As the season changes from winter to spring, music artists are experimenting with colorful new approaches as well, taking risks and blending past material with innovative styles. With the spring season comes a bloom of interesting material definitely worth a listen.
Indicud – Kid Cudi
After splitting from the G.O.O.D. Music label and from past producers, Kid Cudi has finally single-handedly created an album of his own.
This album is Indicud, an audio representation of Cudi’s inner struggles that features slow, drug-inspired tracks coupled with guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, RZA, and A$AP Rocky—and interestingly, Father John Misty and Haim.
The diversity here adds flavor, with notable tracks being “Solo Dolo, Pt. II,” a continuation of the Man On the Moon original, and “Brothers,” strengthened by its appearances. The inclusion of stoner track “Just What I Am” is expected of an artist like Cudi, while “Immortal” samples MGMT’s “Congratulations” backwards with surprising success.
Through a departure from past albums and production techniques, Indicud showcases Cudi’s ability to mirror side project WZRD and test different techniques and approaches, all while maintaining a signature talent that cannot be overlooked.
Bankrupt! – Phoenix
Characterized by unmistakably catchy choruses and upbeat hits, the French-based indie rock quartet known as Phoenix is back with their fifth album, Bankrupt!
The single “Entertainment” certainly proves the band’s ability to create infectious tunes, and the rest of the album is a pleasant journey into experimentation. Bankrupt! is a slight departure from older material with its synth-pop beats and use of ambiguously varied instruments. Songs are layered and submerged in a variety of sounds, decadent as the vibrant, fruit-embellished cover art.
Tracks such as “Trying to Be Cool” and “ObliqueCity” showcase the band’s inventive approach, while standout tracks “Drakkar Noir” and “Bourgeois” blend the group’s familiar sound with an innovative twist. The subject matter is equally diverse, ranging from upper-class snobbery to men’s cologne, if that isn’t creative enough.
Though it may not be the typical alt-pop expected of Phoenix, Bankrupt! strikes it rich, proving that it pays off nowadays to take a risk in music.
Mosquito – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
With quirky and eccentric lead vocalist Karen O and a history of varied album approaches, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have proved their ability to consistently entertain. With Mosquito, their latest endeavor, the band dabbles in gospel choirs, moody soundscapes, guest rap verses and electronic influences.
Only a band as confident and experimental as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs can successfully pull off songs such as “These Paths,” a psychedelic track of scrambled beats, and “Area 52,” a high-energy song straight from outer space.
In contrast to the intense riffs and dark urgency of single “Sacrilege” are tracks “Subway” and “Wedding Song,” slow and atmospheric ballads that allude to New York City and the joy of married life. It samples many forms of music, from the reggae percussion of “Under the Earth” to the hip-hop-infused “Buried Alive.”
As a diverse album that isn’t afraid to reach to new lengths, Mosquito promises fans that more originality is in store.