Some vibes to get you through dead week.
HANA – “Clay” – as described by som-mai nguyen
For all your quietly-vengeful-mermaid aesthetic needs. Wait for the beat, then wait for the hook.
WILCO – “She’s A Jar” – as described by nick burns
Part of what makes Summerteeth such an enduringly enjoyable album is how dream and nightmare are inextricable from start to finish. “Lush” is a word that comes up again and again, but also “emotionally devastated”: it’s the Cocteau Twins meets the Mountain Goats. “She’s A Jar” is driven by lazy, distant synths punctuated by expansive harmonica: the instruments are as relaxing as the words are tortured, alienated. There’s a tragic symmetry to how the portrait of a happy suburban family at the beginning of the song (“She begs me not to miss her”) disintegrates to reveal a hideous reality in the song’s haunting last line (“She begs me not to hit her”).
HOME – “Above All” – as described by phill giliver
The internet has provided people with limitless access to information, instant peer-to-peer communication, and endless outlets for creative expression. Also, on the internet shit like “simpsonwave” music exists. A sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-sub micro-genre of Youtube video, simpsonwave puts vaporwave music (a sub-sub-sub-sub genre of music itself) over a video of, like, Ned Flanders driving a station wagon for 4 minutes. The internet needs to chill the hell out sometimes, but simpsonwave music is ~ p r e t t y ~ g r o o v y ~
SAMIRA WINTER — “New Year” — as described by ena alvarado
This entire quarter, I’ve been trying to write in plain English that cats and dogs can understand. In other words, I’ve been trying to write well. As you might imagine, this is extremely difficult. I have suffered through prolonged periods of intense despair because I have failed and failed and failed, yet again, at achieving it. Inspirational quotes from Charlie Kauffman (“Failure is a badge of honor. It means you risked failure.”) and Zadie Smith (“Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.”) have helped, but only a bit. Nothing, to be honest, has been as soothing as Winter’s sweet voice and encouraging lyrics.
XXYYXX — “Alone” – as described by kevin garcia
Barthes writes of the word ‘alone’ (French: seul): “The lover’s solitude is not the solitude of person (love confides, speaks, tells itself), it is the solitude of system: I am alone in making a system out of it (perhaps because I am ceaselessly flung back on the solipsism of my discourse). A difficult paradox: I can be understood by everyone (love comes from books, its dialect is a common one), but I can be heard (received ‘prophetically’) only by subjects who have exactly and right now the same language I have.” (A Lover’s Discourse, 212)
FUNKADELIC – “Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts” – as described by tess michaelson
It is more like a place. The chords are almost disparate, strung together only by the reverberations of their sounds like circles drifting away from a stone thrown in a pond. There is a clarity and precision to the chords, an intensity, a sting but a natural one. The song is long, and the first half is an electric guitar ballad like this, no rush, but an indulgence in sound. Sound for sound’s sake. A man’s voice comes in and talks to you later on, telling you about life, or something called life, in a way that is at once cool, glassy and unafraid of emotion.
DONNIE TRUMPET & THE SOCIAL EXPERIMENT – “Pass The Vibes” – as described by amy chen
I mean, with the theme VIBES…how could I not? This song is good vibes all over and listening to it is what I imagine it would feel like to join a drum circle, if I had the chill for that kind of thing. In all seriousness, I listened to Surf–the album “Pass The Vibes” comes from–on repeat last year for months. It makes any ordinary moment–riding public transit, walking along the street, running errands–feel like part of some exciting journey.
SZA – “Drew Barrymore” – as described by nikki tran
On the spectrum of vibes, I go for sulking and somber. (I’m the life of the party!) SZA just gets it in this beautiful blurt of insecurity.
JAY SOM – “Baybee” – as described by anthony milki
Check out this young Bay Area native making incredible dream pop.
VAGABON – “Mal à L’aise” – as described by alejandra salazar
If you’re not listening to Vagabon yet, do yourself a favor and get on it. Laetitia Tamko is just… otherworldly.
Image from here.