By: Colleen McDaniel – Flyer Radio Correspondent
Well, it’s getting to be that time of year again, one of the saddest times of the musical year. Your summer playlist is getting stale. Those top 40 songs you somehow picked up are stuck in your head on repeat, and you’ve reached a point where you have given in and admitted you like them. You’re remembering all the spring releases you didn’t listen to, and all the records you forgot to spin. Worst of all, your notifications on Spotify are showing that you missed every single release that your favorite artists came out with in June, and you know you can’t go back to school without a new fall playlist. Aside from the excuse that we, the WUDR BSide co-hosts were on vacation, it’s time to admit that your musical aspirations maybe didn’t live up to the hype when you planned your original summer playlist.
Fear not, my musically-enthused friend, because it’s all right. Your DJ’s at the BSide, Tommy Tappel, Cameron Lenard and myself, have compiled a list of our favorite albums and releases that you missed this summer, and have briefly reviewed them for you. You’re welcome.
Album: “Dancing at the Blue Lagoon”
Release Date: June 19, 2015
Taking the lead is one album that went under our own noses at first: “Dancing at the Blue Lagoon” by Zach Yudin’s project, Cayucas. This anticipated (at least by us) sophomore album is a total win for West Coast indie pop. Whether it reminds you of long days at the beach catching waves or barbecues with friends on summer afternoons, this album is the epitome of good summer jams. After the release of the single “Moony Eyed Walrus” in early May, Cayucas was sure to remind us that he doesn’t mess around with his distinct sound. He was going to give us exactly what we loved about the first album, while still amping it up a little. This is a perfect album to bring back to school to relive those summer memories while making new ones as the warm weather lingers through the beginning of classes.
Album: “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”
Artist: Florence + the Machine
Release Date: June 2, 2015
We couldn’t be more excited about this release. Florence Welch released her third album this summer and took to the festival circuit. I first heard her newest songs at Bonnaroo early in June. Inspired by her adventures on tour in the United States, the album is rather different from “Lungs” (2009) and “Ceremonials” (2011). Welch’s mighty vocals and the band’s dynamic sound remain while taking a subtle, upbeat spin on things. With her meaningful lyrics and big sound, Florence + the Machine is the perfect music for any gathering or just a vocal warm-up in the shower.
Artist: Tame Impala
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Coming up next is this much-anticipated album from Tame Impala. Perhaps one of the most musically impressive artists of the past five years, Tame Impala took the sophomore album slump, buried it 6-feet deep, and then blew it up in its own grave. My expectations were shattered by the pure brilliance of lead Kevin Parker. Bringing back to the table their groovy, spacy sound, “Currents” is an album that makes me want to live my life in a light tunnel montage. It is great for any setting that involves good people and fun times. This album is even more…can I use “jamming” and still sound like I know what I’m talking about? I’ll take it. It’s jamming. You go Kevin Parker.
Album: “The Desired Effect”
Artist: Brandon Flowers
Release Date: May 19, 2015
I reviewed Flowers a while back in my personal blog, but basically what you need to know is this: Brandon Flowers redeemed himself from his last solo album, “Flamingo.” Lead singer of The Killers, it is impossible to ignore the obvious shared style of the two. Except this time, B-Flowers found a way to make an album uniquely his own—without it being subpar. A far more poppy album than The Killers’ classic sound with a dash of R&B influence gives this album a sound that is purely Flowers’. Another album for any occasion, Flowers will have you dancing around the student neighborhood wishing you found “The Desired Effect” sooner.
Artist: Twenty One Pilots
Release Date: May 15, 2015
Leaders of the charts are your hometown heroes, Josh Dunn and Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots. I can’t say anything except how outstanding this album is. After exploring a totally new sound with their third album, “Vessel,” TOP totally came back and exceeded our expectations with “Blurryface.” A good mix of the old and the new, this album explores a heavier side, but still has a few songs that sound like they could’ve been on the band’s second album “Regional at Best.” With lyrics that take you through Joseph’s struggle with his newfound fame as well as the same struggles we can all relate to AND even a love song, this album is for any place at any time.
We hope this has been helpful in jumping back into the alternative scene, and we’ll catch you on the BSide.