And on the last day of November, the 2018 rap scene was put to shame by Earl Sweatshirt. “Some Rap Songs” is a dangerously over simplified title for Earl’s latest album as it turns out be a carefully calculated album disguised in a mask to look like a loose, free flowing piece of work.

Upon first listen, this might sound like a dismissible album that seems messy and jumbled but, this is the fundamental element that Earl uses to capture listeners and hold them down for the full ride and not just a single track. Each song serves as a puzzle piece to a larger image but, as the album continues it’s evident that the pieces to this circular narrative aren’t for the same puzzle. What you end up with is an abstract collage of tellings from Earl’s life.

There’s no other experience like waking up on Friday morning and seeing a new album from an artist that I like to listen to. Sometimes I know they’re coming, there’s been promotions, ads, and usually a single leading up to it, sometimes it’s a complete surprise and for the most part I’m dying to consume all the new music that has been released into the world.

However, a disturbing trend amongst artists has begun. They have developed a habit of releasing an overflow of singles that spoils the first listen to their new albums. This sacred moment of experiencing a collection of new music for the first time is under fire as artists feel the need to release half of their new albums in the form of singles, thus robbing fans of the magical experience that is an album first listen.

Thanksgiving weekend is over and everyone is back to their usual bustle and hustle. However, the holiday season is upon us with Hanukkah and Christmas fast approaching. This is a collection of holiday tunes from a variety of genres and artists to suit your holiday mood.

“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

A swing take on the song “You’re a Mean One,” iconic to the book and movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss. The song describes the Grinch who is the least holiday spirited Who of Whoville. In this rendition of the sound saxophone, trumpet decorate the swing beat.

Within the past year, there has been a significant rise in music coming into America from a across the globe.. Similar to the well-known, “British Invasion” phenomenon in the 60s, music from different parts of Asia, Africa and Spanish speaking countries have showed themselves as a force to be reckoned with in terms of popularity among American listeners.

In an age of globalization, media coming from all over the world is at our fingertips. As for music, streaming services like Spotify offer curated playlists such as, “Viva Latino,” “Afropop” and “Essential K-Pop,” to satisfy audiences with the popularity of global music.

Spotify is available in over 60 countries, leaving listeners with a vast selection of music from around the world in the palm of our hand.

Album Review: Joji discusses vulnerability on latest record

What R&B singer Joji revealed in his first track, “Attention,” is incredibly telling of who he is as an artist — he pours out vulnerability through these lyrics acknowledging his more subtle emotions.

“I thought I'd vocalize my troubles, but nobody will listen — I know I'm cryptic and I'm weird, that s*** comes off as indifferent.”

"Dirty Computer" a beautiful expression of sexuality

Janelle Monáe’s album “Dirty Computer,” released in April of this year, is a bold expression of her unique experiences with sexuality and self-expression, and how these experiences have been shaped by American society. Monáe, who also came out as pansexual this year, uses “Dirty Computer” as a way to give a voice to women and their sexuality, something which is often ignored.

“Dirty Computer” is beautifully crafted, with the sounds of several of the songs clearly influenced by artists of the 1970s and 80s. These vintage elements are mixed in with more modern, electronic sounds evocative of the computer in the album’s title. This is particularly noticeable in the album’s second track, “Take a Byte,” in which Monáe creates an image of a herself as a sexual being who is both confident and playful.

These Days: A sit down with Wallows

Taking the American Express Stage at Austin City Limits the morning after Paul McCartney headlined on the same stage, drawing thousands, would seem like a daunting task. But to the California indie rock band the Wallows, it was nothing but a punch line in a joke.

On stage lead singer Dylan Minnette sent a friendly jab at Paul McCartney stating that because he was on stage before them, Paul McCartney was their opener. This was just the start to a performance that was in the simplest form just pure fun for the band and audience.

A playlist of creepy songs for Halloween

This playlist is comprised of songs that are about serial killers, zombies, witches and all other kinds of folk lore, supernatural and paranormal. Many of these songs seem to be like any other on first listen, but when paying closer attention to the lyrics it is clear that the subject matter is far from ordinary.

“John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” by Sufjan Stevens

This song on Sufjan’s album titled “Come on, feel the Illinoise” features piano, soft guitar and Sufjan’s gentle voice. The song tells the story of American serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who killed 33 boys between 1972 and 1978 in Cook County, Illinois. Sufjan’s music is frequently quirky and discusses a variety of topics. In fact he has an entire album dedicated to birds. This album focuses all things Illinois related and is not the only chilling song featured on the album.

A journey through Austin City Limits — Day 3

Editor’s Note: This article is the third in a series of coverage on the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

To think that a few days ago I was just getting back to my Airbnb after day one of Austin City Limits (ACL) wondering how a flock of festival girls were surviving off of a shared basket of nuggets and little to no water.

As day three came to a close I was looking back a thinking, “I can do this for another few days.”

Distinct red patches of skin on the fairer members of ACL, and the countless bandage covered heels were evidence that the constant walking from stage to stage claimed many victims over the course of the last few days, but with the star-studded line-up of day three people were bound to tough it out to see their favorite artists.

A journey through Austin City Limits — Day 2

Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a series of coverage on the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

Crisis averted. Day two of ACL had been plagued with worry and stress about what looked like an unavoidable storm, but as the day went on the clear sky was visible leaving many guests still sweating bullets.

The morning started off with a young, charismatic band called the Wallows. Many people might not have heard of them but will surely recognize front man Dylan Minnette from his leading role as Clay Jensen in “13 Reasons Why.” Don’t let the fandom of that get in the way because the Wallows actually put on a great live performance.

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