Staff Pixx 10/1
Looking for new tunes? The Music Staff submits their favorite songs of each week for the Staff Pixx radio show. If you can’t tune in Tuesdays at 6pm, check in to the Milk Crate home page for a full playlist, along with notes from each of our writers!
Snickersee by Thee Oh Sees
In the latest of a long line of experimental albums, Thee Oh Sees once again indicates their ability to completely reinvent their sound while still sounding wholly like themselves. ‘Face Stabber’ blends countless genres into a progressive series of jams with a feeling of just-under-the-surface anxiety, and I kind of can’t stop listening to it. This song displays the quintessential sound of a band that continues to make good, new music, even after almost two decades of playing.
Click (feat. Kim Petras and Tommy Cash) by Charli XCX
A highlight from her long-awaited third studio album, “Click” shows Charli XCX at her absolute best. Co-produced by Umru and 100 Gecs’ Dylan Brady, the song is a maximalist pop banger that sounds like it came out of a time machine from 3019. With fantastic guest verses from Kim Petras and Tommy Cash and an ear-shattering outro full of abrasive synths and impossibly distorted beats, the track is yet another example of why Charli XCX is one of pop’s most exciting artists.
At the Back of the Pit by Bonnie “Prince” Billy
Will Oldham, a longtime proprietor of freak-folk and alternative country, finds hope at the end of the world on “At the Back of the Pit.” Alternating between swelling saxophone-led verses and romping honky-tonk choruses, he warns of a hole in the backyard, “a dark place to be if and when the bombs hit.” Master of dichotomy and contrast, Oldham’s brooding lyrics take uneasy steps as they dance with the sliding guitars and major chords. “Yes, between you and me, we’ve got a repopulation kit,” he sings in the waning moments of the track. “The world will rise again, from the back of the pit.”
Doin’ Time by Lana Del Rey
For her new album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, Lana Del Rey covered Sublime’s “Doin’ Time” and totally remade it to sound her own in typical Lana Del Rey fashion. It has over 50 million streams on Spotify alone. Between the reverb used on her vocals and more articulated percussion that was added in, listeners are able to hear a completely new version of the track. This cover really set the tone for the album before it was out.
Best Life by Danny Brown
Detroit rapper Danny Brown sidesteps the gritty, experimental sound of 2016’s steller, yet slightly esoteric, ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ on the second single for his fifth studio album, “uknowhatimsayin¿.” “Best Life” is a soulful ode to better days. Producer Q-Tip, of A Tribe Called Quest fame, pairs Brown’s unique vocals with a groovy Tommy Mcgee sample to make for an exciting preview for what is to come on the upcoming album.
This Swirling by Frankie Cosmos
The last song off of their newly released album, “Close It Quietly”, Greta Kline sings about what it feels like to spiral. With wordplay and repetition, this song works to create what it sounds like to have your heart in your stomach. It doesn’t mince words, we hear the fear and the vulnerability that seems to overflow through not only the words but with the instruments. A perfect song to end this album, it wraps a bow to the outpouring of feeling that this album conveys so personally.
Love Without Possession by Mount Eerie and Julie Doiron
“Love Without Possession” is a gorgeous meditation on love and a huge conceptual shift from Mount Eerie’s recent autobiographical albums A Crow Looked at Me (2018) and Now Only (2019). In typical Mount Eerie fashion, the song is minimalist and low-fi. Each instrument from the softly strummed acoustic to the humming accordion serves as a beautiful backdrop to Phil Elverum and Doiron’s soft harmonies. Especially after a two-album period of intense mourning, it’s reassuring to hear Elverum reflecting so earnestly on the power of love.
Denim Jacket by Sammy Rae
Sammy Rae’s latest release, “Denim Jacket” exudes soul, funk and jazz undertones, exhibiting Rae’s habituated tendency to highlight mundane, everyday occurrences in all of her music. In the tune, she belts to walk her listeners through instances where she feels prone to anxiety attacks and exalts her denim jacket as a “bulletproof” safety blanket and safe haven of sorts. Rae follows a call-and-response format between her vocals, the brass section, and her backup singers to accentuate the magnitude of comfort and style her denim jacket provides.
Partita No. 2 in D Minor - Allemanda by Daniel Pioro / J.S. Bach
On the first release from Jonny Greenwood’s new label Octatonic, Daniel Pioro breathes life back into a work from Bach that I had never heard, yet loved immediately upon listening. Comprised of nothing but a single violin, Pioro’s technicality nevertheless captures the attention of the listener for the entirety of the partita, a mere 26 minutes of crisply produced classical music, spearheaded by one of the masterminds behind Radiohead.
Under Pressure by Leslie Odom Jr.
Leslie Odom Jr. dives deep into the emotional turmoil that comes with success in his new single “Under Pressure”. The Grammy-winning actor changes lanes a bit from his traditional jazz base in his previous self titled album, “ Leslie Odom Jr.” to a more raw R&B style. His new album is expected to drop this November.
Fishing by Sports Team
Still yet to release a full-length LP, London six-piece Sports Team is making a valiant effort to loop people in—and with singles like this one, it’s working. Belting out his signature, gritty vocals, Alex Rice catapults himself back and forth with severe aggression, backed by a methodic bashing of keys. As he describes a chaotic series of events, from fishing at the Thames to throwing punches, it amounts to something that would be a blast live. Needless to say, Sports Team has mastered the guitar band formula.
That’s it for this week! Be sure to tune in to Staff Pixx on Saturdays 5-7pm for our weekly Music News show!