Hayden – Hey Love
Canadian indie darling Hayden hails from the same post-development suburb as me– good old Thornhill. This is information I didn’t previously know, but it is information that makes me love him a lot more. Well, this guy’s got a lot of albums, and Hey Love is his first release since 2013. The beautiful Hey Love’s got themes of love and heartbreak (as most successful indie rock albums do), and is a slow and easy listen if you’re into stuff like Matt Nathanson and Matt Costa and Josh Groban, which I entirely am. Still, Hey Love is a little better than the typical suburban craft store playlist, simply because it tackles serious themes but doesn’t pair them with an upbeat rhythm that makes you want to DANCE about having your heart torn out of your chest.
Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful
Out favourite chef-turned-rapper is back with a full album, after having only previously released a handful of singles from this one. The album is similar to his previous mixtapes– truly, as far as Action Bronson songs and creations go, this might be the ultimate one. Action Bronson reminds me too much of a rapping Kevin Smith for me to not like him, and I think he does a great job at it. Of course, he’s still a great rapper– but everything he makes seems almost wrapped in a thin layer of humour, or sarcasm. Still, the record impresses. The team-up with Chance the Rapper resulted in a song that will be played and replayed for time, and being signed to Atlantic/Vice helps produce the album to greater heights than could have been achieved independently. Action Bronson stays in the same direction as he was going on, but he changes from a walk to a strut. As they say, it ain’t over till the fat man sings. Oh, and the art on it is hideous. But I guess that just adds to the charm.
Dane Terry – Color Movies
This goes on the list of What You Should Be Listening To Right Now. The warbling, almost quivering voice of Dane Terry is awe-inspiring. Brooklyn-based Terry sounds similar to King Krule with his deeper voice, but the rhythms and alternative music that backs his vocals is completely different. With female vocals and wide plethora of various instruments ranging from the sax and trumpet to the cello and French horn, Color Movies is both jazzy and new indie. Having released the single “Kids” as an introduction to the album, Terry already got a lot of positive feedback for the slow, moody track– but I think “Normal at Last” is the one that showcases the strengths of the album the best. This new release is going places. Take a listen.
Big Data – 2.0
The debut studio LP from producer Alan Wilkis’ electronic project, Big Data seemingly exists only on the internet. They became vaguely famous in the summer of 2014, when their single “Dangerous,” featuring the band Joywave, hit the Billboard top alternative charts. Since then, they’ve more or less continued to be a side project, although with this release, they’re making their way back into the indie electro sphere. 2.0 is impressive as far as electro albums go– the opening track, “The Business of Emotion,” is a good, loud listen that leaves you bopping your head and ready for the next track. They’ve pulled some interesting featured artists on this one, including Kimbra, Dragonette, and Rivers Cuomo, which goes to show how they’re improving and growing in relevance once again. The album is the kind of electronic beats I like to hear, with rhythmic and metrical beats and layered lyrics. The flow of the album feels organic– organic in a computerized, mathematical sense.