Category Archives: music

PCP: Without Warning

Monotony Monday #27 – More Mainstream

Without Warning Works Without Waning

The short of it: A short tape (is it really an album?) with sure hits. 

Note: This is link is probably going to go down soon. It’s a Google away anyway. 

Look, all I can really say is I audibly moaned at the harmonies on “Rap Saved Me.”

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PCP: William Fitzsimmons

Monotony Monday #25 – More Melon-choly

Sweet as a Persimmon, Full of Emotional Dig Ins

The short of it: He’s got a voice like a flower dying in the growing cold and lyrics much better than that simile. 

I originally discovered William Fitzsimmons through an old site that was the equivalent to StumbleUpon for indie music. The first track I heard was his cover of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” (acoustic covers of pop/hit songs was still a fresh idea at the time).
It was delightful and I gave it a heart or scrobble or whatever, meaning more of his stuff popped up in my feed. This led to some new favorites and a whole new way to complement my teen melancholy.
The entire album, that cover aside, is just beautiful. Derivatives is a weird place to start with Fitzsimmons, being that it’s remixes and redos. Fitzsimmons has this incredibly personal method of storytelling, allowing his breathy, gentle voice to trail on these vulnerable moments as the songs either build to a crescendo or fall into an echo.
But that doesn’t mean Derivatives isn’t a great start anyway. “You Still Hurt Me” is probably the biggest winner, and it’s the most indicative of his style.
Of course, “Goodmorning (Pink Ganter Remix)” offers a genuinely good way to wake up with this catchy little synth under Fitzsimmons’ gentle voice.
But like I said, there’s a lot of pain and hurt in his songs. The album Goodnight, from front to back, is all songs for feeling worse in all the right ways. “Everything Has Changed” creates this pit in your heart for a family you’ll never know and that Fitzsimmons will never see again. “You Broke My Heart” forces you to follow the cracks that follow a broken family.
I think I need to go lay down in the shower after revisiting all of this.

 

PCP: Bang Bang

Monotony Monday #24 – More Memories

Bang Bang for Your Buck

The short of it: It’s just a dope track with a sweet sample. 

Young Buck’s life has been pretty rough the past few years. IRS raids, shootings, prison, and property auctions are just a few of the hardships he’s faced.

That list doesn’t even include his exile from and eventual rejoining of G-Unit. Of course, that’s a whole issue besides the beef– he’s a dude best known for being a part of 50 Cent’s crew. He isn’t a well-known name anymore in today’s waves of Soundcloud and social media rappers, and, for the most part, he’s a forgotten part of the early aughts scene.

And it’s a damn shame because he made some dope music.

The sample of Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” makes a beautiful hook and those little strings just make this track hit that sweet, moody spot. Buck delivers with this serious, unhappy tone that compliments the almost sad brags that make up the reality of a life that can end with a single bang.

PCP: rockstar

Monotony Monday #22 – Malone Moan

‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars  And live in hilltop houses, drivin’ 15 cars

The short of it: Post Malone’s sing-songy success works with Savage’s savage sonnets.

I’m not the biggest fan of Post Malone or 21 Savage, although I’ve definitely come around on Savage after his cold delivery finally clicked with me.

So when this track dropped, I clicked on it out of idle curiosity at best.

And damn.

These two young stars are, well, rockstars. Post Malone’s faded, singiness on the hook is catchy as hell and serves as a perfect lead-in to 21 Savage’s follow up. While he may have gotten famous off of his flat, cold delivery, he does a brilliant job replicating Malone’s melody. It makes his braggadocious verse just the right amount of coy and threatening.

PCP: Before the Storm OST

Monotony Monday #21 – Moody Maybae

Life is Strange, Music is Strong

The short of it: Capable of bringing your heart to its knees with just a chord, this soundtrack is hella good.

I’m not shy about the fact that Life is Strange is my favorite game (or that Dark Souls is my second). Life is Strange brought me on this incredible journey of love and loss with the single question of “If you could go back, would you?”

Before the Storm continues its atmosphere, with teens facing these problems so much larger than themselves, while dealing with all the social and emotional pressures of becoming an adult.

Daughter is wonderful. They were great on the original Life is Strange as part of the soundtrack, and their work with Before the Storm as the soundtrack is amazing.

From Daughter’s ambient title screen track to the kickass (but fictional) Pisshead, this soundtrack is damn near impeccable. It perfectly recreates the atmospheric moodiness of the original while adding in a bit of a punk edge for Chloe.

I can’t tell if it’s a good thing or not that this music instantly puts me into this weird funk, but it’s not gonna stop me from having it on a (time) loop.

PCP: Joyce Manor

Monotony Monday #20 – Maybe Manor

Ode to Joyce

The short of it: Well, they are the short of it.

Joyce Manor is an emo indie rock outfit with four albums under their belt, giving them a total run time of about 80 minutes. Every album ends up just around 20 minutes, meaning they managed to cram a whole lot of music in a surprisingly small amount of time.

The result is a discography full of songs as catchy as they are short. None of them ever overstay their welcome, even if a few end suddenly. “Heart Tattoo” off their third album is pretty decent example of what to expect: a frantic instrumental with a passionate poem, with a crazy catchy chorus to infect the listener in the song’s brief runtime.

Punchy and poignant, they manage to balance a good amount of emotions in their little runtime. From the nostalgic melancholy (“In the Army Now”) to melancholic nostalgia (“Beach Community”).

Simply put, they’re a joy.

Ce manor.

PCP: “Mononokay”

Mononotony Monday #15 – Monono More Like Moyesyes

Sorority Noise is More Than Noise

The short of it: A song made me feel again, okay?

There’s a lot I want to say about Sorority Noise. They’ve quickly raced past the likes of The Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball to become my favorite emo/pop punk-y band, and, by extension, one of my favorite musical acts in general.

At first listen, I thought they were another annoying indie-lite band with nonsensical lyrics, thanks to Pandora’s recommendation of “Dirty Ickes” (“I taught myself Norse to sit on your front porch” – I mean, c’mon).

I eventually got others like “Where Are You?” and “Blonde Hair, Black Lungs,” which quickly won me over with their mix of melody and edge. I was planning to write about “Where Are You?” because of how accessible and catchy it is. Instead, I mentally pushed myself into writing about the song that nearly broke me.

I mean, shit man. That’s the first time in a long time a song’s actually stopped me in my tracks and consider myself.

What does it mean to be happy?
And am I getting better?
I used to make excuses for myself but it’s not the weather
I’ve tried to rid myself of my anxious tendencies
But I have to accept my head for what it is to me
I’m not super human
Well I’m barely alive
But I would kill to leave my house and not be afraid of the outside
So I started thinking
It’d be so nice
To not have trouble sleeping
I haven’t slept in nights

Cameron Boucher’s monotone confession is the same monologue I’ve had when it’s too late and I’ve done too much thinking.

Plus, I’m basically the same person.

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PCP: “Too Old to Die Young”

Monotony Monday #14 – Mais Yeh

The Dege Ain’t Silent

The short of it: It’s one song, come on now.

Maybe it’s because I just finished binging season one of True Detective (guess what Imma gush about Wednesday) and I’m feeling hyper-nostalgic, but man, Louisiana is cool. And so is Lafayette.

I originally heard this song on the Django Unchained soundtrack and loved it on first listen. It wasn’t until I looked it up later and saw the video being filmed in my very own hometown.

The mixture of modern Delta blues and the Acadiana crowd makes this a beautiful celebration of how my home is full of culture and art. I’ve always done a double-take at anyone speaking ill of Southern attitudes towards art, and this just reaffirms how silly of a stereotype that is– and how silly all stereotypes are.

More pride (and horror) for my home coming in a few days. For now, Imma just revel in the beauty.

PCP: “Kill Jay Z”

Monotony Monday #12 – Made Man Makes More

“Kill Jay Z,” or the Death of Stale Z

The short of it: In the opening track of his latest album, Jay-Z manages to shake off the rust of years of success to share his pain. 

Despite all the uncertainty around his name (Jay Z, or Jay-Z, or JAY Z), his status as one of the greats is certain.

Unfortunately, his past string of features and singles have all been pretty lackluster. Dated references and weak brags made him more of a track liability than a legend.

It’s been a shame having to hear him go through these stale bars, knowing his distinctive sound is going to waste. He’s got that voice that sounds like it’s always on the cusp of laughing or crying– and after hearing his laugh, I tend to hope it’s crying.

But finally, here his crescendoed enunciation becomes this great conveyor of decades of emotional stress.

Upon seeing the title, I wrote this track off as being some other braggadocios cut from Watch The Throne, another, “I’m rich / they tried to kill me / never gonna scratch that itch” track that’s turned Jay incredibly boring. But instead, it’s about killing his ego. And it’s the opposite of WTT– it’s the loss of Ye and Jay over the success that’s now become a burden. It’s about the personal and public mistakes Jay’s made without addressing. It’s a lifetime of pain hidden by mainstream success that he’s finally facing head on.

Cry Jay Z, we know the pain is real / But you can’t heal what you never reveal

And these lines are for real. There’s no joking about Bey’s album or about any of his problems with the Knowles. As Anthony Fantano put it in his review, he effectively drags himself through the coals the entire song. It’s this mix of self-flagellation and recognition that he must open up to heal. It’s not pity, it’s reclamation. He’s taking credit for his mistakes and personal life, stepping up to the figure revealed by Lemonade and paparazzi. I’m not sure I can think of any other song like this. Sure, Boosie’s got his songs about his mistakes, Gates tried to clear the air about his assault case (and failed, hard, despite the fact the song bangs), Ye gets vulnerable and defends his actions, but none of them accept their failures so openly and honestly. For Jay, this seems like new ground, a sign of the softening he’s gone through as a father.

If this is killing Jay Z, then let’s hope there’s a spree.