Welcome to The Notebook. Every month explore the new sounds that the Hult Center team (and some special guests) are listening to.
Rich Hobby – Director of Marketing
Not only did I find a new favorite band last month, but I also found a solution to “relieve the symptoms of modern dread”! That’s because I now subscribe to the thinking of Telehealth, a Seattle band newly signed to those faux-corporate ratbags at Subpop Records for their debut album Content Oscillator, which is a delicious batch of synth laden art rock that immediately reminds me of legends like DEVO and Talking Heads. Their sound is both catchy and unmistakably kooky and cool. It’s a delightful combination of nostalgic, new and somehow superbly unique in that it has a voice and charm that carries through every song that makes the album feel like a twisted and highly enjoyable trip. Songs are poppy, with driving bass lines that make the guitar tones sparkle, while the vocals have an edginess and sharpness that both stand out from tracks but also drive them. Feel free to join me and other Telehealth subscribers when they stop by John Henry’s II on November 11. Current favorite song is “Context Hindsight” which just has a vibe that I could live in all year.
Zeph Michaels – Sr. Admin Specialist
A. Savage, AKA Andrew Savage, AKA the frontman of Parquet Courts, is back with his second solo album and I’m A. Fan. On Several Songs About Fire, Savage has traded in some of the more melancholy elements of his last album for a sound that feels more carefree. Yet while the sound might be brighter than his past work, the lyrics still brood with sardonic pessimism. If you’re a fan of catchy, jangly, and quirky music like The Kinks or Jonathan Richman I recommend you give Andrew a listen.
A. Savage – David’s Dead
Daniel Olbrych – Content and Design Coordinator
Let’s start with the craziness that was the October 2023 release calendar. We got new music from Blink-182, Green Day, and Marvelous 3, plus Metric, Wargasm, and we got some new music from the Libertines! I can’t remember a month so jammed packed. And all this stuff is great but… it was Taking Back Sunday and Creeper that dominated my headphones.
It’s been 7 years since Taking Back Sunday released an album and 152 is a glorious return and sonically more mature than everything that’s come before it. The albums features less crunched guitar and more spacey/interesting guitar sounds with Adam’s vocals sitting high on top. And he has never, ever, ever sounded better. Don’t you dare call it emo. TBS are a rock band and always have been. Personal favs, “Amphetamine Smiles” and “New Music Friday.”
And then we have Sanguivore by Creeper. And like Sex, Death & the Infinite Void before it, Creeper has transformed yet again. Sanguivore is part The Sisters of Mercy, part Meat Loaf Bat ‘Out of Hell,’ and part Broadway musical. This is art. Listening to this takes me to a place in time when I’d wander the horror section of Video Galaxy trying to find the perfect rental based on its slightly misleading and beautifully painted cover. Sanguivore is an absolute triumph.
Taking Back Sunday – 152
Creeper – Sanguivore
Dusty Adair – Talent Buyer
Conan Gray, “Killing Me” is not something I normally listen to, but this instantly reminded me of an 80s synth pop track and I am all about the 80s. This song is relatable because we have all had that one person we can’t seem to let go of.
I am a sucker for a good country song. Kameron is a rising country music artist and he is definitely worth a listen. This song has a great rhythm and it is interesting because it’s a love song to Tennessee. It is about being on the road and missing out on things but Tennessee doesn’t mind if he can’t make “her” happy.
Conan Gray – “Killing Me”
Kameron Marlowe – “Tennessee Don’t Mind”
Greg – House of Records
mndsgn (pronounced mind design) is a producer on the Stones Throw label whose records are a cross between hip-hop and R&B. The 16 short tracks on Snaxxx blend together seamlessly, using thick beats, heavy reverb, and clever vocal samples that give the record an off-kilter, otherworldly feel. “We love snacks! Healthy snacks!” is a claim made in one of the samples; and indeed, Snaxxx will feed your mind and body.
Solo Sun Ra, playing some of his most recognizable compositions and a few surprising covers on a borrowed Fender Rhodes keyboard. This short, never-before released live performance is mostly gentle and tinkley, but occasionally he will rise to a crescendo during which there is no doubt that Sun Ra’s fingers are made of steel, or gold. Maybe he really was from Saturn. This is some of the most accessible Sun Ra, for those of us who are a little intimidated by his more avant-garde records.
mndsgn – Snaxxx