::: June 24 – 30 :::
Since it’s summer and The Giggs is on break, we wanted to find another way to share the best new Alternative music we’ve discovered. Thus, The Stereo 8 Mixtape. Each week Aly and I will both choose 4 of our favorite (mostly) new jams to add in to an 8-track mix tape with Side A (Aly’s picks) and Side B (Sydne’s picks). Mixtapes. Just like ye olden days. Enjoy!
SIDE A: Aly’s picks
1) “The Man” – Ed Sheeran
When Ed Sheeran announced that he was releasing a new album, X (pronounced “multiply”), I was excited. I loved the first album, +, and it was one of my favorite albums to fall asleep to. However, when the first single, “Sing” came out, I was horrified. “Sing” is a terrible, radio-made, pop monstrosity that was a far cry from anything he had ever done before, and I joked that all that touring with Taylor Swift had gotten to him. Yet as more singles were released before the album’s release last week, the sound became more and more like the Ed Sheeran I knew and loved. One that stands out the most is “The Man.” It’s purely a rap song about being in the music industry and what he’s had to give up to be there.
2) “Sleep Paralysis” – Bad Suns
I’m a huge fan of Bad Suns, and their album Language & Perspective doesn’t have a bad track on it. So when I had to decide which song to feature, I was stumped. After more than a few listens through I decided on “Sleep Paralysis”. When we interviewed the band at Terminal 5, Christo explained that the idea of this song came from his Dad’s experiences with Sleep Paralysis. Since that interview, I’ve been extremely curious to hear the song. “Sleep Paralysis” is catchy as hell with killer lyrics and a creepier distorted guitar beat that makes it stand out. The instruments and composition on this track are genius, making it one of the best on the album.
3) “Lucy (Hurt People Hurt People)” – Olivver
Alright, I know I picked an Olivver song last week, but then “Lucy (Hurt People Hurt People)” came out and I knew I wasn’t letting this track slide by. Shorter and simpler than the other songs he has released so far, “Lucy” uses electronic backbeats to supplement his commentary on success. It shouldn’t be so catchy with its simple and repetitive lyrics and beats, but it is. It may even be my favorite Olivver song to date. Check out the equally impressive video below.
4) “Like A River Runs” – Bleachers
Originally I didn’t know how I felt about Jack Antonoff (of fun.’s) new project, Bleachers, but after hearing the four released songs off of Strange Desire (out July 15th), I’m hooked. I remember listening to the songs for the first time and saying, “Damnit Jack! I really didn’t need another band to love.” “Like A River Runs” is the most distinctive off of the album thus far, with a more noteworthy electronic bridge than we’ve heard before with any of Jack’s projects. Jack’s vocals have always been standout, but on this track they seem clearer and stronger, holding their own.
SIDE B: Sydne’s Picks
5. “Can’t Sleep” – K.Flay
Guitar track? Hip-Hop beats? Rap flavor? I have no idea how to feel about K.Flay; can’t seem to put my finger on this Stanford grad’s sound. I found her via a twitter tip from Olivver (yes, I have figured out The Twitter since last week), and I’m glad I picked her out of the mess of new music on iTunes this week. Plus, it’s a song called “Can’t Sleep”. Preach it, girl.
6. “Take My Love And Run” – Bad Suns
Yes. More Bad Suns. (Fun fact, this band was also included in Olivver’s twitter tip, but we are way ahead of you OV!) When Aly and I interviewed these guys back in May, I wasn’t sure if I was gonna fall in love with this band or not. Now, I can say that their debut album, Language & Perspective, is one of my favorite releases of 2014. Not one bad song on the record (as Aly has said). “Take My Love And Run” stands out from the rest with its off-beat, Salsa-style rhythm. I’m actually not quite sure how to explain the sound, but that’s as close as I can get. Sorry if I messed up the Latin ballroom categorization.
7. “Leave It Alone” – White Arrows
My first encounter with this band was all out creepy. Chilling if you will. Aly and I saw White Arrows open for The Neighbourhood this past Tuesday and shit got weird. First, the singer somehow managed to glower at the crowd with his deep-set eyes for most of the set. Then, he donned a purple wig (I was personally partial to the blue one he also had on stage) for the last few numbers. Basically, it was somewhat difficult to focus on the music when I was occupied with trying to avoid his hungry stare. This track, “Leave It Alone” struck me live for its atmospheric guitar, muscular chorus, and spastic bridge.
Honorable Mention: “City Boy (Kks Remix)” – an electro song with Breakfast Club (“Don’t You Forget About Me”)-inspired HEY HEY HEY HEY vocals. This was White Arrows’ last song in their set. Great choice.
8. “Outliers” – Better Taste Bureau
Better Taste Bureau is a rap/hip-hop outfit from our very own Salt Lake City. I saw them perform this Saturday night at The Utah Arts Fest and disregarding some white boy dance moves, they put on a very lively – and surprisingly clean – show. What I love about BTB’s music is there are no ass references, disrespectful slights to women, or even swears. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some curses, but it’s nice to be able to play music that’s safe for my Mom’s delicate ears. “Outliers” was their last song of the night – quite appropriate at Utah Arts Fest as it’s a song about being from little ol’ outlier, Salt Lake City: “Where you from/ Don’t know that place”. Chock-full of Utah references (John Stockton, pioneers, etc.), this is another witty track for all the hometown honeys and fellas. “Acknowledge me by where I’m from and judge me by my flavor”.