A weekly breakdown of my Spotify playlists.
By Kolby Bergquist
Every week I pray that the Spotify gods be good to me as I check my Discover Weekly playlist. They’ve lead astray once or twice, but they’ve also lead me to find some truly awesome tunes. So I’ve decided to use this platform to share my findings with you.
Twice a week, I’ll share with you my playlist, rate the songs, and give my opinions on each track. Hopefully, you can use this as a way to discover new artists, find what to avoid, and grow your catalog.
Scale from best to worst
Awesome – Great – Good – Fine – Whatever – Skip it
I’ll pick a favorite of the week, you’ll know it when you see the ghost. I will not pick my least favorite. You should be able to figure that out for yourselves anyway, and I’m already ripping into a band’s hard work, so theres no need for me to add insult to injury with a stupid sticker or something. Anyways,
Enjoy the read!
“Dillon And Her Son” The World Is A Beautiful Place To Live & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
Genre: Post Punk, Emo, Rock
Firstly, this band is very cool. They so perfectly craft their songs around the many instruments they incorporate, it’s almost symphonic. In this song, which I highly recommend listening to, you can hear that the guitar melody perfectly connects to a synth line, while the drummer plays a fill to give some space to the instrumentation. The harmonies with the vocals are beautiful, and while they move through their melodies, the lead guitar and synth harmonize in a completely different way.
Every piece they do is a master class in songwriting, and this song is no exception. This is one of those tracks that I’m going to end up always playing twice in a row. It’s short, at 2:24 seconds, and has so much going on, in such perfect syncopation, that it almost demands that you hear it again. Absolutely brilliant.
“Atlas Novus” Scale The Summit
Genre: Progressive Rock, Math Rock, Instrumental
This was a lot of fun to listen to. Where as most of these math rock songs tend to showcase the guitar more heavily, this one kept the guitars at the forefront, but let them breathe while the bass did most of the work. I love the tone of the bass guitar in general, so I really enjoy it when I get to focus on it for most of the song. The band came up with a really clever way of putting the bass first without just cranking the volume on it. The guitars just played more open parts, that were drenched in reverb, while the bass noodled around behind them.
This mix was also beautiful. The guitars were very clear, the bass sounded think, and rich, and the drums sat perfectly in place. What was also refreshing, was the few moments where the drums strayed off time, showing their lack of over production. This is a very pretty song, and is ultimately put together extremely well. Have a listen to this one.
“Clockworkd” Autopilot Off
Genre: Pop Punk
I’ve got enough pop punk in my life. I’ve never loved this band, I’ve never really loved this song. Had I heard it as a kid, it would have had the nostalgia element, but I didn’t so it just doesn’t stand out to me. It has a great chorus line, but it’s so similar to so many other pop punk songs that do have the nostalgia thing going for them. It’s a good song, but that’s all; it’s very standard.
If there’s one thing I dislike about it that I can really pin down, it’s the strange amount of guitar effects that are long used for maybe a few seconds. I get what they were trying to do, switch things up, but it feels like their shoehorned in, and I don’t love it.
“Talk To Her” Priestess
The production on this track was great, my only real gripe was that the vocals sounded too clean for how dirty the instruments sounded. It’s a great Little Rock song. It’s extremely dancable, a lot of fun, and the talent lever of both the vocalist, and the instrumentalists is top notch. Very cool.
“Four To Six” Math The Band
Genre: Nintendocore, Punk, Indie Rock
With a name like Math The Band, I was expecting a very progressive kind of song. Instead we’ve got a very well put together post punk song. I loved the synth patch they used, I think it fit really well. And the mix of the male and very unique female vocals was a really nice touch. The fast and fuzzy guitar lines were awesome, the song was short and too the point which was effective, and the dirty mix was extremely fitting. I loved this.
“Stray The Skies” VOLA
Genre: Progressive Metal
I disliked the guitar tones on this track, they were a little too tinny for me. The choices of synth patches, and melodies on the other hand were brilliant. The vocals were very interesting as you would expect there to be screaming over such djent inspired chugging riffs. Instead, the heaviness of the guitars were overlaid with distorted sung vocals.
I can’t say I absolutely loved the end result of that choice, but I give them an A for effort. The vocals during the chorus however fit perfectly. This reminds me of The Devin Townsend Project, without the virtuoso singing that he’s known for. This was a really solid piece, that is definitely deserving of the Top Pick.
Genre: Post Rock, Progressive Rock
This song had an air of pop sensibility, without any of the framework of a pop song. The guitar work was amazing, I loved the tone they got with it, and it ultimately a very pretty song. The singers voice is a little piercing at times though, and though it is impressive. I still think a few of the vocal lines would have better served the song better had they been sung In a lower register.
I thought the intro, with the organs was very interesting, and the guitars were killer. The overall sound was great, and the production was perfect fir what they’re going for here. All together I thought it was great. Check it out.
“The Great Leap (Godflesh Extended Version)” Mortiis, Godflesh
Genre: Industrial Metal
Dark! This piece was very interesting in terms of intent. I like the idea of mixing industrial dance beats and metal, especially from underground musicians. It connects the electronic artists to the metal scene, and vice versa. I still hear the old Suicide Season remixes from Bring Me The Horizon played at goth clubs to this day, and I think that speaks volumes to the people’s interest for this kind of mashup.
This song felt just as filthy as any low budget metal album, but had the sparkle from the electronic elements as well. Very cool.
“Masscult, Vulgarians, And Entitlement” Western Addiction
Genre: Post Hardcore, Post Punk
This is a very solid post hardcore song. It has the driving pulse pounding heart of a true hardcore song, with a little exploration and style coming from the guitar work. The vocal melodies are written so well. When he sings the chorus, the way he rises in pitch while the music smacks you in the face, really stresses the point, and gives the song a boost in its levels of aggression. Definitely listen to this song.
“Domino Effect” Ozma
Rating: Skip It
Genre: Alternative Rock, Indie
I wanted to be in to Ozma when I was younger, but I could never get into it. I still have a hard time getting into them, and this song isn’t any different. They seem like something I’d be into, but nothing they do really blows my mind. This song has a few interesting ideas, but they don’t seem to really commit to any of them. Skip it.
“Cotton Tongue” Looming
Genre: Indie, Post Punk
I really liked the weird vocal approach. Otherwise, nothing really jumped out about this song. It’s very basic.
“III. The Will of One” The Protomen
Genre: Post Punk, Punk, Nintendocore, Electronic
The mix is exactly what I want to hear from more bands like this. There’s just a layer of fuzzy noise over the top of everything. It sounds as if the band is playing to you through the static on an old tv. The synth work is absolutely fantastic, from the little synth riffs, to the solo.
The addition of the synth really the only thing that makes this song as cool as it is; without it, the song would be a very basic rock song. With it, it’s a super weird, super fun, and wild song that leaves you wanting more.
“The Remedy” Abandoned Pools
Genre: Alternative, Indie Rock
This sounds like Silversun Pickups meets Oasis. On paper that’s a great combo, and I’m sure this band has some jams, but I wasn’t immediately impressed. It’s got interesting points but the song turns out to be weaker than the sum of its parts.
Rating: Skip It
Genre: Metal, Stoner Rock, Rock
Extremely boring. Anyone can look anywhere and get this same feel, with lyrics and better music. Hard skip.
“Nintendo 89” Audio Karate
Genre: Pop Punk
Pop Punk at its finest. The heyday for the genre was right around the same time this album came out, which is why you’ve never heard of this band. They were washed under by so many huge pop punk acts at the time, and weren’t doing anything exceptional to stand out.
I like this song, while it’s very basic, it does have a more punk quality to the mix than a few of the bigger bands at that time. Ultimately it’s just a pop punk song though, and it looses its luster quickly.
Thats it! See you next Tuesday… Wait.