13 Beats of the Week: 11/20/20

Miller Downer, Managing Editor

13 Beats of the Week

  1. “Headboard,” by Lil Ugly Mane—Travis “Lil Ugly Mane” Miller regularly departs from his typical grimy Memphis rap style to produce more experimental and illusive songs that speak towards his practically lifelong experience in the music industry—enter “Headboard,” a shoegaze-esque blown-out return to Miller’s roots in post-punk rock.
  2. “Disorder,” by Joy Division—Arguably the first mainstream post-punks, Joy Division formed during England’s punk wave and departed from the genre by capitalizing on emotion and expression over anger and action.
  3. “Starting Over,” by LSD and the Search for God—“Starting Over” is at the junction of dream pop and shoegaze, mixing the airy and neo-psychedelic atmosphere of the former and the violent discordance of the latter to create an elaboration of both.
  4. “Slowdive,” by Slowdive—The self-titled “Slowdive” appears on the group’s first full-length album Just for a Day, launching Slowdive into a continuous spiral of success that allowed them to release the legendary Souvlaki—which some consider to be one of the best post-punk albums of all time. “Slowdive” itself, however, sets some ground rules for the genre: ethereal and spatially dominating discordant noise, surreal vocals and poetic lyricism make for a lush yet melancholic production.
  5. “Reuse The Cels,” by Car Seat Headrest—Car Seat Headrest featured “Reuse The Cels” on their 2013 EP Living While Starving. The continuous success of the group following their breakout 2011 album Twin Fantasy further cements themselves as household names in slacker rock and singer/songwriting as a whole.
  6. “Rose Blood,” by Mazzy Star—Formed in the odd year of 1989, Mazzy Star fits oddly into psychedelic folk and ventures rarely into alt-country, but this should not deter anyone from listening to the Santa Monica natives.
  7. “III,” by Ritt Momney—After blowing up due to a single TikTok made famous, Jack “Ritt Momney” Rutter has been an integral artist in elaborating upon established bedroom pop, adding his own unique home production. Sporadic and complex, “III,” is an emotional interlude on his 2019 album Her and All of My Friends, a groundbreaking project of triumphant proportions for up-and-coming millennial singer/songwriters.
  8. “Bags,” by Clairo—Claire “Clairo” Cottrill has always been an interesting artist in her connections to the music industry long before releasing any tracks, forcing many to speculate her spontaneous fame. Regardless, “Bags” off of her 2019 project Immunity is a gem in an otherwise mellow and mediocre discography that fits more in a realm of guilty-pleasure listening as opposed to dedicated introspective examination.
  9. “Shadow People,” by Dr. Dog—Dr. Dog is an ancient name that many may recognize from middle school (and even earlier), forming in 1999 and continuing strong to this day. “Shadow People” encapsulates their sound fairly well as a major release in the middle of their career, incorporating elements of pop and indie folk.
  10. “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” by Current Joys—Somehow simultaneously dipping toes into genres like surfer rock, lo-fi, and indie pop, New York City’s own Current Joys creates sparse and sentimental love songs for a new generation of hopeless romantics. “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” speaks to this truth in its simultaneously warm and bittersweet lyrics of one trying to make amends with past mistakes.
  11. “Bottlerocket,” by Astrobrite—Astrobrite is perhaps the endgame of experimental shoegaze with instrumentality so loud and ferocious that the vocals are muddied by a giant wall of sound. The few times they come through, the meekness of their delivery only creates a greater contrast in terms of the production as a whole, and personal meaning is sidelined for the sake of appreciating the emotional vulnerability of the genre as a whole.
  12. “mantra is repeated,” by SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE—As the group’s name would suggest, SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE creates some of the busiest shoegaze in recent history.
  13. “I’m So Tired,” by Fugazi—Fugazi is one of the most influential punk bands to have remained on an independent label for their entire career, rejecting notions of commercialism and “cashing in” in order to continue producing what they want to produce: powerful and emotional post-punk pieces.