Tomorrow will be 10 years since I wrote my first review on this blog! Thank you to everyone who has read my blog and contributed music over the years. I realise that I'm not posting as much these days, but don't worry - I have no plans on quitting Music Related Junk any time soon. I love discovering new music and I love supporting upcoming artists, and will probably keep doing so until I die or become deaf. On that note, here are some of the best songs I discovered over the last two weeks. Artists featured this week include Elizabeth Shepherd, 100 Gecs, MIHI NIHIL, JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown, Guilty Party, Alexandra Streliski, Tame Impala and Lil Pump.
‘TIME’ – Elizabeth Shepherd
Canadian jazz singer/keyboardist Elizabeth Shepherd wrote ‘TIME’ during lockdown. Her inspiration came from a Rickee Lee Jones record that started skipping, causing the words ‘years may go by’ to be repeated - a looping effect which she replicates in this song at 1:34. Combined with the uneasy bustling instrumentation, the hypnotic repetition of these words within the track creates the feeling of time rapidly passing by (something many of us felt during lockdown). Even more apt is the way in which the song itself flies by. It’s such an excitingly busy track that you don’t have time to take it all in on the first listen. And yet, at the same time, it doesn’t feel rushed – the build-up from the lone drums to the climatic sax solo is perfectly paced to keep it all thrilling as possible. The single comes off her new album THREE THINGS, which you can stream here.
‘Dumbest Girl Alive’ – 100 Gecs
100 Gecs’ obnoxious hyperpop sound isn’t for everyone. In fact, 3 years ago when I first heard the duo, I was certain their sound wasn’t for me. But I’ve slowly been converted. Dylan Brady’s sound design is incredible. And although drenched in enough gaudy auto-tune to make T-Pain wince, Laura Les’s lyrics and vocal melodies are so catchy. This track continues to explore a more rock-inspired side of their sound that I definitely prefer to their more poppy side. The duo have a new album out titled 10000 Gecs, which I’m still yet to check out, but I will definitely be reviewing it.
‘So Please’ – MIHI NIHIL
LA rock band MIHI NIHIL (who I featured on the blog a couple years ago) are back with this cool fusion of soulful vocal harmonies and fuzzed-out country rock guitars. According to the band, ‘the landscape of the song is one of canyons and colors of sundown’. The woozy whammy bar usage throughout the track definitely paints this picture – I feel like I’m staggering through a desert at dusk while listening to this.
‘SCARING THE HOES – JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown
Off their new collaborative album Scaring The Hoes, JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown serve up this wacky title track single. Raw samples of speedy clapping and shaky saxophone make for a pretty challenging opening that is almost certain to scare the hoes. However, eager to prove that I wasn't a hoe, I persevered. The track eventually finds its groove and ends up being quite satisfying. JPEG’s vocals are even quite catchy and Danny Brown’s verse isn’t buried in the mix like it was on ‘LEAN BEEF PATTY’.
‘Lemonade’ – Guilty Party
Lots of rock bands like to use the ‘quiet verse/loud chorus’ formula, but only a few are able to get effective results. Cardiff-based band Guilty Party have definitely nailed it on this track ‘Lemonade’. The guitars and snare in the chorus sound truly explosive and the dramatic cut to the quiet verse is really satisfying too. You can tell they’re heavily inspired by turn-of-the-millennium alt rock, but at the same time they don’t sound too much like any one band. Overall, I’m definitely digging it.
'Lumieres' - Alexandra Streliski
Classical piano arrangements aren’t usually my thing, but I did find this track from French-Canadian pianist to be incredibly captivating. The trickling melodies that open and close the track are absolutely gorgeous, and I love the intimate recording quality. The mobility scooter ballet performance in the video definitely helps to make the song all the more mesmerizing.
‘Wings of Time’ – Tame Impala
I wasn’t expecting a Dungeons & Dragons soundtrack from Tame Impala to sound so, well, tame. The galloping drums got my hopes up, but the song never really takes off.
‘Pump Rock X Heavy Metal’ – Lil Pump
To be fair, a metal track from Lil Pump could have been a lot worse. The beat switch half-way was unexpected and the trap-laced chugging that follows is pretty inventive. However, the trash lyrics and constipated yelling let the song down.