Going in to record their latest collection of “existential psychedelic soul music”, Saroon had to get the tape ready. This is to say that every head-turning moment of their new album, Our Transparent Future, was recorded to tape. But the method of recording isn’t the only unique part of this record. From vocal style to the overall highs and lows that it reaches, Saroon have crafted a unique record.
“Masters of the Road” illustrates this with ease. Here, you are reminded that despite social expectations, we are in charge of so much, yet we miss out because we are trapped in the cycle of doing things the “right” way. Mostly consisting of soft-spoken lyrics and a gentle guitar that speeds up towards the end, it has all the elements of a classic folk song. Immediately following is “Old Fashioned Protest Song”, which actually seems to focus on the things we as humans have less control of. Simply put, Saroon call into question those who put money ahead of more important and worthy causes. Seemingly calling attention to current social movements, they make it a point to reject the idea that we should just stand by and let ignorance win. One of the final songs, “Golden Age”, is both a reflection on the past and a nod to the present, urging us to think of the current moment as the height of our lives.
Our Transparent Future makes its way to various corners of life, all which come together to form an idea for what the future may look like not only for the world, but for individuals. It remains hopeful while not shying away from the heartbreak and struggles that come with being human.
Principle songwriter Ayal Alves explains: “There’s always the element of hope to it, and an acknowledgement that the nature of reality is that there is pain and suffering. The relationship between those two things is a transformational process.”
Samantha Margret’s newest release is a badass anthem for those who have experienced frustration when talking to someone who thinks they are more “woke” than they are. Margret was inspired by a man who claimed to be a feminist, while his actions seemed to fall short of these claims.
The video reflects the fierceness of the lyrics. With a dark theme present in both the song and the video, Margret takes no prisoners as she exposes the hypocrisy in identifying as feminist while having no issue talking down to the people you claim to support. Perhaps the most defining moments are the close-up shots of her face, letting the viewer know that she is an unapologetic boss who is not willing to put up with being patronized. In every way, it is a gripping visual that asks the viewer to sacrifice comfort in exchange for real commentary on being a woman in 2020.
Margret says of the experience that led to the track:
Sometimes it cuts deeper when that kind of patriarchal hurt comes from someone you think is on your team. I think of myself as really outspoken and try to be the first to speak up when another woman is in trouble, but I sometimes have trouble when the comments are directed at me.
In the midst of grief, Nathan Oliver turned to music, as many do. That is how his newest release came about. Thank You for your Generosity, which he and his group began working on after the death of a member’s brother in 2017, takes the listener on a journey through the loneliness and confusion that comes with grief.
This journey begins with “Generous Seas”, an instrumental track fit for reflection as a mellow guitar plays over a more chaotic one. Then comes “Isle Of Youth”, a dive into what it feels like to be lost and distant from everything around you. This rock track is a standout on the record, blending soulful lyrics with beautiful guitar playing. This sentiment is also present in “Everybody’s Swimming”, which seems to call attention to the struggle of watching everybody continue to live their lives while you feel stuck in a painful place. One of the most heart wrenching songs is “Even If You Go”, which acts as a sort of promise that even when the subject is gone, they will continue to live with them by their side. The journey closes out with “A Tangent in Time”. A peaceful close to the album, it seems to offer a glimpse of hope, though unsure of exactly where that hope lies.
Thank You for Your Generosity is a vulnerable record that does not attempt to hide any sort of pain that comes along with the grieving process or life in general. Whether it is through the breathtaking lyrics or the gentle way each sound leaves the speaker, Nathan Oliver is working to enthrall every single listener.
01. Generous Seas 02. Isle of Youth 03. Everybody’s Swimming 04. Air Control 05. Even If You Go 06. Stand in Line 07. Runaway 08. A Tangent in Time
This playlist is filled with songs that have set my inner world ablaze in one way or another. Some of them are recent and others are more ancient, but they’ve all had an affect on the way that I write and record songs.
Milton Keynes native Lydia Singer has released her infectious new pop single, “Lemme Know”. Influenced by stars like Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello, Singer proves to know a thing or two about creating memorable pop songs with catchy hooks and piercing vocals. While these influences are apparent upon listening, she has no trouble creating her own unique sound for fans to fall in love with.
Bursting with confidence, Singer lets her lover know that she knows what they want but wants them to be upfront and clear about it themselves. In the process, Singer remains direct and upfront when articulating what she wants and needs from this lover. This way of writing lyrics makes clear to the listener that she is unafraid and unapologetic of letting people know just how she is feeling. The melody remains one of the most stunning and captivating aspects of this track, and when paired with the perfect dancing rhythm, “Lemme Know” is the perfect taste of what pop enthusiasts need. It is hard not to groove along to the tiny bells and whistles that this track offers.
When Starwolf formed in 2016, they were creating music in rural Illinois, their sound of choice being funk/pop. Four years later, they have released their album, Astro Lobo, filled with other-worldly sounds and expressions.
Something that makes this body of wok stand out is the appearance of Tim Lefebvre on “Bad Feeling”. Lefebvre has worked with well-known artists from David Bowie to John Mayer, so his presence is welcomed. The track benefits from a catchiness that amplifies the message of losing oneself in fear and anxiety. Indeed, it is a standout on the album.
The title track happens to be the longest, reaching over six minutes long. With no lyrics, it is easy for one to create their own interpretation of what it means. Whatever the meaning, “Astro Lobo” lives up to the other-worldly name. And then comes the final track, “Real Love”. Following the theme of love that can be heard on various songs throughout the album, this song’s funk groove guides the lyrics about being in a healthy and real relationship. With this album, the funk roots of Starwolf’s music shines through on every song. The band have achieved the perfect blend of funk and pop that sounds like the quintessential 80s soundtrack with Astro Lobo.