Notes, September 2020 Edition

Hey everyone! I’ve got a little music I’ve been listening to that you might like. Some of this stuff has really been getting me through the days!

Psychic Warfare, by Clutch. Clutch is a weird band, because as awesome as they are they don’t seem overly concerned with sounding pleasant, which kind of feels like a prerequisite for most music. They sound good, but in a way that doesn’t allow you to fade them into your background. They’re meant to be loud, to drown out other noise, to grab you by the neck and make you listen. Their aesthetic is sort of like if George Thorogood was the front man for Rage Against The Machine, so you can imagine what I mean. Anyway, go listen to “Our Lady of Electric Light” and then the rest of the album.

Hozier, by Hozier. So I really, really disliked this album when I first heard it. But I’ve done a complete 180 on it and I think this just falls into “acquired taste” music. The sound is sort of similar to Leonard Cohen, very deep and spiritual, and I think you have to be open to it. “Take Me To Church” and “Foreigner’s God” are excellent songs in particular. Listen to one or both of them, and listen to the other the next day before forming an opinion. I think Hozier is better if you already know it.

Illinois (or: Sufjan Stevens Invites You To: Come On Feel the ILLINOISE) by Sufjan Stevens. Hahaha, what a weird and cool album. I love a good concept album, and I also love “music meta jokes” (like the fact that there’s no Traveling Wilburys Volume II), so this being named Illinois after Stevens’ previous album was called “Michigan” made for an insinuation that he would do 50 albums, one for each state (which he sort of encouraged people thinking) before he admitted that he wasn’t. Regardless, the album itself has some stunningly good music along with the kind of weird experimentation similar to They Might Be Giants. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” is a particularly good track.

YNOT by Tony K. Tony Khnanisho comes to America from Iraq in the early 90s as a little kid, his family fleeing the violence there. They land in Detroit, where he grows up absorbing hip hop and becomes an outstanding artist himself. YNOT (officially a “mixtape” and not an album) is full of great contributions to the scene while still keeping a pretty unique and unusual sound compared to the genre as a whole. His sound is incredibly sharp and well-produced (owing to his awesome production skills) and his talent will definitely have you moving.

Goodnight Girls, by The Unwed Teenage Mothers. The Unwed Teenage Mothers are a bunch of fabulous dirtbags from Mississippi who sound like what would have happened if punk had been Dixie instead of Yankee. I caught one song (“Nothing Will Ever Get Any Better”) and immediately got the album. That song is one of my favorites, but “For Rhianna” and “Sunday” are also excellent. The whole album is great and really easy to listen to – give it a shot if you like fast, fun music.

That’s all for this month – keep listening, keep sharing, and may all your notes be high ones.

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