Noname – Telefone
Genre: Hip Hop
Favorite Track: Reality Check Ft. Eryn Allen Kane & Akenya
Telefone is Noname’s (formerly named Noname Gypsy) debut solo album, and it is fantastic. Noname is a female Chicago-based hip hop artist who has previously been featured on tracks with big names such as Chance The Rapper and Mick Jenkins. Telefone turned out to have a very rich and intimate feel, with Noname’s smooth flow, this album is perfect to sit and relax to.
Filled with joy and misery at the same time, Telefone’s lyrics are all over the place, in a good way. This is very much an album that treats the topics of struggles that the black community goes through, especially amongst women. Telefone is very much a Chicago rap album similar to Chance’s Acid Rain. This album was just released about a month ago, I hardly recommend listening to it!
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Genre: Alt Rock
Favorite Track: Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Anyone that has known me for a while can say that I am absolutely crazy about Radiohead. The amount of pure, authentic, raw emotion that breeds out of their performance is amazing. With poetic lyrics and intricate arrangements, Radiohead does not fail to explore new grounds during each project. In Rainbows is the first of their albums that I have considered that includes elements from all parts of their past, which makes it my favorite Radiohead album. In Rainbows, released in 2007, is the band’s seventh studio album and the songs appear to be about the human experience: our frustration and desires and what we’re prepared to trade off for happiness.
In Rainbows’ tracks are a very satisfying fix of their synth-heavy album Kid A and their earlier, rockier material such as OK Computer and The Bends. Their arrangements contain a wide variety of instruments including both electronic and acoustic instruments. This is the time when Radiohead’s music has felt the most the most authentic to me. In Rainbows constitutes an emotional roller coaster filled with both upbeat and down tempo, relaxed and chaotic songs; all of them being and incredible journey into Thom’s soul.
PS. There are two amazing set of live performances of the songs from this album, if you enjoyed it, check out “Scotch Mist” and “Radiohead Live In The Basement” in youtube!
Kids These Days – Traphouse Rock
Favorite Track: Talk 2 You
Kids These Days used to be a rap-rock collective based in Chicago. This was a very short lived project that launched the careers of many important Chicago hip hop artists such as Vic Mensa and Donnie Trumpet. Kids These Days was a seven piece band from which all members were musically educated 20 year olds. The young and energetic band mastered the art of performing rap with a live band in a beautiful way, setting the bar high for their first full-length album.
Traphouse Rock, produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, is an amazingly energetic album that contains influences from many styles such as jazzy horn arrangements, aggressive rock guitars, and even live samples of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Where Is My Mind.” Vic Mensa’s rapping performance was flawless and the band’s instrumentals were incredibly powerful and interesting. I highly recommend you give it a listen!
La Vida Boheme – Nuestra
Favorite Track: I.P.OS.T.E.L
La Vida Boheme is a latin indie rock band from my hometown Caracas, Venezuela. Being one of Caracas’ largest music acts, the band’s personality, energy, and character never disappoint. La Vida Boheme is well known for their tendency of wearing all white and having paint thrown at them and the audience during their shows. Their cowbell ridden and rich in guitar riffs tracks are specially catered for everybody to dance their butts off.
Nuestra constitutes La Vida Boheme’s first full-length release and contains most of the bands biggest hits, such as Radio Capital, Calle Barcelona and I.P.O.S.T.E.L. Their aggressive instrumentals with mostly politically centric lyrics are a great representation of Venezuela’s youth at the time.