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!
Lorxus: Wndrwll — Neil Cicieriga
I’m not going to April Fool you, dear SALSAlites, but I feel like a day of levity calls for a little less seriousness than I usually exercise in my musical picks. Anyway, here’s Wndrwll.
Found on: Feels, feels, feels, f-f-f-feels.
Okay, so once again, this is just one movement of a larger piece, and you should definitely go listen to the whole thing (and the whole album, because it’s pretty good). This is also not the greatest recording; that award goes to Stephen Layton and Polyphony, which I can’t find anywhere except on CD. Ah well.
Anyway, Lauridsen is a wonderful composer known for his very lush, dense harmonies that work especially well for mid-sized choirs of younger folks (sorry, oldsters, your vibrato kinda kills it). I learned about him through perhaps his most well-known piece, O Magnum Mysterium, which my choir performed my freshman year of college. And, just like I did with Eric Whitacre, I proceded to devour all of his music that I could find. It’s all so…glorious, I guess? To me, it’s like what a lot of church music should be. Grand, awe inspiring, but still interesting. It can get a little saccharine at times, of course, but it’s so good to have harmonically interesting uplifting music, rather than the dreck we sang in church.
As for Lux Aeterna, Lauridsen wrote this after his mother’s death. It follows the same general structure as the requiem mass, but, given that he was writing it for his mom (and not necessarily as a mass), he removed all of the standard pieces that mention hell and admonitions. That’s another thing that I like about it, too: I love requiems, but this is such a nifty take on it.
I found out later that the reason we had performed the piece in University choir (while Chamber Choir performed Midwinter Songs) is that my director, Dr. James Kim, studied under Lauridsen. It’s just so cool that the choral world is small enough to run into little confluences like that.
Found on: SPOTIFY I GUESS
Just a solid, sweet groove
Found on: Spiffty Five
Amdusias: Cavern of Antimatter— Malfunction
Raise your hand if you’re remotely surprised that I would listen to an album called Hormone Lemonade. Okay, wow, no hands, color me not-remotely-surprised.
Anyway, this is the band that Stereolab turned into, and it isn’t particularly surprising upon listening. Opening your debut album with a 16-minute track is a gutsy move, but that’s what they did, and it’s a Journey™.
It’s not, however, Journey; that would be weird, and probably out of character.
Found on: I mean seriously how could I not listen to an album with that title also it’s Spotify
I occasionally get specifically in the mood for Japanese shoegaze, which I have written about in this column before. There’s just a generally different approach to the genre in the Japanese shoegaze scene while still being distinguishably that. There’s an emphasis on fuzz in the guitars, lowering the all-encompassing reverb on the vocals and a lot more acts that try to be more melody-based. Plastic Girl in Closet is a perfect encapsulation of this, with their focus on infusing pop-rock songwriting with the signature traits of shoegaze and being absolutely adorable while doing it. ‘VAMPIRE’ is one of their more upbeat songs, sonically, but the vocal performances carry a melancholic weight, allowing it to stand out on an already excellent record.
Found on: Shoetify
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