Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Music Column: Standout tracks for the week


On Jan. 1, I created a playlist. It’s the fruition of a wild idea: to place all the music that I listen to and enjoy throughout 2017 in one place. In the past, I created playlists with specific sounds, emotions or purposes and would only add songs that checked the correct boxes. This excluded some fantastic songs that currently had no home in my music library and would unintentionally never receive attention from me. It’s been a few months since the playlist’s creation, and it’s resulted in 569 songs, coming in at 41 hours and 26 minutes. It may stir up some concern for my eardrums that I’ve listened to all these new songs at what some may consider an unreasonable decibel, but the only way to take in new music is loudly, in my opinion.

This playlist was designed for the sole purpose of giving more attention to songs that would normally get gypped. The problem is that having a playlist with over 500 songs does not make it easier to fully immerse myself in each track, and I probably never will with some of these songs. Despite this tricky conundrum, each week a few different tracks stand out to me from the playlist. Normally they are not current songs, but they fit the musical mold that I have made for myself that week. I’ve grown pretty familiar with these songs as they have provided me with a soundtrack for a few days. Well, here they are in no particular order.

“Westward Expansion” – Lamont Landers: If you have ever seen the man with ginger hair, glasses and the smoothest of voices at a bar in Tuscaloosa, then you are already familiar with Lamont Landers. A classic cover singer at UA, Landers released a single at the end of 2016 and it deserves attention. Every listen continues to impress me both musically and vocally.

“Laundry Room” – The Avett Brothers: This is one of the older tracks on the list. From the 2009 album “I And Love And You,” “Laundry Room” tells the story of what I would describe as a high school romance. Recently, The Avett Brothers have found a spot on each week’s playlist, but this specific song may have found a permanent home. Lyrically, the song is impeccable with verses such as, “Keep your clothes on/I got all that I can take/Teach me how to use/The love that people say you made.” Then, the brothers continue to impress with their hauntingly perfect harmonies.

“Matthew” – CBDB: Immediately, this song sounds familiar to “How Long…,”another track off the CBDB album, “Phone.Keys.Wallet.” The saxophone provides an easy-listening vibe, but upon second listen I became more attentive to the sorrowful lyrics about missing a friend. CBDB can do no wrong by me, but this song stands out from others currently.

“Easier Said” – Sunflower Beam: For me, this band has a ’90s rock band vibe that is uniquely heartwarming. This song creates a sound of the distant past, which makes it modern. The lead singer and bassist, Julia Cumming, has an almost dreamlike voice that is surrounded by the loud guitar chords. This band is special. They released this song before the age of 21, and it is wildly underappreciated.

“New Friends” – Pinegrove: This New Jersey alternative rock band released the album “Cardinal” in 2016. Listening to this album in order, as the band intended it, is a fantastic experience that I would highly recommend. Despite being the band’s second album, Pinegrove has impressed with their almost angry tracks.

“Live Well” – Palace: Another under-the-radar band, Palace is a rock band from London with a distinct sound. The song could almost be described as blues instrumentally. It’s definitely easy-listening material, but in an impressive way. It’s almost too easy and creates a steady rhythm, like a wave, for the listener.

“Multi-Love” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Recently, I’ve been on a major Unknown Mortal Orchestra kick. The psychedelic sound of the band is continuously explored throughout each album and provides a fun experience for the listener. This song is just a good time.

“The Ballad of Costa Concordia” – Car Seat Headrest: Car Seat Headrest’s album, “Teens of Denial,” is a fantastic piece of art. I think that is clear after a single listen. Will Toledo captures human emotions perfectly in his lyrics and creates an impeccable musical background for each song. Each track is different, incredibly different, but comes together in this singular sound. This is another album that has a different stand-out track each week for me. “The Ballad of Costa Concordia” is 11 minutes long, but has never felt long to me because it is constantly changing. Also, the breakdown is insane.

“You’ve Got A Woman” – Whitney: This rad band from Chicago continues to impress, especially when it comes to covers. The band covers the Lion’s “You’ve Got A Woman” and lead singer, Julien Ehrlich, describes the cover as a darker song for the band, which is apparent. Still, Ehrlich’s unique voice draws in the listener, as well as the quiet background vocals.

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