The Apocalypse Song

St. Vincent

This is a beautiful dense artistic creation. It's intellectual, "keep your victory but give me little death," which rejects one common stereotype associated with gendered sexuality in favor of another: "to hell with male conquest, I'd rather the orgasmic." This music carries these concepts with a pleasant playfulness, orality, and improvisational nature as seen with the interjection of an abrupt and high pitched "oh" immediately between the aforementioned line and this one: "all of your brain amounts to just one breath." It's funny and is delivered in a deadpan musical package. Apparently that's something I'm into. It's music that employs a full range of semiotic tools and is a real joy.


Childish Gambino

Dude's the sickness. He's witty, relevant, and able to balance enviable complexity in a single track: oh it's a love song parody, oh wait, that's an insightful reflection on genuine oddities of being young (read: single) in a sexual world. Then he subverts it all. Conan O'Brien can't help but acknowledges his bearing witness to a something that is truly, "fantastic!"

El Zapato Jangle

Neon Sanders

I'm smiling by the time the title's rattled around my brain. The first four lines are absurd, self-deprecating humor. The music is upbeat and snappy and the lyrics are sufficiently spooky, which provides a nice juxtaposition. And then there's this:

I said a knock knock knock there's a thief at the window

And he's whittling up your face from a bone

Well when your standin outside and there's a thief at the window

You know you know that you can never go home

Yea well there's evil outside and I got evil within me

I can feel that shit manipulate my limbs

Just know that evil won't die even when I ain't living

It just disperses like a vapor in the wind

In the wind

Which is just a gem. It's easy, catchy, funny, and terrifying. I don't know what else you'd want in music.

If It's Alive, It Will Be

Angel Olsen

I listened to this song more times than I care to count in 2011. Her voice shocks me every time. It's clear, soulful, and intimate, which is a combination I didn't even realize I wanted, but wow, I've never encountered such an appealing blend. "Your thoughts exist in someone else's head" killed me and her delivery of "so you can see your face as you are giving out your soul" (around 1:45) is absolutely heartbreaking and perfectly intonated. I fuckin' love this song. There's another production version, which fails to capture the charm of this recording; this recording is perfect.

Hoop of Love

Dominant Legs

Again, what more could y'all really want? It's the real-sugar Coca-Cola of sweet summer melodies. Which is by no means an endorsement but just an undeniable, and subjective, truth. It's hopeful in a way that's hard to pin down but fundamental. To paraphrase a friend of mine, it makes me nostalgic for things I've never experienced.

mixtape & text. brian wilbur

photo montage. darren kane


The Sea and Cake

Listen to it. Are you smiling yet? Are you tapping your feet or at least somehow corporally aware that you're enjoying music? Its infectious electronic loop, the almost frantically happy drums, and the care free "doo-doo-doo"in' to close out; this track oozes feel-good.

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