Without reminding everyone of what’s going on in the news, it feels like this month, we need music more than ever. Our writers have put together a list of all the genres, artists, albums and songs that they’ve had on repeat lately – so keep reading if you fancy some fabulous new recommendations.
Song: Balance and Composure – ‘Reflection’
Despite calling it a day last year, I have yet been able to cease listening to Balance and Composure. Whilst I hold material from all 3 of their albums close to my heart, ‘Reflection’ still holds its place as number 1. The song is 4-minutes of energetic alt rock that gives nods to the likes of Deftones, Basement and perhaps even Linkin Park. The inspiring guitars throughout the track take you on a grungy, post-hardcore adventure, whilst the vocals of Jon Simmons create a sense of ageing angst, forcing the listener into a reflection of their own. ‘Reflection’ contains enough level-headed energy to keep you moving whilst the melancholic lyrics bring you back half a step, enforcing a real emo vibe. The whole The Things We Think We’re Missing album is full of incredible songs, but this one is in a league of its own.
Balance and Composure’s ‘Reflection’ is available via No Sleep Records.
Song: Enter Shikari – ‘Dreamers’ Hotel’
Enter Shikari are exactly what we need to be listening to right now, their raucous and rebellious tones from their early albums accompany many a heavy teenage angst with their anti-establishment vibes. Their last album, The Spark, saw the Hertfordshire rockers take a softer approach to their music, with a heavier electro-pop vibe, However, Dreamers’ Hotel, the first track off their upcoming album nothing is true and everything is possible harks back to the classical Shikari sound, with a basis on which the instrumentals are forefront. There is less emphasis on the bass-heavy undertones like in Common Dreads, however the focus is on vocals which lyrically pack a punch and are iconically Shikari.
Enter Shikari’s ‘The Dreamers’ Hotel’ is out now via SO Records.
Album: Rat Boy – Scum
Ah, the summer of 2017. A simple time of heatwaves, solar eclipses and political nightmares. It also brought us the absolute stunner of an album that is Scum, by Rat Boy. If you want a combo of indie rock and hip hop, that works in some beautiful unusual amalgamation of the Beastie Boys, The Streets and Oasis, then this is 100% the album for you. If you’re a particular fan, definitely listen to the deluxe edition too, with 13 extra tracks on it (an absolute dream of weird skits, new songs and samples). 3 years on from its initial release, the album still goes massively hard today, addictive with its variation of headbangers to chill-out tracks, from the intense ‘Move’ to the aptly named ‘Laidback’. The album is an absolute must-listen, especially with Rat Boy’s release of his newest LP only a few weeks ago.
Rat Boy’s Scum is available via Parlophone Records.
Album: Tracy Chapman – Telling Stories
Tracy Chapman‘s Telling Stories celebrated 20 years since its release this year, and to honour it, it felt only right to listen to it on repeat for a few weeks. The album showcases everything which Chapman is known for, including some gorgeous vocals and groovy musical melodies. My personal favourites are definitely ‘Telling Stories’, the album’s title track which never fails to have me singing along to the tune for the rest of the day. It is impossible to speak of Telling Stories and not mention ‘Speak the Word’, where the chorus’ repeated “love, love, love, love” instantly creates an urge to dance or sway. This album has a little something for every mood, but is probably best listened to after a long day as it’s the perfect wind-down soundtrack.
Tracy Chapman’s Telling Stories is available via Atlantic Records.
Artist – The Dresden Dolls
It’s been a long time since I fell in love with an artist as quickly as I fell head over heels for The Dresden Dolls. Consisting of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione on a whole host of musical instruments, The Dresden Dolls were the leaders of the niche genre of punk cabaret, a musical movement which gained momentum in underground alternative scenes throughout the 2000s. Their music is fantastically dark and almost Victorian in its sound, with enough punk edge to create perfectly bizarre songs that get stuck in your head for weeks. Their self-titled debut is full of gems, like ‘Girl Anachronism’, ‘Coin-Operated Boy’ and ‘Missed Me’, all gloriously creepy, emotionally unmatched and musically stunning.
The Dresden Dolls’ music is available via The All Blacks B.V.