Artist: Brandon Lockheart
Album: White Walls
Comments: This Detroit artist recently put out his debut mixtape entitled White Walls a few months back and even with the big releases from the likes of Drake, A$AP Rocky, and Chlidish Gambino it still gets played often. Lyrically the tape is excellent, production is glorious, and it flows like a sail boat down a stream on a windy day. Probably the best way the young MC could present himself to the world. Tracks like “Love Don’t Love Nobody”, “The Orange Grove”, “If I Could Escape”, and “Do You Love Me” really showcases his talent and potential.
Artist: Modest Mouse
Album: Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Comments: Everyone has songs or albums that stir up feelings of the past, and this Modest Mouse album brings me back to when I was 21, crazy and without a care in the world. My friends and I pumped this pink disc front to back for months and it still receives a steady rotation on my Droid. This is one of the few albums that I know every word and every note. It’s well written and there is nothing like listening to it full blast with a pair of good headphones to make sure you catch all the instruments, back-up vocals and the things people wish they could pull off in the studio. My personal favorite is number 8, “Bukowski”. Check out the bathroom recorded back-up vocals.
Album: Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes
Comments: Anybody that listens to Cursive is well aware each album has its own attitude and style. The Ugly Organ is an emotional cello-driven alternative record, whereas Happy Hollow blends a horn section with religious apathy. I recently picked up the group’s first record, Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes, and am pleasantly surprised. Don’t let the shitty 90s album cover fool you; this record is teeming with brutal post-hardcore tracks similar to At the Drive-In. Although it might not be as polished as later records, Cursive starts strong with their 1997 debut, and is worth unearthing if you have the chance.
Album: B.A.K.E.R. 2 (Bullshit Always Kills Everything Real): The Adventures of Fantastic Mr. Baker
Coments: Maryland emcee B.A.K.E.R spills the entirety of his soul over 56 full tracks dwelling on themes of insanity, heartbreak, paranoia and suicide in what feels more like an audio novel than a mixtape. This really plays out like an epic journal written by someone who puts no limits on their artistic integrity, and the beat selection is top choice.
Comments: Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel said that mini LPs are the future of music. I think EPs are where it’s at, personally. Anyway, this one is a brilliant example of either. It features “Make A Fist,” which became a song obsession of mine after the duo recorded it at Daytrotter. “Turning Into Stone” is a shining trophy of Josh Carter’s mastermindedness, and “Nightlife” is the most hip exploration in using emotion as a creative medium I’ve heard since being introduced to Future Islands. This short record has something for everyone who loves pretty, thick tones. I promise it’ll make your sound system sound better than it is.