Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko Atlantic Records, 2018 Breathe her in Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album dropped March 30. I’ve been vaguely aware of her for a long time, knew she was an actress but haven’t seen her work, knew she was a singer but haven’t heard her music. It’s mostly because my tastes just don’t lean this way, so please keep this in mind here. She said on Facebook: MY DEBUT ALBUM. OUT NOW EVERYWHERE. Promise […] Continue »
Steve Aoki’s new EP 5OKI dropped April 27. I’m only getting to it now because I’m pretty clueless about EDM. Tracks Anthem (featuring Kriss Kiss); Hardwell and Steve Aoki (2:43) Mayhem; Steve Aoki & Quintino (2:37) It’s Time (featuring Bruce Buffer); Steve Aoki & Laidback Luke (3:18) Pika Pika; Steve Aoki & LOOPERS (2:24) Moshi Moshi (featuring Mama Aoki); Steve Aoki & Vini Vici (4:17) Thoughts If my look-back at the Jets last week didn’t convict […] Continue »
I was a junior in high school when the Jets hit the pop FM stations in my town. Pop radio was different in the mid 1980s. Pop was still pop—generally speaking, music aimed at mass (typically young) audiences, usually less challenging versions of various genres whose goal was accessibility more than artistry—but on a good top 40 station, you were likely to hear Def Leppard (pop metal), the Fat Boys (pop rap), Kenny Rogers (pop […] Continue »
Melding by Marika Takeuchi Bigo and Twigetti, 2018 Dawning Marika Takeuchi’s new album Melding dropped July 19. I first discovered her three years ago when she crowdfunded her fourth studio album, Colors in the Diary, while I looked for something interesting on PledgeMusic. I love how that sometimes happens; the crowdfunding platforms are such a great way to get into something new. “This is a mixture of classical and electronic music, eastern and western influences,” she says […] Continue »
Strawberry Moon by Amy Vachal (Independent, 2018) I’ve waited too long, baby Until a few weeks ago, the only thing I knew about Amy Vachal was that she was a contestant on The Voice, a show I hate. Don’t be mad. I just think these singer contest shows on network television seek musicians who appeal to very large audiences, and if something appeals to the masses, it is most likely bland, unoriginal, boring, or crap. Am […] Continue »
Before we knew it, we were flying Amy Ahn’s three-song EP dropped June 1. The classical harpist with harp performance degrees from UCLA and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee blends genres in a poppy-jazzy-r&b style. In an interview with & Strings, she says, If I’m going through something and feel like there are truths that need to be heard in this world, I like putting it in the form of a song. I put together […] Continue »
In the Waiting by Kina Grannis KG Records (2018) There was a time when there seemed to be something new to talk about from Kina Grannis just about every week. While she has remained engaged with her rabid fanbase on seemingly a daily basis, these last few years have seemed pretty close to event-free. So it was something of a surprise when her new album, In the Waiting, was finally available for preorders, despite regular […] Continue »
It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart Marié Digby released an album of pop covers this week. I’m pretty sure these were all recorded before and are only collected and put into sequence here for the first time. I just released an albums worth of my favorite pop covers I’ve recorded over the years! If you’d like to listen, you can check it out here 🙂 https://t.co/MdcglJIeTa — Marie Digby (@mariedigby) June […] Continue »
Young Fina: slanty-eyed dreama This is the summer of Awkwafina. The New York rapper’s new movie Ocean’s 8 is a hit, and her next film Crazy Rich Asians is expected to blow up in August. With all the “Who’s Awkwafina?” buzz I’ve been hearing in film reviews, I didn’t notice until the other day that she released a new EP right when Ocean’s 8 hit the screen. This is what she says on her website. To whom it […] Continue »
Elemental by Taimane independent, 2018 What’s your label? Taimane Gardner’s new album dropped last week. Elemental is a mostly instrumental blending of many styles, as one would expect from this ukulele virtuoso. Her FB bio says, Taimane translates to “diamond” from Samoan and perfectly reflects the different facets of her nature. Whether delicately finger-picking through Bach or radically ripping through Led Zeppelin, Taimane has the ability to morph genres – from classical to rock to flamenco […] Continue »
Noise Floor by Spock’s Beard 2018, InsideOut Music It’s always good to see your face my friend I guess I’ll get the 8A angle out of the way first and say that Spock’s Beard is a four-person progressive rock band from California with a Japanese keyboard player named Ryo Okumoto. Spock’s Beard released its thirteenth studio album on May 25, the same day Meiko dropped her beautiful covers album. It’s the first of the band’s […] Continue »
Playing Favorites (2018) by Meiko Chesky Records Everything I do depends on you Yes, I know I just reviewed a Meiko single six weeks ago. I didn’t know back then that Meiko’s album would be out this early in the summer. But I am neither complaining nor apologizing, because people: this album is really good. Meiko says: I’m really proud of how it came out. It’s an album full of cover songs that I grew […] Continue »
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