I’m not going to lie I have spent most of May listening to Harry Styles debut album. I really like it. A lot. Even if I cringe to admit it. Meet Me in the Hallway, Carolina, and From the Dining Table are the real stand out songs for me and are on high rotation on my May Spotify playlist (though I also really enjoy Ever Since New York and Kiwi). I was not expecting to like this album at all and I am not, and have never been, a listener/fan of One Direction, so I feel like I have a pretty objective opinion abut Harry Styles, and my recommendation would be give this album a listen, because you might actually like it… As always my life motto applies to situations like this – have little to no expectations and you might be pleasantly surprised.
To balance out the Harry Styles, and to make sure I am still a card carrying member of the alternative music club, I should say I have also been really loving the new Grizzly Bear single Mourning Song, which is the second song released off their new album Painted Ruin (due out in August).
I’ve listened to this song well over 10 times already and I love how it sounds like a natural progression of the band’s sound. It’s different yet familiar when compared to their previous stuff and perhaps more accessible to casual listeners. Normally Grizzly Bear songs are a slow build and work best when listened to in the context of a whole album, but Mourning Song works well as a single and gets straight to the point with a really great bass line from Chris Taylor. Pitchfork said in their review of the song that Ed Droste and Dan Rossen’s turn at the vocals sounds a bit like they might have come from different songs. But I disagree. I feel like they compliment one another perfectly on this song (though I think I actually prefer when Rossen is singing on Grizzly Bear songs). Mourning Song makes me even more excited for the new album (which we have been waiting for almost 5 years). Bring on August.
Closer to home New Zealand band Glass Vaults have a new album out, and it’s the kind of musical sunshine that will help you get through the looming New Zealand winter.
It’s a really fun listen and so different from their moody and atmospheric early EPs. To be honest it’s taken me a while to come round to the more upbeat sound Glass Vaults have been going for since their previous album Sojourn, because those early EPs have such a special place in my heart (I have such a vivid memory of their gig at Chicks about 5 years ago now where those songs sounded incredible), but I think with this album they have convinced me. Still going to pop the video for Gold Star below though because that song is just amazing.
Another album I have been really getting into this month is Charly Bliss‘s debut Guppy (which came out at the end of April). I love the 90s throwback feel of the album and its super catchy. The stand out track has to be Percolator, with my favourite line “I cry all the time/I think that it’s cool/I’m in touch with my feelings”. There is a really great interview with the band over on bandcamp that you should check out which explains the process/thoughts behind the album. It made me like Eva (the lead singer) even more. I basically want her to be my new best friend.
I’ve been listening to Local Native’s single Close Your Eyes (which actually came out in March) a fair bit too. It’s the first song of theirs I have really gotten in to since their debut album, even though its feels quite different to any of those songs, more loud and raw. I also like that you can 100% hear some cow bell in there. So many songs would be improved by the addition of some cow bell.
At the end of April I watched all of Girlboss, Netflix’s not so flash new show about Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso’s life, in about 2 days. The show isn’t amazing but I like Britt Robertson and it was a really easy watch. The one really great thing about the show though was that it introduced me to a really kick ass song: I’ll Come Crashing by A Giant Dog. I love this song. It makes you feel like a total badass, particularly if you turn the volume way up.
And finally, my last musical suggestion for the month is the Imagining My Man by Aldous Harding.