Unlike with reading, September was a sparse month for music. Maybe I’m just becoming more selective, but I wasn’t that into most of the new music that came out this month. Most recommendations I was given didn’t impress me either. That said, the music I did enjoy this month was excellent. In fact, September brought me a new favorite artist. So, while this post will be brief, it will hopefully introduce you to a new favorite artist as well. From albums to singles, these are the bands and artists that really made my September great:
- Spring by Wallows: This fantastic EP comes from a band I discovered entirely by accident. Someone posted about some of their lyrics on Twitter, so I decided to give them a listen myself. I am so glad I did. These six songs have such vivid lyricism, you could probably base an entire movie on any one of them. Their sound is a chill alternative, sometimes with a full band and sometimes with just an acoustic guitar. It’s clear they have many great influences, some of their songs homages to these idols. “Let the Sun In” channels The Beatles, not just in title, but in style and vocals. It is the darker, but still hopeful cousin to “Here Comes the Sun.” “1980s Horror Film” is a journey of nostalgia and memory, but also missed signs and connections. It’s a blatant call-out of common musical tropes, containing the line, “Why are girls in songs always seventeen?” Whether introspective or speculative, this EP is a promise of greater things to come.
- Bambi by Hippo Campus: This band is another I came upon by recommendation. Based on my limited knowledge of the band, this album is a departure from their usual sound. But that doesn’t make it any less good or palatable. On the contrary, the experimentation helps to highlight the themes and messages. Though only ten songs long, this record packs an emotional punch. The music and lyrics complement each other, both driving toward the same goal. The energy in “Anxious” is frenetic, an anxiety attack in and of itself. The pop fusion on this record both synthesizes the message and enhances it. It is, in essence, an oxymoron. While I prefer the first half of the album to the second half, the entire work is a masterpiece in its own right. Other highlights of the album include “Doubt” and “Bambi.” Much like Bambi’s own jarring entrance into adulthood, this idiosyncratic album will be my gateway to the world of Hippo Campus.
- Sea Girls: I discovered this band while searching iTunes for some new music to listen to. I checked out Sea Girls because I erroneously thought this was a girl band. Fortunately, it was still a band worth listening to. With assorted singles and multiple EPs, this band is still trying to get their foot in the door. But with a sound like that in “All I Want to Hear You Say” or “Heavenly War,” it is clear that their time in the sun is coming. Their sound can best be described as WALK THE MOON fused with mid-2000s pop punk. This band is long overdue for a full-length release and I will be there with open arms once that day finally comes.
- Christina Aguilera: As you may recall (seeing as I just posted a review of it), I recently saw Christina Aguilera live for the first time. The show was fantastic, and if you get the chance, you need to go. Of course, attending her concert meant I had to take a trip down memory lane. I listened to all her stuff again over the course of the month, more so than I had been as of late. As expected, her music remains phenomenal. I mean, there’s a reason she’s a living legend, after all.
- Amy Shark: More than my lack of interest in most new releases, the main person to blame is Miss Amy Shark. I have been listening to her debut album Love Monster non-stop all month. Why do I love her so much? Well, let me put it this way: if Alanis Morrissette and Lorde were to have a music baby, it would be Amy Shark. I said it in my review and I’ll keep saying it until you guys finally start listening to her. Love Monster is easily my favorite album of the year so far, especially with amazing songs like “Adore,” “I Said Hi,” “Psycho,” “Mess Her Up,” and “You Think I Think I Sound Like God.” After falling head over heels with her album, I checked out her older stuff. Prior to releasing Love Monster, Amy had released two singles (“Spits On Girls” and “Golden Fleece”) and an EP called Night Thinker. Naturally, I fell in love with all those songs too. Again, I reiterate, Amy Shark is a remarkable talent and a bonafide jewel in the alternative pop world. If you haven’t given her a shot yet, now is the perfect time. (Also, I’m dying to see her live.)
What music were you listening to in September? Let me know in the comments!