By Devon Chodzin ’19
Judas Hung Himself in America
After a particularly illustrious few years on records and on tour with Elvis Depressedly, Mathew Lee Cothran has put out another tape under his self-titled solo project via Joy Void Recordings. Cothran dedicated this tape, Judas Hung Himself in America, to his recently departed grandfather and father figure. The tape itself is as beautiful as it is haunting. Several tracks ask unanswerable questions: Where does our shame go while we sleep? (“Judas in America”) How do I give in with grace? (“Liquor Store”) You could move a mountain, but where would it go? (“Who Did Pull the Pin of the People?”) Likewise, Cothran uses Judas as a platform to grapple with his recent sobriety, especially in the tracks “Cherry High” and “Liquor Store.” In all, I’d say Judas is concrete proof that some of the most prolific artists create some of their most resonant works in the midst of immense trials and tribulations.
by Sonia Calzaretta ’18
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a huge fan of music with an indie folk sound. Songs with haunting harmonies and that twangy banjo/ mandolin combo that reminds me of childhood summers.
Liking this kind of music means that I’ve become pretty proficient at recognizing an indie folk album cover when I see one. “The Heartland” looks exactly like what you’d expect an inside folk album cover to look like: a watercolor painting of a city in purples and grays, blocky band name, cursive album title. It came out in February of this year, so it’s fairly new, and Rabbit Wilde has only been making music since 2014. I found the album when I was walking through the hallway between the WKCO office and the broadcast booth, alphabetized among the hundreds of CDs we have down there. It looked interesting, so I took it home. I’m so glad that I did. The plain cover hides an album of surprising merit, one that I’m sure will be among my favorites for years to come.
by Audrey Avril ’19
Earlier this month, Scottish post-rock band Mogwai released their new album, Atomic. Technically, they released a collection of songs off the soundtrack they produced for a documentary, but if you’re a Mogwai fan, you take what you can get. In this case, what you get is a pretty good album.
Tied loosely to the history of the atomic bomb, Mogwai manages to encompass destruction and creation, the past and the present, despair and hope, all in a mere 50 minutes. From the first track to the last, Atomic sends you on an otherworldly journey while keeping you tethered to the humanity of it all. Buckle up.
Audrey Avril ’19
Late into last year, Baroness released Purple and reminded us that we should give metal a shot some time.
The 4th full-length album from the sludge metal band from Savannah, Georgia, Purple continues the band’s journey through the color spectrum, from the electric energy of breakout Red and the unrelenting harshness it sustained into Blue, to a maturation of the experimentation (borderline indie rock vibe) found on the double album Yellow & Green. In the end, Baroness pulls from the best of their discography to craft a powerful, thrilling, and diverse sound that is well worth a listen from any fan of metal, hard rock, or heck, music in general.
by Devon Chodzin, ’19
Fall 2015 has been a season of long awaited releases. Several artists are still long overdue for new releases (I’m looking at you, Frank Ocean). As of three weeks ago, however, Neon Indian finally dropped their third original studio album after four years of silence. VEGA INTL. Night School is an absolute departure from 2009’s Psychic Chasms and 2011’s Era Extraña; here, Neon Indian harnesses the power of disco and lo-fi to reflect the genre hybridization which characterizes the late 1970s up until the early 1990s. It is obvious that over the past four years, Neon Indian’s leader and primary composer, Alan Palomo, took his time to find a more perfect sound that aligns with what he wants to produce and what his fans want to hear.
By Devon Chodzin ’19
There is definitely pressure on Kenyon’s campus to be in the know about all things underground. Our campus’s preferred rappers, films, and more tend to be more indie than not. Many things corporate or mainstream are cast aside and labeled as “inauthentic” or “capitalistic,” and given the problems associated with the entertainment industry, it’s understandable why socially conscious people would search out talent that doesn’t support the given structure.
But everyone has to love Adele. She’s too good.
She may be within the mainstream, with her most popular videos approaching one billion views on YouTube, but her talent and agenda make her presence as an artist in “mainstream culture” completely excusable. Her image as an uber-dramatic singer-songwriter who also happens to be a woman of size is certainly unconventional in the mainstream and has rendered her an icon. And, as of last week, she’s finally back on the scene.
By Jacqueleen Eng ’19
I bet Drake loves dad jokes. I bet Drake loves wearing New Balances, dad jeans, and baseball caps when he’s home alone. I bet Serena gets tired of his dad look and his dad dancing.
Against Me!’s seventh studio album, “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” came out thisweek. When I woke up it was waiting in my iTunes like a beautiful vision (I had pre-ordered it, get at me digitalized music distribution) and it’s already accrued an absurd number of plays in my library. So, disclaimer: this is not going to be an unbiased review.