Best Of: November
Best Album: Miguel - War and Leisure
Miguel is one of my all time favorites so every time he releases a project I'm obsessed for at least a month. The title of this album says it all, so encompassing of the energy of the album. With collabs from Rick Ross, Travis Scott and the classic Miguel collaboration J. Cole. Highlights of the album for me are "Skywalker," a classic feel good song and "Criminal" with a sexy Tame Impala vibe. I would definitely recommend giving War and Leisure a listen or three hundred like I'll be doing. “That’s 2017, it just feels like at every point we’re being pulled in these two different directions and being in the middle and looking out and wanting to be aware. But, at the same time, be in the moment.” Miguel on the title War and Leisure.
Best Show: Olaye: Love and Hate are the Same album release put on by Lightwav at Chop Suey.
Best Album: Yaeji- EP2
When I start to type out this review the first thing that comes to mind is “I am not worthy” and this is pure fact, I’m not. Why? Well because Yaeji's EP2 is 18 minutes of magic; meaning that should be enough to convince you to support this goddess. But since I know your hipster ass is dying to know who's up and coming I’ll give you the 411. The EP starts off with a haunting track “Feelings Change”. Yaeji’s voice echoes through misty halls of 808s and you glide with her as the track plays. The EP is reminiscent of memories from Yaeji’s past; pieces of inspiration from her family, her Korean background and the American pop culture that cultivate her identity through the EP. Yaeji’s music carries Korean and English lyricism the literally melting pot she creates is so comforting. Being a dual speaker myself with English as a second language songs like “Drink I’m Sippin On” by Yaeji bring out a creative confidence in me and shows fellow bilingual people that it's okay to celebrate our identities, even when the world doesn’t let us. Her music carries themes of anxiety, therapy and the importance of identity and community. These often taboo and brave subjects to bare are easier to speak on with the kickdrums and rhythmic styling of her flow. Not only that but she makes you feel so comfortable. The New York City-based singer, rapper, producer, and DJ has perfected club music into a community affair. Partnering with a local Korean restaurant to serve curry at her shows. CURRY AND HOUSE MUSIC?! Yes please sign me up now. House music is lucky to have such a badass bitch be apart of the genre, I️ can’t wait to see what she does next and you should too.
Best Show: COM TRUISE and Christopher Willits DJ Set at Q Nightclub
Best Album: Virtual Self - S/T EP
Of course my favorite album would come out the day before the month ended not giving me the time to simmer on it as I normally would, but the singles released earlier this month sealed the deal for me. Virtual Self is Porter Robinson’s side project that leaves the typical future bass, anime cuteness you would expect and instead takes on an industrial y2k sound reminiscent of old school DDR. People seem to have pretty mixed emotions on the project, but I’m a total fan and you should definitely check it out for yourself.
Best Album: Björk - Utopia
As a Björk obsessive, to say this album was highly anticipated for me is the understatement of the century. I was particularly interested in the shape the lyrical themes would take. Björk bared her broken and battered heart on Vulnicura, which came about at a time when I, too, was heartbroken. “How is she doing?? Has she met someone new? Has she given up on love altogether and thrown herself into her art solely??” are all questions I have asked myself on more than one occasion since Vulnicura’s 2015 release. I now have some answers: she’s GOOD. Possibly living her best life! And I am so thrilled and relieved that love with some “music nerd” has found the Icelandic goddess. Now that we’ve got that concern out of the way, let’s focus on the sound of the album. Venezualen co-producer Arca went absolutely batshit insane on this album and I love it. His signature eerie, off-kilter beats wind around and sometimes over Björk’s voice, making the whole album what some might call “difficult.” This is not something to listen to casually. In fact, you may need to take a time out halfway through and listen to something more easily digestible. But because of this, the album is a completely unique piece of art that no one could possibly replicate and that’s why there’s only ONE Björk.
Best Show: OmenXIII/JGRXXN/Rozz Dyliams & more at Cafe Red
Best Album: Angel Olsen - Phases
Due to living in a cute albeit chilly old home, this time of year forces me to sit down, get warm and listen to albums. Angel Olsen’s latest, Phases, is perfect for such situations. Recorded over the past seven years, the collection of b-sides and covers reflect the expanse of Olsen’s interests and musical evolution. Tracks like “May as Well” feature the angelic nature of Olsen’s vocal range, while “Sans” and “California” flirt with true emotional availability while still retaining a cheeky sense of control and self-awareness. Also make sure to check out “All Right Now” and “Endless Road.”