02: Shipping Up To Boston
A playlist of Massachusetts music this week, as Friday Night Fidelity ships up to Boston for some rock, R&B, soul and more. Missed hearing this episode live? Scroll down to see the full playlist, or click here to stream each track on Spotify.
Someone Else – Yohannes
They say they make “indie rock, but the cool kind”, and this track off the 4 piece’s Shep album, released in March 2017, delivers. There’s an appropriate angst through the lyrical conundrum of choosing between following one’s heart or remaining financially stable (“I don’t know how long I can pretend to be someone else / if my job means giving up.”) – listen out for 3:20, where the track pivots into a quiet, distant instrumental reflection.
Golden Hands – Anjimile
There’s a reserved, yet larger-than-life desire expressed through the lyrics of this track (“I wanted to love / your lovely heart full of / our heaven above”) that I very much adore, and continues a theme of spirituality present in their earlier track, To Meet You There [additional factoid: both tracks feature production from Keenan Hye of Yohannes]. I recommend reading this piece on music blog Sound of Boston for more of their views on the Boston music scene, through the eyes of a queer and trans artist of colour.
Why Oh Why – Tory Silver
The latest single from the Ohio native follows on from her Observere album with a blues inspired number about an unrequited love, that evolves as the song goes on. This is perhaps best highlighted by a change in pace at 2:20 – both lyrically (“Who am I kidding? / Most of my words are for nothing”) and musically, with the focus shifting to Silver’s vocals before increasing and decreasing in tempo as the track reaches a conclusion.
Old Enough – The Water Cycle
The opening track from the 3 piece rock outfit’s second EP explores the sexual and romantic anxiety of a relationship, with a penchant for overthinking (“Was there something real behind that sheepish grin? / Cause your friends say it’s love, and your mom thinks I’m dumb”). At just over 2:50 long, Old Enough doesn’t overstay its welcome, but is a catchy little number nonetheless.
Useless – Breaking Forms (feat. Fran Straube)
The second of two songs from the married duo’s Tres EP, Useless can only be described as memorable space pop-cross-space rock. While Fran Straube’s vocal track can be described as almost haunting, this is juxtaposed by an uplifting lyrical structure (“I’ll hold you / Protect you”), and an overall sound that feels like a brief exploration of a world that has more to offer.
Getting Older – Vitamin Sun
From the vocal production to the reverberating guitar the track’s lyrics (“Who knew you were complete?”), there’s also a foreboding sound on this track. It’s Track 6 on For You, Out Of You, the latest work from the prog rock 4 piece, which include other peaceful titles including Burn and Fugue State. Oh, and it follows up from 2016’s Cacodemonomania. I sense a theme here.
Flow – Nat Reed
Originally hailing from Denver, Flow is the second follow-up track to her 2014 EP Reed. Now studying at the Berklee College of Music, Reed is mastering creating electronic tracks that combine anxious lyrics with smooth R&B undertones – refer too to Selfish, her first single from 2017. Expect to hear more from her over the course of 2018.
Flesh – TEGA
Also studying at the Berklee College of Music, this track forms part of the Boston local’s Body the LP, a soulful number about struggling – specifically, his personal struggle living with Sickle Cell Anemia, telling music site HighClouds that “No one should feel unloved for something they can’t control.” It’s also worth checking out the track’s music video here.
Persephone – Sidney Gish
Hailing from New Jersey, this Northeastern University student’s number about the mispronunciation of Ancient Greek mythological creatures forms part of her No Dogs Allowed album. Released on New Year’s Day, the record’s 13 tracks each feature well-crafted lyrics that compliment an eclectic mix of instruments, and comes with a neat bonus video if you purchase the album on Bandcamp too.
Clear (Blue) – ozlo
I’m a big fan of intense drum and guitar sections, so this track from the 3 piece’s Sorry Charlie album released in January certainly doesn’t disappoint. Forming part of the group’s first release since their 2016 self-titled EP, there’s two main musical pivots in Clear (Blue) that keeps one of the longest tracks on this list engaging.
Covered – Allison and Moon
Allison and Moon describes herself as “one sort of happy person who makes some sort of sad songs”, and also describes this track from her debut EP The Sea as “emo”. A rock track with pop-punk sensibilities, Covered deals with the end of a relationship with an appropriate quantity of angst to boot, both musically and lyrically (“You’ll catch yourself in the anchor chain that you covered up with clothes / But in the back of your brain I’m still there even if nobody knows”).
Dreamshapes – pushflowers
The third of three tracks released so far recorded at Boston’s Bridge East Studios, this pop-rock duo take on the mixed emotions of one night stands – “Don’t say that you gotta go the right way / When our bodies pull it back and forth” and “I shouldn’t share my secrets when I’m not the one that’s keeping you / But that smile and that beard drove me wild” are lyrical highlights here.
Lover – Fur Purse
Not to be outdone by the Australian artist of the same name, this 3 piece rock outfit opted to title their January 2018 release as as Pur Furse, confusing radio presenters everywhere. Listen out for guest vocals from Ella Boissonnault on this track, one of eight off their debut album.
- Someone Else - Yohannes
- Golden Hands - Anjimile
- Why Oh Why - Tory Silver
- Old Enough - The Water Cycle
- Useless - Breaking Forms (feat. Fran Straube)
- Getting Older - Vitamin Sun
- Flow - Nat Reed
- Flesh - TEGA
- Persephone - Sidney Gish
- Clear (Blue) - ozlo
- Covered - Allison and Moon
- Dreamshapes - pushflowers
- Lover - Fur Purse