September: Swift, Silent, Deathly
Thanks for checking out this installment of Search/Play/Repeat. If you didn't see, I skipped last month's playlist, so this playlist is actually from the past two months. This resulted in a pretty bizarre playlist that covers a lot of genres. I'm also getting this up later than intended simply because the news cycle's been a whirlwind lately, so I've been a little distracted. Let's hop into it!
There were a few artists on this playlist that I listened to more than one album from, but I prefer keeping it to one song from each artist. It got difficult trying to whittle it down to one track from Zeal & Ardor. Zeal & Ardor is a band that I'd been seeing getting a lot of praise and attention from friends of mine. They had recently released a new song, and I had decided to finally check them out and it's great. It's a combination of Black Metal and Southern Spirituals that is self-described as, "what if American slaves had embraced Satan instead of Jesus?" I listened to both of their albums, Devil is Fine and Stranger Fruit, back-to-back and bought their first record that same night. Another artist I gave more than one album a spin from is Ho99o9. This is another band I've been seeing brought up a lot from a friend of mine and has been speaking highly of. They're a blend of Hardcore-Punk and Hip-Hop. It could seem jarring to be rapping one moment and then the next song is just straight thrash-metal, but they make it work.
Back with a new album in 8 years is Death by Stereo, and I couldn't be happier with their release, We're All Dying Just in Time. Death by Stereo is an important band to me and one of those bands that I've lost count of how many times i've seen live with my first being their Day of the Death record release. They've gone through so many line-up changes and gave a taste of their collaboration with an EP back in 2016. This is their first full length with their current line-up, and it's one of their best. The album has a re-recorded version of "I Sing For You" from their 2009 release, Death is my Only Friend, with a much better mix and performances in my opinion. They even get a little experimental with their final track "We Sing They Die" that sounds like if DBS had asked for input from Danny Elfman.
It's not all Metal and Hardcore-Punk. Orville Peck released a new EP entitled, Show Pony, with a really great cover of Bobbie Gentry's, "Fancy," which I was very familiar with from Rebe McEntire's version in the 90s since Pop-Country was all my mom listened to when I was a kid. Gave Taylor Swift's surprise album, Folklore, a listen as well. I don't dabble in Pop often, but I was curious after all the hype. Earlier in the month of September, Toots Hibbert passed away due to complications from Covid. Admittedly I had never heard the name and wasn't familiar with any of his music. I put on Funky Kingston and really enjoyed it and will definitely be checking out more.
Before September came to an end (only by hours on the West Coast), Laura Jane Grace surprise released her new solo album, Stay Alive. It's some of the most intimate sounding songs she's released. A friend of mine's son said it sounded like lullabies and I've gotta say he's not far off. It was exactly the kind of album I've been looking for to calm my nerves and it's a contender for my top 5 of the year. Rounding out the playlist is a track from Bright Eyes' new album. I was really looking forward to Bright Eyes' reunion album, but it didn't quite click as much as I was hoping. I need some more time with it. I wasn't into Cassadaga when it was first released, but I've come around since. I will say that Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was does have my favorite album cover of the year so far.
That's just a few things I've listened to over the past couple of months. Like I pointed out in my last post, I've been brushing up on earlier releases from the year. I'm going to be taking a vacation soon, so I hope to listen to more music this month. Thanks for checking in! If you're in the U.S., there's an important election coming up, so please be sure to vote! If you need information on deadlines, voter status, or whatever: https://www.usvotefoundation.org/
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