For most college students, the workload at school ramps up around now. As Thanksgiving is the time of year people give thanks, I want to take the opportunity to give thanks to the music that keeps me going during these busy times.
“Arisen My Senses” by Björk
Björk’s newest album Utopia just came out and oh boy, one track in and it’s already a doozy. Gone is the gloom her beautiful album Vulnicura inhabited, replaced by an air of euphoria and ecstasy. Readily as ever, she wraps her voice around sweeping arrangements of synth and harp, recalling her previous work on the spectacular Vespertine. I’ll be reviewing the album in full soon, so stay tuned, but I can definitely say Utopia is off to a fantastic start.
“Dum Surfer” by King Krule
I mentioned this song in my article on records you can find at Graywhale; needless to say, it’s a spectacular take off King Krule’s new album The Ooz. If Archy’s distinct vocals or the layers of atmospheric effects don’t immediately pull you in, the saxophone definitely will. It’s the kind of tune that’s immediately catchy but has enough layers to keep your interest long past first listen.
“List of People (To Try And Forget About)” by Tame Impala
Speaking of music I’m grateful for, Tame Impala released a collection of b-sides and remixes that pleasantly surprised me. “List of People” in particular boasts the best qualities of band’s last release Currents plus some; it sports the same brilliant production and killer drumlines from Currents in addition to one of Kevin Parker’s best vocal melodies. The song has time to breath too, with a tasteful, understated ending that assures I won’t forget about this song anytime soon.
“If She Wants Me” by Belle and Sebastian
Understatement also happens to be a particularly appealing quality of Belle and Sebastian. Rather than dipping in and out of understated passages, however, the band sits in them. The resulting music feels deeply intimate, like stepping into a room with the band itself. Despite this, “If She Wants Me” is a big song for Belle and Sebastian, touting an organ and a majestic accompaniment by violins, creating a song both grand and charming.
“Extrasolar” by Baths
After reading a fascinating article about Baths on Kotaku, I decided to give his newest album Romaplasm a listen. While the whole album is an enjoyable listen, “Extrasolar” immediately caught my attention. Pianos chime and strings stir in the back of the mix, building into beautiful crescendos. Atop the instrumentation, Will Wiesenfeld creates beautiful harmonies with his vocals. “Come what may, we’re on our way” he sings over the chorus, a fitting mantra for getting through the end of the semester.