Hello, my name is Alexzandria “Alex” Martinez. This is a weekly column that will consist of my personal picks of albums and songs. I will discuss artists/bands that aren’t widely known, specifically artists who are making their name in the music industry. This is a list of my picks from last week.
Quick album reviews:
- Snail Mail's "Valentine"
After listening to “Valentine” in its entirety, I sat at my desk for a few minutes of silence, trying to process my thoughts on how Snail Mail could capture the essence of a breakup that and make me feel as if I had just gone through this painful experience. Lindsey Jordan — the artist behind Snail Mail — brings you along in this whirlwind of a romance. It’s rare that an artist can invoke this type of emotion and have these cinematic events playing through my head as I listen. It’s impressive enough to say that this album captures the adolescent love story trope. The ideas range from losing self control to taking the responsibility; it ties into coming out of the chaos. The production has its moments, but it’s not perfect. The imperfections with the hooks, tones and messy vocals, comes into play with the story in the album “Valentine” and mocks the puppy love concept and embraces the failure. This will be one of my top albums of the year, a sweet and intense listen. The hype around the album is well-deserved.
Stand Out Tracks: "Forever (Sailing)," "Valentine," "Mia," "Glory," "Madonna"
- Courtney Barnett's "Things Take Time, Take Time"
The Melbourne-based artist is back with an album inspired by quarantine. Barnett can find the positive in the mundane. The tracks are short, sweet and straightforward. Barnett embraces her lack of productivity and how she slowed down because of the current state of the world. In the darkest of times, Barnett can find a glimpse of happiness. An example is the humorous title for her album. The highlight of the album for me is “Oh The Night," the closing track that feels like a hug after a long and stressful day. “Things Take Time, Take Time” ignores the culture of always on the go and moves in a direction of finding solitude with what you have.
Stand Out Tracks: "Before You Gotta Go," "Oh The Night," "Rae Street," "Here’s The Thing"
- Beach House's "Once Twice Melody: Part One"
The dream pop band released four new singles in their segment of "Chapters," the title of their latest project has the classic fairytale lettering on the cover of their upcoming album. Each track details the fairytale nature that people rely on in their lives and how it often backfires. The standout track is “Superstar” which talks about how people who often put their lover on a pedestal and the consequences of this. Beach House is a band that rarely disappoints and these new tracks are comparative to their earlier work. “Part One” is a breath of fresh air and offers their typical Beach House vivid listening experience.
- Chastity Belt's "Fear"
The all-girl band from Seattle, Washington, released a new single for their upcoming fifth album. Their previous work was much more subtle and focused more on the lyrics rather than the noisy garage production. “Fear” goes back to their roots with sophistication and in a tightness of quality. “Fear” brings in the notion of how often we don’t trust ourselves, but it could be all in our heads. It’s a calming track and pulls you in right away.
- Mitski's "The Only Heartbreaker"
Mitski released a single with an 80s inspired sound and the classic playing love like a game trope. It’s one of her most easily listenable tracks in her discography. The simplicity of lyrics and the familiar sound are engaging enough to be put on the radar. Mitski fans won’t be let down with this one.
This week's picks are mostly relaxing and feature women in the indie rock scene. There are a lot of anticipated albums towards the end of the year. I highly recommend checking out “Valentine," the highlight of the week.
Follow Alexzandria Martinez on Twitter
Alexzandria (She/Her) is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in psychology. She loves writing about music and playing guitar. In her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her sisters.