Liz – Cage The Elephant: Social Cues
If your exposure to Cage The Elephant is limited to their 2008 hit single Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked, you’ve been missing out. Following up on their 2014 Grammy win, the band’s newest album, Social Cues, takes a melancholy turn, described by Rolling Stone as overwhelmingly “American Gothic” in style.
The overall reception of the album has been mixed, but if you’re into the alternative rock scene, you may enjoy the album — I certainly have.
So, I don’t do music. I still listen to all the same emo/punk bands from high school, 90s country throwbacks, and a lot of small, angry females. That being said, about the only complete albums I can feel good putting my name to are:
TWENTY BY TAKING BACK SUNDAY
Because bless them, they compiled all the good ones.
CONFIDENT BY DEMI LOVATO
When I’m not just looping ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ because, damn.
THREE DAYS BY PAT GREEN
Because it’s my favorite shotgun rider and when I put it on, I’m back in the backseat of my dad’s lightning blue Ford Mustang flying down I45 in the summer heat, and when Pat curses, I’m allowed to too.
But for real, we have Spotify now, so who listens to whole albums? If I’m being honest, I own three CDs. They sit in the center console of my car and I play them when there’s nothing good on the radio. They are:
- 1989 by Taylor Swift (Deluxe Edition, go big or go home)
- Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 1
- And the aforementioned Pat Green album, Three Days. That probably tells you all you need to know about me.
Joey – Bright Light Social Hour: Space Is Still the Place
Unlike Sam, I happen to believe that even in this age of Spotify, the best way to listen to music is still by listening to full albums at a time.
My latest obsession has been diving back into Space Is Still the Place by Austin’s own Bright Light Social Hour. As a fellow post-hardcore turned psych-rocker, I love how they approach songwriting. Unlike most psych-rock, you can tell these homies care most importantly about writing great songs, and though they definitely unleash some long jams and “show-off sessions”, they always seem to make it feel very organic and unforced. Probably their most popular song, Infinite Cities, is a great showcase of what I’m talking about. As soon as you start the record with Sweet Madelene and Slipstream you’re hooked and can’t help but let it keep playing and allow yourself to stay immersed in this lovely, verby roller coaster ride until the last note.
Brian – Birds In Row: We Already Lost the World
I’m with Joey. I too enjoy listening to full albums, and when a band’s sound hits me right, I listen to their entire discography. Recently that band has been Birds in Row and their 2018 album, We Already Lost the World.
Birds In Row is a three-piece hardcore band on a record label full of musicians finding new ways to bend the sounds of the genre. Each album from this band is a thought-out experience from start to finish, each album is such an interesting balance between intensity and reflection.
These guys feel a lot of things and they put a lot of thought into conveying that range of emotion in each track. I think the song 15-38 is an excellent example of that or the album opener We Count So We Don’t Have to Listen. This album has sent me down the path of the band’s entire discography and they’ve all become part of my regular rotation lately.
Jon – Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited
also, Lewis Capaldi: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
Something old, something new. Something bold, something tangled up in blue. This summer, for me, has been defined by the sound of these two artists. Let’s start with dear old Bob.
When someone says they’re listening to Highway 61 Revisted, they really mean they’re listening to Like A Rolling Stone. Over and over again. The opening track, which inspired a generation to drop their acoustic guitars and plug-in, represents the pinnacle of American songwriting. From the gunshot snare in the opening seconds to the improvised organ arrangement to Dylan’s signature vocals, this song forces you to smile and sneer at the thought of someone who had it all, didn’t deserve it, and lost it. But despite that vengeful tone, this tune ends on an upbeat note of abstract optimism. Recommendations: Like A Rolling Stone | Queen Jane Approximately
Turning our attention from an icon of folk to a goofy balladeer in his early 20s, Lewis Capaldi has been releasing beautiful, simple, melodic singles over the past year and finally released his full-length album: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent.
Criticized by the powers that be for really just being a collection of those singles and his live performance standards, this album is tight and each song features Capaldi hitting a powerful note just out of my vocal range. If you’ve ever loved, lost, or both, there’s something here for you. Also, follow him on social media. He’s absolutely hilarious. Recommendations: Someone You Loved | Maybe
Lindsay – Lizzo: Cuz I Love You
I would not be called “with it” as it relates to the music of today, but apparently Lizzo is hot right now and I’m proud to say I was jamming out to “Truth Hurts” six months ago.
With the recent release of her major-label debut album Cuz I Love You, the entire world is on her bandwagon, and it’s a FUN place to be. These songs are made for summer, and even better, they have substance. Lizzo is spreading much-needed messages about self-love and body positivity in the form of soul-pop party confections and I’m here for it.
You should be too.
We hope there’s something on this list you haven’t heard before, and we (as a team) stand behind each and every recommendation. It should be noted that despite saying she “doesn’t do music”, our dear Sam submitted a total of five albums, which is more than double the next closest person. Until next time, stay cool and happy listening!