Music for 12/1/22!!! Blood Incantation, Rosalia

@@@ Blood Incantation: Timewave Zero (Stargate Research, 2022) This is a top metal record of the year if you believe the website Vulture. I’m not sure so I’m listening. I may have heard this earlier in the year as it has a distinctly dark ambient feel to it and I remember hearing a metal record like that earlier in the year. Yeah, I’m clicking through the first three tracks and I’m hearing dark ambient stuff and it’s okay but I’d rather hear a dark ambient smashed into metal feels to be honest. I’m guessing the composers of this list do not know of the plethora of great ambient music out there.

@@@ Rosalia: Motomami (Sony, 2022) Some Spanish language electro dancefloor banging off this Vulture list which I think I’m done with. It’s got a little Prince to it, some chanting/piled vocal hooks and I would like it more if it had a groove. Ooops that was quick and we’re onto a tinkly ballad thing. The next track, Diablo, is more fun with a stripped boombaton beat, some glitched/pitch shifted vocals and a clearer funk intention. I like the keyboard vamp, it’s awesome. There’s some creativity at work in this record for sure. I don’t think it’s a best of 2022 bomb for me but I recognize freshness even if it comes from a major label.

Music for 11/19/22!!! GloRilla, Latto

@@@ GloRilla: Nut Quick (Interscope, 2022) Mainstream female hip hop day here at Deep in the Music. This is some pretty disposable strip club hip hop and it’s a female dominating her males sitch here. Ms. GloRilla’s flow is okay, a bit lumpy in place and she does it all while a piano chord just bangs and bangs. Pun intended. It’s pretty average, high energy, not very interesting sounds, even the hook is pretty poorly executed. It’s a little difficult to believe these two releases here are by major labels, this is the kind of stuff that used to get sold out of the back of Buick trunks.

@@@ Latto: It’s Givin (RCA, 2022) Latto is similar but a bit more interesting musically when she starts the track. She’s more relaxed on the mic and the sounds are more interesting than GloRilla. I mean they’re not the most amazing sounds but they’re poppier and more ear catching. She really starts kicking it out around 1:25. She keeps using this phrase that sounds like ball speech, how could that be? No small toys, no broke toys. This is not the kind of record you can listen to over and over, it’s pretty disposable. Well done disposable business.

Music for 11/9/22!!! Guchi, Asake

@@@ Guchi: Taken Over ft. Ladipoe (Mad Solution, 2022) I’m going bottom to top today and this is my second listen off the African section of Apple Music. It’s very similar to the track below with a chill sitch and lower tempo. Let’s skip over to the track which is clipped below. More smooth loverboy business but from the female point of view. I really like the keyboard part and the beat is all right but it’s too normie for me. African normie is still normie. A bit of a bust today with the African Apple recommendations.

@@@ Asake: Terminator (Empire, 2022) I’m checking out the African section of Apple Music and this guy is towards the top of the recommendation list. It’s a chill electro r&b with plenty of call and response, but very influenced by American r&b. Big big loverboy feels when the lead vocalist comes in. A nice single line clean guitar solo, then back to the autotuned vocals. It’s a solid groove but this is for the ladies, smooth business.

Music for 10/31/22!!! Meat Wave, Hagop Tchaparian

@@@ Meat Wave: 10k (Swami, 2022) I thought this was gonna come out hardcore as the word meat usually is used by hardcore punk bands. This is post rock with a dash of prog, rock drums not metal, a singer you can understand and a reasonable tempo where you’re not having your brains bashed in. It’s a bit of a snoozer and later in the album so I’m going to check out one of the starred tunes for my listening pleasure. I like it, there’s not much here besides the energy and I could use something to really pull me into the track. I do like the guitars but I need more.

@@@ Hagop Tchaparian: Right to Riot (Text Records, 2022) Electronic music I got to via Pitchfork’s 10 most reviewed records of the week. This banger opens up with some hand drumming, quite energetic to break the steady 4 on the floor feels. It’s got some un American sounds like the hand drumming and a Middle Eastern (I think) horn that also sounds like a kazoo. I forget what that shit is called. I dig the in your faceness of the track but I could use more melody and contrast to the aggro. Much as the last listen I exited the track before its completion to check out one of the starred tracks. This one called Escape I feel much more. At least the beginning. I think Tchaparian excels at setting the table but needs to work on serving the whole meal and not just the appetizer.

Music for 10/25/22!!!! Palm, Courtney Marie Andrews

@@@ Palm: Nicks and Grazes (Saddle Creek, 2022) I’m listening bottom to top so this is my second listen of the day but the Saddle Creek label traffics in business similar to Courtney Marie Andrews’ music though this opening track is a crunchy slightly Beatles-y style rock. I’m on the second track now and it’s an interesting blend of dance rock with plenty of crunch on top of the synth bass and the smashed drum sound. I like the female singer as she’s a big contrast to the other sounds going on, the drums especially. I’m a bit shocked but this is a rare example of indie music that I don’t hate — I don’t love it or want to jump up and down but it’s definitely more interesting than a massive chunk of indie music out there. It’s got an interesting blend of sounds and a weird energy that indie music promises but most often doesn’t deliver on. Start with the third tune Parable Lickers and go from there.

@@@ Courtney Marie Andrews: Loose Future (Fat Possum, 2022) I follow folks on Twitter who think this artist is some cross between Jesus and the Beatles. She is slotted as Americana on Apple Music but this opening track on the record is an uplifting indie/alt country blend. By the time the full band comes in it’s pretty much an adult alternative track. No feelings hurt here that’s for sure. Smooth business. There’s not much to love here sonically except maybe a bit of the slide guitar which is the only real country music influence. The vocal hook is hard to hear, loose future if you want to ride with me. It’s okay, it’s not knocking me out but nothing here is desinged to knock you out. It’s not that it’s bad music there’s just not much passion.

Music for 10/15/22!!! Skullcrusher, The Big Moon

@@@ Skullcrusher: Quiet the Room (Secretly Canadian, 2022) A coupla listens from this week’s Line of Best Fit. Secretly Canadian is the big indie mucky muck with a lot of fingers in the pie so having your indie music come out with Secretly is a pretty big deal. Ooooh big layers of mope, many layers of long tone singing over strummed acoustic guitar. Lots of reverb and a bit too snoozy for me. I’ve skipped to the second track and the tempo is firmer, there’s a field recording type sample and the same vocal style. Track 3 sees a beat (if only a kick drum anchoring more strumming) and I’m going to tip out now as this is really not for me. Too sleepy, too dreamy, too mope-y.

@@@ The Big Moon: Trouble (UMG, 2022) Major lable indie/mainstream rock. Opens with thick and simple bassline then comes the female singer with a medium length melody, then some jangled guitar behind that. There you have it, quiet in the verse bust it out in the chorus with the distortion pedal and a faster tempo. I think she should have bypassed stacking the vocals in the chorus and just made them more rhythmically interesting. I didn’t really notice what the lyrics were which is never a great sign. Trouble don’t last forever doesn’t work for me as a super memorable vocal hook.

Music for 9/30/22!!!! Handle, OFF!

@@@ Handle: Punctured Time (Upset the Rhythm, 2022) I got to this alternative band via an interesting article in the Guardian when a music writer features music she (I think) found over the course of the year. The video below is for the second track on the record and it’s a brash art school/kraut-y punk feel. I like the no fucks given approach to the arrangements but more abrasiveness and less art school would work better for me. I’ve sample 3-4 tunes and I like the ones with the female singer more. Overall I dig this and think it’s not easy to find this vibe around these days as everybody is consuming music as macaroni and cheese comfort music.

@@@ OFF!: Free LSD (Fat Possum, 2022) Looks like somebody took the Black Sabbath sludgy guitar sound and smashed it into a punk record. I guess this is the original singer from the Circle Jerks. He does sport a sorta Sex Pistols old school barking/spoken word retro approach. The instrumental interludes are interesting and not reminiscent of punk at all, they’re kinda exploratory and Sabbath-y. I think the sound of the record is pretty interesting, it’s not shitass punk production and it sounds pretty mainstream and a tad metal. For those of you who don’t think the sound of a record matters you can just log off right now ya dummies. The not giving a fuck approach is best encapsulated by the interludes where shit breaks down into noisy components, that’s pretty rare these days.

Music for 9/29/22!!! Ondara, Deathprod

@@@ Ondara: An Alien in Minneapolis (Verve, 2022) I got to this record and the one below via this week’s All Music notable release email. The record opens up epic with a soaring voice and a climbing all over itself arpeggiated synth, well more than one by the time I’m done typing this. Oh shit, this is so friendly this will make your teeth hurt. It seems to want to aspire to be super American, a lightly strummed guitar chord, and some big vocal melodies. I don’t know where to place this record genre wise. Life is strange as Ondara is a 30 year old dude from Kenya and as I hear it he wrote a bunch of mainstream Springsteen type songs with high production and a commitment to big rock that I haven’t heard in a bit. Happy big rock, that’s what we got here. Weird. I think there’s a lot of people with good paying jobs who shower regularly who might like to enjoy this pass by but it ain’t me babe, it ain’t me.

@@@ Deathprod: IO (Smalltown Supersound, 2022) I got to this wee bit dissonant sitch also via All Music. Lots of zither/harpsichord-y strings and a horror movie sound in the back, a metallic howl/wail that really drags down the bouncing string sound. I’m not sure I like it or dislike it, but it’s jarring. I’ve checked out snippets of the second track and am checking out the third and they all have different feels but the same sounds. When I google deathprod he comes up with pics of him playing electric guitar though to my ears he’s not really rocking an electric guitar sound, it sounds more like a prepared piano thing. I like it, I don’t want to listen to a whole record of it but I like it.

Music for 9/23/22!!! Jake Blount, Dutch Mustard

@@@ Jake Blount: Once there was No Sun (Smithsonian Folkways, 2022) I got to today’s listens via The Line of Best Fit. First off I think it’s cool that an artist such as Jake Blount ends up on Smithsonian Folkways. After an opening track of just vocals it gets to it on the second track, The Downward Road. I like the upright bass and the energy, I like the whole thing including the rhymes that are a hip hop homage without evoking any theme that could be remotely evocative of hip hop. I’m on the third track, Didn’t it Rain, and I like the electric guitar but not the vocal arrangement which is closer to a modern r&b track than folk music. I’ve skipped to the track clipped below which is the pre-release track, so that’s the track the artist and label have decided is the best to pull folks into the record. It’s uplifting and interesting, I do appreciate how Blount does not conceive of folk music as a static form to be honored and he’s good to go and add other elements. I’m not sure I love it as much as I want.

@@@ Dutch Mustard: Magnifique (Bad Influence, 2022) This is an updated grunge rock track, big drum sound, simple and driving guitar figure and a female singer which is the twist. She’s doing a good job on the microphone, not oversinging and then boosting the energy at the chorus. I think Dutch Musard has listened to a lot of Nirvana records, which is fine it’s a formula open to all but familiarity breeds contempt. I would say this is too much of a bite here. Outside of her being a woman doing a grunge track there’s not much here to make this a unique track.

Music for 9/21/22!!! The Murlocs, Marxist Love Disco Ensemble

@@@ The Murlocs: Compos Mentis (ATO, 2022) Today’s listens are off this week’s All Music notable release email. I can’t remember if these guys were slotted as garage punk but if they were they fit half in and half out of that genre identifier. They have some nice if not pretty expected guitar sounds going, a female singer, and a comin in less than midtempo beat. It’s a crunchy mix with plenty of glassy high end frequencies. It’s like a slower but more aggro Bruce Springsteen vibe here. Let me peep another track. I’m checking out the opening track called Subsidiary and it’s a spaceship rock track, firmer than the video below. It’s got a lot of classic rock in it which is similar to the last track where I said I felt Bruce Springsteen feels were up in here. This is a pretty interesting blend of mainstream accessible sounds as well as weird arrangements and jumping around vibes. I’m going to return to this record at a later point. I can’t tell if it stands out a bit to me because rock is such a toilet these days or if it’s interesting music.

@@@ Marxist Love Disco Ensemble: Brumaire (Mr. Bongo, 2022) This track opens as a top shelf, boozhy chill dancefloor banger designed to keep the sweat to a minimum. Nice conga addition to the kit but even the vocals are designed for maximum macaroni and cheese comforting feels. There are some interesting melodic passages but overall the chill banger idea isn’t working that great for me. If they chose a chill funky beat instead of this straight one and some different synth sounds I would be more interested. I’m giving another track a listen, it’s entitled 1905. It does bust out with a chainsaw synth patch but the the framework of the last track is in full effect here as well.