On Introspects of a Psycho, Massachusetts-born artist, 30, successfully combines rap and hip-hop with pop to tell stories about being human amidst the societal constructs we face. When it begins, we hear “Your Skin Crawls”, a sort of pick-me-up that serves to reassure his person of their beauty. As the guitar soothes, the melody moves. “Lost in Colorado” feels like a diary entry of a cross country road trip stretching from Ohio to Colorado. It seems to be a goodbye of sorts, though he continues to describe the sights he sees to the person who may be bidding goodbye to. The groove picks up with “I Kinda Like How Your Father’s Fist Feels on My Face”, a track that features an electric guitar and creates the perfect late-night vibe, dimmed lights and all. The final track, “Ms. Uncomfortable (Stripped)”, slows everything back down again, bringing everything full circle, which tells the story of a girl who seems unsure of herself, a call-back to the first track on the album.
The Introspects of a Psycho feels emotional and vulnerable, every track exceeding the next. It supplies a song to satisfy any mood one could be in, and tells a compelling narrative along the way.
Wesley Schultz isn’t just the co-founder The Lumineers. He is a brilliant performer with the ability to bring songs to life in his own way. He proves this on his debut solo album, Vignettes. It may be shocking to find out that his first full length solo release is actually an album full of covers.
We first get to hear him take on Bruce Springsteen’s “My City of Ruins”. A more stripped-down version than the original, Schultz brings his acoustic style to the song and makes it feel like his own. His rendition of Coldplay’s “Green Eyes” bears some extra resemblance to the original apart from the lyrics, including the acoustic style that, when sung by Schultz, breathes a new life into the song. Perhaps the most breathtaking track is “Mrs. Potters Lullaby”, originally by Counting Crows. Complete with a slowed down piano and background violin, it is a far departure from the original. Another piano-heavy track is “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)”, originally by Jim Croce and featuring a prominent guitar.
A cover album may be a gamble as a debut album, but Wesley Schultz made each track his own every step of the way. By creating a record composed of his greatest musical influences, listeners get an inside look Schultz as not only a musician, but as a person. Schultz says of the purpose of the album:
I was introduced to a lot of music through other artists, listening to their covers and then going backward. So part of this record is the joy of exposing something that you know is beautiful, while trying to make it your own so that they both can stand on their own two feet. It’s almost like you’re showing people your personal playlist, your inspiration.
As winter nears,Miloe wanted to shine a light on his brisk state of Minnesota with his new EP, Greenhouse. He wastes no time working up the sunshine, either. The opening track, “Winona” is a bright and optimistic tune that relies on youthfulness to give the illusion of summertime warmth. The opening riff of the title track is a perfectly ear-catching novelty that immediately draws you into the heaviness of life struggles. The driving rhythm makes for a soothing ride. With “Change Your Mind”, he sings about wanting to be with someone and is willing to sit around and wait in case they change their mind for him. It works as a sort of ditty, one whose melody alone brings a smile to your face.
The most beaming song is “Marna”, a musical love letter to somebody who seems to be the light of his life. The simple guitar strums once again bring out the brightness of Miloe’s craft. The final track is “Everything (That Should Go)”, the perfect outro that reveals his vulnerability to not only the person he is singing to, but also you and I.Greenhouse is a sonically bright album that does indeed shine a warm light on even the coldest of states. Beyond the brightness is a raw, real body of work about finding and understanding love, along with the many other complications that come with life.
Columbus-bred R&B talent I M a N I is coming at us with a sultry, gorgeous new video for her track “Pretty Boi.” Not only does this song perfectly display the artist’s insane proclivity for vocal range, it’s kind of the perfect track for a meet-cute at a (socially distanced) house party. (Or going through your scrapbook of memories and exes alone in your apartment with your cats. Whatever.) Explains I M a N I of the track:
This song has two phases, the love-struck phase and the heartbroken phase. In the beginning I basically explain how I’m “lost in a daze” with this guy, totally not understanding that he is only with me for his pleasure. The second verse goes into me “confronting” him, telling him my intentions while his intentions are easily seen. The guy is “pretty” but he is also a boy which displays immaturity. I knew this situation was pretty relatable and knew that there would be people who can relate this song to their life. I want the people who listen to “Pretty Boi” to understand their worth. You are definitely worth more than a “booty call”. Don’t settle down for Pretty Boys, settle down with someone who has the time and love for you.
The video was shot outside, gorgeous sunsets and greenery surrounding I M a N I as she captivates us all with the most vibe-worthy song of autumn 2020. (Seriously, read the Youtube comments if you’re not convinced. We are NOT the only ones fawning over her.)
The members of VALLEY have a strong work ethic and are perfectionists by nature. This shines through in the lyric video for the title track of their new EP, sucks to see you doing better. The video was released as part of a pair of visuals put out from the EP, the other being “homebody”.
Set on a high school track field, “sucks to see you doing better” shows VALLEY taking a more lighthearted approach to the visualization of a tune that expresses some rather heavy emotions about watching someone you love happier with someone new. The band are creative in choosing how the lyrics appear. Rather than simply displaying the lyrics using some magical postproduction software, they opt for a more personal touch, handwriting. Throughout the entire video, members of the band take turns writing the lyrics on the screen while the other members partake in various, sometimes silly, activities behind them. This makes for a viewing experience that you can relate to without having to get the tissues out. The song easily could have been a heartbreaking ballad, followed by a sad visual. Instead, the sadness cuts deep while still allowing you to let loose. Watching the song come to life only solidifies the notion that sadness can be expressed in seemingly myriad ways. It accomplishes their goal of bringing positivity into a negative, heavy world.
With his newly released EP, Good Morning Hunter, Odario combines poetry and hip-hop to craft a phenomenal piece of storytelling. With several guest artists throughout the 7-track EP, each track feels like a coming together of various ideas. A celebration of people.
“Peace” begins this celebration. The dominant piano that plays throughout is a staple of this up-tempo introduction. Filled with optimistic chants and goal-driven lyrics, you are welcomed into Odario’s ambitious thoughts. Things are slowed down with ‘Reprise”, a more somber and reflective addition that proves rather poetic. A distant echo towards the end connects it with the previous song, providing a more vulnerable view of those ambitious thoughts. The title track, “Good Morning Hunter” takes you back to the groove of the first song. The lyrics tell the story of somebody who is prepared to tackle whatever is being thrown their way that day. This same sentiment is echoed in a more electronic take with “Good Morning Hunter: Ok Dub”. Each song adds on to the other, creating a cohesive whole that tells a real story.From top to bottom, Good Morning Hunter tells the story of a person who is determined to do great things with his life. It doesn’t shy away from the reality of life and how struggles can get us down.