I should leave out the story about Maggie Rogers’ rise to fame through a viral video with Pharrell because it is clear by now that she deserves it. It is true that the Maryland singer/songwriter was a student at NYU just two years ago, making eclectic songs that fused her folky roots with Eurohouse influences acquired from a semester abroad, and that one day Pharrell showed up to class, instantly raved about Rogers’ work, and abruptly sent Rogers and her song “Alaska” into a firestorm of attention via YouTube.
Bowdoin’s music scene is ever-changing, but this year is seeing a cosmic shift. While bands performing pop covers continue to dominate College House parties, there is a shift occurring in dorm room studios, low key listening events and online streaming platforms.
Remember when Kobe Bryant tweeted about “Carter V season?” Neither do we. It was part of a promotional campaign back in 2014, when “Tha Carter V” was originally set to release that May. Lil Wayne promised the album three more times in 2014, all in vain due to legal battles with Cash Money Records.
Noname doesn’t need your labels. In the years since her breakout mixtape Telefone, she’s been called “the anti-Cardi B” and “the female Kendrick” by fans eagerly awaiting a second project. While her soft spokenness suggests the former and her lyricial knack the latter, she detests both of these backhanded compliments, telling the Fader, “I’m just Fatimah.” Some already know Fatimah (better known by her stage name Noname) from her stand out features on Chance the Rapper’s early material, or her solo work as Noname on Telefone, a brilliantly warm tape about love, loss and joy in her home Chicago.
To read more about Mac Miller’s personal journey, click here. We’ve grown up with Mac Miller. From his first mixtapes in 2009 until just last week, late teens and 20-somethings have watched Mac grow from a middle school frat rap sensation into a dedicated connoisseur of hip-hop with a passion for experimentation, jazz and introspection.
Ah, yes. It is finally spring, when flowers begin to rise from the frozen earth and the temperature reaches a mildly comfortable 55 degrees at least once a week. But even more exciting than the return of life to the region is the arrival of Ivies weekend, when solo cups litter the quad and the music world’s best grace the stage of Farley Field House.
Amelia Meath opened Sylvan Esso’s set at the Portland State Theater with a song about songs. “Sound,” the stripped-back opener of the duo’s 2017 album “What Now,” hears Meath at a near whisper, “All you’ll hear is sound, and / All you’ll feel is sound, and / All you’ll be is sound.” The lines aim to unify the natural and the artificial, as Meath sings note for note beside a lone synthesizer.
In an industry where artists are usually discovered on a streaming platform rather than onstage, building a live show or even having stage presence seems no longer necessary to “make it.” But for this series showcasing artists with upcoming concerts in the Portland area, we are lucky to have Hippo Campus, a Minnesota indie band that rose to fame mainly due to a knack for electrifying live performances.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. Grammy season. When we curl up in front of a TV and let a disputed, possibly unnecessary and outdated institution decide what music all of us liked best in the past year.
Kendrick Lamar’s first mistake was releasing “DAMN.” on Good Friday. Fan theories blew up. The first about Easter Sunday, predicting a “second coming” and a second album on Easter Sunday. Then Lamar’s producer Sounwave tweeted “But what if I told you … that’s not the official version …” with a picture of Morpheus from “The Matrix.” A new theory, this one involving red pills and blue pills emerged, again predicting a second album.
Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) owns a rap empire at this point. Based out of LA, the label boasts a roster that includes Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock. But then there’s SZA.
Every rap fan has dreamed it: “What if ______ and ______ made an album together?” But there’s something about the idea of the collab album that just reeks of disappointment. After years of rumors and teases, that Kendrick Lamar/J.
Jhene Aiko – “Jukai” (September 22) Jhene Aiko seems to finally be hitting her stride as one of R&B’s truly unique artists. The cool, unmistakable radiance of her voice has always been there, but on her latest album, “Trip,” Aiko has the production to back it up.
Earlier this week, Tyler, The Creator tweeted that he originally wrote his single, “See You Again,” for Zayn Malik. At first, it seems odd that the rapper who broke onto the scene talking about having threesomes with a triceratops would be penning lyrics for the former One-D playboy.
“Lost in the Dream” is a fitting title for the fourth album released by The War on Drugs. On that album, back in 2014, the Philadelphia-based rock outfit embarked on a blurred journey through shoegaze, alt-country and ambient electronica with lyrics just as hazy to go along.