New Music to Get Through the Mid-Semester Slump

By Ali Bush

Sunflower Bean for staying positive in these dark times!

Sunflower Bean has recently been applauded for keeping rock n roll alive in 2018. Their new album, Twnetytwo in Blue, however is an approachable, dreamy, and Fleetwood Mac-inspired creation that lyrically covers everything from an oppressive government, to student debt, to young love. Songs like ‘Crisis Fest” and “Human for” reaffirm my belief that music can ignite political conversation and change. Other songs like “I Was A Fool” and “Twentytwo” are reminiscent of blissful teenagedom and the beauty in youth. The albums as a whole is a grungey-shoegazey antidote for feeling blue (and twenty two).

Leon Bridges for a chill afternoon.

Leon Bridges’s has announced that his new album “Good Thing” will be released in May and released two singles along with this news. They are both more modern-feeling than his silky smooth soul debut album Coming Home. “Bad Bad News” is a triumphal jazzy song that is irresistibly chill. With hints of jazz guitar and saxophone, I’d listen to this song on both an upbeat sunny afternoon and rainy Monday morning (if you get my drift). “Bet it Ain’t Worth the Hand” is a Childish Gabmino/Sam Cooke hybrid ballad about a toxic relationship. Both songs prove Bridges is expanding as an artist, and promise probably only more billboard success for his new album.  

Jack White if you’re feeling weird.

If you’re feeling a little more mentally stable and musically curious this week, Jack White’s this solo album, Boarding House Reach, is bound to keep any music nerd engrossed. At first listen, the album is a messy hodgepodge of pseudo-raps, funk keyboards, and intense guitar solos, but after a close listen, it’s a highly orchestrated (and sometimes earsplitting) homage to creative freedom. It’s a no-holds-barred outpour of White’s hermetic weirdness, complete with a cover of a song penned by Al Capone and sounds created with children’s toys. Songs like, “Corporation” and “Over and Over and Over” are more accessible and catchy with the signature Jack White distortion and sing/scream technique. The album is definitely more alienating than his past records, but it’s a glimpse into the wacky yet genius mind of one of our best modern musicians.

Soccer Mommy for bedroom daydreaming/crying.

20-year old Sophie Allison’s studio debut, Clean is a millennial’s soundtrack that combines both slinky guitar and vivid lyrics with the punchiness of punk melodies. Her lyrics are poignant and gloomy, but her guitar playing is gnarly. As she tries to figure out who she is and wants to be, her lyrics shape her as a familiar, self-sabotaging stoner girl, a standout trope in the music industry. “Your Dog” is an cheeky and empowering reversal of The Stooge’s 1969, “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” as she sings about not wanting to be a boy’s dog.

Photo Credits to Leon Bridges