Welcome to The SALSA Weekly! The SALSA Weekly is a curated playlist/post on the blog, wherein members of SALSA will submit one song they have been digging the past week and why.
For your listening pleasure, here are our picks in one handy dandy Spotify playlist. Scroll down for what we have to say!
I’m going to be honest, I had no truly deep motivation for this rec beyond “Listen to how smooth metal with saxaphones sounds!”. But really, Ihsahn is one of those artists that manages to mix great talent with a pretty uncomfortable private life. He was a fixture in early Black Metal scene (Playing in Emperor), and as a solo artist he’s managed to combine elements of that time with more progressive and experimental elements to make very interesting albums. Of special note, Eremita (The album this song is from) includes such talent as David Townsend and Jørgen Munkeby (The best saxaphone strangler since John Zorn. Member of Shining and Jaga Jazzist). It’s a good listen.
Found on: Yfitops
I took a different trajectory to discovering emo music than others my age. I was in high school during the heydays of the emo craze, with a lot of fellow teenagers loving the mainstream hits of Fall Out Boy/Panic! At The Disco alongside other lesser-known acts being adored by particular friends of mine (American Football, for instance). I was pretty open-minded to different kinds of music, but decided that I was somehow idealogically superior to emo despite being a super emotional teenager (teenager Proxy was a nerd and an asshole, shove them in a locker). I ended up exploring a lot of emo music when I was broadening my horizons to even more of indie rock’s many sides in my undergrad years, particularly liking a lot of its evolution from hardcore punk of the likes of Fugazi into what it is today.
During this time, I ended up stumbling upon a neat New England band called The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. I ended up listening to their first record, and quite enjoyed it. There’s a lot of earnestness to their music, and a lot of great energy and ambition to their arrangements. This is showcased on their latest LP, “AlWays Foreign,” which contains a lot of emo traditions in song structure with added horns to its enraged but heartful lyricism.
…this is not on display in this week’s track, of course, with ‘The Future’ being the most straightforward emo track in terms of composition. But what it projects is ultimately a lot more uplifting. The entire album, according to the band, was composed in the wake of the catastrophic election of Donald Trump, and ‘The Future’ revels in the fact that our immediate past is now more bloodstained than ever. However, it has genuine belief that we can acknowledge what has happened and that we are able to move on, to get stronger, to not allow this all to happen again. Helps that the song is super catchy, too.
Between this and Deerhoof’s recent ‘I Will Spite Survive’ (which I wrote about a few weeks ago!), I’ve been having a personal cathartic release from a lot of stuff about besting what has broken you down before on a personal level, and that is neat in and of itself to me, I dunno!
Found on: My secret diaries as I was rediscovering the fossils and evolution of emo throughout the mid-00s and early 2010s–ok fine it’s just Spotify
Duster: Strange Ranger — House Show
This song popped up on my Spotify new release radar and I was instantly into it without realizing Strange Ranger is just the new moniker of Sioux Falls, a great band I was already familiar with. While their debut as Sioux Falls mined early Modest Mouse for most of its influences, “House Show” sees the band looking towards early Death Cab for Cutie by way of newer artists like Ovlov and Alex G. In fact, Isaac Eiger’s voice sounds so much like Alex G’s here that I’d totally believe you if you told me this was an Alex G song. The song has no obvious verses or chorus and the vocals end about a minute in, leaving the final two minutes completely instrumental. This is where Strange Ranger truly show that they’ve mastered the art of tension and release like the indie rock greats before them.
Found on: Cool music zone
Amdusias: Protest the Hero — Caravan
Going back to last year again, because not much grabbed me this week.
Protest’s newest album Pacific Myth is yet another instance of “band experiments with distribution channels to avoid record label tyranny.” In this case, they released the tracks in order, one a month, through subscriptions on Bandcamp, then dropped a “deluxe edition” when it was all done. It’s a neat idea for a concept album, especially: pay us a dollar, get one part of this album that’s also one part of a story, in the order we meant to tell it.
Caravan is the last track on Pacific Myth, and it’s a doozy. At one point, I sent this to two of my partners (both musicians) and said “tell me what’s going on with this rhythm, how does this sorcery work?” and none of us could figure it out. So that’s cool.
I could write a looooot about the lyrical content here, how I think it’s cool that the song is both the ending of this concept album and a meta-song about the author’s changing views on concept albums, but then this weekly would be a million lines long. Suffice to say, I’m really into this for reasons past the music too; the vocalist is doing a lot of reflecting on “what do I actually want to accomplish with my music, how do I make it work for our fans without hating what I do”, and hey, I’m always all about that, especially if you’re also singing about boats in 29/32 or some shit.
Oh, also, seeing PtH play was the first time I’d ever ended up at a Christian metal headliner to see another band, a feat that I assumed would only happen once, but I somehow managed to replicate a few weeks ago because my life is weird.
Found on: Spandcamp
Alteq: Moses Sumney — Quarrel
Smooth and soft and deep and refreshing
Found on: Spooty Puff Jr.
I found out about GY!BE through a friend of mine back in highschool - probably sophomore year - who sent me Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada. I loved Moya, but basically left it at that for a while. I’d heard about some of their other albums (namely Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven), which didn’t stick. What did stick, however, was rockets fall on Rocket Falls from Yanqui U.X.O..
I will seriously listen to this song on repeat, just reveling in the drones. One of my Things To Do™ while I have the house to myself is to play the album from vinyl as loud as I can stand. Something about those drones just sends me straight into ecstatic (or at least frenzied) meditation. Storm from Skinny Fists can do this as well.
I love GY!BE as a band, though. Mladic from Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is one of my top five songs, though rockets fall on Rockret Falls surpasses that. They have a new album out now, Luciferian Towers, which is also pleasantly droney.
Found on: Asunder, Spotify and other Distress
Lorxus: Solange — Left Side Drive
I really like Boards of Canada, and I really like reimaginings of songs. This is both! I’ll often catch myself singing the vague, somewhat nonsensical, but really image-painting lyrics every now and again.
Found on: Yifftops
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