Things That Make Yours Ears Go Hmm: December Edition
January 5, 2018
At this time of the year, most of the music world is focused on list making, that is, in order to reflect on the music of the past year. Because of this, and the influx of winter holidays, the amount of new music dwindles until January, in which a wave of singles, EPs, and LPs inundate the market. Nonetheless, it is important to note the releases that did occur this month, because they are just important now as they are any other time of the year. While it may be brief, this time around, there’s new singles from artists both familiar and new; from Lucy Dacus and Sufjan Stevens, to Loma and Long Neck. There will be much more music to come in 2018!
“Tonya Harding” – Sufjan Stevens
Although I mentioned a track off of Stevens’s The Greatest Gift album a few months ago, this one-off single about the controversial 1980’s figure skater Tonya Harding takes the cake. Although his subject of choice was despised for her actions against another figure skater, Sufjan finds a way to speak of her lovingly, but without ignoring her faults. Stevens submitted this song to the makers of the biopic I, Tonya, which tackles the same subject, but it was not used in the film, allowing Stevens to release two different versions of the song, each done in a different key.
“Night Shift” – Lucy Dacus
Singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus’s sophomore effort begins with the release of this single, which clocks in at six minutes and thirty-one seconds. The length is used to the song’s advantage, though, as it shifts through a journey that grows louder and more powerful with each verse. This track shows fortuitous things to come from Dacus.
“Relay Runner ” – Loma
“Relay Runner”, a track from newcomers Loma, is haunting yet still intriguing. It combines discordant noises in an orchestrated way, creating an energy that feels completely fresh and uncharted, which is a big surprise in a musical landscape that struggles to find something new.
“Mine/Yours” – Long Neck
New Jersey-based band Long Neck wants their roots to be known, since it is home to front-woman Lily Mastrodimos, who references the Turnpike and Cape May in her songs. This particular one “Mine/Yours” is a powerful chant regarding individuality; New Jersey should be proud to have influenced music such as this.
Listen to the playlist here: