It’s been a busy week, and I’m still playing catch-up with all the stuff I began last week, so there’s not much new content today. Sorry about that. Enjoy anyway!
Creativity is one of the most important things a human being can express. It’s good for our brains, our hearts, and our souls. It allows people to explore themselves and others in a deep way, something introspection and discussion can’t always do. When consuming others’ creative works, you’re getting a piece of who they are as a person, whether they wanted or intended that or not.
Creativity allows us to function as a society. We’re not merely surviving—we’re living, hour to hour and day to day. How we spend our time digesting others’ creative works—whether that’s a movie, a novel, or a collection of poems—is important to how we grow as people and a community of human beings. I hope reading about the creative content I enjoy (or don’t) gets your creative juices flowing and inspires you to make something great and uniquely your own. At the very least maybe you’ll discover something new you might be interested in.
Band of Horses
I remember first hearing Band of Horses in the video game Skate. The Funeral was the song that kept playing, and I instantly knew the band was talented. A friend showed me a few of their other songs a few years ago, but it wasn’t until this week I actually downloaded Band of Horse’s discography to give them a genuine listen. The truth is that the songs my friend showed me (No One’s Gonna Love You, Is There a Ghost, Our Swords) are my favorites, and nothing else has really blown me away. Furthermore, all those songs are from the band’s first two albums. I haven’t listened to the fourth and most recent record yet, but maybe something new will grip me because the third certainly hasn’t. Regardless, the band is good, and I especially like the lead male vocalist’s unique voice.
Keeping with the indie pop trend after listening to Lana Del Rey’s discography last week, I decided to transition to Swedish singer Lykke Li. While I personally don’t think her melodies are as impressive as Del Rey’s, most of her music is undeniably good (plus her lyrics are infinitely better, which matters a lot to me). She’s got a nice voice and some sweet, melancholy, dream pop jams. If you like Del Rey at all, give Li a listen. You should start with Silver Line, I Follow Rivers, and Hanging High.
I’ve been waiting to talk about this group since I started this blog. Poliça is easily my favorite band and has been for a while now. The group consists of a lead female vocalist, two drummers, a single bassist, and synth sounds. That’s right: There’s no guitar. The result is some of the most original and impressive music I’ve ever heard. Nearly every one of their songs immediately gets my head boppin’, and their unique sound and style is matched only by their relentless talent (especially the bassist’s). I especially love how Channy Leaneagh uses autotune and reverb to turn her voice into another instrument, and a haunting, powerful one at that. Poliça has two brilliant albums out, and I just learned this past week they released a deluxe edition of their latest record, Shulamith, with four extra songs. Needless to say, I freaked when I found out. Please, please, please give this band a shot and keep your mind (and ears) open. I think you’ll be impressed. Listen to I See My Mother, Amongster, Vegas, Tiff, Trippin’, and—from their deluxe album—Raw Exit.
Anyone who’s played a Behemoth game knows what to expect with BattleBlock Theater: hilarious cartoon drawings, poop jokes, and cats. BattleBlock Theater is an approachable platforming game that’s more fun with a friend. Plus, levels take mere minutes to complete so there’s no huge commitment if you don’t much time before work or bed or whatever. The game gets progressively more challenging, and the puzzles required to solve certain levels can get pretty ridiculous. Replay value is huge considering the collectibles and different customization options you can nab while playing. If you have a few dollars to spare and a willing friend, BattleBlock Theater is a good addition to any gamer’s library.
I beat BioShock Infinite months ago so I won’t touch on the main story here. I recently got the Burial at Sea DLC, and having just finished it, my mind is spinning almost as much as it did during the peak moments in the original BioShock and Infinite. Ken Levine and the Irrational Games team have a true talent for creating vast and complex stories that somehow still connect and make sense, and Burial at Sea manages to link Booker and Elizabeth to Rapture in a convincing way. I have to let my mind settle and take to some internet forums so I can comprehend what I played, but story aside, the DLC is legit—in fact, in the second half, you play as Elizabeth, sneaking around Rapture, which is an incredibly fun innovation I never saw coming. If you care at all about the BioShock story, you can’t pass by Burial at Sea.