Atwood Magazine’s Weekly Roundup: September 27, 2019

Every Friday, Atwood Magazine’s staff share what they’ve been listening to that week – a song, an album, an artist – whatever’s been having an impact on them, in the moment. Here’s this week’s weekly roundup!

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:: “Supermarkets” – BIRTHH ::

Mitch Mosk, New York

BIRTHH Supermarkets

BIRTHH (aka Alice Bisi) is in the upper echelon of unique talents challenging our concept of “what it means to be a singer/songwriter.” The Italian singer, songwriter, and producer found her way onto our radar through her 2018 collaboration single “Infinite” with YOY; that led me down a rabbit hole of her earlier music, specifically 2016’s intimate, robust debut album Born in the Woods, for which I was two years late, but nonetheless obsessed.

People are just people;
they don’t know what they’re after
Swimming in supermarkets
Looking for answers
At least we’ll walk on water
When it turns into plastic
But I turn you could grow some trees
On a bathroom floor

“Supermarkets” finds BIRTHH returning with a dash of beautiful simplicity. “People are just people; they don’t know what they’re after,” she sings quaintly over an unassuming acoustic guitar. As verse after verse progresses, the audience comes to understand the notion of “Supermarkets” as a metaphor for life itself, and the seemingly endless threads we have at our disposal. “What will I do with you? I’m lying on the ceiling of this room,” the artist sings in the chorus, a wayfarer still trying to find her place. Innocent, unassuming, and glowing with an unseen, but deeply felt tension, BIRTHH’s music strikes a nerve as, in diving into herself, she dives into our collective subconscious.

:: “Golden Slumbers” – The Beatles ::

Erica Garcia, Los Angeles

Abbey Road - The Beatles

One of the most fun things that I’ve seen on the internet lately is the increasing number of celebrations for “album birthdays,” and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Many artists and fans of all genres of music have been celebrating one-year, five-year, and even ten-year anniversaries of the days that their favorite albums were released, sparking re-releases of singles, the launch of new merchandise, and even anniversary tours. This week is Abbey Road’s 50th anniversary, and just like almost everyone else, I found myself revisiting the life-changing album.

Having been raised on Beatles music passed down from my parents, it’s hard not to connect many of my childhood memories to certain Beatles albums. Abbey Road holds one of the most special places in my heart, and Paul McCartney singing, “Sleep, pretty darling. Do not cry,” is a lyric that has meant more to me than most things in life. In light of the success of the movie Yesterday, Paul McCartney’s latest album Egypt Station, and Ringo Starr’s upcoming album, What’s My Name – out on October 25th – it isn’t surprising at all to witness the power, the influence, and the magic The Beatles continue to have on the music world. It’s truly something special when an album transcends generations and 50 years worth of ideas and growth. How lucky we are to see it continue to live on.

:: “Love A Liar” – Red City Radio ::

Jimmy Crowley, New York

Love a Liar

Part of the reason why so many punks incorporate Springsteenian heartland rock into their music as they grow is because there is due to the deep ties that punk and hardcore have to dive bars, diners, and the perpetual chase for an American Dream that probably doesn’t exist.  Red City Radio’s latest single “Love a Liar” is nearly indistinguishable from the hardcore-infused pop-punk of their classic record 2011’s The Dangers of Standing Still, but it packs a similar punch in the short time frame.  Vocalist Garrett Dale lets his baritone dance over an instrumental incorporates subtle elements of 50’s and 60’s pop with crisp straightforward pop-punk.  Similar to The Menzingers’ “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore,” Dale brings up his insecurities caused by his own behavior.  “Baby we could get it figured out,” he sings in a refrain, as he lists so many of the things he questions in his relationship:

Never notice what you see in me
Maybe you shouldn’t love a liar
If you want, take a chance on me

Self-doubt can be a difficult speed bump in so many relationships.  Red City Radio’s “Love a Liar” give a punk-infused, honest self-reflection on that facet of a relationship.

:: Adventures on a Floating Island – Monster Rally ::

Adrian Vargas, Seattle

Adventures on a Floating Island

Never before has there been a more fitting album title than with Monster Rally’s latest release Adventures on the Floating Island. Each track is its own self-contained dreamscape, eliciting feelings of either long beach days adorned by the sun’s rays or underwater adventures uncovering the secrets of the deep. Sometimes both within the same song. But then some tracks offer a twist to that formula, replacing the sun with the moon, and “Noché Peligroso” exemplifies this in a lush and whimsical fashion.

With the track “Tangerine Lounge,” it creates a scene mirroring the title with perfection. A dimly lit lounge pops in the mind, wandering people enjoying their drinks, the company, and the ambiance. It’s a track to relax to, the perfect anthem for a mid-afternoon cocktail as you watch the sun set. Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean the sunny celebrations need to stop, and Monster Rally has made an album that will carry the seasonal spirit for as long as possible. 

:: “Something Has to Change” – The Japanese House ::

Nicole Almeida, Philadelphia

something has to change

Honestly, god bless The Japanese House. Which other artist will do us the favour of dropping an immaculate debut album, touring around the world, releasing another EP, and touring again, all during the same year??? No one. Only The Japanese House (Okay, I know Ariana Grande and probably other people have kept their fans pretty well-fed by releasing a ton of content in a short amount of time, but The Japanese House took years to release her debut album so this is important!). Surprising a total of zero people, her new song, “Something Has to Change” is gorgeous. It introduces a more straightforward, pop-leaning sound to The Japanese House’s palette, and sounds fresh, heralding a new era for the artist. Exciting!

I cannot write about her in an unbiased manner so all I will say is this: it’s good. Like really, really good. And her beautiful German Shepherd Calvin is in the music video, so you should watch it. The Japanese House returns to North America for a long tour in October, so learn the lyrics and secure your tickets.

:: Indigo EP – Erthlings ::

Mitch Mosk, New York

Indigo Erthlings

Erthlings’ lush indie pop is almost too picture-perfect to be true, and yet here it is glowing with all the warmth in musical form: Indigo is an EP the likes of which any artist should be proud to call their debut. The Aussie four-piece of Issy Lowe, Jessame Stepto, Taylor Shutes and Lissa Evans, Erthlings met at age 8 in Sydney, supposedly started writing songs when they were 9, and now that they’re 16, they’re releasing their music for the whole world to hear. Whereas I’m often wont to say “time will tell” with young artists, with Erthlings it would seem time has already come and told us of this group’s greatness: Their five-track debut is a dreamy, jangly delight harping on themes of love and connection, growing pains and life’s change, and more. Seemingly wise beyond their years and all the better for it, Erthlings have their fingers on the pulse of modern pop; it goes without saying that they are Sydney’s next “IT” artist, but don’t take my word for it – listen to the EP and let the music convince you.

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:: This Week’s Features ::

Farewell Youth: A Conversation with Greg Barnett of The Menzingers

Boy & Bear on Celebrating Challenge & Reclaiming Life in New Album 'Suck on Light'

Feature: Girl Band Return with Cerebral, Chaotic Perfection on 'The Talkies'

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