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COIN – How Will You Know If You Never Try

COIN’s second album How Will You Know If You Never Try was released about two years after the release of their first single “Talk Too Much.” After COIN finished their 2015 album’s tour in May 2016, they came out with the instant hit “Talk Too Much.” Along with “I Don’t Wanna Dance” and “Malibu 1992,” the singles paved the way for the well awaited release of the album.

There is no way that any regular mall goer has not heard the song “Talk Too Much.” The song is such a hit that it over shadows the whole album, which is a shame. The entirety of the album has a varying dynamic sound that is hard to find in most albums. The album’s indie pop and pop rock vibe is fun to listen to while driving or just chilling with your friends. After discovering the album, I instantly latched on to “Malibu 1992.” You can find this album on Spotify or Apple Music.

COIN- How Will You Know If You Never Try Track List:
  1. Don't Cry, 2020
  2. Boyfriend
  3. Talk Too Much
  4. I Don't Wanna Dance
  5. Hannah
  6. Are We Alone?
  7. Heart Eyes
  8. Lately II
  9. Feeling
  10. Miranda Beach
  11. Malibu 1992

Article Written by: Haley Isom

Fall Out Boy – Mania

Fall Out Boy’s latest album Mania was released on January 19, 2018 as a follow up to American Beauty/American Psycho. Mania ended up landing as number one on the US Billboard 200. Fall Out Boy made Mania to continue the pop rock sound from the commercial success of American Beauty/American Psycho. The singles “Champion” and “Young and Menace” paved the way for the release.

While reading up on facts about this album, I found it interesting that Patrick Stump, the lead singer, pushed back the release of the album because he felt it wasn’t ready and was rushed. We are all glad they waited because the released version of Mania is on point. My favorite song of the album would have to be “Wilson (Expensive Mistakes).” It is one of those songs that sounds modern while incorporating old Fall Out Boy.

Fall Out Boy - Mania Track List:
  1. Stay Frosty Royal Milk Tea
  2. The Last Of The Real Ones
  3. HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T
  4. Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)
  5. Church
  6. Heaven’s Gate
  7. Champion
  8. Sunshine Riptide – feat. Burna Boy
  9. Young And Menace
  10. Bishop Knife Trick

Article Written by: Haley Isom

BØRNS- Blue Madonna

Released on January 12, 2018, Blue Madonna is the second popular album from BØRNS. The first single to promote the album was “Faded Heart,” released July 28, 2017. He announced the album via Instagram on December 4, 2017 with a pre-order for the vinyl for which only 1,500 copies were available. The album includes only one collaborative artist Lana Del Rey for the song “God Save Our Young Blood.”

Before reviewing this album, I had not listened to the full album, so my favorites from Blue Madonna are the popular singles. “Faded Heart” is already, in my opinion, an instant classic. ”Faded Heart” does not get old no matter how many times you listen to it. The music video for it also includes the iconic 70s style suit from the album cover. “God Save Our Young Blood” has Lana Del Rey and Garrett Borns amazing vocals harmonizing perfectly. After listening to the rest of the album, I found a few hidden gems. “Second Night of Summer” and “We Don’t Care” are my recommendations for a fresh, alternative sound. You can buy the album on iTunes or listen on Spotify.

BØRNS- Blue Madonna Track List:
  1. "God Save Our Young Blood" (with Lana Del Rey)
  2. "Faded Heart"
  3. "Sweet Dreams"
  4. "We Don't Care"
  5. "Man"
  6. "Iceberg"
  7. "Second Night of Summer"
  8. "I Don't Want U Back"
  9. "Tension" (interlude)
  10. "Supernatural"
  11. "Blue Madonna"
  12. "Bye-bye Darling"

Article written by: Haley Isom

Vance Joy - Nation of Two

Vance Joy came out with a brand new album to end February 2018 right. In November, the Australian singer-songwriter announced Nation of Two and described it as a “perfectly self-contained couple…” The lead single “Lay It on Me” released in July 2017 was #18 on the Australian Singles Chart and has been certified platinum. Some of the rest of the album slowly found its way out before the full release on February 23, 2018.

While listening to this album, I received very indie folk vibes, which is to expect from Vance Joy. Usually any Vance Joy song is the perfect music to fall asleep to or to chill with friends. Listening to this album was almost like listening to the story. If I were to recommend a song that isn’t one of the popular singles, I would have to say “Bonnie & Clyde.”

Vance Joy - Nation of Two Track List:
  1. "Call If You Need Me"
  2. "Lay It on Me"
  3. "We're Going Home"
  4. "Saturday Sun"
  5. "Take Your Time"
  6. "I'm with You"
  7. "Like Gold"
  8. "Alone with Me"
  9. "Crashing Into You"
  10. "One of These Days"
  11. "Little Boy"
  12. "Bonnie & Clyde"
  13. "Where We Start"

Article written by: Haley Isom

Watsky- x Infinity

The forth studio album from Watsky x Infinity was released on August 19, 2016. The spoken word artist, rapper, and author George Watsky recorded this album at Seahorse Studios in Los Angeles, Grand St. Recording in Brooklyn, and Aqua Vibea in Hadley, Massachusetts. X Infinity, pronounced Times Infinity, had many collaborators including Josh Dun (Twenty One Pilots), Julia Nunes, and Danny McClain. Each song on the album almost has its own style and sound.

When reviewing this album, I find relaxed songs and pure alternative music, but some of the songs are very hip-hop influenced. If you were looking for an album where every song sounds almost the same, this would not be the album for you. Every song is almost its own story with either a heavy hip-hop drive or piano instrumental music. My song recommendations for someone looking for the alternative sound would be “Yes Britannia,” “Stick to Your Guns,” and “Chemical Angel.” For those wanting the alt. hip-hop vibe, go for “Pink Lemonade,” “Little Slice,” and “Don’t Be Nice.” Personally, I enjoy the bottom half of the album from the piano music. If listening on Spotify, a bonus hip-hop track called “Exquisite Corpse” resides at the end.

Watsky- x Infinity Track List:
  1. "Tiny Glowing Screens, Pt. 3"
  2. "Talking To Myself"
  3. "Chemical Angel"
  4. "Little Slice"
  5. "Springtime in New York"
  6. "Pink Lemonade"
  7. "Don't Be Nice"
  8. "Yes Britannia"
  9. "Love Letters"
  10. "Stick to Your Guns"
  11. "Brave New World"
  12. "Going Down"
  13. "Midnight Heart"
  14. "Lovely Thing Suite: Conversations"
  15. "Lovely Thing Suite: Knots"
  16. "Lovely Thing Suite: Roses"
  17. "Lovely Thing Suite: Theories"

Article written by: Haley Isom

AJR- The Click

The second studio album from AJR The Click was released on June 9, 2017. This Indie Pop and Electropop album was another self-produced album by the band. The Click was created from the songs off the EP What Everyone’s Thinking and a few other singles. In 2015, “Call My Dad” the first promotional single was released. The third promotional and most popular single “Weak” came out in October of 2016.

The song “Weak” was my first glimpse into The Click. Its meaningful lyrics and upbeat alternative sound had me hooked. It was not until the popularity of “Sober Up” until I discovered the full album. The entire album is worth a listen, but some specific songs that should be looked into are “The Good Part,” “Drama,” and “I’m Not Famous.” I recommend listening in order for the full effect given by the first song “Overture.”

AJR - The Click Track List
  1. “Overture”
  2. “The Good Part”
  3. “Weak”
  4. “Sober Up”
  5. “Drama”
  6. “Turning Out”
  7. “No Grass Today”
  8. “Three-Thirty”
  9. “Call My Dad”
  10. “I’m Not Famous”
  11. “Netflix Trip”
  12. “Bud Like You”
  13. “Come Hang Out”

Article written by: Haley Isom

Carousel – Palms

Carousel’s 2013 EP is an indie pop/rock record full of fantastic chill vibes throughout. Carousel consists of duo Jackson Phillips and Kevin Friedman, who are currently based in Oakland, CA. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Palms include the songs, “Close Your Eyes,” “Another Day,” and “Wolf’s Awake.”

You can purchase Carousel’s Palms on iTunes, as well as listen to the record on their Soundcloud and Spotify accounts. This album is perfect for anyone in the mood for listening to something much more laid back and filled with subtlety.

Carousel – Palms Track List

  1. Not Enough
  2. Another Day
  3. Close Your Eyes
  4. Wolf’s Awake
  5. Before You

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Hellogoodbye - Would it Kill You?

 Hellogoodbye’s sophomore record from 2010 is an indie rock adventure full of fantastic layering and catchy melodies, as well as plenty of variety to allow the record to continue feeling unique and exciting throughout. Probably most well-known for their songs “Here in My Arms” and “Baby it’s Fact,” Would it Kill You? manages to expand on the band’s sound, while at the same time being independently released and self-produced by the group’s lead singer and musician, Forrest Kline.

Hellogoodbye’s Would it Kill You? earns the honor of being my longest and most listened to album since its release. Although I could easily recommend every song, some of my favorite tracks worth checking out include, “When We First Kissed,” “The Thoughts That Give Me the Creeps,” and “Getting Old.”

You can purchase Hellogoodbye’s Would it Kill You? on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify and Soundcloud accounts. Currently, Hellogoodbye is anticipated to release their first album since their 2013 record, Everything is Debatable, later this year.

Hellogoodbye – Would it Kill You? Track List

  1. Finding Something to Do
  2. Getting Old
  3. When We First Met
  4. Betrayed By Bones
  5. You Sleep Alone
  6. When We First Kissed
  7. The Thoughts That Give Me the Creeps
  8. I Never Can Relax
  9. Coppertone
  10. Would it Kill You?
  11. Something You Misplaced

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Jet Black Alley Cat – Part One

 Jet Black Alley Cat, an upcoming band from Nashville, Tennessee, has just recently released their debut full-length record simply entitled, Part One. I personally hope that this is only part one of many due to the extreme catchiness of their rock inspired music with a vintage twist. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out include the songs, “Golden,” “Roxy,” and “Electric Raazors.”

You can purchase Jet Black Alley Cat’s record on iTunes or their website at www.jetblackalleycat.com, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify and Soundcloud accounts. I would also highly recommend checking out their music videos on their YouTube channel, as the videos are highly professional and entertaining beyond the music itself.

Jet Black Alley Cat - Part One Track List:

  1. Part One
  2. Golden
  3. Poison
  4. Memphis Blues
  5. Electric Raazors
  6. Roxy Interlude
  7. Roxy
  8. High Class Women
  9. She’s Alright

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Joe Brooks – Constellation Me

 Joe Brooks’ debut full-length record from 2010 is an acoustic-driven album that mixes uplifting lyrics, various instrument embellishments, and fantastic singing to enlighten and delight a variety of different listener types.

Originally, from Southampton, England, Brooks continues to independently create music and tour internationally throughout the world with much success. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Constellation Me include the songs, “Superman,” “Rules of Attraction,” and “Apple.”

You can purchase Joe Brooks’ Constellation Me on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on his Spotify account. I would also recommend checking out Joe Brooks’ music videos on YouTube, especially the music video for “Superman,” due to the fact that his videos are incredibly well done, and often add an extra element that greatly enhances the listening experience.

Joe Brooks – Constellation Me Track List

  1. World At Our Feet
  2. Feel the Sunshine
  3. Lead the Crowd
  4. Superman
  5. Five Days of Summer
  6. Marching Band
  7. Hello Mr. Sun
  8. Kaleidoscope
  9. Rules of Attraction
  10. These Broken Hands of Mine
  11. Voices
  12. Apple

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Nekokat – Communication II

 Nekokat’s 2015 EP is an upbeat indie rock record complete with a delicate mix of high energy and more subdued moments. Nekokat is one of today’s largely overlooked super groups consisting of The Ready Set’s Jordan Witzigreuter, The Summer Set’s Jess Bowen, and Weatherstar’s Cameron Walker. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Communication II include the songs, “Best Year Ever,” “What I Said,” and “Cut My Teeth.”

You can purchase Nekokat’s Communication II on iTunes, as well as listen to the record on their Soundcloud and Spotify accounts. Nekokat has also just released two new singles “Bella Goodbye” and “Haunted” this year, which are available to check out on all the platforms just mentioned as well.

Nekokat – Communication II Track List

  1. Best Year Ever
  2. Emery
  3. Realm
  4. Cut My Teeth
  5. What I Said

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Panic! At the Disco – Death of a Bachelor

Panic! At the Disco’s full-length record from 2016 is an alternative-centered album that manages to fantastically blend various different genres, such as pop, rock, and even jazz into its eleven track runtime in order to hold interest the entire way through the record.

Although a bit of a departure from the band’s widely recognized sound, the most impressive aspect of the record is the fact that not only is lead singer Brendan Urie the single remaining member here, but that Urie also played most of the instruments, wrote all of the songs, and co-produced the record, in addition to providing the vocals.

Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Death of a Bachelor include the songs, “Golden Days,” “Death of a Bachelor,” and “House of Memories.” You can purchase Panic! At the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify account.

Panic! At the Disco – Death of a Bachelor Track List

  1. Victorious
  2. Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time
  3. Hallelujah
  4. Emperor’s New Clothes
  5. Death of a Bachelor
  6. Crazy=Genius
  7. LA Devotee
  8. Golden Days
  9. The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty
  10. House of Memories
  11. Impossible Year

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Relient K – Forget and Not Slow Down

Relient K’s 2009 record provides a dose of high energy throughout, as well as reflective and catchy vocals that are sure to appeal to a variety of different listener types. Despite getting close to being 10 years old, this record manages to still sound current and fresh in the context of today’s music scene.

Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Forget and Not Slow Down include the songs, “Candlelight,” “I Don’t Need a Soul,” and “Forget and Not Slow Down.”

You can purchase Relient K’s Forget and Not Slow Down on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify account.

Relient K – Forget and Not Slow Down Track List

  1. Forget and Not Slow Down
  2. I Don’t Need a Soul
  3. Candlelight
  4. Flare
  5. Part of It
  6. Outro
  7. Therapy
  8. Over It
  9. Sahara
  10. Oasis
  11. Savannah
  12. Baby
  13. If You Believe Me
  14. This is the End
  15. (If You Want It)

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

*Repeat Repeat – Floral Canyon

 *Repeat Repeat’s most recent record from 2017 blends a vintage 60’s rock sound with modern alternative elements in a unique and wonderful way. Beyond this, the band has fantastic vocal tradeoffs between its two singers to provide continued interest throughout the entire record.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, *Repeat Repeat continues to differentiate itself as a group amongst a highly competitive music scene from the asterisk in the band’s name to the group’s distinctive style. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Floral Canyon include the songs, “Everybody’s Falling in Love,” “Girlfriend,” and “Hooks.”

You can purchase *Repeat Repeat’s Floral Canyon on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify and Soundcloud accounts. I would also highly recommend getting a physical vinyl copy of the record at their website www.repeatrepeatmusic.com due to the fact that it has the best album artwork I have ever seen from any artist to date.

*Repeat Repeat – Floral Canyon Track List

  1. Everybody’s Falling in Love
  2. Ghost
  3. Mostly
  4. Girlfriend
  5. Echo
  6. Be This Way
  7. Hooks
  8. Animal
  9. Plugged In
  10. Polina Beefman
  11. Hang it Low
  12. Speaker Destroyer

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Steven Fiore – Youth and Magic

 Steven Fiore’s full-length record from 2013 is an acoustic-driven and folk-inspired journey that never feels stale or boring. The North Carolina based Steven Fiore utilizes various layers that provide a contemporary vibe to already pleasing acoustic guitar hooks. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out include the songs, “Spend a Little Time,” “Flicker and Fade,” and “Hourglass.”

You can purchase Steven Fiore’s Youth and Magic on iTunes and CD Baby, as well as listen to the record on his Bandcamp and Spotify accounts. I would also highly recommend checking out some of Fiore’s live acoustic renditions of his songs on YouTube due to the fact that they provide a different, yet still gratifying listening experience.

Steven Fiore – Youth and Magic Track List

  1. White and Blue
  2. Flicker and Fade
  3. Calm Down
  4. Spend a Little Time
  5. Room to Grow
  6. Glory
  7. Signs
  8. Hourglass
  9. Whatever You Need
  10. Little Prince

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Sum 41 – Underclass Hero

 Sum 41’s full-length record from 2007 is an alternative album that marks a slight departure in the band’s more punk-oriented sound, and instead into a sound that is quite diverse within various aspects of the musical spectrum. Perhaps most recognized for their hits “Fat Lip” and “In too Deep,” the band continues to be successful today in both touring and recording endeavors. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Underclass Hero include the songs, “March of the Dogs,” “Dear Father,” and “Walking Disaster.”

You can purchase Sum 41’s Underclass Hero on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify account. I would highly recommend this album due to the fact that it continues to hold up, and is, in my mind, an underrated gem that often seems to be overlooked within their music catalog.

Sum 41 – Underclass Hero Track List

  1. Underclass Hero
  2. Walking Disaster
  3. Speak of the Devil
  4. Dear Father
  5. Count Your Last Blessings
  6. Ma Poubelle
  7. March of the Dogs
  8. The Jester
  9. With Me
  10. Pull the Curtain
  11. King of Contradiction
  12. Best of Me
  13. Confusion and Frustration in Modern Times
  14. So Long Goodbye

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

Sun Culture

 Sun Culture’s self-titled debut record is an older and more obscure release from 2014, but worth checking out for those that enjoy indie rock music. Headed by former Greenwood, Indiana native, Chase Coy, Coy has had some success as a solo artist by collaborating with talents such as Colbie Caillat, while at his current location in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sun Culture’s debut album is full of fantastic summer indie vibes that still manages to sound current in today’s music scene. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out include the songs, “Sea Salt,” “Boundaries,” and “God Only Knows.”

You can purchase Sun Culture’s record on iTunes, as well as listen to the record on their Noisetrade and Soundcloud accounts. As of late, Chase Coy has also recently relisted the album as a solo project of his on iTunes.

Sun Culture Track List

  1. Crooked Line
  2. Sea Salt
  3. Boundaries
  4. Hold Out
  5. New Kings
  6. God Only Knows
  7. Your Fault
  8. Where We Started

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

The 1975

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

 The 1975’s sophomore record from 2016 is an alternative masterpiece that captivates the same qualities that made the 1975’s debut record flourish with fresh sounds, but also manages put its own spin on the record in a variety of ways.

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it not only has one of the longest album titles and track lists of a successful record in recent history, but also provides an assortment of songs for various listening moods that are sure to stick with a person for a long time as well. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out include, “She’s American,” “This Must Be My Dream,” and “UGH!”

You can purchase The 1975’s I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify account.

The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it Track List

  1. The 1975
  2. Love Me
  3. UGH!
  4. A Change of Heart
  5. She’s American
  6. If I Believe You
  7. Please Be Naked
  8. Lostmyhead
  9. The Ballad of Me and My Brain
  10. Somebody Else
  11. Loving Someone
  12. I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
  13. The Sound
  14. This Must Be My Dream
  15. Paris
  16. Nana
  17. She Lays Down

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

The Beach Boys – Shut Down Volume 2

The Beach Boys’ fifth full-length record from 1964 is an album full of summer vibes, romantic lyrics, as well as wonderful harmonies that are sure to get stuck in a person’s head no matter what time of year it is. Titled as the second volume due to the band’s label at the time, Capitol Records, previously releasing a compilation entitled Shut Down, Shut Down Volume 2 reached all the way to number 13 on the U.S. Billboard charts.

Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Shut Down Volume 2 include the songs, “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” as well as “Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson,” which is a highly entertaining skit where both Brian Wilson and Mike Love lovingly trash each other’s distinctive singing styles.

You can purchase The Beach Boys’ Shut Down Volume 2 on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify account. Of course, if you want to truly have a blast from the past experience, you can also seek out the original vinyl record to play on your turntable as I have as well.

The Beach Boys – Shut Down Volume 2 Track List

  1. Fun, Fun, Fun
  2. Don’t Worry Baby
  3. In the Parkin’ Lot
  4. Cassius Love vs. Sonny Wilson
  5. The Warmth of the Sun
  6. This Car of Mine
  7. Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  8. Pom, Pom Play Girl
  9. Keep an Eye On Summer
  10. Shut Down, Pt. 2
  11. Louie, Louie
  12. Denny’s Drums

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (US Release)

The Beatles’ sixth full-length record from 1965 is a folk-rock record that showcases both the band’s stellar songwriting skills and topnotch production quality to the highest degree. Two versions of the record exist due to The Beatles having two different labels for distribution in both the UK and the US; however, I personally prefer the North American release due to the overall consistency in sound. This particular release of Rubber Soul reached all the way to number 1 on the U.S. Billboard charts for six total weeks.

Although I wholeheartedly recommend listening to Rubber Soul the entire way through since it is my personal favorite Beatles record, some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on Rubber Soul include the songs, “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” “In My Life,” and “I’m Looking Through You.”

You can purchase the US version of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul on Amazon, as well as listen to entire the record on YouTube. Of course, if you want to truly have a blast from the past experience, you can also seek out the original vinyl record to play on your turntable like I have as well.

The Beatles – Rubber Soul (US Release) Track List

  1. I’ve Just Seen a Face
  2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
  3. You Won’t See Me
  4. Think for Yourself
  5. The Word
  6. Michelle
  7. It’s Only Love
  8. Girl
  9. I’m Looking Through You
  10. In My Life
  11. Wait
  12. Run for Your Life

Article written by: Raymond Kandal

The Ready Set – I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love

The Ready Set’s full-length record from 2016 is an 80’s inspired album that manages to infuse a contemporary pop sound in a fantastic and unique way. The Ready Set is probably most recognized for their 2010 hit “Love Like Woe,” and is solely led by Jordan Witzigreuter. Some of my favorite tracks worth checking out on I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love include the songs, “Run with Me,” “Disappearing Act,” and “Should We Go Downtown.”

You can purchase The Ready Set’s I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love on iTunes and Amazon, as well as listen to the record on their Spotify account. I would highly recommend this album due to the fact that Jordan Witzigreuter self-produced the album himself, as well as wrote and performed pretty much all of the parts on the record.

The Ready Set – I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love Track List

  1. Disappearing Act
  2. Being Afraid
  3. Good Enough
  4. Concrete
  5. I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love
  6. Run with Me
  7. Should We Go Downtown
  8. Swim
  9. No Love
  10. First
  11. Fire in the Sky
  12. See You

Article written by: Raymond Kandal