The Best Music of February 2018
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If January was a month of singles forecasting an incredible year of new music upcoming, than February was a delivery of that promise. So many worthy albums have come out this month that I can barely list them all, let alone write about them. It’s been a hard month to keep up, so here’s some of our absolute favorites, and a Spotify playlist of all those and more.
THE BEST MUSIC OF FEBRUARY 2018
This month saw the release of the highly anticipated album from Australian feminist indie rockers Camp Cope. How To Socialise & Make Friends just started streaming, but my initial listens indicate that they’ve backed up the strength of their singles. There are certainly political tracks and lines on here, but the record touches on other topics including mourning the loss of a parent, heartbreak and inspiring yourself to keep moving forward. Camp Cope are as direct in their music as they are in their politics. The stories contained within these tracks force the listener to confront real issues, and we could all use a little more of that.
I have to mention the new Hovvdy album which has entrenched itself firmly in my mind. While I enjoyed their first record, this second LP has added another level of songwriting skill to their repertoire. Their songs windup to a building conclusion, somehow weaving emotion in their slow burning energy. Cranberry is definitely worth a listen. Like some of my other favorite artists, Strange Ranger and Clique, Hovvdy have a low energy chill vibe to their music that is anything but boring.
On the somewhat sillier side of the indie spectrum, funky rockers Vundabar put out a fun new record that has more than a few catchy hooks, and meditative indie guitar band Hurry put out their new LP, Every Little Thought, promoted in true Hurry style with ads for free money, a live stream of the record while the bored band listened along, and digital hats. Innovation at is finest.
Speaking of innovation, this month also marked the launch of our first ever live sessions! We will be doing a few acoustic sessions a month in partnership with the NJ recording studio AGL Sounds. We hope to highlight some of our favorite artists and record some incredible performances. Our first session is out now with Serenica from NJ. It’s a beautiful video of the band performing the heartfelt track with violins and all.
This month’s entertainment news was mostly dominated by the success of Marvel’s new The Black Panther film which was the number 1 film in the world, while it’s soundtrack was the number 1 album in the country. I saw the movie and that was pretty cool, but maybe more importantly the completely original soundtrack which was put together by Kendrick Lamar inserted some much needed energy into the world of soundtracks.
Sure, the soundtrack was barely used in the film and was really more of an unofficial Kendrick album than anything, but I love the idea of artists composing new tracks that also work as the soundtrack for a film. When it’s well executed, it has tremendous potential. The soundtrack itself is really well done. Kendrick blends his now patently Kendrick style with a wide range of features. Some of these tracks play like straight pop hits especially “All The Stars” with SZA, but my favorite track “X” which features Schoolboy and 2 Chainz is a straight up rap track (and a good one) and there are plenty more like it. All in all, its a great album… I mean soundtrack.
One album I had been highly anticipating is the new Turnstile record. Turnstile have innovated beyond the standard stomping hardcore that has owned the genre for so many years. Instead they incorporate dancey hiphop type sounds to create a more danceable hardcore. Still pit music, but accessible and catchy. Honestly, I believe it’s the fresh sound that hardcore has been begging for. Their new album, Time & Space builds on the style they built in their LP Nonstop Feeling. Pitchfork gave it a bad review LOL. Good luck with that shit.
Another band I have been a fan of for a long time, Runaway Brother, released their new record New Pocket this month on Tiny Engines. Runaway Brother has been delivery catchy yet lyrical emo tracks for a few years now, but on this record they took it up another notch. A personal favorite is the track “Bully”.
I got to see Soccer Mommy live for the first time this month and I was pleasantly surprised. Their lofi indie tracks have that personal feel that only a lofi release can create, yet they are able to back it up on a big stage. Their new album Clean is streaming now.
But this month wasn’t just full of LPs, there were also a bunch of excellent singles that seem to show we will be seeing a huge year for new music in 2018. First and foremost, I have been excited about the Donovan Wolfington single we got to premiere this month. It’s the second from their final album (which is streaming now), and the innovative skate punk band are calling it quits. But they’ve left us with a pinnacle of a genre-spanning record in the way that only they could. I am very excited for this record, but also all of their new projects, New Holland, Pope, and Neil Berthier’s solo project.
2 more singles that absolutely blew me away were the 2nd single from the upcoming Hop Along album “Not Abel”, and the first single from the new Jouska EP. Both went with more long form type ideas on these songs, the Hop Along track even feels like 2 tracks merged, but with both the outcome was excellent. Longer more complex tracks that invite frequent re-listens and indicate that both of their upcoming releases won’t be afraid to take risks and experiment.
And this is just a fraction of the excellent music that came out this month. There was also a beautiful and melodic new album from Pianos Become The Teeth, a Sorority Noise Valentine’s Day split with Field Medic, a lyrical Cool American record that has me hooked, not to mention sweet Audiotree sessions from Mom Jeans and Weakened Friends. Take a listen to all these and more in our monthly Spotify Playlist below!
Also be sure to check out our radio shows: Go Dumbcast! and Get Alternative Radio. You can listen to them anytime on our Mixcloud channel for a nice mix of great new music.
Writing by Henderson // @HendoSlice
Playlist curated by Steven Lalonde
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