This week is all music, courtesy of my girlfriend. She downloaded a bunch of bands she though we might like on a whim. I’ll go through about half of them today and tackle the rest (along with other stuff) in next week’s post. Enjoy!
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.
I can say this much about this indie folk singer: She’s pretty, and she’s got good taste. Other than that, I find her kind of bland. Her debut album is almost entirely covers of awesome bands’ awesome songs (Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal, Bon Iver’s Skinny Love, and The Naked and Famous’ Young Blood come to mind). Unfortunately, the artists do their own songs more justice than Birdy does with her keyboard. Her second album features all original tracks, but they all felt pretty generic—nothing really grabbed me. Give Light Me Up a listen if you think you might like her, but there are better indie folk artists out there worth your time.
I love me some good electronic jams, and Chvrches delivers that in spades with their what’s currently their only album: The Bones of What You Believe. The female vocalist sounds almost like a little kid in all the right ways, and songs featuring her instead of the male singer reign supreme, but each song is worth listening to in their own rights. I want more from these people, so I’ll be patiently awaiting their next album. Check out Guns and especially The Mother We Share.
I think M.I.A.’s music might be the worst stuff I’ve listened to this year. Take a look at her album art. It’s basically crappily designed clip art, right? Those atrocities are basically what M.I.A.’s music is: loud, boisterous, and confusing. I feel her music consists of nothing but random noises and voice samples behind uninspired vocals that sound closer to rapping than true singing. Over four records I only found one tolerable song: Paper Planes. Now, I won’t say her music is horrendous—she’s definitely a notable artist—but it’s certainly not my style. I will say that I can’t help feeling disappointed that music like this is more popular by today’s standards than the next artist on my list.
I’m glad my girlfriend found this woman, because her music is awesome. Like Lana Del Rey and Lykke Li, she’s an indie pop artist, and she’s great, but she’s criminally underrated. For her debut album, Fauna, I feel like she hadn’t yet discovered and cemented her own style. The entire record feels kinda awkward and is pretty unremarkable, but I didn’t give up because I knew something lingered under the surface. Her second, self-titled album is where I realized how great Oh Land is. The melodies of songs like Break the Chain and White Nights are catchy, though a lot of them them lean towards the “pop” end of the spectrum that is the indie pop genre. For her third album, she heads the other direction with great songs like Bird in an Aeroplane and Love a Man Dead. She has too many notable songs to recommend here, so definitely check her out.