A great mix of tunes and genres to accompany many summer activities
By CJ Sommerfeld, Staff Writer
The record is a fresh take on early 2000 emo sounds.
Summer is on the horizon, and while we have no idea what new restrictions are going to be introduced, one thing is for sure: regardless of our summer limitations, we know that we will have access to music. So many great tracks have been released this year and it looks like lots more is to come in the upcoming bit. The horizons look bright and hopefully we can bring these new tracks to a karaoke spot by the fall.
Released: March 29
Right as the world was beginning to shut down last year, Waxahatchee released Saint Cloud. The album was less grungy and garage-y than the band’s previous works, and it was a breath of optimistic air while the world was collapsing around us. One year after its release, Waxahachee re-released the record, and among the album’s original tracks they added three new covers. Lucinda Williams’ “Fruits of My Labour,” Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning,” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia.” The covers scream Americana, which at its surface ignites a sense of freedom—something that I am sure many of us are looking forward to in our post-COVID lives. Despite some of the track’s corny clichés, Waxahatchee’s cover of Parton’s 1977 track truly is the perfect covid anthem.
Released: April 2 and April 7
These digital albums are the latest musical works by Canadian prog musician Daniel Romano. Both albums are 25 minutes and purely instrumental and ambient pieces. While Manifest Expanse offers extraterrestrial sounds, The Abstract Expanse invokes more Eastern vibes with the basis of the track being held together with a lute. Both aspects remind the listener of the lightness which summertime brings, both in the season’s colour palette, but also in the light sentiment of this time of year.
Released: April 16
This one is another re-release album. Except, this one is celebrating 10 years of the record’s original release date. The original album offered seven great songs. The record’s 10-year edition features both the seven original tracks, as well as covers of each by different artists. Do not expect any of the covers to retain the original’s sound, however. Lucinda Williams, Courtney Barnett, and Fiona Apple are among these seven artists, each of which has a voice and style that contrasts from Van Etten’s, so you can only imagine what their versions of her songs sound like.
Released: February 25
For anyone who experienced teen-hood in the early 2000s, this album ignites those perfect post-hardcore slash emo vibes in bringing back the nostalgia for those years. Arm’s Length is a young Canadian band who are relatively new to the scene, and Everything Nice is their first full length album (which is an extension of their first three Eps). The record is a fresh take on early 2000 emo sounds.
Released: September 9
This cover track from last year is so eerie, not entirely because of the song’s melody nor lyrics, but because of another cover of this 1972 tune by cult artist Elliott Smith. I prefer Smith’s cover over the original as it is much grittier. His voice is so haunting, and his register contains so much vulnerability—similar to that of an angsty and innocent teen—perfectly matching the song’s theme of late youth. Smith dealt with drug and mental health issues and was found stabbed to death on October 21, 2003. Many are unsure if his passing was a suicide or not, and while his songs sounded eerie prior to his passing, that eeriness was only enhanced following his unfortunate death. Despite the song’s history, Bedouine, Waxahatchee, and Hurray for the Riff Raff’s mash of voices on this cover are so fitting and happen to retain the vulnerable and angsty energy of its original.
Released: May 14
I know they say that you shouldn’t judge a book based on its cover, but what about judging an album based on its music video? While St. Vincent’s previous stuff was a bit poppy for my liking, I am super digging the ’70s vibes on both her recent SNL performance, and also the album’s first music video: “Pay Your Way in Pain.” Only two of the album’s tracks have been released thus-far and both sound psychedelic. There is organ and some great synth, not to mention, her voice is astounding. I am eager to hear the full album.