Staff Picks: September ’17

Cue the Earth, Wind & Fire playlists! But besides listening to September on repeat, this is what we’re listening to as we enter the new school year.

 

Kendall Stormo – Production Assistant

Frank Ocean – Provider

Frank Ocean aired his new track “Provider” on his “blonded RADIO” show on August 27. This track has the classic Frank Ocean feel with his beautiful vocals. He also posted a lyric video for the song on his website, with Hello Kitty directing each word, bless up!

 

 

 

Jeanette Sweetman – Program Director

Milo – Who Told You To Think​?​?​!​!​?​!​?​!​?​

 

“I wanna suggest that the poets
Are finally the only people who know the truth about us
Soldiers don’t, statesmen don’t, priests don’t, union leaders don’t
Only the poets, that’s my first proposition
I think in a country like ours, in a time like this
When something awful is happening to a civilization
When it ceases to produce poets
And what is even more crucial
When it ceases in any way whatever to believe in the report
That only poets can make”
(James Baldwin, opening and closing the premiere track)

As an extroverted/introspective August winds down, I am making attempts to reign in my focus. Gotta stay grateful for rainy day music and today’s poets. This recommendation comes from a dear friend who has long been a Rory Ferreira (milo) fan. Thanks Ethan! Milo’s sound is a soup of million-dollar vocabulary, philosophical ramblings, and “many a useless tchotchke.”

He examines nihilism, capitalism, tenderness, masculinity, and racist police brutality. His verses are earthy and cerebral, comedic and incensed. Dude’s a nerd who doesn’t shy away from the malaise of being a human being. who told you to think!?!!!!?!?!?!?!? is brilliantly full of small wonders/big ideas, “driving across god’s kneecaps to lord knows where”. Here’s one of my favorite tracks.

 

 

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Beach Fossils – Somersault

 

Somersault is a huge leap for Beach Fossils and includes some of Dustin Payseur’s most nuanced songs to date, with features from Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell and Cities Aviv. –Philip Cosores

Released over the summer, Somersault follows their 2013 album Clash the Truth – who’s title track is one of my all time favorite songs. Staying true to that Beach Fossils vibe, this album is perfect for those late night study sessions. ACAB.

 

 

 

AJ Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Taylor Swift – …Ready For It?

I am beyond excited to see what Taylor has been cooking up these past few years …Ready For It? gives me 1989 Taylor vibes and if this new album is anything like 1989 I’m excited

 

 

PSA: this Staff Pick was not approved and AJ’s health and well-being is currently being evaluated.

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

dvsn- Mood

Oh boy. I can tell dvsn is gearing up for another album, and I’m SO excited! Sept 5th was one of the best (and most slept on) albums of 2016, so I’m stoked for these new moody jamsssss.

James Kendall – Music Manager

LCD Soundsystem – American Dream

Last to submit my staff pick means bottom of the list… oh well! LCD Soundsystem returns with American Dream after their “last show ever” in 2011. That aside, their return was prompted by James Murphy’s work on David Bowie’s Blackstar, and the album is just as solid as LCD’s earlier albums, albeit a little darker in tone.  One of my favorite lyrics is from the title track: “Look what happened when you were dreaming,
Then punch yourself in the face,” Brilliant. Never change, James Murphy.

Also, I featured and reviewed the album on Edge Essentials Episode 10.

Staff Picks: June ’17

☀️🍑 Sun’s Out, Bun’s Out 🍑☀️

Although summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20th, it started for us here at KRUA the moment we finished our last final a couple weeks ago! With that being said, these are our excuses for not keeping you as updated as we normally do:

  • went gambling in Vegas (and lost the little money we had)
  • made friends with Elephants in Thailand
  • soaked in the sun (probably rain tho) in Portland & Seattle
  • currently en route via party bus to Bonaroo 2017
  • packing up to go do stand up in Boston and explore the liveliest city sitting on the edge of the Dead Sea

Please forgive us. Also, if you too enjoy avoiding responsibilities by traveling the world, we are hiring.

Here’s our favorite new releases from these past couple of months:

 

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

Playboi Carti – Playboi Carti

I don’t know why I like this album so much, tbh, but I do. Playboi Carti’s debut is a fun ride through some video-game inspired trap beats. While Carti may lack in substance, he makes up for it with charisma and hilarious ad-libs. If you want to listen to some not-so-deep lyrics and dance, “Playboi Carti” is what you need. This kid definitely has the wave.

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Chastity Belt – I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone

 

Between post-punk and shoegaze live Chastity Belt, whose latest album displays a new kind of aggressiveness and gravity. Their songs relay the psychological slog of trying really hard just to be OK. -p4k

 

I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone is nothing like their first two albums, which consisted of light-hearted everything-is-okay sing-along songs (favorites being Nip Slip, Black Sail, and Cool Slut) but you know what, they still got me singing along. This time I’m just crying while I do so. Just Kidding. Not kidding. Because if you know me you’d know that I’m always crying. Anyways, this album can clear out your tear ducts and help you get over your quarter-life crisis. Check out my favorites off the album below:

 

Jeanette Sweetman – Program Director

Elliot Moss – Boomerang EP

This EP is a solid mix of electronica and chill vibes. I didn’t want to skip anything. He has quite the smooth voice and might someday grow up to be James Blake.

 

Max Jungreis – News Reporter

Los Angeles Police Department – If I Lied

Catchy lo-fi indie folk-pop fills this reflective, spacious album. Perfect for a lonely day with nothing to do when your friends don’t text you back and the cat is missing and your dog doesn’t want to play.

 

AJ Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

Harry Styles from One Direction recently released his first solo single, Sign of the Times. This song gave me Bowie vibes for some strange reason. It had to grow on me; however, I can officially say that I am a fan. This song show cases the beauty in Harry’s voice, you can hear the desire and need to escape. When the song gets to the climax and sings in high pitch, it just captures you in the moment, no matter what you’re doing.
I can honestly say I was a part time One-D fan. Only listening to their singles when they came on the radio, never really interested in listening to their albums. Once Zayn went solo, I was very intrigued to hear the others. All of One-D’s solo singles/projects are pretty solid and I am excited to listen to the full albums (I have it but I have so much new stuff right now it is just sitting in the queue lol). If you have time check out Harry’s debut single and let me know what you think!
Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

Dylan Blankenship – Production Manager

Cro – Unendlichkeit

Unendlichkeit means infinity in German. It is directly about a rapper whining about how success means nothing if it doesn’t last forever. But that is surface value, honestly we can all relate, those youthful summers drunk and in love. Fast cars and white pills, all of it just painful memories now because it was oh so temporary. Anyhow, it’s a great summer jam.

 

 

 

Staff Picks: March ’17

🍀 KRUA HAS SPRING FEVER 🍀

Singles from Milky Chance have been rolling out, a new album from the Shins is on the way, and the Gorillaz have announced a one day festival and will hopefully release their new album sometime in the near future. Here’s our favorites for the month.

James Kendall – Music Manager

Jens Lekman – Life Will See You Now

A follow up to Jens’ Postcards project from 2015 (where Jens recorded and released a new song every week for the entire year), Life Will See You Now is a continuation of what makes Jens so great: infectious melodies and arrangements with absurdist, almost spoken-word anecdotes turned into song lyrics. It’s Jens at his best.

Here’s one of my favorite tracks from the album, “How We Met, The Long Version.”

Jeanette Sweetman – Program Director

Brasstronaut – Self Titled

We just got this CD in and I’m digging it. I am a sucker for brass sections. Some of the more lively tracks are quite Foster the People-esque, with sections of suave horns and other instruments I don’t have the vocabulary to describe. My favorite is this curious little instrumental track.

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Maggie Rogers – Now That The Light Is Fading

I now share something in common with Pharrell: an undying love for Maggie Rogers 😭😍 It’s no surprise that I choose this album as this month’s Staff Pick… after already writing about two songs on this album when she released them as singles… But Maggie’s music is a wave of nostalgia and this album is full of feels. I can’t pick a favorite so check out her videos in the playlist below. 

 

Adrian “AJ” Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Nicki Minaj – No Frauds

These past few weeks have been eventful for the Hip-Hop community. I don’t know all the facts or the logistics that go into the non-beef. However, I know Remy Ma released a dis track aiming hard at Nicki Minaj. After Nicki took shots on two new singles she was featured on. After two weeks went by Nicki released not one, not two, but three songs. One being ‘No Frauds’ feat. Lil’ Wayne & Drake. In the song, Nicki took a few shots back at Remy. To me that’s not the most shocking part of this situation. The wow moment of this situation was the fact that Nicki stayed silent and then proceeded to release three singles that will get radio play and played in various venues beyond YouTube and Sound Cloud. Three singles that will stay at the top of the charts for longer than a week. Three singles that could potentially go platinum and make her more money. Three singles that add to her long list of number one billboard hits.

Granted this was a disappointment to the Hip-Hop culture and everyone like myself that wanted to see a good rap battle between two amazing artists. However, I will take these three singles and go on my merry way.

‘No Frauds’ is my selection for March staff picks because it is a solid song. The chorus gets stuck in your head and I low key have an obsession for hearing Nicki’s singing voice. Not to mention seeing her Lil’ Wayne and Drake reunited is the best thing ever, and makes me excited to see what they have in store. If you know anything about Young Money, you know these three release some amazing music.

 

Dylan Blankenship – Production Manager

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still

Released the second of this month, Portugal. The Man’s newest single, Feel it Still, is too. damn. catchy. Go ahead – give it a listen & just like that: that embarrassing moment in 8th grade or your first love – against your will it will creep into your head and bam! Your foots tapping and you’re humming along. Ah, and P.T.M started as a local band from Alaska.

 

Wright Franklin – Station Manager

Ryan Adams – Prisoner

If you have the blues, Prisoner is a great album to help you through. Or not. Who knows? Personally,  I am in love with Ryan Adams older stuff and this album definitely did not disappoint. For fans of simple and catchy songwriting, I would definitely recommend this guy.

Staff Picks: January ’17

There is so. much. music. coming out this year to look forward to, and some of our favorites have already been released! Check out what we’re listening to below.

 

Jeanette Sweetman – Program Director

Bonobo – Migration

This is Bonobo’s sixth studio album. It was highly anticipated, and now it is here, etc. He gave us a pretty energetic single, Kerala, a few months ago, but this album follows through in a more subtle direction. I foresee myself becoming attached to its slow builds and cinematic moodiness. Migration refines Bonobo’s characteristic use of bowstrings and harp beyond his old bouncy tracks. Though it’s a more somber album, he certainly hasn’t abandoned the ability to make us dance. There are new collaborations with Rhye and Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), to name a few. Exploring themes of identity, home, and displacement, Migration travels across the globe for sounds in Ontario and Bambo Koyo Ganda (easily standout tracks). Bonobo has elevated his sound to a new level of maturity that comes with mastery. I will always love his playful tracks but am completely enthralled by his new release! Electronica is in good hands. Note: the music videos/artwork have been nothing but outstanding.

 

 

Adrian “AJ” Colding – Volunteer Coordinator

Noah Cyrus – Make Me (Cry)

Noah Cyrus’ dark, raspy, mysterious sound had me do a double take at my phone when I first heard the song. At first I thought it was a new Miley Cyrus song and I automatically loved it because I am personally a huge fan of Miley Cyrus’ voice. When I saw the name Noah, I had to google her to confirm relation to the Cyrus legacy. Noah, not only sounds like her older sister but she also looks just like her too. Often singers are known for riding the coat-tail if their super star sibling. However, this isn’t the case for young Cyrus. Noah, proves she can stand on her own in her new single, Make Me (Cry) feat. Labrinth. The lyrics behind this song also resonate with where I am in my personal life right now, which gives me the intended connection to this song.

 

Joshua Bezona – Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Sundara Karma – Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect

Sundara Karma’s debut album has already dubbed them as British Indie Rock’s “next great hope,” and I have decided that they are also my next great hope. And, as their newest fangirl, I want you to know that they ARE SO GOOOD. From start to finish this album is amazing – it’s not just a some singles with filler songs in between, so give the whole thing a listen! My favorites are Flame, Happy Family, Deep Relief and A Young Understanding.

 

Dylan Blankenship – Production Manager

Father John Misty – Pure Comedy

It’s a little out there, but that is not so uncommon for Father John Misty. Released this month, Pure Comedy, is a poem first and a song second. The song delivers the timeless message about the folly of mankind, in something almost reminiscent of a rock opera. Which this DJ would love to see more of. Recommended for those nights with a bag of wine, and nobody to watch you lipsync.

Staff Picks: October ’16

Well I saw the thing comin’ out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin’ and I said “ooh-eee”
It looks like a purple eater to me

Although October is the spookiest month of the year, our Staff Picks are not.  It was hard for our staff to narrow it down, but here’s what the KRUA team decided to put into this month’s list.

 

Jeanette Sweetman, Program Manager

James Vincent McMorrow – We Move

I was expecting a gentle mandolin-filled journey through the forest when I picked up this CD and was totally floored after 30 seconds!

In his third album, the Irish artist turns around from his earlier folk days for upbeat R&B vibes and synths. There are traces of folk to be had, but somehow sounds like futuristic 80s pop. I find it pretty soulful.  The man has the velvety voice of an angel. It’s exciting seeing how much his style has changed since his first album! 10/10 would recommend with fervor!

 

Wright Franklin, Station Manager

Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight – Travi$ Scott

The features on this album alone make it a classic. La Flame came through. The kids are eating.

 

 

Joshua Bezona, Marketing & Underwriting Coordinator

Sunlight Youth – Local Natives

THIS WAS MY MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUM OF 2016 AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED! Their first two albums came out just around the time indie folk really came into the limelight, and sure – it might have been a disappointment to someone who only gets down with folk, but this was a brand new sound for Local Natives! Super impressed with how refined the band has become, aiming towards headlining a concert rather than being written off in tiny font on the bottom of the poster. The first song Villainy was a perfect intro to the new album. All the songs are my favorite. Listen to the album from the beginning to the end. You’re welcome.

(I also pick Beach Slang’s sophomore album, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings and Devendra Banhart’s new album, Ape in Pink Marble)

 

Adrian Colding, Volunteer Coordinator

Chance the Rapper – 2016 Apple Music Festival Performance

Chance is the kind of rapper that is most likely to be your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.  Every song Chance touches is pure gold. He knows how to flavor a song with a melodic cadence. Every time he releases a song, I anticipate the flavors, colors, and visual abstracts I will encounter on my musical journey. Now, take my sentiments and multiply it by ten, then you have Chance the Rapper’s #AMF10 performance. It was the highlight of the whole festival. Chance knows how to command a stage and keep the audience engaged. The live band made everything even more amazing! If you have a moment go check it out on Apple Music.