These releases among others are available to request at wyce.org/request or call (616)742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library
The Babe Rainbow – Today
Aussie psychedelic-pop band The Babe Rainbow is back with their latest release, Today, which officially drops on September 6th through 30th Century Records. What is great about this group is that each track is arranged much like a home would be: delighting in the finer details, lovingly sculpting their vision, and ultimately arriving at a satisfying, comfortable space to live in. Each tune on this record is a trip down memory lane, cultivating a nostalgia for 70’s folk pop lightly drizzled with eclectic sounds. Vocals float effortless overtop a bed of danceable grooves ranging from electronically influenced Latin music to a soulful backbeat. It’s a hippie-fueled dream that invites you to loosen up, greet the sunshine, and delight in the colorful beauty around us. With summer winding down and fall approaching with the changing of the leaves, this album is a great segue into welcoming the diversity of nature with open arms, so sneak in one last trip to the lake with this on your picnic playlist!
Songs to check out: Morning Song, Something New, Many Moons of Love
Common – Let Love
Messages of self-reflection and taking the time, often within the tunes themselves, to heal is the overarching theme of Let Love. Hip Hop is as diverse as any genre, and often the public only is exposed to the party anthems, diss tracks, and club bangers that feature a catchy vocal hook. This album is filled with skilled craftsmen and craftswomen, with artists like Leikeli47, Daniel Caesar, Leon Bridges, Swizz Beatz, and BJ The Chicago Kid. The first single I checked out was “Show Me That You Love,” and it’s a heartbreaking reflection of Common dissecting conversations with his college age daughter about how she resents him for not being around, being there for another woman’s kid when he was seeing other women, and only providing the simple things (movies, concert tickets, etc) instead of being there for her when she needed him. The tune is made all the more emotional by the soft vocal lines by Jill Scott and accompanying piano and string arrangements done by Samora Pinderhughes, a pianist who has worked with Common on the supergroup project August Greene. Songs dealing with cheating in relationships, dealing with past issues through therapy, and even dealing with the realization of being molested as a child are all present in the well-crafted lyrics Common is known for sculpting. Paired with the expert cast of aforementioned musicians (and many more), this record is a testament to Common’s strength as an artist, ability to bring together so many talented artists for a singular vision, and dedication to seeking improvement through discussing difficult subject matter, whether artistically or therapeutically.
Songs to check out: Show Me That You Love (feat. Jill Scott, Samora Pinderhughes), HER Love (feat. Daniel Caesar wsg. Dwele), Fifth Story (ft. Leikeli47),
Whitney – Forever Turned Around
Three years after the release of their debut record, Light Upon the Lake, Chicago-based indie duo Whitney is back with their latest release, Forever Turned Around, an album that continues the mellow, emotionally driven sounds of this midwestern project. Each track focuses on relationships, especially how they can change unexpectedly as loneliness creeps in from seemingly nowhere. Feeling lonely in friendships, romantic partnerships, and even with close family is a theme that many folks tend to feel during times of their lives. A change of scenery or season can open up opportunities for loneliness to seep into one’s state of well being, as highlighted in the album’s title track with the lyrics “Should have seen this coming somehow / The highs keep falling back down / But it gets no better thinking about / The way forever turned around.” Sometimes you need an album that helps coax these feelings out of you so that they can be addressed, and this album is perfect for those nights alone or a long walk in the incoming, brisk fall weather. If you’re someone who enjoys diverse listening experiences or need different artists to compliment emotional states, this album is a great addition to your playlist as the sweaters come on and the company feels more distant.
Songs to check out: Used To Be Lonely, Valleys (My Love), Giving Up, Forever Turned Around
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell
Somewhere in the sea of pop music’s rabid and often overhyped fan base, I missed a gem in Lana Del Rey. With this 6th album under her belt, she proves that she is an awesome songwriter within the American music sphere, crafting intimate, complex listening experiences that break away from the normal cadence of pop albums often found in 2019. There are tracks as long as nearly 10 minutes, exploring themes from a present-day America that is being historically rewritten. Much like Norman Rockwell artistically depicted idyllic images of American life, Lana Del Rey is harnessing the tropes and concepts around America with wit, absurdity, and at times great moments of deadpan expression that serves to suck the life out of an often emotionally charged patriotic theme. There are soaring ballads, psychedelic pop soundscapes, and lots of room to highlight the minimalistic approach to many of these arrangements. She even sneaks in a Sublime cover of “Doin’ Time” to really emphasize how intentional and distinct she has become with her songwriting. This album also begs for a live show interpretation of the narrative themes, and I’m interested to see what Lana Del Rey and her team do to further accentuate them on tour. Check out some songs, reconcile the lyrics with the current American landscape, and soak your ears in the ambient textures surrounding each lilting tune.
Songs to check out: Doin’ Time, Hope Is A Dangerous Thing for a Woman to Have - But I Have to Have It, Fuck It I Love You
Caravan Palace – Chronologic
Parisian electro-swing outfit Caravan Palace is back with their fourth album, Chronologic, an album that blends jazzy swing with psychedelic dance beats in a creative-yet-accessible package. Aside from new tunes, the album is also the first from the group to feature some guest artists, including Charles X’s soulful vocals on the track “About You” and Tom Bailey’s voice on “Waterguns” paired with a strong big band aesthetic. The album plays out like a weird intersection between a traditional jazz dance hall and a European dance club, one where the participants are shifting between two generations of styles and cultures as vocal hooks glide across electronic beats layered with jazz harmonies, horn sections, and percussion. This release is perfect to toss into a dance mix for some much needed distinct flavor, as it is familiar and yet filled with sonic ear candy. As a jazz musician, I wonder where some of the samples come from that are dotting each mix. This album is a well-crafted listening experience as much as it is designed to get you dancing, and it’s a great way to pick up the life of any party you might be throwing.
Songs to check out: Plume, About You (feat. Charles X), Supersonic
New Music Monday is a collaboration with WYCE Staff and Dutcher Snedeker. These among others are all available for request at wyce.org/request or call (616) 742-9923 For a complete list of everything we add visit: grcmc.org/wyce/music/library