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Liminal Drifter: Connected (album review by Christa V.)

This music could probably best be described as a sort of “ambient electronica.” It would be excellent for speaking over with its chill beats that build and fallover the course of a single track, without ever getting overly intense or very melodic. Some songs are rather groovy and upbeat, like “This Is from Earth” or “Sheep Radio.” A couple tracks make use of diverse sources through the distorted vocals on “Happy Garden of Life” or the baby crying in “Braxton.”Best track is probably the opener though, it definitely showcases the distinctive chill vibes of Liminal Drifter in the most optimal way. Favorite tracks: 1, 3, 6

Zoe Sky Jordan: Scenes from Infinity, Pt. 1 (EP review by Christa V.)

Jordan is the child of the Canadian musicians Marc Jordan and Amy Sky, whose music I am unfamiliar with but might be an interesting addition to a show to include her parents. She has a really relaxed and chill sound that creates a very distinctive atmosphere. Her vocals and harmonization are gorgeous, and the lyrics are poetic and haunting. It’s a short EP, so even though a lot of it can sound similar, I don’t really hold that against her. Favorite tracks: 1 and 3

Andrew reviews 'A Virtual Campfire with Aly and AJ'

A Virtual Campfire with Aly and AJ

 

Last Monday my life was changed. I got to be on Zoom with Aly and AJ, true icons of my childhood. The “Virtual Campfire” hosted by in2une Music, was composed of other college radio members like myself adorning background images of a burning campfire. Truthfully, if you had asked me if I believe I would be at a virtual campfire with Aly and AJ a year ago, I don’t know how I would respond. Nevertheless, I happily attended. 

The former Disney stars were promoting their new single, “Listen!!!”, its music video release, and their upcoming album. We watched the video together, three days before its release last thursday, and engaged in conversation with the artists. Although this is not technically a music review, the song is amazing. It's fun, but mature, and reflects the musical growth of the sisters. Likewise, their personal reflections, which were shared with us, prove to me that Aly and AJ are truly redefining their career. I’ll never forget “Potential Breakup Song”. But this single, and as I expect this upcoming album, are certain to shift the people’s perceptions. This was a very unique and intriguing event, and I’m very grateful to have attended.

 -Andrew Villeneuve

Girl Friday: Androgynous Mary (album review by Christa V.)

Girl Friday is (unsurprisingly) a band made up of four women who take a turn at lead vocals for the band. Somehow, their voices all blend together incredibly well, they make frequent use of very tight harmonies. The group has described themselves as a “goth Wiggles” and somehow it is just so accurate. They don’tshy away from very dark themes in their lyrics, and their music is also incredibly atmospheric. This is best highlighted a few of their songs, including the opener.In “This Is Not the Indie Rock I Signed Up For” the vocals all blend together so well it’s eerie, almost creepy. Also the breakdown at the end of the song is verycool to listen to. “Favorite Friend” is another great mood song, it conjures up a certain sadness with the melodic vocals. A very cool listen for sure, even if itmight bring the party down.  Favorite tracks: 1, 7, 9

Funky Chemist: Groove Generator (album review by Christa V.)

Funky Chemist is a trio of primarily organ players who fuse their beats to groovy guitar melodies, as well as a smattering of other instruments. Theirsound is a cool blend of psychedelic rock with jazz, making their music funky while not overwhelming. Some tracks would probably be cool for speakingover! The best example of their sound is probably “Mai Tai” which features the guitar part and a whole lot of funk. Best song on the album is definitely “TrainWreck” though, it starts off laid back and progressively gets more and more hype until dropping back down at the end. Because of that it is definitely thetrack with the most variety. Favorite tracks: 4, 5, 7

Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering (album review by Christa V.)

This is an innovative album combining poetry and jazz together, the third of its kind that Boone has created. The two art forms have always been linked, andthis is a great way to bring them back together. Essentially each song consists of a poet reading their work while jazz music plays as a backing track, turningthe poetry into lyrics. All of the works chosen are powerful poems responding to current issues, particularly racism. The music suits each poem thematically,some end up sounding like pop or rap songs they merge so well. Standout tracks include “Deconstruction of Idols” which sounds almost improvised until1:50 when what sounds like a big band comes in. “Truths” is a gorgeous, melodical piece that’s wonderful to listen to. And the title track “The Poets AreGathering” builds tension so effectively and features really neat vocal edits throughout. Finally the album ends with “These Current Events,” a poem thatdiscusses the current times and the place of poetry in them. A perfect way to end a powerful album. Favorite tracks: 3, 5, 6, 7

The Buttertones: Jazzhound (album review by Christa V.)

The Buttertones are a band from LA whose music straddles many different genres. All of their songs feature the deep voice of their vocalist, and manyfeature a saxophone among the guitar and synth. This allows them to make music that sometimes feels like punk, and sometimes feels closer to jazz. For agood range of their talent, there’s “Denial You Win Again” which is a very atmospheric song that closes with a great sax feature. Then there’s “Bebop,”which sounds completely different from the rest of the album, and somehow manages to include a horn section while also being incredibly dark. The closingtrack, “Jazzhound,” has an amazing beat to get you grooving. Favorite tracks: 2, 6, 10

Johanna Warren: Chaotic Good (album review by Christa V.)

Warren’s songs clearly contain folk and pop influences, with lots of poetic lyrics, haunting vocals, and explicit emotions. This is best heard in “Twisted,” as her pain is practically palpable in her singing. Often tracks consist of her voice with either guitar or piano accompanying. It is rather sparse, but it works so well for her sound. Track 4, “Bed of Nails,” has a really interesting backing track that creates a unique sound and mood. It ends with a repetitive section that consists of an incredibly haunting build; I think that’s the best part of the album. Track 10, “Bones of Abandoned Futures,” is also incredible. It features swirling piano and vocals, and a lot of aspects Warren can pull off really well are highlighted and combined here. Favorite tracks: 1, 4, 10

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