As far as my “music journalist” shtick goes (a term I apply extremely loosely), your girl Thursday has historically produced some pretty dang self-important, obscuro-ass album lists. While I really strive to give whatever platform I can offer to underserved artists, I think it’s time I get completely honest about my relationship with music consumption at the moment. In a semi-conscious effort to prevent collapse under my ever-faltering mental health and jadedness towards scene politics, I’ve taken a liking to simply listening to what makes me happy while staying impartial to each extreme: 1. obscurity for obscutiy’s sake, and 2. the obligatory dole of artists pushed by mainstream outlets. I’ve learned the hard way that listening to garbled black metal about cutting yourself for eight hours straight isn’t the soundest investment the mind can make. I’m also coming to terms with the fact that despite better efforts, Decibel will never persuade me to partake in the cult of Khemmis and XXL will never have me unironically thumping Lil Pump.
So, instead of extracting pieces of my soul to hand over to the kvlt lords and slump gods, I’ve been organically accruing massive liked playlists on YouTube and Soundcloud and just letting them roll like my cat getting into the paper towels. Taking the time to purge expectations has really been helping me regain a healthy relationship with music. Ten years ago, my ipod had everything from Millionaires to Underoath to Children of Bodom. I liked what I thought sounded good and personally resonated. Period. The very eclectic mix to which I’ve been listening as of late has helped me carve out a new happy place. As Barney as this may sound, I hope that by highlighting some of these gems I can share some of the same love with you—the old, new, borrowed, and blue.
Old: Ephemeral – In Autumnus
While this single from post-depressive U.K. outfit In Autumnus isn’t necessarily aged, it awakens a whole lot of longing for trudging around up North to the likes of Strife Machine, A Light in the Dark, and Meaning of Life. While the Gulf Coast has a reputation for being a primo summer vacation spot, summer in New Orleans is a lot like fall everywhere else. While it’s still oppressively hot, it’s also grey, spooky, and relentlessly rainy. As a result, I’ve felt compelled to dive into my old stomping grounds of the depressive clickhole as golden hour is replaced with a fogged over front window. Ephemeral, a weighty contribution to seven track Intrusiveless, is still light enough to lift some humidity, but its somber undertones still match the shades of grey peeking through the slots of my blinds. Combining the brightness of post-metal with a touch of gritty production from the old heads, this record is a prime example of how a little reinventing can make DSBM as appropriate for embracing the cusp of great things in life as much as sitting on the edge of rock bottom.
New: Flooded Pints – Fat Nick (feat. OhGeesy)
Fat Nick has never shied away from speaking candidly about the struggles that kids across the nation have been facing. As you may remember from when I was real triggered a few weeks ago, Nick went to bat for fans and colleagues over whom Russ was trying to assert a form of very unfounded moral superiority. The culmination of the affable Miami rapper’s passions is found in last week’s drop—the long-awaited Generation Numb. Candidness towards drug use and his rise from the underground doesn’t take the tone of flexing as much as it does shear honesty, but I wouldn’t have expected anything less from America’s sweetheart. While Flooded Pints wins my heart as one of his more ominous bangers, Nick also shows off his poppier side with Blackbear for those in search of something a little sunnier.
Borrowed: Aurora – Therefore I Am
There are certain people of whom I take notice when they post a screenshot of what they’re streaming. One of these individuals happens to be nothing,nowhere. session drummer Tyler Weinacker, or @tw_drums. Not only has he revived snapbacking scene kids memz of Chelsea Grin, but he’s unearthed some ’05 gems that I’m just young enough to have missed. Aurora from Boston’s now-defunct Therefore I Am is just one of them. The opener of EP The Modern World, A Battlefield puts forth nostalgia vibes of Sunny Day and The Butterfly Effect, but it also breaks into some spacier electronics that give it its own POV. Comprised of six primetime jams, the album in its entirety makes for a quick listen that’s easily repeated by the rounds in a single night walk. Thank you Tyler, very cool!
Blue: Ghost – 6obby
This is a track that I’m stupidly excited to share. In terms of beatability, “Ghost” by sad-chill clickhole mainstay 6obby is a broken pistachio shell in the corner of a Greyhound bus station–it’s barely clinging to life, but I reuse to stop stepping on its shards. If you’re not following me on that one, basically what I’m trying to say is that I fully intend on hitting replay on this banger until I literally cannot hear it anymore. The beat is an interpretation of the heart-wrenching Kingdom Hearts soundtrack combined with what looks like nothing,nowhere. and Wicca Phase’s son rapping about smoking blunts and having no friends. While 6obby has been releasing tracks from behind ubiquitous anime visuals for a while, it’s cool he’s showing off more of his movement, style, and flow. I really don’t know if I’m too old to be liking this or not, but then again, I don’t really know what most normal 23-year-old chicks even listen to. Ed Sheeran? Fucking Iron & Wine? Are either of them still a thing? Whatever. I stan young 6obby here.
And so, I leave you with my final thoughts: While some pride themselves in being experts in scene fringes and others pretend like they know who’s the hottest, there are plenty of artists and fans alike who fall somewhere in between. If you can surpass the feeling of non-belonging and curtail the pull of obligation, you can bask in your love of music once more (and that’s a relationship worth committing to).
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