Top Albums of 2021

Honestly, I’m pretty over lists at this point. They’re arbitrary and don’t really reflect anything but someone’s tastes, except here where they reflect the tastes of three individuals…because that’s how we roll. So, take this list with a grain of salt. These are the records we thought were the best, which mostly just means these are the ones we listened to on repeat throughout the year! Feel free to leave a comment on what you think we missed, or why we’re dumb; we love good comment trolls.

Also, because this list is really about crediting the art that made us happy, we wanted it to make you happy too, so we included purchasing links where we could. Read more

Last Week’s Jams, Today (11.8 – 11.12)

We’re here with your weekly addition of Last Week’s Jams, with a slight little spin on things this week. For starters, there were certainly some jams on our pages, so we hope you’ll revisit…may I recommend the Crabber record again? Plus, you’ve got the new hits from Slumberland Records (who had a killer week in our eyes). And, in the end, I threw in a couple of tracks from shows we were able to see last week, or the week before, just as a reminder for us when we listen to our own playlists! Listen to some songs, and have a really great week friends!

Robert Sotelo Shares The Currency Is Love Video

We’ve been hyping up Celebrant, the new record from Robert Sotelo that’s dropping in your lap tomorrow, but we’ve got one final jam before you get to hear it in its entirety. “The Currency is Love” deals with the theme of pushing on despite the world around us crumbling, which seems a fit final single for the UN Climate Change Conference wrapping up. Musically, the song’s built around these synthetic pulses and beats, at times emphatically sharpening Sotelo’s voice, and other times just kicking in a bounce to keep you on board, like the heavier loop dropping in after the two minute mark. Personally, I love how things don’t feel overly sterile and cold, with Robert doing his best to hang some melody out there with his vocals. So, let’s follow suit because like the song says “the currency is love,” and I love this record so grab Celebrant tomorrow from Upset the Rhythm.

Last Week’s Jams, Today (10.25 – 10.29)

Hopefully you’re all waking up a little groggy from celebrating Halloween with your neighbors and friends…or your kid. So we’re here to ease you into the week by offering up a quick little playlist to recap what came our way last week, in case you missed it. Be sure to give a listen to new music from Rachel Love (Dolly Mixture) and Lewsberg, both who released great albums last week. We start off with the recent banger from Clear History, so make sure your speakers are adjusted appropriately. Happy Monday!

New Video from Robert Sotelo

Robert Sotelo will be releasing Celebrant in early November, and with that date approaching, there’s another new video to tease you into buying the LP. I love how it opens up with this muted glitch, evolving into a layered glitch and melodic pulse that drives the song’s tension. Then comes Sotelo, hanging his voice in that sort of darkened pop expanse, swirling with melody, bravado and hints of drama. The chorus hits on these playful notes, lifting the tune briefly. All that said, the song is about longing and protection with Robert saying the track is about feeling “overly paternal towards a parent,” which becomes increasingly difficult in the current climate. And just to say…I wish more people wrote pop tunes like this. Celebrant is out November 12th via Upset the Rhythm.

 

Last Week’s Jams, Today (September 13 – 17)

Last week I might have gotten a little carried away; my wife and newborn son were spending a lot of time resting, so I was just hanging out writing about songs all week…something a teacher, soccer coach, dad and label owner typically can’t do. So, this week’s playlist of last week’s hits might be a little longer than usual, but you’re going to be all the better for it. I hope you have a wonderful Monday my friends, and enjoy the jams here!

Robert Sotelo Returns with Influencer

Hopefully this is the year that Robert Sotelo‘s work really registers with those who spend time with his new album, Celebrant. Musically, he’s dwelling in this sort of constructionist pop realm, carefully stacking layers of synths atop one another, leaving enough space for the song to breathe so he can drape his lyrics atop. At times, his voice takes on a slight coldness, almost robotic in nature, however, he’s still quick to turn it into this celebratory melody that will make your heart flutter. The song’s both futuristic and steeped in nostalgic art pop, so dip your toes in the fine waters of Sotelo’s craft. Celebrant is out November 12th via Upset the Rhythm.

New Stuff from Robert Sotelo

I’m still catching up from last week’s releases that I either missed or accidentally ignored amidst all the fun of Bandcamp’s waived-fee Friday, like this new stuff from Robert Sotelo. It’s the recording project of Andrew Doig, who we’ve covered before with his Infinite Sprawling LP for Upset the Rhythm. This two song single came out Friday, and I’m absolutely in love with it; it’s these synth driven pop songs, crafted so uniquely that while I can hear lineage, I can’t recall anything current that really sounds like this. I was initially drawn to “Dear Resident” from the beginning of my listen, but on repeat runs through, “Operate Now” might be my favorite of these two tracks. It has this sneaky little directional change around the 1:40 minute mark that totally made me fall in love. Please spend some time with these tracks, out now via Permanent Slump. Oh…and if you click to go to the Bancamp page, there’s two great videos to accompany each track.

Robert Sotelo Shares Infinite Sprawling

Infinite Sprawling is the name of Robert Sotelo‘s forthcoming LP, and the Glasgow based artist just recently put up the album’s title track for our listening enjoyment. There’s two distinctive sounds for you to enjoy within the track’s confines, so lets explore a little bit. The verses have this bright sharpness, using these chords bending around Sotelo’s voice to craft an almost bossanova version of post-punk. The chorus takes on more energy, with the guitars having more force and Sotelo’s vocals taking on more purpose, almost a calmed rush of melody bursting out. The new LP is out next Friday (9/13) via one of my faves, Upset the Rhythm.

Robert Sotelo Announces Infinite Sprawling

It’s always interesting to discover what musically captivates us, what draws us in. Sometimes, it’s a huge hook or some beat, or sometimes, its the absence of it all, as is the case in this new tune from Robert Sotelo. He crafts this sparse musical landscape, working with his guitar and voice to attract your ears…then he moves the song towards a touch more elegance, built by blossoming strings and aided by backing vocals. It feels so grand at times, and yet so simple…it’s hard for me to turn away from it. This track will appear on the new LP, Infinite Sprawling, out September 13th via Upset the Rhythm.