaborators often choose dark clothing and baggy hoodies over designer pieces and overwhelming chains. While Wulf’s main focus is hip hop, he also collaborates with many independent clothing designers and owns his own brand, Hollowsquad. His concerts are as loud and aggressive as his music, reminiscent of underground punk-rock concerts with mosh pits, stage diving, and injuries being a common theme at most of them. His ability to create this kind of energy without assistance from technology is astounding, with reporter Boom from The Knockturnal declaring, “his energy is felt like an atomic bomb with the wave of excitement that passed through the crowd the entire show. No major light show, no pyrotechnics, or star-studded surprises”. Wulf is also known for his passion for refurbished cars, with his BMW E46 m3 making several appearances at his car meet ups around southern California. He recently refurbished another BMW m3 and seems to be working on another BMW. Before becoming a passionate gearhead, Wulf was a BMX enthusiast, however, his keenness for the sport has faded away in the past few years.

Collaborators and Next Steps

Wulf isn’t known for collaborating with bigger rappers, with his most mainstream collaborations being a 2016 feature on Lil Peep’s “drive by” and a 2017 feature on “F**k a Swisher” by Smokepurpp. Wulf’s main collaborators include Bones, Eddy Baker, idontknowjeffery, and, until recently, Chris Travis. What all these rappers have in common is that they hail from East Memphis and blew up around the same time, which is probably why Wulf chooses to collaborate with them instead of branching out. He’s released two mixtapes with Bones, a mixtape with idontknowjeffery, and countless features including the same array of East Memphis rappers. What’s next for Wulf is up in the air as the last project he released, Rude Dog, wasn’t received well by fans. This was due to the fact that he swapped his iconic, aggressive delivery for a lazier flow with mundane lyrics over mediocre production. Since then he’s only dropped a few singles and hinted at Blood Shore Season 3 but hasn’t followed up on the project since. Xavier Wulf’s been in the game for about 10 years and has been dropping projects relatively consistently since he began, so I don’t blame him for wanting to take a break if that’s his plan. If the next project is the third installment in the Blood Shore series, I’m excited to see whether or not he ditches this new flow for his classic delivery. Regardless of this, Xavier Wulf’s impact on hip hop won’t be forgotten. As the genre continues to evolve, his influence will adapt with it and always allow for an alternative sub-genre that one can look for when seeking a harder, darker sound than what mainstream trap can provide.

Recommended Albums:

Blood Shore Season 2

Project X

Tundra Boy Season 2

East Memphis Maniac

Brace

Recommended Songs:

Video of Xavier Wulf performing his 2015 song “Fort Woe”:

Interview with Xavier Wulf from 2014:

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Reviews Uncategorized

Concert Review: flipturn and Haiva Ru

By Margalit Goldberg

As we walked down the stairs to meet our Uber, I remembered to ask everyone if they had their vaccine card. Being on campus, it’s not something we all thought to carry around, but in the era of mid/post-pandemic live music, most venues are requiring proof of vaccination- including The Black Sheep. As we waited in line to enter the venue and had our IDs and vaccine cards checked, I scanned the crowd and it seemed like flipturn and Haiva Ru was drawing in an eclectic crowd.

By the time the Haiva Ru came on stage, the venue was only about three rows full, but the excitement and energy from the crowd could be felt nonetheless. Having only listened to about three of Haiva Ru’s songs beforehand, I didn’t have many expectations. But right off the bat, the difference between her live sound and studio sound was apparent. She sounds much pop-ier in her discography which includes her album released in 2021, Bloom Baby Bloom, but on stage her performance leaned more towards the gritty Nashville roots of her music.

Haiva Ru’s lead guitarist, Noah Rubin, killed it – playing everything from dreamy, synth-like progressions to gnarlier licks. Strangely, I don’t think he made a single facial expression, and the most movement we saw was a slight head bop. Devon Vonbalson,  stolen from flipturn, backed them up with high-energy pop-punk drums. The band was very much supporting lead singer Allie Merrill, which she made clear when she introduced them as her band.

Haiva Ru played both the electric and acoustic guitar slowing her set down in the middle to play “Wildflowers”, an emotional song about the loss of her sister and the destructive wildfires that plagued her hometown Santa Barbara. She ended her set with “Work It On Out,” which she was proud to mention was just used in an Abercrombie and Fitch commercial, which was very fitting given the track’s poppy sound. Also worth noting that Allie makes Christian pop music under the name Allie Page. Do with that what you will.

Flipturn took the stage and immediately their dynamic and carefree chemistry was illuminated. They’ve been together since 2015 when they formed as a high school band in their small town of Fernandina Beach, Florida and you can see the closeness and communication they’ve been able to create in the way they bounce around together on stage. The lead singer, Dillon, and lead guitarist, Tristan Duncan, begin almost every song face-to-face staring each other in the eyes. Then they burst into dancing and headbanging, bringing the energy in the venue even higher. Looking around, a good chunk of the crowd knew the words to every song, which is a testament to their growing fan base.

Despite their high energy stage presence, they hinted that the tour had begun to wear them out. When Dillon introduced the band they included the rubber chicken that they had bought and brought with them to each show. In a moment of honesty and slight desperation, Dillon explained that to break away from the monotony of touring they started an Instagram account for the rubber chicken. Upon request from the band themselves, here is a link to follow along on Jalapeno the tour chicken’s journey, and peek into the slight delirium that touring can cause.

Flipturn played two unreleased singles from their soon-to-be-released first full-length studio album, “Playground” and “Space Cowboy.” “Playground” kept with their feel-good indie rock vibe, but “Space Cowboy” gave a peek into the evolution of their sound that I’m hoping to see in their upcoming release. The track still had lively guitar riffs but it slowed down into something reminiscent of dream-pop, a step in a new direction for flipturn.

The encore was the most fun part of the night as the band and the audience used up the last of their weekend energy to chant the lyrics to Chicago, shouting the loudest during the line “I get high in Colorado.” Dillon came off the stage to mosh with the crowd and it became clear that the band would have the same energy no matter what size venue they play. They are all doing what they love and putting on a great show while they do it.

While waiting for flipturn to set up, I was able to snag the very last tour shirt and after the show, I talked to the band and had them sign it. They kept their carefree attitude off the stage and were all clearly excited to interact with their fans.  If you ever get a chance to see flipturn live don’t pass it up, but for now you can check out their Live at Sugarshack Sessions EP to feel the aura of a live performance.

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