GRIMES: Bracing us for Robot Takeover One Song at a Time


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Grime’s new single, “We Appreciate Power” is an ode to Artificial Intelligence and how our future might look pretty soon.

In this technological age, progression is happening at turbo speeds, making our measly mortal bodies seem so primitive in comparison to the infinite potential of mechanization. In this track, Grimes seems to be propagating the fatalistic attitude of a future where AI will have unbounded power over us silly little human beings.

Now, I love Grimes and everything she does, but I personally don’t know if I’ll ever want to upload my consciousness onto a computer drive to last for all of eternity. I’m kinda just cool with having my brief human experience and peacing outta here when it’s time for me to go, ykwim? But then again, who knows what we’ll discover if we do choose to stay.

The eeriness of her vocals encouraging us to submit to our robot overlords is amusing in the best of ways. We’re meme-ifying and laughing about it now, but maybe in a few years when the robots finally do take over we’ll be looking back on this track thinking, “Damn, she was right. Oops.”

The industrial sounds on this track have drawn a lot of comparisons to Nine Inch Nails, which is understandable. People are questioning if this is going to be the catalyst of a nu-metal revival, and judging by the responses to the lyric video, they’re not mad about it.

A lot of fans were hesitant to embrace the energetic pop-nature of Grimes’ last album, Art Angels, but this new single was so left-field that you can’t help but be drawn to it. Grimes’ recent media attention with her new boo, Mr. Elon freaking Musk the billionaire certainly had some influence, but longtime fans will know that she has always been one to discuss AI progression and its integration with our own species. Despite the new sounds she’s experimenting with, the Grimes DNA in this track is evident in Claire Boucher’s high-pitched, melodic, alien vocals. The way she layers her tracks in the production process has always been innovative, and she has mentioned that she likes being an engineer more than a singer.

As a forever Grimes stan, this post is obviously biased to a degree. Still, Grimes will always be an artist to be admired as she continues to push new boundaries in her music. I love her so much because she’s never been afraid to explore her creativity in her usual nerdy, quirky, techie ways. If this is gonna be the new age of cybernetic punk rock, there’s really no one better than Grimes to ring it in.

Overall, this is one catchy-ass track and will definitely be on heavy rotation for my gym playlist. Sure, the lyrics might be questionable but I take it as a tongue-in-cheek statement towards our future synthesis with the technology we have created. Or maybe we really are destined to be engulfed by the superior Artificial Intelligence Gods, and in that case, oh well. We had a good run here on earth I guess. ¯\_()_/¯

You can listen to the track down below:

Shoutout to Lucy for encouraging me to write this post! This was my first time writing about a new music release so hopefully it was somewhat palatable lol. Good luck on your finals everyone!

-Ezzie

Discover & Download


This segment is a special article on new music and artists to check out. I will feature submissions and artists that we have on circulation at Sacramento State’s student-run radio KSSU.com. This post will focus on Acid Dad, Fine China, and The Rubens.

Acid Dad:

Acid Dad consists of Kevin Walker (Drums), Sean Fahey (Guitar/Vox), JP Basileo (Bass) and Vaughn Hunt (Guitar/Vox). The upstate New York quartet delivers a Psychedelic Indie Rock sound with Punk elements in their music. Acid Dad’s self-titled release features some amazing music with conflicting sounds. The music starts out aggressive and changes style halfway through. It almost feels as if there were two EPs combined together. Overall the music is great and songs like 2Ci show the indie mellow vibe, while songs like Mistress show that indie punk aggressive sound. Some similar artist styles include Las Rosas, Ty Segal, Tame Impala, and King Tuff.

Fine China:

Fine China offers a nice indie rock sound that uses elements of 80’s pop and modern indie sound. The band is comprised of three members Thom Walsh (Drummer), Greg Markov (Bassist), and Rob Withem (Keyboardist/Vocals). The band originates from Phoenix, AZ. Songs like The Hymnal 1982 offer elements of dreamy synths and aggressive chords that work well together. Then you have songs such as Iron is Your Love, which showcases their 80’s indie rock tendencies.

The Rubens: 

The Rubens is comprised of band members Sam Margin (lead vocals), Elliot Margin (Keyboards), Izaak Margin(Guitar), Scott Baldwin( Drums), and William Zeglis (Bass). Yes, they are brothers and close friends hailing from Australia. The Million Man EP features previously released tracks such as the hit My Gun which has that alternative rock sound that features many elements of aggressive bass and guitar with soft pop vocals. The band plans to continue on their successful momentum to release a full-length album following the Million Man EP. Songs like Hoops give a good taste of the Rubens band we love and enjoy. The songs have that bass and keyboard synth that give emotion to the vocals. If you’re a fan of  The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant, then you will enjoy this band very much.

///RaspadoPapi

March Mania | KSSU Picks


Recently, CHVRCHES released a cover of The 1975’s “Somebody Else” BBC Radio 1’s “Live Lounge”! We totally love this cover and it evokes the same kind of emotion that The 1975 have when performing the song. Head on over to BBC 1’s website and skip to about 2:10:25 to hear the track!

Altered Carbon is an ambitious sci-fi, Bladerunner themed movie. It explores the future without the possibility of death and income inequalities in a dramatized way. Many found this series an underwhelming introduction to Netflix’s sci-fi category. Although we see a lot of potential! It starts off very ambiguous and hooks you until you’re obsessed and eventually have to keep watching to find out what happens next. If you have Netflix, you’re in luck!

Beach House’s has been teasing their new album with two new singles! We love their sound and how they always stay super authentic. They’ve been true to their sound and themes since the beginning. We can always count on Beach House to have the dream pop anthems of the year and be consistent with their releases! The track list for their upcoming album 7 has been released along with a full U.S. tour. Make sure to grab your tickets for the 2nd Bay Area show before they sell out! Listen to their new singles “Lemon Glow” and “Dive”, out everywhere now.

Another Round Podcast with Heben & Tracy covers everything in the media, as well gender, race pop culture from the perspective of Black women! They’re hilarious and incredibly vulnerable and sensitive! They talk about the normalization of mental health awareness in Black families and give people a voice that normally wouldn’t have one. Listen on iTunes podcast app or on Buzzfeed now.

Icarus is a documentary about the doping of athletes and the history behind it. Filmmaker and cyclist Bryan Fogel sets out to endure a huge scandal in the cycling world. He goes to great lengths to uncover a story of personal experiments, unexplained deaths and Olympic gold medals. Watch on Netflix now!

CUCO @ Sacramento State


Unique Programs really stepped up their game with their recently announced show with CUCO at Sacramento State on Thursday, April 26. The artist known as CUCO is from a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles known as Hawthorne. His upbringing in Los Angeles has led to major influences in his style of music. CUCO is an artist that blends Future R&B, Indie Rock, and Spanish lyrics all in one style unique (no pun intended) to his upbringing. These influences seem like they would clash but actually compliment his style. The use of Ableton production software and bilingual lyrics help him to create these amazing songs of love, sadness, and infatuation that clearly reflect a style of the Indie culture associated with Los Angeles.

 

CUCO is probably most famous for his hit song Lo Que Siento, a bilingual love ballad that is a gaze of a daydream of young love and infatuation with a special girl he’s in love with. The song features elements of very dazed out synths and sing-a-long lyrics that everyone can get down with singing. Lyrics such as “Oye Carino solo pienso en ti” its hard not to dedicate this to that special someone in your life just for the well thought out and contemplative lyrics.

 

CUCO has other follow up hits such as Lover Is a Day and One and Only, which show his range in different sounds, but consistently staying his own style. Again, the lyrics are deeply reflective of friendship and pursuance of love and happiness. We see through his lyrics that ultimately the message is playful and youthful love and affection of another.

With over millions of plays on his SoundCloud and his Spotify profiles, we see that CUCO is fastly rising in success and popularity and it will only continue to grow as CUCO makes appearances on many youtube and radio outlets across the coast.

Make sure to pick up your tickets as they become available and check out the Facebook page [Here].

 

///VICTOR

Tremaine Album Review


For this heavily anticipated new album Trey Songz comes back with a pretty solid album named Tremaine. Tremaine is an album Trey Songz wanted to show the listeners that he is still one of the best if not the best R&B artist in the game today. Trey Songz expressed in his interview with the Breakfast Club that he named his first track on his album named Playboy because of his current situation with women. He explained that being at the stature that he is in he feels that he can not trust a woman with his heart because, there is always more calling and does not fill the urge to be committed in one relationship.  The interview with the Breakfast Club he discussed his issues with Nicki Minaj and simply put he felt that it was weak on Nicki’s part to get at him for no reason over the allegations claimed in the Shether song. Once the interview was over the anticipation of this album has gone up. There are 15 total songs on this album. I will review the once that are highly recommended to check out and listen to on rotation.

#2 song- Come Over: This song is one of the best songs on this album that brings fans right in to show exactly why Trey Songz is one of the best in his group. A must download with great vibes, hooks, and chorus throughout the whole track.

#5 song- Playboy: A song with context and understanding where Trey Songz is coming from I feel that this song is a great song to listen to in certain moods. I enjoyed the sound the message of the song and Trey Songz delivered well on this track.

#6 song The Sheets…..Still: To me this best song on the album, with how great he switched up his flow and how smooth his voice changed talking about the experience with the woman in the song definitely makes this a favorite song on the album to me.

#10 song 1×1: This song instantly is a summer vibe song that could be a great radio song to play. Nice vibes and high upbeat rhythm to this track makes you want to vibe. Highly recommended song for those looking for a summer jam.

#12 song: What Are We Here For?: One of my favorite songs on the album that is an instant radio play. With the beat and rhythm this is a quality track that will be played a lot more in the summer.

Review Score: 7/10 Very solid album that will be played from time to time.

-DjLeodawnus

Album Review: Kings of Leon – WALLS


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The year of 2016 has marked the beginning and the end of a plethora of items and people.  Over the course of the year we have lost music icons such as David Bowie and Prince to name a few; however, we have also seen new releases by formidable artists and performers such as Green Day, The Weeknd, Metallica, Radiohead, etc.  One of such releases comes from American alternative-rock band Kings of Leon with their seventh studio album titled “WALLS” (We Are Like Love Songs).  Although arguably not a masterpiece, WALLS delivers familiar Kings of Leon staples reminiscent of their material eight years prior that are both energetic and relaxing.
Alternative-rock as a genre itself can be dismissed as one that is characterized by an overuse of delay, distortion, fuzz, power chords, and underdeveloped melodies that are forgettable; however, WALLS takes these familiar elements and blends them smoothly with subtle embellishments and instrumentation to offer a bit of variety.  In the opening track, “Waste A Moment”, listeners are presented with an upbeat, almost pop-oriented single that is full of energy and announces the band’s presence with their signature overtones and gain-filled rifts.  The result is a simple, yet fun way of demonstrating that this in part is the band listeners have come to enjoy over the years, yet they have changed slightly since the last time we have heard them.  The latter effect becomes apparent at the album’s midpoint with tracks such as “Find Me” and “Muchacho”, which introduce synthesizers, rhythmic sampling, whistling, and other subtle instrumental embellishments that diversify each individual tune.
Despite these small innovations, the tracks themselves are still characteristically Kings of Leon tracks that do not stand out among the discography that they have established over the years.  “Find Me”, for example, is primarily driven by a semi-complex guitar riff that appears at the track’s beginning and makes subsequent appearances with each chorus.  This is not particularly a bad thing; however, this focus on familiarity and on what we have come to expect is exactly what makes a majority of the tracks rather predictable.  Though the synthesizer usage is present briefly in the beginning and sporadically though each verse, it is a lack of utilization of these devices that makes tunes such as “Find Me” fun but relatively forgettable.  Aside from this, active listeners will also recognize a familiarity in structure.  Yes, I refer to the typical Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus.  Though there is not necessarily anything wrong with this standard format, this additional limitation does not serve the band justice in these instances.  In this listener’s opinion: “I get that it works, cool, but I am getting bored”.
The Kings of Leon have always been a band that strikes me as not too innovative in regards to new styles of music, but rather, one that seeks to improve upon a genre that is adored and enjoyed by thousands throughout the world.  They have demonstrated time and time again that they are good at what they do, and I commend them for that; however, it is time to change.  What else does the Followill gang have to offer?  Until that time, enjoy more of the Kings of Leon you have come to love.

I give WALLS, a 3 out of 5.

Album Review: Tacocat – Lost Time


TacoCatAt first glance, Tacocat seems like a very innocuous thing. The four-piece band’s name comes across as disarming and playful with sunny instrumentation to match.

Yet, to overlook the depth of Tacocat’s music, their “bubblegum rock,” is to do the band a disservice.

“Lost Time,” an album made up of 12 poignant looks at life, picks up where Tacocat last left off in every regard.

The instrumentation on “Lost Time” feels largely similar to the band’s last album, “NVM,” it’s the writing that has become blunter. Singer Emily Nokes’ skill for introspection and observation elevates Tacocat where so many other bands falter.

In a perfect world we’d receive a balanced expression of both sides of gender politics within music, but in our messy reality Nokes’ willingness to address the social issues that others dance around or weakly acknowledge is refreshing.

“Lost Time” is never pandering and never hits you over the head. In fact, it’s fun through and through. Even as the world ends on “I Love Seattle,” as the city falls into the ocean succumbing to earthquakes and tsunamis, Tacocat will joyously tell you the city feels so much like home they’d never want to leave.

Though, the importance of what Tacocat is doing comes from their social commentary.

“Men Explain Things to Me” says it all starting with its title and carrying into its lyrics (“Don’t tell me what to do / My feelings won’t subdue / Just because you told them to”). Nokes directly addresses the clichéd roles of gender through smartly employed metaphors, such as moving off of a walkway for men who take up the entire sidewalk, and voices her frustration (“We get it dude / We’ve already heard enough from you / The turning point is overdue”).

Tacocat confidently offers a female perspective on topics we typically see addressed by men. “You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit” (a reference to the Nirvana song “Scentless Apprentice,” similar to their last album’s title paying homage to Nirvana’s “Nevermind”) involves Nokes asking for a past relationship to take her back, but only so she can break up with them in return.

Nokes’ gaze then falls on “The Internet.” Here, the “Hate from the basement / Hate from the insecure,” from the anonymous and from the “mosquitos” is addressed. It’s a song with a rhetorical question, asking what right a random individual has to make a judgement over another they’ve never met.

Conversely, “Talk” looks at the disconnect between two individuals within the same room (“Together, together, alone / Stay true, true to your phone”) and the all-too-common inclination for two individuals to sit next to each other entrenched in their own phones. Nokes points out that she simply wants to use the time to talk, maybe even dance if the situation allows.

“Lost Time” culminates in the song “Leisure Bees,” a well-executed metaphor reminding the listener to “Take your time because / It’s your time to take.” Here, Nokes wisely explains that success in life is an entirely subjective term. Success doesn’t have to be based on work, it can be something as simple as your happiness.

It’s a fitting closing to “Lost Time” because Tacocat is ultimately using the album to communicate the importance of the individual. After all, “the values that you want / Are the ones that you can make.”

 

Emiliano is a DJ at KSSU

The Power Hour Recap 4/5


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music

Good Afternoon KSSU listeners and readers! I’m DJ Ace and this my Power Hour recap for April 5th.

Basically I’ve been wanting to do this all semester, and finally had the time to sit down to hash one of these outs. These recaps are a way to go a little more in-depth about the music being played today and a chance to talk a little more about whats going on weekly. So without further ado, lets get into what music was played today!


 

  1. Fanfare – FFVII OST – As of two shows ago, this has been the new starting song every show and variations of this theme will be present every show. It especially works well as background music as I do my intro. For some history about the title, this fanfare has been used in Final Fantasy as victory music after completing a battle since the original FF released over 20 years ago. It has definitely become a staple of the franchise needless to say.
  2. Easy Lover – Phil Collins –  So our theme this show was more vocals and a little more classic sounds instead of our usual synth-wave approach. So firstly, this track also contains vocals by Phillip Bailey and the combination of both vocalists really brings the song along quite nicely. Oddly enough, the creation of the song came from a chance meeting between the two, and after a few jam sessions they decided to recorded the song in order to not forget it.
  3. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police – Alright, so first things first, I have a huge love for The Police. Its a very influential group for me and one of the big artists I remember listening to as a kid. That being said, its hard to lock onto certain songs that really give you the listener a song that captures the groups sound, but I think this track does a great job of doing it. The Police typically create a very “ska” sound with their music, with fast tempos and strong beats. This song is no exception and I imagine by the middle of the song you are tapping your feet along with the beat.
  4. Off The Wall – Michael Jackson – Phew, another huge artist! Is my show becoming too mainstream for listeners? MJ was an artist I had the privilege of growing up to, when he was at his prime he was simply untouchable. I’m sure most agree that there will simply not be another artist who will have as big of an impact on the industry. Off The Wall is the self entitled track from one of his early albums, containing very disco like sounds. A very simple beat accompanies his already signature vocals, along with a smooth chorus. Like most of his tracks, this is very much a feel good track. As MJ states, “just enjoy yourself”.
  5. Maneater – Hall & Oates – Obviously you can’t have a 80’s playlist without some Hall & Oates. These guys wrote some of the most signature songs from the 80’s and you’ve probably heard them before and never even realized it. To keep the upbeat pace of the first half of the show, I went with Maneater. It keeps a very upbeat tempo, accompanied by a prominent bass line.

Well thats it for Part 1 of the Power Hour Recap. Tomorrow look forward to reading the second half!

– Ace

Ace is a Dj with KSSU

Weekly Staff Picks #2


Welcome back to another installation of KSSU’s Staff Picks! We have for you 5 recent songs that are resonating with everyone at the station. Now that we are all back from the almighty spring break, we have plenty of music to grace your ears. May these songs also become your new favorites. Cheers.

 

Staff Pick 1: Lucy Morales

James Supercave – Better Strange, Better Strange

The trio consisting of Joaquin Pastor, Patrick Logothetti, and  Andrés Villalobos bring to us from Echo Park, CA their debut LP “Better Strange.” Having released their debut EP “the Afternoon” in 2015, and now going on tour to support Wild Belle, the synth pop group is riding on unstoppable momentum. Their featured track Better Strange is ethereal and hypnotic with its use of harmonizing synthesizers. While sonically it’s zany, the song also celebrates the intrinsic value of eccentricity. Certainly, James Supercave has revitalized the indie electronic scene when there are overwhelming amounts of oversaturation.

 

Staff Pick 2: Anthony Parenzin

Basement – Lose Your Grip, Promise Everything

Basement’s classic grunge sound persists on half the tracks but the other half sound like they were written for a Nicholas Sparks movie. Needless to say my favorite song, “Lose Your Grip,” in all its glorified angst sounds like it could have come straight off their sophomore album Colourmeinkindness. It is also the only song on the album were we get a little screaming, so enjoy it because it is short-lived moment. Despite their newest album being hit or miss Basement is still a band that people should turn out to see. They are currently on finishing a European tour and they kick off a month long U.S. tour with Turnstile and Defeater in April. Don’t miss out! I’ll be at their Orangevale show on April 10th.

 

Staff Pick 3: Jared Torrez

Wet – Deadwater, Don’t You

Wet is a fairly new band within the Alt/Indie genre coming out of New York, and were called the most promising group by The Fader in 2015.  They just recently dropped their first official studio album called “Don’t You,” as well as finished their North American album tour in February.  Wet has been a favorite band of mine for a few years now and I have gotten the chance to see them live multiple times.  At the last concert of theirs I attended, they performed my favorite song from the album, “Deadwater” .  The lyrics are genuine and really bring out the feels as you can hear the vulnerability in the lead singer’s voice.  This is definitely a band you do not want to miss out on.

 

Staff Pick 3: Brianna Swain

Saul Williams – Think Like They Book Say, MartyrLoserKing

If you can expect one thing from Saul Williams, it’s that he will make politically and socially conscious music that you can dance to. The song starts with energetic drums reminiscent of 90’s breakbeat and slowly builds into controlled anarchy with pulsing synths, echoed bleeps and crunchy guitars. Personally, I’ve been following his work since he released “The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!” in 2007. Williams always has something relevant to say and just as he doesn’t pigeonhole himself into one mode of expression, (actor, singer-songwriter, musician, poet, writer) his music defies categorization as well.

 

Staff Pick 5: Emiliano Martin

DIIV – Under The Sun, Is The Is Are

DIIV’s most recent record, “Is the Is Are,” is a sunny shoegaze album that feel like it may have been better suited for a spring release. Though the gloomier backdrop of a winter release might make more sense given the context; this is DIIV’s first record since singer, guitarist and producer Zachary Cole Smith, left rehab for drug addiction. It’s overall a brighter album, perhaps signaling a change for the better. So, with the seasons soon changing and the last of the heavy winter rains coming to a close, the track “Under the Sun” is the perfect lighthearted song to help wish away those clouds quicker.

 

 

 

 

Album Review: Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger


TySegallAlbumAt this point in his career the only thing more wild than Ty Segall’s output, this being Segall’s 16th album in eight years, are the touring personas he has adopted for his new album, “Emotional Mugger.”

Segall keeps in character throughout all his performances, whether it be on NPR, where he adamantly refuses to break character and answer questions with utter nonsense, or The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where Segall’s face-painted candy-tossing antics clearly leave the crowd on edge.

Of course, the seeming insanity all serves a purpose as Segall has decided to avoid all publicity. He staves off interviews and photos on this tour with the help of various masks, hoods and face paint befitting the characters of the album’s respective songs.

Perhaps tired of the media circus that accompanies any album release, Segall instead allows his live performances speak for themselves. Here, he is willingly aided by his backing band The Muggers in his various antics, the band includes guitarist King Tuff and the drummer for the band WAND, Evan Burrows, among others.

Segall’s garage-rock album “Emotional Mugger” is the perfect platform for these antics.

Produced by Segall and F. Burmudez, the album’s 11 tracks maintain the lo-fi aesthetic of Segall’s previous work with everything from Segall’s voice, saturated with delay, to the heavy distortion of each guitar.

The album opens with its strongest track, “Squealer,” which featured a strong bassline and melody combination that carrier the track into the grimy “California Hills.” This next track feels intentionally monotonous as Segall drags on about “affluent life” before a jarring tempo change that dips out as quickly as it came in.

The album’s title track “Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess” follows and ends up setting a good example for the album’s mixing. The instrumentation here is well spaced out allowing for heavy distortion of the guitars, panned to the left and right sides, and for the placement of the drums to move throughout the song.

The placement of the instruments essentially follows this formula throughout the album to mixed results. For example, the song “Breakfast Eggs” plays with the left and right panned guitars with the left guitar cutting in and out of harmony with the right.

The most interesting example of playing with the mixing is “Candy Sam” as the song alternates left to right between drum patterns of varying intensity.

But, even with its abrasiveness and constant energy, “Emotional Mugger” can feel a bit rote. Even with its creative mixing songs can become repetitive with some feeling like filler tracks.

“Diversion” is the best example of a low point despite all of its energy. A cover of a song of the same name by the 1960s band The Equals, it feels out of place in every way expect for its subject matter.

“Emotional Mugger” comes to a conclusion with “The Magazine,” it’s a slow song that seems to eventually just die out. At this point it becomes obvious that this album’s fixation with the baby character and the idea of candy might be a larger statement on society from Segall, namely the over-indulgence of ego.

Although not his best work, “Emotional Mugger” is Ty Segall’s most obvious statement on society, and its best songs make up for its shortcomings with the appeal of their abrasive energy.

Emiliano is a DJ with KSSU