What We Live For
by American Authors
What We Live For is the sophomore studio album from American Authors, an indie-pop-rock band. If you’re looking for that feel-good soundtrack to your summer, this album needs to be in your hands ASAP. Bursting with infectious riffs and catchy lyrics, it’s highway karaoke-approved.
Zac Barnett’s vocals have an indie edge, but pure rock power. The musicality throughout the record is amazing, and it feels like every song is better than the last. “I’m Born to Run” has all the makings of a youth anthem with A+ songwriting: “Give me grace / Bury my sins.”
“Pride” is a bit experimental with banjo and spoken word. “Superman” and “Mind Body Soul” are relatively slow and mellow jams, but the former picks up with lots of confidence building up throughout, and the latter waits until the last moment to kick it off with big sound.
There’s no way to go wrong with this album.
Conscious, the sophomore effort of sibling duo Broods, traverses the darker sides of life with emotional clarity and underpinnings of hope. The indie-pop album as a whole is saturated with melodramatic hyperbole and sentimentalism. It’s an ambitious confession dressed as an album that will feed not only your soul but your mind as well.
“Free” is an anthem full of passion and fire that starts off the album at a high. The lyrics are pure determination and strength, and this flows all the way through the record. “Heartlines” is another favourite, sounding more like a Lorde track (she co-wrote it) than a Broods one.
If you’re looking for something closer to Broods’ sound from their debut, then check out the more minimalist “Worth the Fight” or “Bedroom Door.” If you’re looking for a mellow ballad, Tove Lo is featured on “Freak of Nature,” and the dual vocals are incredibly impressive.
Where the Light Shines Through
Damn, have there really been 10 albums by these guys already? I feel like it was only last week that I was jamming to the Switchfoot-laden A Walk to Remember soundtrack (circa 2002!). Where the Light Shines Through opens with the uptempo “Holy Water,” just in case you forgot that Switchfoot is a Christian alt-rock group.
They build upon their tried-and-true songwriting to deliver an album that echoes the successes of their previous records. However, they also branch out a little, as shown best by “Looking for America.” Featuring a rap by Lecrae, the lyrics work well with the beat and overall feel to the tune, and the rap is apropos for the sentiment.
“If the House Burns Down Tonight” has a classic rock vibe, whereas “I Won’t Let You Go” is the more classic Switchfoot ballad with powerfully emotional lyrics. However, the best track might just be “Float,” with its prominent bass, soft but liberal percussion, and well-written melodies.