Madison’s Top 5 For October

Posted: by The Editor

It’s October!  It’s finally time to pick some apples or jump into a huge pile of leaves or do whatever people do in the fall.  Today was the first real autumn day in New Jersey, which gave way to some inspiration pick some releases to ring in the month. 

1.    The World is a Beautiful Place – Harmlessness (2015)
This album could have come out any month this year, and it would have been perfect timing.  TWIABP outdid themselves with their second LP Harmlessness.  The album further improved upon everything I loved about Whenever, If Ever to leave me in awe.  Between gang vocals, interesting backtracks, and violins, the songs are rich and textured while still holding onto an element of fragility.

2.    Maker – Maker EP (2012)
Maker’s self-titled EP packs subtle punch that does not completely hit until after you listened to the whole thing.  The first two tracks are reminiscent of a more angst ridden The American Scene.  However, it’s the middle point of the EP, entitled “I Had to Put My Lady Down” that acts as distinct break.  The hectic intro breaks into solemn stripped down sound, before upbeat “West Coast” shakes off the melancholy feelings. Overall, Maker creates variation within these five tracks to make each distinctly interesting while still remaining entirely cohesive.

3.    Ryan Adams – 1989 (2015)
When I first heard Ryan Adams was doing a cover if Taylor Swift’s 1989, I was prepared to hate it. Like many people, I am tired of hearing the overplayed songs on this album.  However, Adams does an incredible job of making these songs his own, to the point where several tracks are almost unrecognizable.  His relaxed croon and acoustic guitar completely revamped the love I once had for songs like “Blank Space” and “I Wish You Would.”

4.    Alcoa – Bone and Marrow (2013)
You might know Derek Archambault as the frontman of melodic hardcore group Defeater.  However, his lesser known indie folk side project Alcoa feels like the embodiment of beautiful fall days.  With both full band and stripped down tracks, there are enough alt-country vibes to make the album unique without it being inaccessible for most emo/alt rock listeners.  Although Alcoa released Parlour Tricks this year, Bone and Marrow is the album that will make you fall in love with this side project.

5.    Dikembe – Mediumship (2014)
Throughout this album, Dikembe smashes through atmospheric yet droning verses to deliver massive, heavy moments reminiscent of what’s heard in Brand New’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me.  By creating such disruptive contrasts and anxiety-riddled lyrics, the band’s second full-length was a clear standout in 2014.  Some fifteen months later, the spooky undertones and lingering guitars heard in Mediumship make it a great fit for the weeks surrounding Halloween.