On Repeat: Japanese Breakfast, Haim, Shabazz Palaces, Kirin J Callinan

On Repeat is the good good music place for just okay people and you. 


Japanese Breakfast

'Everybody Wants to Love You'

Japanese Breakfast is the indie rock, lo-fi pop solo project of Michelle Zauner. You may recognize Zauner from her work for the emo punk-rock group Little Big League (not the movie.. obviously) where she acts as lead vocalist and guitarist. This track is from her 2016 album Psychopomp, but I recommend giving her 2017 album a listen as well, Soft Sounds from Another Planet. I don't have a whole lot to say other than check out her shit. She fucking rocks.  


HAIM

'Want You Back'

This Los Angeles based trio of sisters have been making music together since they were very young. Haim formed in 2007, and have previously played in cover bands with their parents for years, but it wasn't until 2012 that the band picked up steam by opening shows for Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Florence and the Machine, and probably some other 'and the' band. Oh yeah, also Ke$ha? Anyways, they dropped an EP that year, and then in 2013 released their first full-length album Days Are Gone which was a critical hit. Haim has had a more soft rock/indie rock/pop sound, but their 2017 album Something to Tell You has an interesting 70's feel to it that I enjoy - even though it falls flat at points. Regardless of the new album being a somewhat weak sophomore LP, Want You Back is a song that I truly enjoyed and couldn't get out of my head for days. 


Shabazz Palaces

'Shine a Light'

Seattle, Washington's Experimental Hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces (Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire) have been together since 2009 and confusing me since. Truth be told, I didn't care much for them at first. Experimental music can be that way - sometimes you need to have been listening to other experimental music before you can ease into another group. However, I respected them. I understoond what they were aiming to accomplish (I think?), and I feel comfortable saying Shabazz Palaces is making objectively great music, but it wasn't something that I could casually ingest in previous years. so far, I've been enjoying this new album, and I have a strong desire to re-listen to their catalog. They make truly unique music with well written lyrics that more closely resemble poetry than they do rap. 


Kirin J Callinan

'Living Each Day'

Kirin J Callinan is fucking weird. He is seriously bizarre. The eccentric and somewhat androgynous Australian native singer/song-writer has a talent for taking the stylized electronic, pop, and rock of the 80's... and exaggerating it. At first glance, and second I'm sure for many of you, his music seems like a spoof. His lyrics are weird at random intervals, he acts and sings like a satire of the genre he aspires toward, and his music videos are almost all hilarious. All of this is true, but the brilliance of Callinan is that the show he puts on is just the outer layer to the actual music itself - music that is not only extremely catchy, but also a loving modernized tribute to 70's and 80's pop, rock, and glam. He has a wonderful and unusual sense of humor that allows him to not take himself too seriously while he passionately belts out some inspirational lyrics about living life to the fullest, or taking a break from a track to smooth talk to himself in a drugged haze. I recommend listening to his other stuff. It's oddly satisfying, and strangely addicting. You wont regret it. 

On Repeat: Spoon, Foxygen, Sampha, Arcade Fire

 

On Repeat is the NAC's weekly music recommendation segment and by 'weekly' I mean I sometimes post this weekly sometimes. Here are 4 tracks I've been obsessing over and think maybe you will too! Share, Comment, and let us know what song was your favorite!

 
 

Spoon - Hot Thoughts

Spoon has been around for a while. They formed in 1993, dropped an EP in 94, were signed in 95, and had their first full length album release in 96. The rest is history – however not exactly a ‘smooth’ history, as their first two albums were only mildly received and sold poorly, and they were dropped from 2 different record labels in the process, but they gained a lot of traction in 2002 with their 3rd studio album. Since then, Spoon has set themselves in stone as one of the greats in American Rock Music history. They are legends who, almost 25 years later, are still innovating the indie rock genre, and pushing their sound to new and greater heights.

Hot Thoughts is the band's 9th studio album and is slated for release March 17, 2017. If the single of the same name is any indication of the quality of the full length LP, we are in for another STELLAR album chockfull of pop guitar riffs, an eclectic assortment of sounds, and more brilliantly written songs. 


Foxygen - Follow the Leader

Sam France and Jonathan Rado formed Foxygen while they were in high school together back in 2005. Always influenced by the bizarre, and with an obvious love for rock music of the 60s and 70s, they played a mixture of more experimental, Avant Garde, and psychedelic rock music. There always seems to be a dash of theatrics involved in one way or another, and their live performances carry a certain kind of unhinged energy that feels alive and genuinely rock n roll.

Follow the Leader is from their 3rd LP Hang, which was released January 20th of this year. Hang took their theatrics up a notch by involving a 40+ piece orchestra to help drive home some of the more grandiose, glam rock elements of the album. When comparing Hang to their last album …And Star Power (a 24 track experiment that felt messy and disjointed, yet riddled with instant hit singles) this album is mild. Hang, while not always staying on course within the lines drawn by itself, is a high concept fun album that pokes fun at its own lavish, seemingly self-indulgent design.

Foxygen is a fantastical, young, and immensely talented band that I can’t recommend enough. For a better jumping in point, you may want to listen to their 2nd studio album first ‘We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic’. Yes that's the name of the album. It’s a rock classic in my book. 


Sampha - Blood On Me

Sampha (Sampha Sisay) is a British singer, song writer, and producer from South London. You may recognize him from a slew of collaborative work he’s been involved in with SBTRKT, Drake, Kanye West, Solange – the list goes on. There’s not a whole lot to say about Sampha other than the fact that he’s an immensely talented producer of electronic music, and an even better pianist and soul vocalist. The body of work he’s been a part of looks more like a resume than a list of credits, and it’s all led him up to this point of releasing his first solo album, Process.

Process just released February 3, and between tracks like this and '(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano', I feel say saying that his first LP is going to be good at the very least. 


Arcade Fire - I give You Power

Arcade Fire is a Canadian art-rock/indie rock band from Montreal, Quebec that formed in 2001. They signed to Merge Records early in their career simply due to the massive amount of promise the company saw in the band, and released their first full-length LP ‘Funeral’ in 2004. Since then they’ve had a total of 4 albums released, all met with high critical reception, and scored the soundtrack to the Oscar nominated science-fiction romance film ‘Her’.

Arcade Fire is constantly innovating the genre, and always evolving their sound with each single, solo project, and album release. This newest single ‘I Give You Power’, though perhaps lacking a certain amount of depth one might be accustomed to hearing from the band, is a simplistic, visceral, and compelling statement. A statement that was released the same day as our newly elected president’s inauguration. All of the proceeds from the song will go to the ACLU.

Rumor has it that the band’s 5th album is slated to release sometime in 2017, and I can’t fucking wait. Everything they do is gold, in my mind. 2016 was a great year for music – one of the bests in recent memory, and 2017 is already looking to try and top it. I say bring it, 2017. We could really use some good music right about now.