Hendo’s Headspace: February 2017
Posted: by Henderson
This year is going to get crazier and crazier huh? A total whirlwind. As the planet descends into the mouth of madness, it can be hard to keep track of all the new music. As I said in my post last month, I want this monthly post to be a place where I can talk about some music related things on my mind and also recommend all of my favorite new tracks. (Check out January’s if you missed it).
Here are some of my thoughts on The Grammy’s, Odd Future’s legacy, and a ton of links to all the new stuff I’ve been listening to. Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy.
The Grammy’s Suck
The Grammy’s happened in February. “Music’s Biggest Night”. In case the title didn’t make my point, I am not a fan. These are awards given by the wealthy and out of touch to the most popular music of the year. Everyone knows this isn’t the way it should be, and yet it remains the same.
Popular music is already rewarded financially. Awards should be for art that is of the highest quality. This award show and others should be used to bring to the public’s attention the best new music. Seems simple enough, but every year the rock category is pathetic, rap is somehow usually worse. It is embarrassing that they have been able to turn a massive award show for music into this snoozefest every single year.
I tuned in for literally 1 minute and the fucking Chainsmokers (who are the worst), were accepting an award on behalf of David Bowie (his first ever Grammy win). That tells you all you need to know.
Instead of watching The Grammy’s or some other shit award show, support great music sites, that is where you are going to hear about the best new music.
With the release of Syd’s sweet new album Fin, I have been thinking a bit more about how Odd Future will be remembered as a group, and then I saw some people on Twitter talking about how Odd Future were over hyped when they came out. Over hyped? Subtweet of the century I know, but is that really what people think? That can’t be right.
Syd’s album, Fin, has launched her to a new level as a solo artist, and this now makes at LEAST 4 members to come out of Odd Future and reach mainstream success. I am by no means an authority on the group, but let’s be honest that is a legendary rap group already in terms of the amount of talent they brought to the table.
For those of you that weren’t listening to music or hanging out on the internet in 2010/2011 when Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All hit the scene, you might have no idea what an explosion that was. A large group of rapping skater kids, who wrote and produced their own music, each member with a diverse rapping style and set of musical talents. I was stunned and so was the music media.
I got into Odd Future after hearing Earl Sweatshirt’s track ‘Earl’, but it was Tyler The Creator’s hit with ‘Yonkers’ that made every radio show and television program want to talk to the crew. They were shown on MTV running around, they disregarded traditional interviews, they danced on Letterman (a great performance), they had a sketch show on Cartoon Network. The hype was huge. It’s easy to look back and say they were overhyped. But they weren’t.
If you compare Odd Future to other groups by the quality of the individual members, it is hard to think of another rap group with more talent. This crew may be able to match up with Wu-Tang when all is said and done. Sure Odd Future never wrote a 36 Chambers level masterpiece as a group, but some of their group tracks were pretty great and were especially stunning at the time of their release. ‘Oldie’ was one of their first, and I think their best.
And in their solo careers they’ve done much better. Tyler The Creator has had some very solid solo albums and has become a media darling, pushing the limits continuously with his music videos and other #content. Syd has slowly built herself into a producer and R&B star with her new album and other project The Internet. Frank Ocean is a mega star and Blonde was one of the most promoted releases in recent memory. Earl Sweatshirt is writing some of the best lyrical rap albums out right now. Hodgy Beats, and Left Brain have had some legit winners especially with their combined group project Mellowhype. Domo Genesis has also put together some top notch verses.
That’s 7 solid artists, at least 4 of whom are stars. And that’s not even getting into the arguments for some of the other members. Again I am no rap historian, but I think talent that deep is pretty impressive. They’ve already made a mark and they are just getting going. Over hyped? Pshhhh.
Everything Else I’ve Been Listening To….
There is seriously so much new music coming out its incredible. It’s impossible to listen to it all, but I try anyway. These were some of the tracks and albums that I have had the most fun listening to since last month’s post.
I listen to a TON of music, at least 50 hours a week. When you listen to that much music, certain albums just stand out, and you can tell they are special because you keep coming back to listen to them again and again. Heart Attack Man’s new record is that for me right now. With a sound somewhere in between The Pixies and Alkaline Trio and lyrics that cut right to the heart of a swelling depression, this one is something you need to listen to.
Vagabon and Los Campesinos! both had new albums come out on the 24th, and I am really excited to give both a good listen. Same for the new Dude York record.
To be honest I’m still listening to the new Oso Oso and Run The Jewels albums almost every day. Still agree with everything I said last month. AOTY contenders.
Sorority Noise has released 2 songs from their upcoming LP, and both have been on repeat for me since they came out. Definitely excited for this release.
I have been a big fan of this Stef Chura album, Steven wrote it up, and I definitely agree with what he had to say. A really solid almost grungey Colleen Green type release. I’m a fan.
The new Jay Som album is streaming. That is a really solid guitar based indie album. Her vocals and lyrics really remind me of the new Oso Oso in a way. Give it a shot for sure, my favorite track is still probably ‘The Bus Song’.
The Sinai Vessel record came out right after I published January’s edition, and it is as good as I had hoped. It perfectly paints a picture with its lyrics. If you are into Hotelier or other lyrical indie rock, you need to give this thing a listen.
Cloud Nothings new jam is a chill rock album that I’ve been listening to a bunch. A step up for the band.
Half Waif and Sampha both have new records out that are a more delicate indie pop listen. Both are talented songwriters for sure so give both a listen and see if they might be for you.
You need to listen to the new singles/videos from Diet Cig and Pwr Bttm. Both of them wrote compact catchy and empowering anthems with music videos that are so much fun. Both are going to explode after the release of their albums.
Another good one was the Backwards Dancer’s new single. Ex member of Hotelier makes a new band and they are actually really good. Just signed to Equal Vision so I think we can expect big things.
Last but not least, The Obsessives new single I think sounds a bit like Interpol and that’s cool with me.
Again going to tell you to give The Alternative Podcast a listen and a follow. On our next episode (which should be out in a few days) Ali and I discuss the Modern Baseball hiatus news, alternative band merch, and play some great tracks.
Our Most Anticipated List came out in late January. Like I said last time, I think 2017 is going to be a very good year for music (and no not because of Trump. Fuck Trump).
If you are headed down to SXSW also be sure to check out our showcases on March 16th and 17th. They are going to be incredible. If you can’t go, check out our Spotify playlist of pretty much all the bands on our lineup.
– Henderson Cole