2019 Music Rewind

So… last year I con­fessed in my annu­al blog post that I could­n’t keep up with my usu­al lis­ten­ing habits so my list of favorites was pulled from a very lim­it­ed pool. This year was even worse in terms of lis­ten­ing time! As such, my list is super short.

But, thank­ful­ly, not hav­ing time for lis­ten­ing did not mean no musi­cal activ­i­ty. Ever since my daugh­ter was born I have been writ­ing lyrics again. I only man­aged to write and record one of those songs this year. Click through to give a lis­ten…

pre­sent­ed in alpha­bet­i­cal order

Altin Gün — Gece

Ams­ter­dam band that nails that 70s fuzzed-out Turk­ish psych rock sound.

The Andretti — Suicide, Italian Style

My friend, Joe Fer­rara, released this new project and asked me to write a blurb. Here’s what I wrote:

Sui­cide, Ital­ian Style by The Andret­ti is epic. It is son­i­cal­ly epic, tak­ing the sweep­ing dra­ma of Ennio Mor­ri­cone and the melo­dra­ma of Scott Walk­er’s first solo album and infus­ing 90s noise rock raw­ness and a mille­foglie of tex­tur­al details. It is musi­cal­ly epic in its ambi­tion. Every track twists and turns through a labyrinth of shift­ing gen­res and time sig­na­tures. It is styl­is­ti­cal­ly epic in its breadth. Spaghet­ti west­ern and crime dra­ma sound­tracks, vin­tage Ital­ian pop, “math” rock, surf rock, exot­i­ca, and doo wop are skill­ful­ly woven togeth­er into a uni­fied whole. There are no non­se­quitors, only inter­est­ing sur­pris­es. It all makes sense because all the details are per­fect. If the atmos­phere of a palm-mut­ed bari­tone gui­tar drip­ping with spring reverb piques your inter­est as much as throat-shred­ding, amp-melt­ing inten­si­ty then you will enjoy all the jour­neys con­tained with­in Sui­cide, Ital­ian Style.

Asuna & Jan Jelinek — Signals Bulletin

This is a patient­ly paced album that builds ten­sion and atmos­phere through rep­e­ti­tion and lay­er­ing. The album’s scope expands from sim­ple loops to field record­ings and synth baths with arpeg­giat­ed melodies worm­ing up out of the thick­et to keep the sur­face in motion. The finale brings the emo­tions back down with the abstract beat­ing of sine tones that recalls raster-noton’s stark aes­thet­ic.

King Midas Sound — Solitude

As the title implies, this is a lone­ly lis­ten. The mood is crush­ing­ly heavy, even in its qui­etest moments. Roger Robin­son’s dead­pan read­ing per­fect­ly suits Kevin Mar­t­in’s greyscale yet emo­tion­al­ly tur­bu­lent son­ic set­tings.

Edmond Cho — Little Baby

Here is my song. I wrote the lyrics with a punky ener­gy in mind, but one day real­ized that they would per­fect­ly fit a rock­steady song. I’d like to give big thanks to my band­mate, Scott DeDeck­er from The Twi­lights, for record­ing drums, piano, and organ parts for me.

RIP Jared Balogh

Final­ly, I’d like to take a moment to acknowl­edge and rec­og­nize a great loss from this year. My friend and band­mate in Pink Hex, Jared Balogh, died sud­den­ly this past April. Jared was an extreme­ly broad-mind­ed lis­ten­er and musi­cian. He was a self-taught musi­cian and a tal­ent­ed visu­al artist. He was pro­lif­ic. He was tire­less in his pur­suit of cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tion. He pushed Pink Hex fur­ther than Joel or I ever envi­sioned and cre­at­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties for us con­stant­ly. He was also gen­tle and fun­ny and sar­cas­tic and goofy. I miss him.

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