Let’s be honest, summer 2013 was a phenomenal season for music.
Kanye West’s Yeezus is arguably his best work, the new Sara Bareilles album finally convinced me she’s talented and Blue October’s Sway showed that the band hasn’t lost its touch since I began listening to them when I was a freshman in high school.
In other words, releasing albums this season was going to be a tough act for artists to follow after the summer. I wasn’t sure if it would have measured up, but it delivered, and it’s delivered in dividends.
What’s been great about this fall is that the strongest albums making the most impact in the mainstream are by female musicians, many of whom are new to the mainstream, or are really just starting to get the acknowledgment they deserve.
Here’s what’s caught my attention these past several weeks:
I first caught wind of the all-female trio when I went to Governor’s Ball over the summer. I missed them by a day, but they were one of the acts that got some of the most hype and praise once the festival was over. Days Are Gone shows why.
Admittedly, it reminds me a lot of the music I would hear in Delia’s when I was in high school (I’m sure it’s in the playlist rotation there) so it can be a bit of a PTSD trigger.
However, it’s easy to listen to, there’s nothing way too in your face and it’s difficult to get out of your head. Also, all of them are really hot.
Yeah, I know, she’s everywhere. Maybe you’re already sick of her. I am nowhere near close to being so.
Lorde is so talented and so fun and, at 16 years old, has already made a name for herself as being this extremely cool new face in music. I can’t believe she’s 16. I’m 21 and having a mental breakdown weekly about what I’m going to do when I get out of here in May.
I can’t get enough of “Buzzcut Season,” one of the songs on the album. It’s dark and edgy without being too heavy-handed or alienating. Definitely my favorite track of the fall.
Of all the albums on this list, this is the most complete from top to bottom. Every song is good, the storytelling is cohesive and above all, it’s such a fun album to get up and dance to.
But what I’m most impressed with is how there is plenty of support on the album, with Prince and Erykah Badu collaborating, but Janelle Monae never comes close to losing the spotlight.
Regardless of the artist, she is collaborating with, no one outshines Monae, or even comes close to. She is the star of The Electric Lady, as she should be.
Janelle, please consider marrying me.
Sleigh Bells has been a regular on my party playlists for a couple of years now because they’re one of those groups that is a lot of fun to drink and socialize to.
This album isn’t very different from what they’ve put out in the past, which is okay because they’re definitely better artists.
I always look for how much an artist changes and grows and how that growth has an effect on their music, but I think there is value in finding what works best for you and sticking with that.
I think Sleigh Bells does that with this album and it’s definitely going to be on playlists for years to come.