A spring break soundtrack

By The Elm - Mar 07,2019@12:00 am

By Erin Caine

Lifestyle Editor

Though there are still plenty of exciting upcoming releases on the horizon, the year has already given us plenty of new music to obsess over.

If you find yourself in need of a playlist that needs some sprucing up before spring break, here’s a list of the best recent albums:

  1. Hozier, “Wasteland, Baby!” The Irish singer’s extended play, “Nina Cried Power,” could only tide over fans for so long, after all. Though he waited about five years to do it, Hozier finally put out his much-anticipated second studio album on March 1.

The   Guardian’s   Damien    Morris said in his review that the album “surround[s] his  fabulous  cathedral of a voice with awed, gospelly choral backing, pulpit-rattling percussion, devilish, bluesy organ or guitar,  and an always intelligent use of space in the production.”

If you’re looking for something folksy, resonant, and haunting, Hozi- er’s just the artist to satiate you.

2. Gary Clark Jr., “This Land.” The Texan blues artist has shared a stage with the likes of Eric Clapton,

B.B. King, and the Rolling Stones.  His third studio album, “This Land,” dropped a full week before it was initially planned to be released.

In his review of the album, Stephen Erlewine of Pitchfork said that “This Land” proves Clark’s “eagerness to move beyond the confines of modern blues.”

Clark’s lyrics, themselves, are a chilling indictment of racism in the American South, in the same vein as Childish Gambino’s “This is America.”

Though the content makes the album far from “easy listening,” it’s a lush and layered work to check out.

3. “When I Get Home.” When you’re the younger sister of the one and only Beyoncé, making your own distinct mark on the music industry is obviously a difficult thing to do—but that’s exactly what Solange has been doing.

Especially after her 2016 album, “A Seat at the Table” (which was universally praised by critics), Solange has been steadily establishing herself as a force in R&B to be reckoned with.

Her fourth studio album, released March 1, centers on her hometown of Housten and its unique hip hop scene. The music, itself, is a hypnotizing blend of “cosmic” jazz, hip hop, and funk.

Kuba Shand-Baptiste of the Independent said of the album, “There are melodies slow enough to sink you into a state of tranquility, and beats hard and strong enough to push you to sway and dance while that happens.”

4. Kehlani, “While We Wait.” Technically a commercial mixtape and not a studio album, “While We Wait” was released Feb. 22, featuring guest appearances from Musiq Soulchild, Dom Kennedy, Ty Dolla Sign, and 6lack.

California singer Kehlani has released two other mixtapes and just one studio album, “SweetSexySavage” from 2017, which was praised by critics for being a versatile, vivid, and cohesive R&B debut.

Jenn Pelly of Pitchfork called “While We Wait” a “shining example of both [Kehlani’s] emotional intelligence and her balmy, lucid song writing,” adding that “her voice has emerged more clearly than ever” with this new effort.

The Elm

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