Erin’s Prime Slices (12/9-12/15): Alice Merton, Down Dirty Shake

Alice MertonMINT (power pop)

Alice Merton’s newest album, MINT, is a whirlwind of edgy pop jams that pack a serious punch. Her writing style is unique and memorable, and although she has had her fair share of skeptics, Merton has stayed true to her vision and sound. One of her more recognizable songs, “No Roots,” has a phenomenal hook and some really great, heavy guitar lines grounding the whole arrangement. “Why So Serious” is Merton’s own personal anthem about how music is supposed to be fun and creative rather than so focused on popularity and money. Check out the official music video below!

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Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27

I was really happy to catch this performance Tuesday night at the Sinclair. I got there early enough to hear the very first openers, Halfsour, a three piece classic indie rock band.  Front woman, Zoë Wyner, doubled on vocals and bass, speaking for the band but making it clear that talking in between songs was her least favorite part of being on stage. They were a pretty quirky little trio and had a great set, but their level of quirk was nothing in comparison to the next band, Palberta.

Palberta was peculiar and off beat, but completely on brand. All three members switched instruments multiple times which kept the audience on the edge of their seats (in a general admission standing room). They conversed with the audience like they were making weird small talk with a stranger in an elevator, but everyone laughed through the uncomfortableness and seemed to enjoy the bands personality and overall sound. Continue reading “Show Review: Speedy Ortiz at the Sinclair – 11/27”

Erin’s Prime Slice (11/25-12/1): Speedy Ortiz

Since this week will be cut short by Thanksgiving, I only had one prime slice pick: Speedy Ortiz’s newest album Twerp Verse. Although beginning the recording process all the way back in the fall of 2016, the band decided to rethink a lot after election day (for obvious reasons). As a band that prides themselves on releasing politically driven music from their very first project, Speedy Ortiz felt that they couldn’t release some of the tracks that had focused on more frivolous topics. The title “Twerp Verse” is a phrase coined by front woman Sade Dupius to describe “when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part.” This album acts as one big “Twerp Verse” for Speedy Ortiz, holding some pretty substantial messages about the struggles faced in the current, skewed world we live in.

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Erin’s Prime Slices (11/18-11/24): Rose Droll, Maiah Manser

 Rose Droll – Your Dog (singer-songwriter)

The only reason I classified this album as “singer-songwriter” is because I could not think of a single other way to fully encapsulate all that I was hearing. It begins with a bass line reminiscent of Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” accompanied by a looping drum machine and breathy background vocals. The second track, “Hush” completely caught me by surprise by opening with a line from “This Little Light of Mine,” followed by some seriously cutting rap verses spoken in an almost whisper. This album is seriously unique and, to top it all off, Rose played every single instrument on the record. The lyrics are complex and completely honest, but definitely require a few listens to fully unpack.

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Show Review: EZI at the Sinclair – 11/7

Filing in from around both sides of the sidewalk were mostly young girls excitedly anticipating the show at the Sinclair last Wednesday, November 7. Although I think the hype in the air was mainly for the headliner, MAX (best known for his song “Lights Down Low”), I was there to see the first opener, EZI. EZI is a younger artist who just released her first EP, Afraid of the Dark, this year. She is a former Nickelodeon star that rebranded herself after being selected as the very first artist signed to Steve Madden’s 5Towns Record label, and she’s been putting out some pretty awesome tunes ever since.

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Erin’s Prime Slices (11/11 – 11/17): Joji, Charles Bradley

Joji – BALLADS 1 (dark electro pop)

After receiving this album in my inbox, I suddenly started seeing a ton of Spotify video ads promoting Joji. Although I had already given each track a brief listen, like any good millennial, I decided to revisit the album after realizing people online thought it was a big deal. And it totally is! BALLADS 1 opens alternating between a simple piano line and distorted heavy bass in its first track “ATTENTION” grabs just that from the listener. “CAN’T GET OVER YOU (feat. Clams Casino)” is super unique, relatable lyrically, and probably one of my favorite tracks off of the album. Definitely check out Joji and keep up with him as I am sure this is not the last we will hear from him. Besides, when is the last time you listened to an album with song titles in all caps that didn’t turn out to be a complete success??

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Erin’s Prime Slices (11/4 – 11/10): Boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus), Tasha

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy DacusBoygenius (indie / contemporary folk)

The moment I heard that all three of these incredible indie gals would be collaborating on an album, the world just seemed to make a little bit more sense. Lucy Dacus begins the six track project  with her rich, ever smooth lead vocals on “Bite The Hand,” the clear fan favorite of the album. The blend of tones during the chorus when all three artists join in harmony makes me want these women to form a permanent trio and release music forever. A close second in terms of my personal favorite tracks would be “Salt In The World,” again because of the euphoric blend of harmony. Check out this album and buy some tickets to their show in Boston this Thursday, 11/8 at the Orpheum Theater before they are sold out!

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Erin’s Prime Slices (10/28-11/3): Valley Maker, Ian Sweet

Valley Maker – Rhododendron (indie / folk rock)

This album is lyrically intricate while also maintaining an airy atmosphere that is easy to listen to casually. Austin Crane, the man behind Valley Maker, named the album after “the common plant which springs up in both Crane’s native south and his current home in Washington” –  a metaphor that is very central to the overall theme of each song and transition. It is honestly hard to pick favorites on this one, so just chill out and listen to the whole album whenever you get the chance.

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Erin’s Prime Slices (10/21 – 10/27): Ocean Alley, Snail Mail

Ocean AlleyChiaroscuro (psychedelic-surf-rock / reggae)

While the instrumentation and air of this album screams rock, the vocals by lead singer Baden Donegal evoke more of a reggae vibe. This six-piece band from Australia has made quite the name for themselves, racking up more than 539,000 monthly Spotify listeners as well as their latest album ranking #15 on the ARIA Chart. I really like “The Comedown,” a song about waking up with a mean hangover. Overall, this is a really chill album that is easy to sway along to during any mood.

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Erin’s Prime Slices (10/13 – 10/20): Mountain Man, The Jack Moves

Mountain ManMagic Ship (intimate folk)

This album seems perfectly timed with the emergence of the recent fall weather, and would accompany a brisk walk under changing leaves quite nicely. The harmonies between Amelia Meath (of Sylvan Esso), Molly Erin Sarlé, and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig sound as if they are coming from one voice while the scarce accompaniment gives each the appropriate space to exist individually. Amelia Meath, specifically,  has one of the most thoughtful and genuine sounds I have heard in a while. Definitely  give this group a chance is you like Sylvan Esso – although its a bit more acoustic and bare, I think that Magic Ship by Mountain Man evokes a similar vibe vocally and aesthetically.

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