🎶 Notes on Notes (2021–04–07)

High-dive into frozen waves where the past comes back to life.

When I started writing these notes I had ambitions of stringing together all of the music into some overarching story. I quickly abandoned this because it was impossible but every now and then the new singles and albums will align into an obvious coherent theme. Not this week, though… but sometimes. This week we cover multiple genres of music without straying too far from what you’ve likely come to expect.

👀 Goings On About Music

Let us take a look at some new(ish) albums and singles…

💿 Albums

  • Ben Howard - Collections From The Whiteout ( Apple | Spotify )

    • One of the tensions I try to resolve in writing these notes is the balance between music that I like that is popular and music that is less popular. I know when Weezer puts out their hair metal-inspired album I’m going to want to write about it. If Incubus or Metallica ever put out new music I’ll be similarly tempted to write about it. But do you need that? Does anyone need to know that there’s a new Foo Fighters album? Probably not - you’ll certainly hear about it. Ben Howard isn’t (I think) on that level but he’s certainly more popular than some of the other artists I’ve written about and for that reason I wasn’t sure if it was worth highlighting their new album. Such is the tension - if I like the album but think it’s well-known enough, is it worth including? Regardless, I haven’t left myself much space to actually describe the album. It’s comfortably in the singer/songwriter category even if almost every song at least starts with a bit of potential to be more fleshed out with some digital/electronic sounds before settling back into a more traditional acoustic guitar + singing recipe. I still enjoyed listening to this album while I was working.

  • Foxes - Friends In the Corner ( Apple | Spotify )

    • Back in December I included the song Hollywood from Foxes in a note and wondered if new music was on the way. Well it was and it’s here now. After my first listen I might have said that this album isn’t as energetic as the release in 2016 that first brought Foxes to my attention, but now after another listen or two I’m not so sure. There are a couple tracks where the tempo ramps up but overall all it’s just differently energetic. It doesn’t seem like she’s chasing the Zedd crowd anymore - there’s a bit more space for her singing to overtake the music but you’ll still be tapping your toes. I hesitate to make the comparison because I don’t need her fans to catch wind of this and cyber bully me, but there were more than a few times that I got a Lady Gaga vibe from her singing.

🎵 Tracks

  • Braids - Slayer Moon

    • Surely you would forgive someone for missing a new release in 2020, right? What about 2019 and 2018? Maybe less forgiving? When I saw this single from Braids I thought it was their first new music in years but it seems they’re one of the many bands that slipped through the cracks of my music bedrock over the last 4–5 years. Not only have they consistently released singles since their 2015 album Deep In The Iris, but they put out a full album last year (Shadow Offering). Despite all of that, I was happy to see this single this week. At times, the (great) vocals shine through the music and at other times their synth-heavy music takes centre stage. It works.

  • Royal Blood - Limbo

    • Aside from it being two dudes in band, I never really got the comparison between Death From Above 1979 and Royal Blood but when I saw a new single from them I was excited to be able to make a connection with last week’s note. After listening I realized that Royal Blood had nixed that opportunity by shifting the sound of the music to something more in line with the tracks from Muse during the period when they were transitioning from a standard rock band to a more electronic-influenced rock-ish band. I’m ok with this, by the way. It’s a bit dancier than their previous music and the vocal range gets tested a bit compared to earlier songs but still makes for a good track.

  • Maisie Peters - John Hughes Movie (Oliver Nelson Remix)

    • I’ll attribute a lot of this to headphones and late-night listening but the quick, racing bass and chopped-up-vocals-as-a-rhythm-instrument were more than enough for this unashamedly pop track to stick with me all week. I could name a half-dozen John Hughes movies that I’ve never seen but they’re enough of a part of the fabric of pop culture that even I could understand the references being not-so-subtly mentioned in the song.

🎧 In My Queue

I’m positive I heard this Arkells song before hockey game (which seems to be their target audience recently) but I did not know about the K. Flay collaboration! Easy recommendation… The Crown Lands track has that same appeal that bands like Greta Van Fleet or The Sheepdogs have where it’s enough of a nod to a previous era of music without sounding like a complete rip-off that it could grab your attention… I don’t know enough about the music scene in between Toronto and Vancouver to know if the low-key pop scene is booming or if this is just a coincidence, but if you liked that Madisyn Gifford track from a few weeks ago then you’ll probably be up for this track from Tate McRae… The mehro track gets included if only because I didn’t fit in their album (SKY ON FIRE) but really liked the previously noted song (chance with you) and wanted to remind you to circle back if you liked it… and, as usual, songs from the singles and albums noted above.

  1. Arkells & K.Flay - You Can Get It

  2. Maisie Peters - John Hughes Movie (Oliver Nelson Remix)

  3. Braids - Slayer Moon

  4. Royal Blood - Limbo

  5. Crown Lands - Right Way Back

  6. Tate McRae - bad ones

  7. Foxes - Friends In the Corner

  8. Ben Howard - Follies Fixture

  9. mehro - hideous

Subscribe to the In My Queue playlist on Apple Music or Spotify. It’s updated weekly with the new tracks.

Check out my profile Apple Music or Spotify for links to the playlists from previous weeks.