Staff Picks: March

Carlos Reyes
Senior Contributor
Artist: The Dø
Both Ways Open Jaw
I’ve known about The Dø for a long time thanks to their easy-on-the-ears song “Stay (Just a Little Bit Long),” but it wasn’t until Nicole Farhi’s runway show (At London Fashion Week) when I started to get more interested in this band. The track was “Too Insistent” and it highlights the kookiness and personality of the duo, composed by Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy. It’s difficult to pinpoint The Dø’s genre as they delve into different styles, but there is something very organic and simple about their sound. Although “Too Insistent” is definitely my favorite cut on the album, other standouts are “Gonna be Sick!” and the whimsy “Was it a Dream?”

James Brightman
Senior Contributor
Artist: Spiritualized
Album: Amazing Grace
Comments: In hot anticipation of the new Spiritualized album, I’ve got the band on heavy rotation while I ramble through my university coursework. Instead of the more epic and symphonic albums like Let It All Come Down catching my ear, it’s the much more raw and vitriolic Amazing Grace that has been heating up the creative juices in my brain. I can honestly say – hand on heart – that there is nothing better than a raft of feedback coursing through your earphones while an emphatic gospel choir paints a beautiful picture with their voices. See what I mean about creative juices? If Sweet Heart Sweet Light is anything like Amazing Grace, then I am going to be a very happy fan indeed.

Travis Phillips
Senior Contributor
Artist: Wiz Khalifa
Album: Taylor Allderdice
Comments: March takes us from the dark days of winter into the balmy Spring. Personally I find my staff pick synonymous with the season and that would be Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Allderdice. The entire project has the vibe of being young and enjoying the fruits of your labor. The production helps the project emit that sound. It plays like being happily lost in California, having the time of your life. Wiz doesn’t go too far out of the box, rapping about the normality of his lifestyle: partying, smoking and enjoying it all to the fullest. This project, if nothing else, is what you would see from a college student who just cashed a gigantic inheritance check and goes on the road trip that begets all road trips. If your trying to find a musical offering that embodies the current season, I’d highly recommend this one.

Mark Nosiri
Senior Contributor
Artist: Big K.R.I.T.
Album: 4eva N A Day
Comments: This month, Mississippi artist Big K.R.I.T. dropped a great followup to his critically acclaimed ReturnOf4Eva mixtape, 4eva N A Day. This graciously free concept album takes you from the moment K.R.I.T. wakes up until the end of the day. This album’s greatest strength has to be how it was able to keep my attention from beginning to end with it’s easy-listening atmosphere and substantial lyricism. The instrumentation (all produced by K.R.I.T.) has the potential to be timeless; the lyrics are vivid as expected and further cement K.R.I.T.’s foundation as he rises into higher songwriter echelons in the hip hop genre.

Janey Criss
Assistant Editor
Artist: Fort Wilson Riot
Album: Generation Complex
Comments: I saw this two-piece from Minneapolis play at SXSW this year, and they really made an impression – not because they’re new hotshots, but because they’re starving artists like me, and they’re taking their creative energy on the road, relentlessly. Their record, Generation Complex, came out this past December, and I fear it got an end-of-year overlook. “For All the Little Things” is purported as a single, maybe less experimental than the others, but a culminating example of the band’s sound. The two-part title tracks, “Diamonds in Your Eyes” and “A Night Alone,” flow in a storyboard manner, harnessing moods of disillusionment and then angered desolation that wind the record down to its conclusion. The electro beats provide a thin foundation under medium weight synths that are used almost always as melody and not filler. The guitars bring more dark, experimental texture than anything else, and the female/male vocal counterbalance also acts as a brighter, more endearing counter to the darkness laid out in minors and off-road progressions, exemplified most in the first title track and the last tune, “Song for Sympathy.”

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