Over the last few months, there have been some killer comebacks from artists of different genres. Indie-rock fans can rejoice at the return of The Strokes, while rap heavyweight, Kid Cudi, is on the block again, with his sharp, back-to-his-roots wound. And as for grunge, it doesn’t get shinier than Pearl Jam…
Of all the times to release an album titled ‘The New Abnormal’, now must be optimal. What better way to christen this strange period of pandemic-induced isolation than with a record that literally describes the period in three relatable words? Way back in 1998, the New York City band formed and started making music you can tap your feet to. Iconic riffs and grooves make their songs recognisable, whether you’d say it’s your thing or not. ‘Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus’ and ‘Why Are Sundays So Depressing’ both harness the classic melodies of this five-piece.
It wasn’t the remixed ‘Day ‘N’ Nite’ version of Cudi that piqued my interest, it was Mr. Rager. And through ‘MANIAC’, ‘Marijuana’ and ‘Trapped In My Mind’, Scott Mescudi presented himself as a masterful mogul. A misunderstood lyricist with deep, masculine tones that needed to be heard by proper hip-hop heads. He’s done plenty since then, including his angsty WZRD project with Dot da Genius and merging with Kanye West to bring KIDS SEE GHOSTS. Now he’s emerged with a new single, ‘The Leader Of The Delinquents’, a classic, wholesome rap track stitched together with a super-solid beat.
The incredibly feisty collaboration with Danny Brown birthed ‘25 Bucks’. But thankfully, that wasn’t all Purity Ring was good for — that was just the beginning. The pretty-in-pink ‘another eternity’ album dropped in 2015 with one hell of a bang. Every single track was all-thrills, though ‘flood on the floor’, ‘repetition’ and ‘bodyache’ got the most votes from me. While I haven’t gelled completely with their fresh album release, ‘WOMB’, it’s full of must-hear bangers, including ‘i like the devil’. Make sure you give this a spin while you’re in lockdown.
Grunge bands are almost as synonyms with Seattle as pizza is in Naples. They go hand in hand. While everyone’s favourite rock outfit from the area is probably Nirvana, Pearl Jam beat them in my book. Although Kurt Cobain and co created legendary music that I’m massively into, Eddie Vedder and his men just provide more firepower. This year, they rose from the ashes with new album, ‘Gigaton’. While ‘Alive’, ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Even Flow’ are among the upper echelons of grunge hits, ‘Dance Of The Clairvoyants’ and ‘Superblood Wolfmoon’ are sweet, fresh offerings.
While some know Childish Gambino for the excitingly choreographed ‘This Is America’ or simply Donald Glover, his off-stage self and Atlanta actor instead, I think the hard-hitting ‘Backpackers’ was how I became acquainted. The deliriously soulful ‘Redbone’ allowed Glover to soar even further into fame, too — I mean, that’s a beauty, right? Just in time to help us all out in self-isolation or lockdown, he emerged again with the full-lengther ‘3.15.20’. You’re bound to particularly enjoy ‘Algorhythm’ and ‘Time’ from this collection.