Anohni – HOPELESSNESS
By Beau Bridge
The debut release of Anohni is a jewel to behold. She heads straight for the gut with the phenomenally strong opening track “Drone Bomb Me” — the general of an army of 10 knights.
Each of the album’s 11 songs is a euphoric ball of synth-electronica with a sharp core of political protest against Western capitalism, modern technology, and the slow downfall of contemporary society. A surprising product which could come from none other than the former lead singer of a band known for sad piano ballads — Antony and the Johnsons.
The approachable pop style that is reflective of our current nostalgically ‘80s zeitgeist (i.e. Swift’s 1989, The 1975, etc.) mixes perfectly with the strength of Anohni’s voice to produce an album that defies the segregation of pop and art. Contrary to its title, there is a hope in music, in government, and in the world that is still standing on its weak legs.
James Blake – The Colour in Anything
By Zainah Merani
Reaching into the very depths of our souls, James Blake has yet again moved us into another dimension of time. Since his last release in 2013, we have been waiting tirelessly for this moment — the moment where we feel things we didn’t even know were humanly possible.
The electronic R&B artist captures us with his unique voice and his even more unique beats, transporting us into a world of complete (un)awareness. I can’t even describe how I feel about the tracks on this album — the only thing I know for sure is that no other artist has ever made me feel so close to them. Passion seeps from every moment, every second of The Colour in Anything. Every track is extremely different from the other, yet it has this uncanny ability to come together oh so gracefully and take over your soul, if only for one hour and 17 minutes.
Strumbellas – Hope
By Tessa Perkins
The Strumbellas’ third album has recently gone Gold in Canada, and their breakout hit, “Spirits,” keeps gaining momentum. With lyrics like “I’ll be a dreamer ’til the day I die / But they say oh, how the good die young,” this single is immediately infectious. As soon as “Spirits” comes on the radio, you find yourself turning up the volume and rolling down the windows.
The rest of the album is equally worth your time, and presents a mix of slower, folk- and country-inspired tunes. “Shovels and Dirt” references banjos, cowboy hats, and a strong work ethic. “Young and Wild” is a likely candidate for their next single with its singalong potential and carefree theme. Their alternative country sound is refreshing, with an edge of raspy vocals and the same rousing melodies that thrust Mumford & Sons into the spotlight.
This is a hopeful, beautifully crafted collection of songs that I look forward to enjoying many times over.