Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Picks of the Week 5/2/18


Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever

This article previously appeared on Crossfader

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Hair Jordan

Hair Jordan – DARKNESS

Genre: Emo Hip Hop

Favorite Tracks: “Hard to Love,” “Go to Sleep,” “Hollow,” “Therapist”

Emo rapper Hair Jordan offers a voyage into trap with a hard stamp on emotion with his debut, DARKNESS. The overall mood sits in a big dark hole, abandoned by friends and loved ones, with a confident cry for help for anyone to relate. Unlike his other releases, DARKNESS is largely driven by acoustic guitar rather than solely trap and electronic production. “Hard to Love” is one of the most sentimental tracks he’s ever released, honestly sung and gasping for air as he leaves in emotional breaths, sculpting the sympathy for his isolated turmoil. Usually inspired by crunkcore and intense trap explosions, Hair Jordan finally sounds serious and polished. While the two are vastly different in musical style, the piano ballad “Am I the Only One?” is carefully phrased and emotionally equal to the uselessness expressed on the acoustic “Damaged Goods.” The former features a trap beat and Auto-Tuned vocals about those isolated from love, whereas the latter is a driven pop rock ballad sprinkled with piano in the chorus. His distinguished vocal style is guided by distortion and fuzz to characterize himself as the grimmest human around, complete with audible sniffles and heavy breaths. The chorus of “Hollow” is one of the most pleasing and poppy songs he’s conjured up, with dazzling synths that bounce with an unstable blood pressure. His rapping capabilities stand out on “Good Luck Replacing Me,” featuring a pent-up, hateful energy that isn’t searching the depths of his soul for more somber messages.  Hair Jordan’s DARKNESS is a mature debut release, something that could have been utterly empty, but manages to encompass a fun and catchy emo perspective. Check it out on Bandcamp. [Nikki Reifler]

Bandcamp Picks of the Week Spielbergs

Spielbergs – DISTANT STAR EP

Genre: Noise Pop

Favorite Tracks: “We Are All Going To Die,” “Distant Star,” “Setting Sun”

Look, I’m gonna level with you: this Spielbergs EP, DISTANT STAR, is extremely my shit. The notes in these five songs contain a decade’s worth of tears in beers, high-fiving in dive bars, and fist pumping in mosh pits. With the earnestness of Japandroids and the fury of early Superchunk, Spielbergs’ debut is a fully realized collection of songs made by musicians who have been around the block a few times with little success. And this thing scratches all the itches. A headbang-through-the-sadness youth anthem? “We Are All Going to Die.” A tumbling downhill celebratory nod of acceptance? “Daisy! It’s the New Me.” A cold and whirring downtempo eight-minute track that builds into a disorienting guitar finale? “Ghost Boy.” A feel good sing-along? “Distant Star.” A spacy ballad to accompany the lights turning on during last call? “Setting Sun.” You’ve heard Spielbergs in some form or another before, and if you liked the bands that came before them, you’re gonna fucking love the jubilant yet forlorn sound of DISTANT STAR. The fact that some high schooler out there that’s maybe never heard Titus Andronicus, No Age, or Beach Slang before is going to have these five songs to soundtrack the next few confusing years of his or her life delights me to no end. Spielbergs captured something special and, sucker for it or not, I’m glad they did. Give it a listen over on Bandcamp. [CJ Simonson]


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