The Wake ‘n’ Drake Playlist

By Charlotte Freccia ’19

Hangover? Headache? The onset of that punch-in-the-stomach, holy-shit-what-happened-last-night feeling? The sudden realization that your Philosophy midterm is tomorrow and you haven’t cracked a book? Drake ain’t care much for that.

Keep your head up, though, and behold the “Wake and Drake” playlist: an expertly curated mix of tracks and features from hip-hop’s resident sadboy that will help you actualize your inner 6 God and prepare you for anything that comes your way this week.

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Gary Clark Jr. Continues His Blues Dominance

By Paige Beyer ’18

gary-clark-jr-new-album“Lord knows I need some healing/’cause this world upsets me, this music sets me free,” sings Gary Clark Jr. on “The Healing,” the opening track off of The Story of Sonny Boy Slim – Clark’s follow-up effort to his 2012 debut album.

It’s been three years since Blak and Blu debuted and launched Clark to headline some of the biggest festivals and play with some of the biggest names. The Story of Sonny Boy Slim is a more mature album than its predecessor; it takes traditional roots and blues music and mixes it with grunge and hip-hop tones to produce an album with grooves compatible for contemporary listeners.

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Hometown Horns: Kenyon Students’ Hometown Concert Hotspots

By Devon Chodzin ’19

We love The Horn Gallery. Horn shows guarantee quality entertainment, a great time with friends, and a safe place for artistic expression. That being said, Kenyon’s music fans definitely still hold a soft spot for their favorite concert venues back at home. WKCO wanted to know all about these venues and what kinds of experiences one can expect from them, and the responses we got were incredible. Here are a few venues from across the States which managed to impact Kenyon’s music aficionados:

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Life with the Bronco: A Wild Ride through Travi$ Scott’s Rodeo

By Cameron Messinides ’19

Rodeo Album Cover (Deluxe)
This is an emergency. Listen very carefully. Travi$ Scott is wild, crazy, and on the loose. Absolutely, demonstrably, unbelievably crazy. And not just crazy high or crazy lit or crazy pissed, although all three certainly apply. This man poses a serious and imminent danger to all in his path. Already this trap terror from Houston has taken hostage millions of victims. You better run now before those drum machines come smashing down your door. This is Rodeo, hip-hop’s newest weapon of mass destruction, and Scott is here to make sure you stay firmly in the blast radius.
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Benjamin Booker and his new breed of punk-soul

by Claire Oxford ’18

Benjamin Booker is a New-Orleans based, raw-punk-soul artist who grew up in Florida. A part of a rising roots revival movement, he brings an eclectic edginess to the game that has its own niche — with more tension and angst in his songs than the smooth tunes of a more straight-laced soul singer, Leon Bridges.

In an interview with NPR, Benjamin Booker described how his gritty mix of punk, soul, blues, and gospel evolved, “I was just a music lover who wondered what it would sound like if Otis Redding strapped on a guitar and played in a punk band. That’s it.”

Booker’s self-titled album, released in 2014, hit the industry with some punch. He went from being a young aspiring artist rejected by NPR when he applied for an internship to producing his own demo, signing with ATO Records, LLC, and touring with Jack White. His music conveys more than just the raw, heated emotion of punk by connecting with the history of blues, soul, and gospel music in an African-American context. His music is both saturated with the past and pushing aggressively forward, with certain songs like “Wicked Waters” and “Slow Coming” bringing Booker’s own political frustration and disenchantment to light. 

While he hasn’t released another album since 2014, Booker remains an important artist to watch.

At Long Last, Skylar Spence Delivers with “Prom King”

By Devon Chodzin, ’19
Skylar Spence fans have been through a lot this year.
I say that because this album has been over a year in the making. The first single off this album, Fiona Coyne/Can’t You See, was released under Carpark Records in August 2014. As the Saint Pepsi name grew, the realities of intellectual property law forced Ryan DeRobertis, the mastermind behind Saint Pepsi, to adopt a new moniker- Skylar Spence.

Several tracks leaked between August of last year and August of this year, continuing to taunt fans. Finally, in August of this year, Skylar Spence set a release date for his first album under the new name, Prom King, for September 18th. As usual, it hit SoundCloud a little early, but, nonetheless, the wait was painfully long and it’s finally over.

Prom King begins with a track aptly named “Intro,” whose short duration and narrative structure are reminiscent of a ‘70s game show title sequence. “Can’t You See” comes next and offers the listener disco beats and yearning lyrics, elements which are interspersed throughout the album. Such obvious elements from pop are somewhat taboo in the indie community, so, in a weird, roundabout way, Skylar Spence’s disco-pop style is subversive.

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Beirut Voices Our Feelings About the End of Summer with No No No

By Audrey Avril, ’19

Beirut’s No No No came at the wrong time. Just when I was getting over summer, this album dropped.

Beirut is a band that definitely gives off a vintage traveler’s vibe. Gulag Orkestar, the debut album by front man Zach Condon, before a band was formed around his ideas, is a luxurious tour through Eastern Europe with a few long, sensitive moments off the Mediterranean. The Flying Club Cup is a trip to France and Western Europe along the Atlantic, exploring the tragedies of old romanticism from its roots. The band’s previous album, 2011’s The Rip Tide, seemed to do a full swing back across the Atlantic, spending a brisk summer sailing from East Coast to West.

With the orchestral-like accompaniment and the almost theatrical, often forlorn voice at the heart of it, many of Beirut’s songs sound very distinctly “old world” or “vintage.” There is a sense of loss, longing, and nostalgia that crops up in a lot of Beirut’s music. While The Rip Tide became less “old-timey,” it had an air of coastal gentility, of long gone summers on a chilly beach in Maine (a definitely not coincidental number of their music videos take place on a beach). No No No, released last Friday, is similarly going to make you want to hit up the beach one last time with the promise of days gone by.

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Let Young Jesus Destroy and Rebuild You

By Nicky Ogilvie-Thompson ’19

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 2.30.54 PM

I first heard of Young Jesus when I saw their album Home posted in a Bandcamp thread on /mu/ back in 2012. Some people had responded to whomever had posted it, thanking them and saying it was awesome, so I thought that I too should give it a listen. I was enthralled right from the get go, track one, “Family and Friends,” as vocalist John Rossiter let his voice escalate into manicism repeating, almost chanting, over and over: “Your family and friends will never die/Everybody’s gonna be alright tonight.” It’s been three years since then, and in that time period, Rossiter dissolved the band, moved to Los Angeles, dealt with some of his own personal demons, reformed the band with an added keyboardist, and recorded this album, Grow/Decompose, which is my personal Album of the Year so far (though it’d be hard to knock it off).

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Cymbal: The Only Music Discovery App You Need

by Caitlin Kennedy ’19

If you’re reading this, you probably like music, right? Well you’re in luck, there’s a new *free* app for people just like you: Cymbal, a minimalistic approach to discovering new music powered by your friends. This newest social media app coming straight out of Tufts University is just like Instagram, but for music. Unfortunately for all of you android users, you’ll have to wait a while because the beta version has yet to come.

Founded by three Tufts undergraduates, Amadou Crookes, Gabe Jacobs and Mario Gomez-Hall, the app intends to change back the way we discover music. Instead of getting recommendations from algorithms based off of your likes on various music apps, Cymbal bases itself on the idea that you value your friends taste in music more when it comes to discovering new music. All you have to do is post, like, comment, listen and discover! The artist-friendly database streams songs straight from the original host, eliminating any potential copyright infringements.

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