Editor’s note: Elder Statesman is a column from Randy Radic, who is older than the usual Young Folks writer, about the new music that catches his interest. This is the first entry in what will be a recurring column on the site.
At the moment it’s mid-morning on Saturday, and I’m sitting here trying to come up with a pithy, sensuous introduction to this article which is about what kind of music “someone in my age group” listens to.
The “age group” citation is a respectful reference to my age, i.e., pretty much a timeworn fossil who’s as old as dirt, but for some reason listens to current music and has the sheer audacity to review it. In effect, I listen to singles, EPs, and albums, and then comment on whether I like them or not, and, this is important, why I like it or not. The general thinking is that if you read my review, you might, perhaps, based on my admittedly subjective opinion, listen to it, thus putting money in the pockets of whichever streaming platform you utilize, as well as the artist.
Sounds cool, huh?
The hitch is threefold: 1) what I like may not be what you like—the incarnation of the adage “one man’s meat is another man’s poison,” 2) by and large, most people tend to listen to music recommended by their friends rather than music recommended by music reviewers, and 3) the out-and-out volume of new music released each and every day means a vast amount of excellent music is simply neglected.
According to Business of Apps, 60,000 songs are added to Spotify every day. And while a large percentage of the 60,000 probably suck, you can perceive the inherent problem—a slew of music gets lost in limbo and is relegated to the musical Purgatory, waiting to be discovered.
All that to acquaint you with what I’m listening to right now, delivered in no particular order and sans organization.
Uwmami and Kendino – “R9000”
Uwmami is one of my favorite hip-hop artists. Located in Dublin, Ireland, she not only releases her own music, but also collaborates with a number of Irish artists. I call her sound “industrial-phase hip-hop” because of her utilization of sonic shifting techniques.
Talking about “R9000’s” genesis, Uwmami shares, Kendino’s “a really unique artist that I’ve been wanting to work with since I heard his song ‘IDK LUV’ on Soundcloud over a year ago, so it was great to collaborate on this. He sent over some interesting vocal ad libs and harmonies that sparked the idea to switch up the outro and turn it into a mini remix, which was so fun to make. I also really enjoyed experimenting with different effects on his vocals. Kendino is releasing a project of his own later this year that’s definitely one to watch out for!”
Post Malone – “Circles”
I know, I know… this track is a year old, but it still electrifies me because of the alluring rhythm provided by the finessed bassline and, of course, Post Malone’s melodic flow with its delicious chant-like texture, rising and falling on cashmere timbres.
Bella Poarch – “Build a Bitch”
As I’m sure you know, “Build a Bitch” is the debut single from social media influencer Bella Poarch.
Commenting on the song, Poarch says, “Build a Bitch” “has many meanings to me. Mainly it’s about accepting yourself and embracing imperfections and your flaws. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure that society and the internet put on people to look perfect or be a certain way. My whole message with ‘Build a Bitch’ is that I want people to realize that you don’t have to be perfect. And that it’s okay not to be, too. I want to inspire people to be comfortable in their own skin and to stay true to themselves no matter what.”
“This ain’t Build a Bitch / You don’t get to pick and choose / Different ass and bigger boobs / If my eyes are brown or blue / This ain’t Build a Bitch / I’m filled with flaws and attitude / So if you need perfect, I’m not built for you.”
At once satirical and nursery rhyme-like, there’s a wicked waspishness to the song that makes it a surefire ear worm.
Lavendine – “Open Up A Window”
Oklahoma-based alt-pop duo Lavendine, made up of twin sisters Jacy and Jana Ayers, dropped “Open Up A Window” a few days ago.
It conjures up memories of Wilson Phillips, with its creamy, jangly guitars and rippling melody. The icing on the cake is the sisters’ exquisitely silky harmonies. Simply put, it’s an alluring song, full of beaucoup lustrous surface colors.
Sonic Sunset – ‘After All This Time’ EP
The Hague, Netherlands-based dream pop duo Sonic Sunset released their EP, After All This Time, circa two weeks ago.
Made up of Ernesto Carlos and Alina Valentina, Sonic Sunset’s sound shimmers on aerosol hazes of platinum-laced guitars. Best tracks include “Lose” and “All The Trees In Hell.”
Mosara – Self-titled LP
A big fan of doom, I came across the soon-to-be-released self-titled album from Mosara, a doom outfit from Phoenix, Arizona. Right now, only one track—“Majestik XII”—is available for listening, but it’s killer—primordial and thick with crusty guitars and, best of all, sans the usual Cookie Monster vocals.
Mosara comprises Tony Gallego (vocals, guitar), Nikos Mixas (vocals, guitar), Kristoffer Reynolds (bass), and Daniel Garcia (drums, vocals, percussion).
If the rest of the album is as good as “Majestik XII,” it presages doom of Conan the Destroyer-like essence. It drops May 28. Bandcamp link.
Rebecca Black – “Worth It For The Feeling”
Moments ago, pop singer-songwriter released the music video, “Worth It For The Feeling,” a track lifted from her forthcoming album, Rebecca Black Was Here.”
Smoldering with sensual flavors, the song drips with luscious R&B and pop savors.