Frivolous
Chris
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Last Active 10-21-17 9:50 pm
Joined 06-27-17

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 Lists
10.22.17 2017 - 5/5 songs09.06.17 Exploring weird folk
07.01.17 Favorite albums, midyear 2017

2017 - 5/5 songs

Or, I prove how low my standards are. Unranked
1Do Make Say Think
Stubborn Persistent Illusions


[yearning for something more, and finding it]
"Bound and Boundless"

The centerpiece of their latest album, this two-part suite is one of the most sublime things the band has ever recorded. It begins inconspicuously, slowly evolving over the 11-minute runtime to its glorious finale- which is one of the greatest emotional payoffs I've gotten from music this year. The production is excellent; layered without feeling cluttered, spacious without feeling vacant, pristine without being gutless.
2The Horrors
V


[saying goodbye while the party rages on]
"Something to Remember Me By"

This is a really, REALLY well crafted synth-pop song. The instrumental is in a constant state of flux, always exploring new territory within itself without ever becoming sidetracked. Faris Badwan's vocals bring just the right amount of melancholia to the mix, and the chorus is truly, truly blissful.
3High Plains
Cinderland


[a flaying knife, applied liberally]
"A White Truck"

This song begins with a cello slowly peeling away layers of my skin. This song begins by unsettling me more than anything else I've heard this year. And then it explodes.
4Landlady
The World Is A Loud Place


[rambling on and on inside a kaleidoscope]
"Electric Abdomen"

There's a moment towards the end of this song where everything slides into place. The instrumentals, which glide in and out of the at will, burst in a explosion of color. The lyrics, which ramble nonsensically, circle back on themselves in a gloriously clever way. The journey to that point is worthwhile as well - open and cheerful, but with hidden depths that make it worth relistening to againandagainandagainandagain.
5Oxbow
Thin Black Duke


[hosting a banquet in a padded cell, my suit is a straitjacket]
"Letter of Note"

This song is all-encompassing, to the point that it's almost impossible for me to focus on anything else. I can't stop thinking about the buildup, how the guitar slowly climbs with the strings hovering in the background, how Eugene's voice grows higher and higher, creaking and straining until it finally snaps.
6Street Sects
Rat Jacket


[slowly turning the 'tension' dial clockwise]
"Blacken the Other Eye"

Intricate brutality - harsh sounds orchestrated with a keen eye. Vocals that slowly lose their cool, unable to keep calm amidst the chaos, until finally, they lash out.
7Billy Woods
Known Unknowns


[an offhand story, well told]
"Police Came to My Show"

I couldn't tell you why I keep coming back to this song. It seems deliberately inconsequential - "Oh yeah, one time police were at my show," Billy tells me, "I did it up." But there's something about his storytelling here - his subtle uneasiness around the cops in the first verse, the quiet humanity towards the end of the second - that makes it truly something special.
8Kirin J. Callinan
Bravado


[anthemic satire(?)]
"S.A.D."

Kirin is definitely self-aware about the kind of music he makes - it'd be hard to say lines like "Wrapped up in plastic, thrown down the stairs, feeling fantastic" without a wink. Despite that, though, he still throws himself wholeheartedly into pop with his own truly eccentric spin on it. This song is the best of them, with a fantastic hook that keeps building off of itself and an instrumental that is a spectacle onto itself.
9Protomartyr
Relatives In Descent


[giving up on the world, paralyzed on a sofa]
"The Chuckler"

Arguing with cashiers because there's nothing else to do. Speaking with telephone salesman because their lives are a lot more goddamn interesting, that's for sure. Desperately looking for a way, but finding none, and then pretending like you knew that all along.
10Mount Eerie
A Crow Looked At Me


[i dont have any clever metaphors for this one im sorry]
"My Chasm"

I could put any song from this album on this list. I could put every song. But this song was the hardest to stomach, the hardest one to brush off.
11Hauschka
What If


[bouncing feverishly]
"Nature Fights Back"

It's remarkable how active this song is considering how little is actually happening. Hauschka is able to transform a piano and the odd sounds he has lying around into something that is engaging and just fuckin' fun to listen to.
12Sun Kil Moon
Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood


[rambling at a family reunion about the good ol' days, much to everyone's chagrin]
"God Bless Ohio"

Unlike other parts of this album, every single second feels purposeful, directed. Mark Kozelek isn't so much looking back on his youth as he is vomiting the details up, unable to stop himself. It all circles back in the end, though, to Ohio. Despite the murder and the kidnappings and the hard times and the poverty and the everything, there's still something special about his home state to Mark, and I think the way he tells his story is truly beautiful.
13Xiu Xiu
Forget


[something's not right, maybe it's guy muttering in the corner]
"Jenny GoGo"

On this song Jamie dances along the fine line between surrealism and insanity, muttering and screaming as he does so. There's something tentative about his vocals, which is highlighted by the ocean of reverb surrounding them. Something's off, and Xiu Xiu revels in that.
14The Mountain Goats
Goths


[empowering the weirdo, or maybe just joining in]
"Rain in Soho"

This song is grandiose, epic, and that's what it makes it weird. It's grand in unusual ways - background vocals that pipe in and out, ominous piano playing. It works not because John Darnielle wholeheartedly embraces its oddities, it flourishes because of it.
15Alex Cameron
Forced Witness


[alpha-male posturing, now with bongos]
"Marlon Brando"

Alex has a knack for fusing seedy, sometimes revolting characters with blissful electropop. Marlon Brando is the best example of this - the protagonist is a homophobic stalker, desperate for attention from a woman who has no idea who he is. If I had a nickel for every time I've muttered "I feel like Marlon Brando", I'd have a lot of nickels.
16Jonwayne
Rap Album Two


[let me sit down, and i'll tell you my story]
"Blue Green"

This is Jonwayne at his most exposed. He's not going to shy away from this - quite the opposite. But it is his bluntness that makes the song so effective, as well as the amazing feature from Low Leaf at the end.
17Julien Baker
Turn Out The Lights


[isolating myself, focusing inwards]
"Turn Out The Lights"

Anything I say about this song is going to be said much more eloquently when one of you nerds reviews this album. You know who you are.
18BADBADNOTGOOD
IV


[bliss]
"Confessions Pt III" (released officially in 2017)

Can we just all agree that Colin Stetson is a god, and leave and that? BBNG are great too don't get me wrong, but it's Stetson incredible performance that's the star of the show here.
19Richard Dawson
Peasant


[dancing around the bonfire]
"Ogre"

I don't get outdoors much, but something about this song makes me really wish I did. It's gloriously paganistic, as he builds into a dizzing, group-vocal chorus that rides out the final half of the song. Dawson's voice is perpetually unsteady - sometimes barely able to get the notes out, other times absolutely nailing falsettos. It's a strange song by a strange man, and I couldn't be happier being part of the ritual.
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