albums

The Sun’s Top 10 Songs of 2017

1) Bodak Yellow – Cardi B

Perhaps the most pervasive and noticeable facet of this song is the unapologetic delivery of Cardi B’s lyrics. The percussive nature of her articulation almost renders the background beat subservient to her artistic command. Supporting the lyrics is the repetition of a haunting melody which produces a sense of tension that despite being peripheral, is undeniably entrancing. Mesmerizing and captivating, Bodak Yellow is a beautifully hypnotic work. By Varun Biddanda

2) “Passionfruit” — Drake

“Passionfruit” is possibly the most confusing track on More Life.

pg-8-arts-eminem

Spinning Singles: “Walk on Water” by Eminem

Eminem is a walking contradiction, at once meticulous and utterly messy, both in character and in lyric. His politics are complicated, his rhymes often puzzling. The illustrious Marshall Mathers has without a doubt left behind a prickly portfolio that ranges from aggravating dark male anger to poppy bops to at times mind-bending twists of verse. He is, by most measures, one of the greatest and most problematic hip-hop artists of his era. Eminem has since more or less fallen out of the zeitgeist, nowadays reserved for workout playlists and the occasional surprise appearance on shuffle.

pg 8 arts void

Test Spin: Paranoid Void — Literary Math

When I first listened to all-female Japanese trio Paranoid Void, I learned of the existence of math rock. At first, it did not sound fun, as anything having to do with math is just not fun to me. Math rock, though, is a genre holding some similarities to post-rock that utilizes unconventional time signatures, rhythms and dissonance. Paranoid Void, composed of members Meguri, Yu-Ki and Mipow, is unlike most music I have listened to, and it became evident that the trio put endless effort into their first full-length album, Literary Math. On Paranoid Void’s website, the band describes Literary Math as a “three-dimensional composition of the sound and words that the female sensibility unique to women creates.” Additionally, on the album’s release date, the band published a blog entry explaining what they wanted the album to convey.

bb9e0e5e6dac1a20f7bc50afab83ed98.1000x1000x1

Test Spin | Col3trane — Tsarina

Cole Basta, known as Col3trane is a London native already starting to make a name for himself in the English hip hop scene at age 18. He released his first single “New Chain” on May 19 of this year. The vibe of this song set the stage for his entire debut album. It is slower than most rap songs we hear in the states, and has more of an R&B vibe to it. The beats, while very rhythmic, are relaxed and subtle, leaving room for his lyrics to come through.

1200px-Girlpool_February_2015

Girlpool at The Haunt

If there is one word that is overused when describing concert experiences, it’s “magical.” Experiences and emotions are subjective, yet everyone seems to come back to that word. I agree that there is a certain atmosphere to be found at concerts that can’t be found anywhere else, but I believe that the affects found in a Girlpool concert are in a category of their own. Girlpool’s music takes emotions that are difficult to describe and puts them in an accurate, concise form of music that makes one think, “Wow. Why couldn’t I think of that when it’s so straightforward?” Taking those sentiments to a small venue like The Haunt makes the experience personal by forcing one to address neglected, bottled up feelings, creating a truly magical experience. Girlpool opened their show with “123,” the first track off their newest album Powerplant.

http-hypebeast.comimage201710tw-stream-21-savage-offset-metro-boomin-without-warning-album

TEST SPIN — Without Warning: Offset x 21 Savage x Metro Boomin

Over the recent years, Atlanta has become a cultural hearth for hip hop. The movement really began in the mid 90’s with the rise of Outkast, whose smooth rhythms and melodic hooks captured the attention of the masses and put Atlanta on the map. From this point on, there was no stopping the area from booming into what is, in my opinion, music’s most exciting city. https://open.spotify.com/album/0MV1yCXcNNQBfwApqAVkH0

From the late 2000’s to present day, a new genre of hip hop has emerged from the underground of Atlanta to grow into a world phenomenon, trap. Some of the world’s biggest artists (Gucci Mane, Future, Migos, 21 Savage, Travis Scott and many others) fall into this genre.

20861515_287039085108294_7729903521015839936_o (1)

TEST SPIN: Kyra Skye — Summer Nights

Kyra Skye is a student in Ithaca College, bassist for the band Izzy True and, now, a solo artist. Her EP, Summer Nights, represents memories, dedication and affection. Skye worked on Summer Nights for a month, recording, producing and mastering all five songs on her own. Skye plays and sings everything on the EP, excluding the drums on the tracks “Room 217” and “Suffocate.” Not only is her music touching and personal, but the music is well-arranged and coherent. The first track, “Room 217,” introduces the theme of the EP.

p 10 arts u2

JONES | How Bad Can a Good Time Be? A Discussion of Three Versions of U2’s New Single

Have you been keeping up with U2? I hadn’t really checked in since the PR disaster of Songs of Innocence’s 2014 release, when the band attempted to regain relevance and reach a younger audience by forcing everybody with an iPhone to own their music. What they intended as a generous gift was instead received like the act of a tyrannical surveillance-state: many iPhone owners were outraged by the band’s disregard for the normal practices of ownership and consent in the digital world. But don’t count U2 out just yet! It turns out that in the years since Songs of Innocence’s stealth-deposit, U2 has been contemplating the naivete that led them to this colossal miscalculation.

A still from Koyaanisqatsi, comparing the built world and the natural world.

Koyaanisqatsi Coming to Bailey Hall With Live Music

God, I hate Philip Glass. Well, that might be a little too harsh. For an hour I’ve been sitting in a chair listening to Glass’ soundtrack to the film Koyaanisqatsi, swept along by the frantic, synthesized arpeggios (not unlike the soundscape of Stranger Things, but the real, authentic artifact) while trying to figure out what the whole damn thing means. It is an afflicted affinity I have for the work of Philip Glass and other avant-garde composers of the twentieth century. On one hand, composers of this era sometimes seem the least liberated, despite their supposedly experimental, unbound underpinnings.

Wu-Tang-Saga-Continues2

TEST SPIN: Wu-Tang Clan — The Saga Continues

If you’re not a huge hip hop oldhead, it’s easy to overlook a lot of new releases from 90s rap groups these days. Most think that their music usually sounds pretty dated, and that many once ferocious MC’s have understandably lost a little bit of steam on the mic. However, people skeptical about the reemergence of 90s hip hop have really been proved wrong over the last year or so, after the impressive 2016 releases of A Tribe Called Quest’s Thank u 4 Your Service and De La Soul’s And the Anonymous Nobody. While Tribe and De La Soul (two New York rap groups who are members of the hip hop collective the Native Tongues) have shown that they can still bring it in 2017, many oldheads have been itching for a similar resurgence from another New York hip hop group, the Wu-Tang Clan. Wu-Tang’s most recent album release, The Saga Continues, is once again a reminder that not only does Wu-Tang’s saga continue, but so does the vintage 90s hip hop sound that has been so overshadowed in recent years.