By Max Askari
This week at Radio 1190, we have a lot of great music to add, including "Hypnic Jerks" from The Spirit of the Beehive, "Small Car Big Wheels" from Enjoy and "27: The Most Perfect Album" from New York Public Radio.
The Spirit of the Beehive had me hooked from the first moment I heard them open for Palm back in February. Their 2017 release "Pleasure Suck" made waves in the indie music scene, and they continue to impress and innovate with their newest release, "Hypnic Jerks." The dissonant, high-energy indie rock is interlaced with home recordings that bassist Rivka Ravede's father made as a kid. The Spirit of the Beehive is known for making music that doesn't sit quite right, with unexpected chord progressions and funky time signatures that distinguish the songs from more standard rock. "Hypnic Jerks" (named after the involuntary twitches one gets as one falls asleep) aptly feels like it's asleep, but in some purgatory state between a dream and a nightmare. If you're looking for a place to start, my favorite tracks are "Hypnic Jerks," "Mantra Is Repeated" and "d.o.u.b.l.e.u.r.o.n.g."
Next, we have a new album off of Burger Records, a favorite label here at 1190. Enjoy is the solo project of Wyatt Shears (one half of experimental post-punk band The Garden). A solid mixture of highly experimental electropop songs, "Small Car Big Wheels" isn't always easy to listen to, but all the tracks offer something new. Enjoy has successfully created a unique sound that helps it stand out. A wide range of influences inspires multiple listens to catch all the layers.
"More Perfect," a political podcast focused on the Supreme Court from New York Public Radio's WNYC studios and the producers of "Radiolab," started off its third season by releasing a concept album about the 27 amendments to the United States Constitution titled "27: The Most Perfect Album." With the goal of making constitutional education entertaining and relevant, New York Public Radio gathered the most diverse compilation of artists and music that I've ever seen on one album.
Avoiding the common music industry pitfall of giving white men the most exposure, the album includes many female and minority artists, doing justice to the wide variety of music being made in America. What's most impressive about this 35 track compilation is the variety of artists: From Cherry Glazerr to Dolly Parton to Kash Doll to Devendra Banhart, there's something for practically everybody on this album. Indie rock, experimental funk, hip-hop, country, folk, mariachi, electropop, spoken word, punk and surf rock are just a few of the genres represented. If you have some free time, I recommend giving "27: The Most Perfect Album" a listen to get a glimpse at the wide variety of music being made in 2018.