What's up, St. Jane readers? DJ Philogy here to CRAM SOME MUSIC INTO YOUR EARS.
Okay, that sounded kind of violent. Let's go with "gently coax some music into your otolaryngical area," if you prefer that sort of thing.
My background? I grew up the son of two Colombian immigrants and went through my angsty suburban phase as a teen. This makes Colombian salsa music part of my DNA, but also makes teen pop punk one of the bedrocks of my musical foundation. Still, by the time I finished college, I realized that music is a rich tapestry that can be enjoyed from various perspectives - sometimes you need a little rock attitude, sometimes you need some slick pop beats for a successful night out.
Here's my 5x5 for the past six months. As you can see, I listen to a lot of film score music, but the smattering that remains straddles some hip hop, garage rock, indie rock, indietronica, folk, and pop.
Anyway, today I'm looking ahead to two major albums coming out on my radar. Not To Disappear by Daughter and Death of a Bachelor by Panic! at the Disco.
First off, Daughter.
Daughter is great music for when you're totally sad. It's a three-piece fronted by vocalist Elena Tonra, who has the same kind of haunting quality I find in Phantogram's music. In addition to singing, Daughter plays guitar and bass, switching off with Igor Haefeli, who also produces, while Remi Aguilella plays drums.
My first experience with the band was a recommendation from an intern who worked with me at my first job. Her name was Corinne and she recommended the song "Landfill" to me in 2012. And, wouldn't you know it, I was having girl troubles at the time and the song hit me hard. In more recent rotation, I've been listening to "Youth" off Daughter's 2013 EP. That song has a particularly good grasp on some of the existential crises of becoming an adult in modern society.
Now for the flip side of brooding music - we have a new Panic! at the Disco album coming January 15.
Panic's been around long enough for most readers to have an opinion of them. They're the frequent punchline of a lot of emo kid jokes, since they rose up during that pop punk wave that brought Fall Out Boy to the public consciousness. Despite being so well-known, it doesn't seem like Panic breaks into the Top Alternative radio rotation as much as FoB did before they crossed over into Top 40.
The same attitude you find in Fall Out Boy's work is very present in Panic's recent music. You hear some literal brass accompanying the bravado of a boy band that pictures itself the tattooed bad boys of the music scene. But there's enough self-awareness going on here to make it entertaining, and I appreciate the variation of instrumentality. There's definitely some shared DNA with Fall Out Boy's recent album, particularly audible in the latest single "Death of a Bachelor." That song builds off a riff from The B-52's "Rock Lobster" in much the same way "Uma Thurman" samples The Munsters Theme Song. I guess surf rock is in vogue with neo-pop punk producers these days.
But I appreciate the musicality of Panic frontman Brendon Urie, who has always defined his band's sound with his fluttering vocals - it's a voice that would comfortably fit on stage in a musical. Ultimately, Panic still seems to be most involved in the theatricality of their performance and it's pretty fun, especially in the above song, "Emperor's New Clothes."
I'll leave you with two Spotify playlists for you to consider. Top songs from Daughter and Panic, as well as the St. Jane Music Mix, which I try to update every week with samplings across today's top-selling albums.
We're looking to launch a full music blog with multiple writers here at St. Jane, so talk to us on Twitter if you're interested in contributing!