The introductory paragraphs of Bandcamping have become a space for me to quickly muse on stray music-related thoughts I had over the past week, but this time, I figured I’d give you all something to consider (aside from our five favorite underground albums from this week, below).
The Late Late Show with James Corden bandleader and all-around talent, Reggie Watts tweeted yesterday, “Streaming services can also devalue music by reducing it to a junk food like experience; a lack of respect for its labor and passion.” He then went back and forth with other Twitter users, saying that using streaming services as a means of discovery is “a minority phenomenon.”
Does instant access to all music all the time make it seem less important, or by making music a more easily accessible part of our lives, to streaming services give it more value? That’s something for you to ponder (and then tell us about in the comments) while you check out our favorite Bandcamp albums of the week… which probably aren’t on Spotify.
5. Transmutation by Mutant Wildlife
Genre: funk, electronic, psychedelic soul
If you like: Vulfpeck, Beastie Boys’ The Mix-Up,
Oh boy, this EP sure is fun. It’s a perfect compliment to the aforementioned instrumental Beastie Boys album (which is their most underrated and an absolute must-listen), and the vibrant funk jams ought to be a staple of summer barbecues across the land.
4. DIVE IN by Youth Pool
Genre: dream pop, indie rock
If you like: Band of Horses, Ariel Pink, California Wives
A healthy dose of dream pop is essentially a musical necessity at this point: It’s comforting but it can still rock. Youth Pool doesn’t reverb their hard edge away, and they avoid being too formless to the point where there’s nothing left to hold on to. It’s ambient but propulsive, a mix many bands before them have failed to strike.
3. Nurse Corkscrew by Bobbie Peru
Genre: rock, garage rock, post-punk
If you like: The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dead Kennedys
A bunch of bands strive to achieve a classic aesthetic, but it’s often filtered through some sort of modern indie sensibility. Bobbie Peru is having none of that, as their sound is ripped directly from the pages of experimental rockers of decades passed. The title track is a strong album opener, and an appropriate thesis statement for the good times to follow.
2. Y O U T H by HollowTown
Genre: shoegaze, ambient, alternative rock
If you like: Mark Kozelek, Radiohead, the sound of wind
If you were looking for an album that sounds like it was recorded amidst stalactites and stalagmites in a giant cave, we found it. HollowTown presents an extremely ambient take on the shoegaze genre with a mix of enchanting originals and fascinating covers; We’re partial to their rendition of Radiohead’s “Videotape” ourselves.
1. The F-word by Froströyk
Genre: indie rock, ambient pop, post-rock
If you like: The xx, Lady Lamb, Bon Iver
Welsh band Froströyk takes the best elements of light post-rock, ambient, and alternative pop, and combine them into an alluring, ethereal package. Their debut EP has pretty tracks like “Follow” (the clear-cut highlight here) and “Fire,” more sinister cuts like “Fly” and “Forget,” and a gorgeous instrumental intro in the fittingly titled “First.” It’s a journey, so perhaps most importantly, the long-ish tracks are given ample room to breathe and stretch their limbs.
And now for a couple albums that didn’t quite crack the top 5 this week:
Greetings From Namek by Urulu
Genre: electronic, house
If you like: Four Tet, Brian Eno
Idle by Miranova
Genre: electronic, garage, house
If you like: Manchester Orchestra, Father John Misty
That’s it for today, but until next time, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, you can find it here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).