The Academic’s get an A+ on their new album
By Daniel Nelligan
Out of every up coming band I’ve seen this previous year, “Tales From The Backseat” was one of my most anticipated ones. The Academic is a relatively new band from Ireland and are ready to take over the indie rock scene with this new album. The sound from this album is filled with great indie rock as well as many nods towards pop-punk which creates a really addicting sounds. “Tales From The Backseat” starts off with “Permanent Vacation,” which is a great song to start off this album. It’s a great way to introduce their sound while providing a great sing-a-long song that will have you wanting more. They follow it with their single off of this album that you may have heard called “Bear Claws” has already been a solidified hit and gets a lot of plays on Spotify as well as radio air time. The entire way through, you can feel the music is confident yet it doesn’t over step its bounds. My favorite song of this album has to be “Bite My Tongue” which is so catchy you’ll be singing it long after it stops playing. They end the album with “Girfriends” which is an amazing way to end the album, and has to feature my favorite lyrics on the entire album with “she says it hurts, but she’s okay / and can’t she stay with me anyway?” This debut album just makes me excited for more from The Academic.
By: Matt Mackenzie
If you are first hearing about This Pale Fire, then you should be informed that he is a self-taught singer and songwriter, all the designs for the album/single covers are created by him, and the guitar you hear though the twelve songs on Alchemy is self-played. A triple threat in terms of artists. A singer, musician, and an artist. What more could you ask from the man? Being gifted all three of those areas means that this man has potential for greatness.
This Pale Fire, also known as Corban Koschak, is one of the most original voices I have heard in a long time. He is an easy listen that can make you forget about any little problem that may be plaguing your mind or heart. I have just recently learned about This Pale Fire but I loved every song from this album. I get an extremely soulful and melodic vibe from it, along with making me feel that he puts his whole heart into what he writes. It is almost as if he is reaching out his emotions in hope to connect to his listener. A simple sound with mellow background sound from the drums goes so far in his work. In the words of Levi Patel, “Alchemy naturally weaves together emotive, heartfelt lyrics with stripped back guitar, delicate strings and pianos.
For me, the song Delicate Words is the highlight of this album. It sounds as if Koschak is fully opening himself emotionally and relating to anyone that either had or has a significant other. Your significant other is the one you lean on in times of sorrow, turn to in hardship, and appreciate every single day just for being in your life. Delicate Words sends an undertone of love and togetherness that all who hear should hold close. A genuinely moving song that hits the heart, a truly impressive work of art.
The other runners up for the best song on the album would be Float Out and Curse. For Float Out, I find it thoroughly enjoyable mainly for the clear to hear guitar. It adds a certain level of soulfulness and a calming factor. Another factor that makes this song enjoyable is the female melodic voice that is added into the chorus. It fits extremely well with the song. The other song I mention, Curse, gives me a southern feeling while listening. A few guitar chords set a tone of seriousness and with the opening line of “I’ve left me home, a curse on my bones, a long rode I ride, with no end in sight” can reach all of us. We don’t know what the future will hold, so we travel down a blind path, taking its narrow turns and going up and down the hills or valleys on this journey. This journey may be long; this journey, however, does not have to be traveled alone.
Corban Koschak talked about how he felt towards Alchemy, saying “Alchemy is a dark and raw look into who I am as an artist. When I approached this album, I wanted to write something personal and honest. Something that left me totally exposed.” This album is thrown into the rock genre but when I listened to it, it did not feel like rock to me. Maybe it could be called Indie/Alternative. Whichever you call it, just know it is a must listen.
By: Matt Mackenzie
It was between late 2015 and early 2016 when I first heard some of G-Eazy’s music. The song was Me, Myself, and I from the When It’s Dark Out (2015) album. In that moment, I knew I would enjoy his songs and albums that were to be released in the future, and to this day that is still entirely true. What solidified this even more for me? A two-day trip to the Darien Lake Amphitheater on July 29th, 2016. Along with his tour partner Logic (Robert Bryson Hall II), the way Gerald Gillum (G-Eazy) control the crowd and got them riled up was a sign of true excellence and passion for his art.
The material from When It’s Dark Out was the turning point in Gillum’s career, bringing him into a spotlight in the hip-hop/rap community. There were also the albums Must Be Nice (2012) and These Things Happen (2014) but those may not have brought the attention like When It’s Dark Out did. What mainly stood out for me with this album was the story of Gerald Gillum’s life that is told in the song Everything Will Be OK. It clearly tells of his past experiences that lead Gerald to this point of success in his life. The struggles that afflicted him forced Gerald to grow up early and shaped him into the man and the artist we know today.
Enough of the past, lets focus on the present album. The Beautiful & Damned is completely stacked with strength and fire throughout every song. Choosing certain tracks to recommend was difficult, so I say this now… this entire album should be listened to from start to finish. No skipping. No blind listening while you’re busy doing other tasks. Sit down when you have about an hour of free time and appreciate the effort and time that went into this work or art. If one song had to be chosen as one of the top tracks (in my opinion) it would have to be Pick Me Up ft. Anna of the North. Anna of the North adds a smooth and sensual audio chorus that fits her extremely well while the fluctuations of voice tone for G-Eazy adds a new level of entertainment to it all. Overall, I consider it the top song of the entire album. Pre-released singles, now tracks, such as Him and I, No Limit, and The Plan still define the album as well, but they lack in comparison to Pick Me Up. All 20 tracks sound amazing as a fan could hope. Certain tracks may be considered better than others, but that all is for the listener to determine. Overall, this is a very enjoyable and textured album that leaves the listener wanting more, and we will most likely be receiving more at a later date.
The future looks brighter than ever for Gerald Gillum’s career. Keep this up and I will be trying my hardest to be seeing him live again someday. Until then, I will settle for a pair of headphones and digital downloads.