By Trevor Jones
Here are my some of my favorite albums from the past few months that I think you should check out if you haven’t already.
ASTROWORLD – Travis Scott
Before BIITSM even came out in fall of 2016, Travis Scott announced the title of his third album: ASTROWORLD. For quite some time Scott teased fans by tweeting things like, “THE KIDS WILL EAT”, and of course, no one ate. But in August, La Flame finally dropped his long-anticipated project. After the first listen, I didn’t know what to think of it, but as it sat with me, I began to understand its brilliance. The album opens with the excellent anthem, “STARGAZING” and it may be the catchiest track on the album. On “CAROUSEL” Scott and surprise feature, Frank Ocean, perfectly encapsulate the album’s ‘carnival’ sound. ASTROWORLD also features some incredible bangers like “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD”, “NO BYSTANDERS”, “HOUSTONFORNICATION”, and “5% TINT”. Additionally, Scott managed to include more vibey tracks like “R.I.P. SCREW” and “SKELETONS”, which features impeccable production by Kevin Parker(AKA Tame Impala). Although it includes some poor filler tracks the latter half, ASTROWORLD is still a very good album. I’m very glad that Scott managed to capture his unique sound, as displayed in Rodeo, with this vibrant project.
TA13OO – Denzel Curry
I’ve never been that interested in Denzel Curry’s music; I would hear some of his music on occasion and only be slightly interested. When TA13OO, came out I was very surprised. This project is divided into three discs/acts; Light, Gray, and Dark. On Light, production resembles Kaytranada’s on tracks, “BLACK BALLOONS” and “CASH MANIAC”. As the project transitions to Gray, the atmosphere evidently gets gritty. The highlight of this side has to be “SIRENS”, which features J.I.D, one of 2018’s most intriguing new rappers. Curry also exhibits his crazy, trademark flow. On Dark, “VENGEANCE” stands out with its incredibly grungy, yet catchy beat. JPEGMAFIA, who recently rose to prominence with his first LP, Veteran, provides a nice feature. Overall, TA13OO is a fun listen that I think you’d enjoy.
Hive Mind – The Internet
In 2015, alt R&B collective, The Internet became very popular with their 3rd album, Ego Death. “Girl” was one of the most popular tracks of the year and it seemed like the group had finally managed to take the spotlight. But to many people’s surprise, the group announced that they were going on a hiatus. While on this three-year break, each member (Syd, Steve Lacy, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige, Christopher Smith) of the group put out their own projects (my favorite has to be Steve Lacy’s thirteen minute EP titled, Steve Lacy’s Demo). Although fans were starved for a little while, the product of that creative decision resulted in an incredible album. Hive Mind effectively combines each member’s talent in an incredible fashion. Steve, Matt, and Patrick shine on “Beat Goes On” and “La Di Da”, while Syd displays her gorgeous voice on “Hold On” and “Wanna Be”. The culmination of The Internet’s talents makes me very excited for their solo career and especially the group’s.
OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES – SOPHIE
Sophie Xeon, a Scottish producer/DJ, is mostly known for her work with artists like Charli XCX and Vince Staples. Prior to this album, I had no idea who she was, but I had definitely heard her distinct sound on Staples’ Big Fish Theory. Let me get one thing straight, OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES is an absolutely crazy album, and it is the least accessible project on this list. My favorite tracks are probably “Infatuation, “Immaterial”, and “Is It Cold in the Water?”. If you’re into experimental pop/electronic music, I think it’s worth checking out.
Negro Swan – Blood Orange
I have always seen Dev Hynes’ (AKA Blood Orange) music in various indie playlists, but I usually skipped them. This summer, while looking for new music, I stumbled upon Cupid Deluxe and Freetown Sound and I quickly fell in love with his music. On his 4th LP, Hynes maintains his unique fusion of alt-pop and chillwave to create the beautiful project that is Negro Swan. On top of the excellent production, Hynes sings about the Black experience in an incredibly honest and delicate way. Highlights include “Chewing Gum (feat. A$AP Rocky)” and “Out of My League (feat. Steve Lacy)”. Also, Matthew L. says “it slaps”, so you gotta give it a listen.
Sean Leon (The Death Of) – Sean Leon
Toronto Rapper, Sean Leon has a very small following. He’s put out several albums’ worth of music and he’s still considered underground. Less than a year ago, Leon released C.C.W.M.T. and surprisingly, he just released another project, The Death Of. This collection of music veers far away from anything Leon has put out in the past; many of the songs are synth-heavy. Like TA13OO, The Death Of gave me heavy Kaytranada vibes with tracks, “Food.Chain” and “90 bpm”. But Leon packs in other genres as well; “Bank Account” is spacey with elements of chillwave, and “It Will Be Fine” utilizes MGMT-like synths and a nice chord progression from an electric guitar. Leon’s latest effort is incredibly diverse and you should check out this project as well as his many others.