By Aaron CalvinColumnist“No Blues” – Los Campesinos!
I reached the height of my Los Campesinos! listening a few winters ago, a time in my life when their defeatist tales of love and death were relatable to the point that’s kind of embarrassing now. I had fell off of listening to them for a while until they began releasing tracks off of their most recent album, “No Blues.” Following the relatively sparse arrangements of 2011’s “Hello, Sadness,” this album draws on their entire career to create collection of songs that’s more surprising than I thought this band could be to me. Each song shows you something differently each time and I’ve found myself allowing a place for Los Campesinos! in my listening rotation for the first time in a while.
If You Like: Catchy music, wallowing in self-pity
“Surfing Strange” – Swearin’
Swearin’ is the kind of band you always want more of. The grinding fuzz of guitars paired with female vocals set low in the mix set to compelling songwriting. Sonically, the band hasn’t changed that much from their debut album, but it’s hard to ask more out of a band. They’re good at what they do and it’s fun to watch them do it, it’s as simple as that.
If You Like: Waxahatchee, “punk music”
Split – Boy Crush, Starry Cat
Birdtapes consistently puts out great releases and this one isn’t any different. Boy Crush, propelled by reverb and the insistent pop of a drum machine, echoes throughout the chamber of his obsessions. Starry Cat (Julia Brown’s Same Ray) uses this project to release the king of music that only a kid who records music tape but also loves Drake could make. Together, they make one of the best splits I’ve heard in a while, both sides complimenting one another in subtle ways. Also, if you buy it on vinyl, it has glow in the dark ghosts on it and it’s very spooky.
If You Like: Julia Brown, lo-fi pop music