The Best of 2016, According to WKCO

By the Blog Staff ❤

Our favorites from this truly exhausting year, 2k16.

Maddie Farr ’18

Best Album: MY WOMAN by Angel Olsen

Best Song: “Away Above” by Weyes Blood

Favorite Music “Moment”: JoJo releasing her first album in 10 years was the most exciting thing to happen musically this year, in my opinion. Her success makes me personally happy. I grew up loving JoJo, and seeing her incredible personal and professional growth on this album is awesome. Check out Mad Love., it is mad full of bangers!!!

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Album Review: ‘Front Row Seat To Earth’

By Maddie Farr ’18

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It’s basically impossible at this point to not be aware of our incoming environmental catastrophe. What were once theoretical statistics are now tangible realities, as temperatures rise globally, natural disasters intensify, and our coastal cities are threatened by the expanding ocean. This is our world, and the bite of it sometimes keeps me up at night. Which is why I fell so hard for Front Row Seat To Earth, the new album by Natalie Mering’s project Weyes Blood. The reality of climate change never leaves Mering’s line of sight as she sings of feelings as seemingly disparate from environmental destruction as love, longing, and iPhones. This is not a social justice album. Mering is not asking you to recycle more, although I’m sure she would appreciate it if you did. This is an album about how to get up every morning and keep living and loving, even when you are aware that within your lifetime you will experience environmental changes that no humans have experienced before. This is an album about the primacy of truth and love, and the ability of humans to survive change.

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I Dare You To Understand What Makes Me a Woman: A Review of Angel Olsen’s album “MY WOMAN”

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On “Sister,” one of the B-sides off of Angel Olsen’s recently released album MY WOMAN, she sings, “I want to live life / I want to die right…” Olsen then allows the music to swell and pause before she croons the end of her sentence: “…next to you.” When I first heard this song, I didn’t realize the two phrases were connected, that a you was being directly addressed in the first line. The distance between the two sentiments suggests a desire for a closeness that is both elusive and necessary. It is exactly this complexity that defines Angel Olsen’s musical project.

Throughout MY WOMAN, Olsen immerses herself in these questions: what do we want from life? What are we seeking? Love, satisfaction, intimacy, artistic expression, some sort of elusive sense of adventure and truth? Can these qualities coexist, or does being a woman who loves men and also an artist mean that your life will always be delineated by sacrifice and compromise? These are the concerns that have defined Angel Olsen’s rich career thus far, and I see MY WOMAN as another gorgeous and wise attempt to grapple with them. In the process, she has created a sonically impressive and diverse album that offers a strong, if prismatic, definition of how to be alive, and a WOMAN.

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Go Away, Come Closer: A Playlist

By Maddie Farr ’18

Over the summer, I had the privilege of taking a short writing class with the talented poet Anna Ziering, which centered on the theme of “go away, come closer.” The desires for intimacy and distance, and how they fight each other in our bodies. That resonated with me, so I made a playlist about it. I hope it resonates with you.

Left Alone – Fiona Apple (The Idler Wheel…)

“How can I ask anyone to love me, when all I do is beg to be left alone?” Really, what else is there to say?

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Astrology: The Playlist

By Maddie Farr ’18

02248b5abf3af576351381590bf22345.jpgBefore assembling this playlist, I truly had no idea there were so many songs about astrology. Whether or not we believe in the validity of astrology, most of us find that concepts from the zodiac still influence the way we think about the world and our relationships, whether we like it or not. The myriad of songs that reference astrology is evidence alone of this fact. As a person who filters nearly every interaction through the lens of astrology, these songs make me feel a part of something greater. As in, I now feel like if I met Beyoncé in person we could have an intelligent conversation about astrology.

Enjoy the tunes!

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An Interview with Addie Pray

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Interview by Maddie Farr ’18

On the Bandcamp page for Carmen Perry’s new album as Addie Pray, Screentime, she writes: “Screentime is about waiting and learning how to feel like you deserve to be happy.” This message permeates Screentime, whose songs wander through anxiety, worry, comfort, and ultimately, happiness. Like all of the Addie Pray albums (which can be found on Carmen’s Bandcamp), I listen to it with a sometimes painful, always grounding recognition. I’ve listened to Carmen’s music on rooftops and buses and on my feet and everywhere she reminds me that it’s ok not to be happy, but also that I deserve to be.

So it was such an honor to be able to interview Carmen–who graduated from Kenyon in 2015–last Friday, when she returned to open for Free Cake For Every Creature at the Horn Gallery. We talked about P.S. Eliot, SPORTS–her band, also formed at Kenyon, with James Karlin ’15, Benji Dossetter ’15, Catherine Dwyer ’14, and Jack Washburn ’16 (the last two also played in Addie Pray at the show and participated in this interview!)–religion, and more! It was a good time and I laughed a lot. I hope you do too, at the funny parts. Thank you again to Carmen, Jack, and Catherine. Enjoy!

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Horn Gallery Spotlight: Frankie Cosmos and All Dogs

By Maddie Farr ’18

I am really excited for Wednesday’s Horn show – and you should be too. This week Kenyon will be welcoming indie star Frankie Cosmos and Ohio-bred All Dogs. If you are familiar with these groups, you are probably thoroughly thrilled by now. If these are new names to you, read on to discover why, this Wednesday, the place to be is the Horn Gallery.

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Album Review: All of Something

By Maddie Farr ’18

I (like many Kenyon students) have been a big fan of SPORTS for a while. I fell first for their debut album Sunchokes, which still perfectly recalls the fidgety anxiety and promise of freshman year. Seeing them perform live was always an experience, a sweaty room of bouncing kids singing every line back to the band. It’s not an overstatement to say that this album soundtracked my first year at Kenyon.

A lot has changed since tPromoImage-1-560x560hen. Four of the five of SPORTS’ members have now graduated–Catherine Dwyer ’14, Carmen Perry ’15, James Karlin ’15, and Benji Dossetter ’15–leaving Jack Washburn ’16 still at Kenyon. But before they scattered, SPORTS recorded a sophomore album — this time in Philadelphia, with rising producer Kyle Girlbride. The result is the rousing 20-minute All of Something, which proves that both everything and nothing has actually changed.

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Musical Horoscopes: November

By Maddie Farr ’18

I am obsessed with astrology.

I acknowledge that this makes me a little crazy and witchy, but I’m embracing it. Astrology isn’t something you have to believe 100% all the time, but it can provide a useful lens through which to view yourself and those you care about. Or at least, it can be pretty fun.

This month, I have decided to read your horoscopes WITH MUSIC. Take everything I say with a grain of salt, as I have absolutely no actual authority in astrology. But, I give pretty good advice.

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