Patrick Murphy/Northern Star
Weekly Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2uKcL8bof9aEaLCBCunyuz
Pi’erre Bourne – “42”
Gatecreeper – “Imposter Syndrome”
The Black Dahlia Murder – “A Vulgar Picture”
Chromatics – “Dust To Dust”
Pi’erre Bourne is one of rap’s most dynamic dual threats, both rapping and producing his own songs. “42” has a twinkling lo-fi poppy beat that tackles missing former lovers, the unexpected reality of everyday events and comparing his career to the baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
“Imposter Syndrome” by death metal band Gatecreeper will get anyone psyched. The first 10 seconds of the song slowly prepare the listener for a full-on assault powered by stellar guitar riffs, solid drum work and some of the best vocal work within Gatecreeper’s catalog.
2000’s era extreme metal can get stale pretty fast, but melodic death metal outfit The Black Dahlia Murder has some killer material from earlier in its career. Much like “Imposter Syndrome,” “A Vulgar Picture” is the band putting the pedal to the floor. The drumming is a humongous standout on the track and the vocals definitely feel vulgar.
Chromatics’ discography can fit multiple genre labels and “Dust To Dust” primarily fits as a dream-pop track with an emphasis from synth-rock. The track features no vocals, only a wall of noise and a set of guitar chords that create a track that is extremely dissonant.
Washed Out – “Feel It All Around”
alt-J – “Warm Foothills”
Beach House – “Wildflower”
Hamilton Leithauser, Rostam – “A 1000 Times”
“Feel It All Around ” has over ninety-two million streams on Spotify, and there’s no confusion as to why. Not only is this chillwave hit Washed Out’s most streamed song, it is also the theme song for the television series “Portlandia.” This lo-fi song contains slowed down samples from Gary Low’s 80’s hit, “I Want You.” The songs are both very different from each other, but that is the beauty of it.
Formed in the UK, alternative indie rock band alt-J delivers something different than its usual sound on “Warm Foothills.” The song bounces between many different vocalists, sometimes in the middle of a verse or even words. The imagery of the lyrics combined with the gentle guitar and impeccable harmonies give the listener an underrated masterpiece.
“Wildflower” is one of the best songs included on “Depression Cherry,” the fifth studio album from dream pop/rock duo Beach House. Lead singer Victoria Legrand’s dreamlike voice pairs perfectly with the melodic synth throughout the song, creating something truly unique.
Hamilton Leithauser has a talent for going from singing gently to belting, seemingly with ease. “A 1000 Times” is a song that will never get old no matter how many times it is played, and it will be stuck in the listener’s head for hours after.
Blue Deputy – “I Hate Steven Singer”
It Looks Sad. – “Drool”
Life on Venus – “For the Kill”
The Obsessives – “I’ll Always Love You”
Philadelphia bedroom-emo duo Blue Deputy has formally released only two songs, yet they remain an example of quality over quantity. “I Hate Steven Singer” combines the classic emo sound with lead singer Andy Bunting’s soothing vocals, for what is an extremely catchy listen that will no doubt be one to sing and shout along to.
“Drool,” by North Carolina band It Looks Sad., is a song that from the first note transports the listener into a dreamstate. The dream-pop track’s washed out vocals and reverb soaked guitar couple together with shimmering tambourine for a vibrant and dazing listen.
Russian shoegaze quintet Life on Venus’s track “For the Kill” is a dark and brooding listen. The track is backed by punching, almost ‘80s sounding, drums and melodic guitar effects and heavy guitar riffs. Lead singer Dmitry Kostryukov’s vocals are haunting throughout, especially during the bridge and outro.
Moving to a brighter note, “I’ll Always Love You” by alternative band The Obsessives is an endearing and honest listen. The track is light and upbeat but refrains from being cheesy as the lyrics “I’ll always love you/ Not all the ways you want me to” describe that, like anyone, the singer will love this person to the best of their ability.