🎶 Notes on Notes (2021–05–12)

Present company excluded every time.

In an unreleased podcast (👀👀👀) with my music-newsletter-writing colleague we discussed what we do with bands that we loved but who go on to put out a string of duds. We came to the conclusion that the road forks in two paths - you’re either going to take a fool me once approach and just ignore them past a certain point or you’re going to be a forever fan and will listen (at least once) to any new music. We can circle back to this because it turns out that the forked road may unfork itself.

👀 Goings On About Music

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

💿 Albums

  • Weezer - Van Weezer ( Apple | Spotify )

    • I’ve written this opening line a dozen times and I’ve given up trying to find a way to eloquently make my point. Weezer is at the point in their career where they can do whatever they want but they do this in a way that is unlike many other bands. They aren’t chasing some groundbreaking new sound, they’re not trying to re-invent themselves, they’re not just re-releasing the same album over and over again, and they’re not trying to win a Grammy or prove their artistic merit… they’re seem like they’re just putting out whatever they want while being undeterred by bad reviews or angry fans. It’s kind of impressive. Circling back to the fork in the road, after Make Believe I didn’t really listen to any Weezer album until their Teal album - a total of six albums spanning 14 years - and then I started giving them a chance again. I chose both paths. Van Weezer is interesting, though. It’s very much a Weezer sounding album but it’s also got riffs and musical stylings of insert-any-metal-band from the 70s and 80s. It’s fun. It’s very low stakes. There’s something admirable about wanting to make an entire album paying homage to some of your musical influences when there’s zero chance of it being noteworthy in the music world. Purely just something they wanted to do and did it.

  • Squid - Bright Green Field ( Apple | Spotify )

    • I’ve written before about being a vocalist snob. Otherwise good music is ruined for me because I can’t get past the vocals. Absolutely related to this - and for reasons I can’t quite remember - I’ve been listening to a lot of LCD Soundsystem lately. They were a band I originally wrote off because of the singing but eventually came around to. That is likely the sole reason I was able to get past - and even like! - the vocals from Squid and focus on the VERY enjoyable music that backs them. The sound and style of the vocals in Squid are very reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem. A lot of the tracks, at least on the surface, may seem like fairly standard indie brit rock with quick beats and chopped up riffs but if you really pay attention there is a lot going on… and beyond that, other tracks just wander off into a big mix of ambient, noise, jazz(?), post rock, and all kinds of other influences that I’m sure someone with a better ear than me could pick out.

🎵 Tracks

  • Lights - Beside Myself

    • Speaking of artists I’ll always listen to when I see new music, Lights has a new single. Following up their EP with MYTH this single starts off much slower than that EP (and much of their previous work) but ramps up mid-song to be more like what you’ve come to expect from Lights… perhaps a bit less bleeps and bloops, but still upbeat and begging you to sing along.

  • daysormay - The Trend

    • This song starts off like the royalty-free music you would hear in a YouTube video but it is very much not that. Sort of like an indie pop rock band but not quite. The music and vocals on this track were interesting. There were more than a handful of moments where I said to myself, “Oh it’s going to be a <insert genre> kind of song” and it always went in another direction. I’m going to have to explore some more of their music to see what I can find because this was interesting.

  • Donovan Woods & Aoife O’Donovan - IOWA

    • Would have been a lot cooler if Aoife’s first name was Woods! In the short time I’ve been listening to Donovan Woods, I’ve become very accustomed to hearing his voice solo alongside the strummed or plucked strings of an acoustic guitar so it was a bit of a shock to hear it harmonizing with someone else’s voice on this track. Other than that, it still sounds like a Donovan Woods song in all the best possible ways.

🎧 In My Queue

I almost included the Field Music album in the review but opted for some newer albums. It’s a nice laid back folksy rock track (and album)… the I Know Where You Live track was a fun listen. I’ve got a soft spot for electronic music that has a bit of a dark edgy sound to it… and, as usual, songs from the singles and albums noted above.

  1. Weezer - The End of the Game

  2. Field Music - Do Me a Favour

  3. Squid - Peel St.

  4. Lights - Beside Myself

  5. Donovan Woods & Aoife O’Donovan - IOWA

  6. daysormay - The Trend

  7. I Know Where You Live - Cape Life

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.