There’s a plethora of artists forging a following through social media, but only a few have become true subjects of fascination by just staying silent.
The pace at which music has changed this past decade has been almost rapid. Ten years has seen the death of rock as a popular genre, Soundcloud rap as the rising beast, and synthwave as the new punk rock. Many genres have come and gone, styles have melded into each other. So then, what’s next for music in the next decade? Well, the answer is, everything. These past ten years have arguably been the most turbulent ten years in the industry’s history. We’ve now entered an era where a new generation of musicians have not known a world without the internet, where everything is available to everyone. Nothing is off limits, everyone has the same resources (if everyone has super powers, how can anyone truly be super?). But like I say every year, we live in a world where everyone is allowed to like everything. There is no old music or new music, but music we have heard, and music we have not. Here are our top 20 albums from this past decade.
Last month, a topic began trending on Twitter that seemed just a little out of the ordinary. It wasn’t a celebrity’s name, or the name of a place, or a natural disaster, or “Happy National Whatever-the-fuck” day. No one was sure exactly what it was, the specifics being so vague and the tweets just as confusing. It wasn’t until Phoebe Bridgers tweeted “five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred gecs” when I discovered the phrase for the first time.
Living in the local L.A. music scene, it’s easy to notice the inundation of new, local hip-hop talent coming out of the woodwork almost every day. It gets to a point where the kitchen becomes so cluttered, you can’t tell who is who or who’s making what anymore. The aim for the window to become groundbreaking and noticeable just feels like it’s ever-shrinking, also due to the fact that all these artists and producers have the same tool sets. They’re all using the same equipment and software, but it’s their approach that will ultimately determine if they’re filtered out among the significant ones.
Nestled deep inside a garden in Echo Park, an almost half-greenhouse, half-house cottage sits comfortably among what looks like an oasis. On a hot July Sunday afternoon, Carlos Ramirez, known as synth-wave artist Auragraph, takes us into what legit could be a hidden room of secrets: his studio.
Upon the announcement of their NTS Radio take over this past weekend, Warp Records scheduled certain hours of exclusive remixes, live performances, and unreleased material from just about every artist on their roster. Some artists curated mixes, others played exclusively new material. However, one name on that schedule did catch the attention of every Warp Records enthusiast.
The term listening party has always thrown me off. It’s almost a tease in the name itself – sometimes they’re cool experiences, other times they’re not as cool as they’re made out to be, maybe due to the host wanting a large turnout just so they can guarantee they’ll have a line that stretches around the block.
“The adults are talking!” exclaimed Julian Casablancas during a pause in the show. He’d revisit this phrase a few more times in the evening, but one could tell from the abrupt stop and the crowd chanting “New song! New song!” repeatedly, as well as roadies scrambling about trying to re-arrange the gear for an unexpected change in the set list, that the audience was in for a treat. “I’m gonna try my best on this one,” Casablancas confessed before the band ripped into the new addition to their repertoire. “Are you not entertained?” he teased near the end of the new song.
An anomaly occurred just a little less than a month ago, when Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” charted on the Country Billboard chart. It was, at that time, maybe taken as a joke. But then you started listening to it… and you couldn’t really tell what the song was. Was it a country song, but made with hip-hop instruments? Or vice-versa? Regardless if it feels like a glazed-donut dipped into an orange 7/11 Big-Gulp, the song itself represents perhaps a new age in contemporary music.
And so the sun sets on the first big music festival of 2019. With a slate of headliners that all had something to prove, it really was anyone’s guess how things would pan out. Could Donald Glover, Kevin Parker, and Ariana Grande rise to the occasion?