The Art of the Album: Noteworthy Albums Being Released This Friday (8/18/2017)

This week we’re going to see the return of Grizzly Bear after five years. We’ll also be graced with the charm and swagger of A$AP Ferg, along with A LOT of his friends. Finally, we’ll be able to look forward to an old sound, done by two newcomers, Kacy & Clayton, with the help of a music legend!

Grizzly Bear- Painted Ruins

It’s been five years since Brooklyn’s, Grizzly Bear have released an album. As the follow up to 2013’s fantastic album, Shields, the world is excited for what Painted Ruins has to offer. Fans have come to love Grizzly Bear for many reasons, the hybrid between indie and electronic rock, the close attention to detail in crafting a song, and the melodic baritone of singer Ed Droste. In the four songs that Grizzly Bear have released, they have given fans everything they have been looking for.

Grizzly Bear’s first single “Three Rings” features african drums, dreamy piano chords, carefully picked guitar riffs, and Ed Droste’s signature sound. As the first new music in five years, this song is a great comeback for Grizzly Bear, it demonstrates their versatility, musicality, and growth over the past five years. You can find the link below.

“Three Rings”

 

Grizzly Bear’s second single “Mourning Sound” has been all over the radio, and gaining the attention of a lot of critics and fans. The song’s upbeat rock feel makes the song extremely listenable, as well as enjoyable. The song also features some unique synth and guitar sounds that make Grizzly Bear stick out amongst other songs that you hear on the radio. In addition to Ed Droste’s vocals, we are also able to hear from Daniel Rossen, who also is the singer in another band, Department of Eagles.

 

“Mourning Sound”

 

 

After “Mourning Sound,” Grizzly Bear released two singles, “Four Cypresses” and “Neighbors,” both of which encapsulate the Grizzly Bear sound. “Neighbors” features a very odd music video which you’ll have to see for yourself, because it is a lot to describe. But the song is self is great, it features a harpsichord, orchestra, and light acoustic guitar on top of jazzy drums. Both links are available below.

 

“Four Cypresses”

 

 

“Neighbors”

 

 

 

A$AP Ferg- Still Striving

One of my favorite rappers to come onto the scene in this decade has been Harlem native, A$AP Ferg. Ferg’s 2013 Trap Lord is still one of my favorite rap albums to this day featuring the trap anthem “Work (Remix) ft. A$AP Rocky, French Montana, Trinidad James, and Schoolboy Q,” as well as the feel good tribute to Jamaican dancehall music “Shabba ft. A$AP Rocky.” This week A$AP Ferg will follow up the success of Trap Lord (2013) and Always Strive and Prosper (2016) with Still Striving.

On his third studio release, we can look forward to star-studded album from Ferg, with confirmed appearances by A$AP Rocky, Rick Ross, Migos, Meek Mill, and many more! So far, there have been three singles released on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube for Still Striving, all of which are incredible in their own way.

As his first single for the album, A$AP Ferg released “Plain Jane,” which is one of the only songs on Still Striving that does not have any verses from other rappers. The song features standard trap-style bass and snare, on top of mysterious, yet melodic piano. You can find the link below.

“Plain Jane”

On the same day Ferg released “Plain Jane,” Ferg also shared “East Coast (Remix)” with the world, which features an incredible lineup of hip hop’s all stars, including Busta Rhymes, A$AP Rocky, Dave East, French Montana, Rick Ross, & Snoop Dogg. The original version of this song was released in April and only featured Remy Ma. This song follows the same formula Ferg used on his Work (Remix). For both of the songs, Ferg released a simplistic version of the song which features a memorable yet simplistic chorus (work, work, put in work) and (I’m from the east coast motherfuckah), and only featured one or two rappers. A couple months later, closer to the album’s release, Ferg has all his friends throw in a verse and is able to create an incredible remix. While this formula isn’t very original, you can’t help but love the end result. Check the link below.

 

“East Coast (Remix) ft. Busta Rhymes, A$AP Rocky, Dave East, French Montana, Rick Ross, & Snoop Dogg”

 

To really get the attention of critics and listeners, Ferg released “Nasty (Who Dat) ft. Migos” last Friday. The song starts of with an auto-tuned Ferg, and then quickly transitions into fast paced verse from Ferg, which really sets the tone for the rest of the song. Quavo, Offsett, and Takeoff of Migos, all follow suit with quality verses. With this song being released so close to Still Striving’s release, it certainly has got me ready for more. Take a look below!

 

“Nasty (Who Dat) ft. Migos”

 

 

Kacy & Clayton- The Siren’s Song

I first heard of the Saskatchewan duo, Kacy & Clayton at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival, which took place at the beautiful Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) in North Adams, MA (a museum that I highly recommend to everyone I meet). From first hearing the group, I heard strong ties to the folk-rock music of the 60’s. With stripped down acoustic guitar and light soprano vocals, I was immediately drawn to Kacy & Clayton, (I actually ended up seeing them twice that weekend).

This week, Kacy & Clayton will be releasing their third studio album The Siren’s Song. There are a few details about this upcoming release that I think are worth noting, the first being, that this album was produced by Wilco’s frontman, Jeff Tweedy. This summer, I have spent a lot of time researching the music of Wilco and Jeff Tweedy because they have been one of my favorite bands since high school, and since I was going to be seeing them three times this summer. From reading about Tweedy, I found that he has a very eclectic taste in music, which ranges from hardcore punk to gospel. As a producer, Tweedy has worked with legends such as Mavis Staples (another hero of mine) and White Denim. On The Siren’s Song you can hear Tweedy drawing from various styles of music and creating unique sounds to help separate Kacy & Clayton from every other male-female duo that is in the music business right now. You can hear how Tweedy’s eclectic influence on Kacy & Clayton’s “Just Like a Summer Cloud” below.

 

“Just Like a Summer Cloud”

From listening to the singles that have been released for The Siren’s Song, I was also pleased to hear that Kacy & Clayton have incorporated a four piece band into their sound, which includes acoustic, electric, and steel guitar, bass, and a minimalistic drum set. When I first heard Kacy & Clayton at Solid Sound, they were playing acoustic, which was very pretty, but there’s something about having a full band that helps bring everything together in a song. You can hear Kacy & Clayton blend beautifully with their band on “The World Has Seven Wonders” below.

 

“This World Has Seven Wonders”

One of my favorite aspects of the songs Kacy & Clayton have released from The Siren’s Song is that they are paying tribute to so many musicians who helped folk-rock and country move forward in the 1960’s such as Loretta Lynn, The Byrds, and Joni Mitchell. Kacy & Clayton sound very similar to Joni Mitchell on their single “The Light of Day.”

 

“The Light of Day”