now playing: September 2019
words: Lauren Rearick, Indigo Baloch, Gabriele Esposito-Wilcock, and Aaron Eisenreich
“Let Them In” - Johnny Goth
Johnny Goth released the single “Let Them In” and its accompanying video at the perfect time — the beginning of spooky season. It’s a song about vampires. Goth does a great job of mixing vampire lore and complicated relationship dynamics indicated in the lyrics in this macabre track. The song is mostly comprised of acoustic guitar, Goth’s breathy slow vocals, and stuttering electronic drums. Goth is accompanied by beautiful soprano vocals of a similar raspy quality to his. Overall, the track has a romantic feel to it. The video takes influence from horror movies mimicking a found footage style with shots of grave yards, a P.O.V shot of a car driving down a road, a moon, and various outdoor sceneries. The horror movie vibe is completed with shots of Goth creepily singing on the other side of a shower door telling the viewer to “let them in” and a young woman sitting on a swing alone in the dead of night. This video is sure to get you in the mood for Halloween season and I know I’ll have it on repeat until the 31st of October.
“Let Them In” is the first single off of Johnny Goth’s upcoming album “Let Them In” slated to be released on the unlucky holiday of Friday the 13th, but hey maybe Friday the 13th is lucky after all because we’re getting a new Johnny Goth album. // words: GEW
Anak Ko - Jay Som
Jay Som's Anak Ko is a dreamy continuation of the somber spring-hued tunes we’ve all come to love. It carries visions of warmth and blossom, healing and growth. It’s the music I listen to on the bus in the morning, kicking off my day with confidence and a chin up, unafraid. It’s the the music I listen to when walking home, late at night, the red and yellow lights from the cars tearing past in the cool midnight air. The way I feel about Jay Som is an inexplicable balance between melancholy and euphoria. It lifts up your soul while tugging at your heart strings, at the same time. The feeling of seeing the one you love with someone else, and it’s bittersweet, but if you really love them, you’re just happy that they’re happy. Jay Som is bubble bath music. Jay Som is crying on your couch music. Jay Som is laying in a field of wildflowers music. It’s feeling the sun warm your cheeks—like blushing—you raise an arm to block the light from your eyes. You smile as you squint at the dappled gold on the leaves above you, swingingly softly in the breeze. You feel alright. Press play on “Devotion” and relax your shoulders. Release the tension you’ve been holding. You’re gonna be okay, kid. // words: IB
“Out of It” - Drauve
Drauve was a sort of overnight sensation in Pittsburgh. One morning I just woke up and they were all anyone was talking about. They’d dropped this single and music video for “Out of It” that was touching people, it was something we could all relate to. One Youtuber even commented, “making me contemplate leaving this guy that I love so much but he just lacks all the emotional/mental maturity that I need.” And the music was smoky and heavenly—anyone that heard it could tell they’re gonna be huge. It’s the Saturn retrograde breakup hit of the year. It’s an apology, it’s a desire to change the past. It’s the 2 a.m. thoughts we all have in a scalding hot shower or sitting on our fire escape, legs dangling over the edge, looking up at the clouds and constellations. Regret is such a human emotion. We long to rewrite what we’ve done because hindsight is 20/20 and in the present tense, we’re all careless. We forget to be gentle and thoughtful with what we have until it’s gone, and by then it’s too late to repair. So we’ll write them out of it, if we get the chance. And maybe we’ll all be a little less scarred. // words: IB
“Breaking Up (With Myself)” - Tap Shorts
Tap Shorts releases are like a special little surprise. They’re few and far between, but heartwarming, and those that we have are precious. Sofia Lange’s soft choral voice is full of tenderness and reverence. And this single in particular, is an admittance of anxieties and defeat. It’s a song that many of our hearts might be singing—the disappointment in ourselves when we aren’t overly social or succeeding in all of our dreams all the time. There’s so much pressure in the world every day, but ultimately, we are our own worst critics. Lange wails relatable lines like, “I’m tired of explaining myself 10 times a day. I’m tired, I want to crumble up and hide away.” Like most Tap Shorts songs, it really hits you right in the chest, it’s direct and full of emotion. But there’s a sweetness to it—there’s a reason why Lange chose a Peter Rabbit slideshow to play behind her, on a projector, at a show. And there’s also a reason why the song ends with the tinkling of bells, rustling, and mews of her cat Louisa May Alcatt. Tap Shorts is music for the soft and gentle hearts, for the tender ones among us.
Safer Off - Lilith
All is certainly not as bright as it seems on Safer Off. Sure, there’s plenty of catchy melodies, sunny instrumentals, and sweeping hooks that all seem to point towards a conclusion of positively blue skies, but, if you listen closely, there’s much more hiding beneath the surface here — Lilith wants to you reclaim what’s yours, even if that means stepping out of the safety of their sunshine and into the middle of a raging storm.
Safer Off is an exercise in rebuilding, an examination of mistreatment through a lens of looking back; you’re older, wiser, and no longer willing to put up with that bullshit. From the breezy strums of guitar and ringing joint vocals that compromise a track of calling out lies, and that singular nice thing that someone did for you once (“C.O.Y.F.”) to the slowed-down romanticism that’s willing to call someone what they are, a “Coward,” the record uses sharp lyricism to wade through the worst memories of a relationship. And while it’s never easy to define a terrible, toxic relationship for what it was, Safer Off provides the musical equivalent of the clarity, peace, and joy that comes with finally being free. // words: LR
Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough - Bleached
Bleached’s third record, Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?, is about relationships coming to an end, whether those relationships are with romantic partners or bottles of booze. Instead of wallowing in self pity at the end, Bleached celebrate the possibilities that present themselves once you decide to ditch the situation you’re in and try something different. On the record, sisters Jennifer and Jessica Clavin embrace the excitement that comes with cutting off a relationship through danceable tracks, ruminations on lost youth, a perfect amount of guitar solos, and even an Operation Ivy reference. // words: AE
Key tracks: “Daydream” (video below), “Somebody Dial 911,” “Valley to LA”
“Living Room” - Jenny Owen Young
“Living Room,” the second track released from Jenny Owen Youngs’ upcoming EP Night Shift (out 11/15) begins with a haunting guitar followed by the lyric “down in your living room/TV light glowing blue.” The first line captures the feeling of the music that seems like it was made to be listened to alone at night. The song is full of rhyming couplets that catch the ear like “SoCo and vicodin/shit talk your brother’s friends” and “last thing I ever got from you/was confirmation of the awful truth.” With this track and the previously released “Vampire Weeknight” (great title), Night Shift is shaping up to be an excellent release. // words: AE