By: Remy Brayshaw and Meghan Light
don’t smile at me by Billie Eilish
With the release of her new EP, don’t smile at me, Billie Eilish has taken the alternative and pop music industries by storm. Alongside her older brother, the two have written, recorded, and produced each of the tracks on their debut EP. The level of sophistication and insight Eilish conveys through her music is nothing short of outstanding, especially when considering that she’s only fifteen years old.
In the lyrics of each and every song, Eilish is able to touch on all different teenage emotions, ranging from the experiences of self-hatred, to falling in love and out of love. Her voice is haunting and intriguing while her beats are simple yet unique, allowing her to bring almost an entirely new sound to the realm of pop music. With each time you listen to this EP, your appreciation for every aspect of these songs will only continue to grow. – RB
Georgica Pond by JOHNNYSWIM
With the release of their sophomore album, Georgica Pond, JOHNNYSWIM provides listeners with an album that isn’t only meant be heard, but also felt. Through this new album, the duo allows their Nashville roots to shine while incorporating sounds from a variety of different genres, including folk, blues, and R&B.
On the new album, the husband and wife duo invite their listeners to join them in reflecting upon their experiences, from their love to losses. The vulnerability and honesty of their lyrics, accompanied by their clean, powerful vocals allows listeners to engage with the music in an intimate and personal way. Georgica Pond is a breath of fresh air, a reflection of some of music’s greatest influences, sounds which seem to have been missing in recent times. The album is one that you can find yourself getting lost in, beautiful in every aspect, from beginning to end. – RB
Black Ken by Lil B
My favourite person on Twitter is back with a new mixtape. If any rapper deserves our attention right now, it’s Lil B.
The 27-track mixtape, Black Ken, brings back a more classic approach to hip hop, with the addition of lots of experimental stylistic twists. The style Lil B takes on with Black Ken certainly goes with his idea of “based” music, a positive, vibrant approach to rap. With hints of MF Doom, Odd Future, and subtle influences from larger artists like Kanye West, the album pulls in a variety of different styles, and surprises with every single track.
Lyrically, Lil B addresses a wide range of philosophical and political issues, including the struggles he faced as a young black man in songs like “West Coast,” and exudes confidence about who he as an artist in “Rare Art.” The unapologetic approaches he takes with his lyrics makes it a true masterpiece. His rapping flows smoothly and effortlessly as well, allowing for an easy and enjoyable listening experience. The funky, unique songs on Black Ken are what more mainstream hip hop should be. All I have to say is to add it to your list of classics. – ML
Love What Survives by Mount Kimbie
Mount Kimbie has made some of the most interesting music, maybe ever, and this album is no exception.
The English duo’s first album since 2013 shows incredible production quality, and an extreme attention to detail. The features on Love What Survives include James Blake, King Krule, and Micachu, making the album super creative and interesting. It holds incredible hooks that keep you listening from one song to the next, and carry an unfathomable amount of uniqueness that will influence countless artists in the future, no doubt. Tracks like “Marilyn” and “We Go Home Together” are complex, impressive, and will be stuck in your head for days.
The sound of the album itself is a little distorted, and is definitely an acquired taste, but it’s generally pretty coherent across all the tracks. With a darker approach to the electronic sound than their previous music, it outlines a different stylistic approach than they took in the past. With the proper headspace, Love What Survives can serve as one of the most intriguing listening experiences you might have . . . ever. It’s a short one, but absolutely worth it. – ML