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On Air Next

On Air Next 8.20.15

Dan Burney

James Calvet
On Air Next 8.20
Radio 1190 KVCU 

Welp, it's official, school starts next week. Though classes are good and all, we here at Radio 1190 are excited for new and old students to start volunteering this semester! At Radio 1190 when volunteering you not only review albums, make sweet pins, and hang posters,  but you also get free music and get to hang out with enthusiastic music-loving individuals! It's that easy! You can get involved by e-mailing our volunteer coordinator Elijah at elijah@radio1190.org or you can just stop by and say hi! We are located in the basement of the east side of UMC, our office number is 41-J and we are around the corner from the bookstore. Get involved today! In the mean time stream us or tune in on your radio transistors to hear these rad albums spinning in rotation right now: 

After a successful two-album run, goofball-turned Indie darling Mac Demarco has just released a mini-album to hold over fans until his next full-length. Much like his previous releases, Demarco combines a halfway tongue-in-cheek soft rock style with sweet indie-pop much like a reverb-soaked and apathetic Harry Nilsson. Almost every track on this 8-song album is based around the topic of love or longing that, much like his sound, seems like it could simultaneously be parody and honest. Now, it seems that Mac has become incredibly comfortable in his sound and style and fails to stray from his usual songwriting. Because of this, the songs sound so familiar that they are almost monotonous and uninspired. The hooks and pop sensibility are all on the record, but seem so business-as-usual that it's almost instantly forgettable.  

There's a lot to love about Mac Demarco, his sound is pleasant and easy-going and his personality is infectious, but this new record is so humdrum that it may make die-hard fans do a double take. Over the course of the eight tracks really no hooks get instantly stuck in your head or remotely have the same affect that 2 or Salad Days had. The most memorable part of this record is the last few seconds of the closing track "My House By The Water" where Demarco names off his personal address in Queens, New York inviting the listener to join him for a cup of coffee. Though this is a tad bit risky as a rising star, after news stories of fans actually taking up his offer shows that it was more of a publicity stunt than an adding a dimension to Demarco's personality. After repeated listens it almost seems that Demarco may have pulled this stunt because of the weakness of the record so his fans will stay loyal which seems a tad low for an artist who feels the need to add a joke to a record because his newest album doesn't stand up to the rest of his art. It's apparent now that to keep Mac Demarco at the top of the indie game he may need to venture out of his comfort zone a little farther to really make an impact.

At their core, harsh noise outfit Health is a pop band. Though that statement might seem contradictory, the newest album from this Los Angeles-based group, Death Magic, shows the band at their noisiest and most poppy to date. Though the group has been mixing synthpop and harsh noise for quite some time, never have they gone to such extremes in both aspects of their sound. On tracks such as "Stonefist", the group harnesses the dark synth pop of Depeche Mode and the harsh noise of Merzbow. The experience is what I would imagine going to a synthpop show on PCP would sound like. The group uses the huge, bassy sections of noise and clean, catchy vocals to contrast off one another. Instead of blending the two, Health tends to shift
between the two at a very rapid rate making the record almost a jerky rollercoaster between light and dark sounds. Though this change of pace may be a little strange to long-time listeners at first, with repeated listens, the constant shifting between the two makes for an incredibly thrilling listen. The only aspect of this record that may make this unenjoyable, compared to previous Health records, is that the vocals are so clear, clean and distinguishable that it may make the album less mysterious or brooding. That small detail aside, the group has honed in on both aspects of their deep sound and have amplified them so for the whole world to hear. With an emphasis both on harsh noise and pop hooks, Health's Death Magic could be their strongest release to date. After a few successful records, California's synth-pop wizards Gardens & Villa are at it again with their newest record Music for Dogs. Much like contemporaries Starfucker or Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr, their style of indie rock is electronic-infused and is incredibly dancy but isn't repetitive enough to fit in at a generic nightclub. More so than other synth-pop groups, Gardens & Villa stride in the way that they sound more influenced by glam-rock and psych-rock creating a well rounded sound. 

Though not every song is groovy enough to shake your booty to, the variety found on this record makes it equally suitable in the live and home-listening setting. The group's sound, unlike previous albums such as Dune, has gone a touch darker, purposefully focusing on being more serious rather than dance floor hits. As a result, the group sounds more confident and focused than ever making this record more consistent all the way throughout. Undoubtedly, Music for Dogs may be their silliest album title to date, but the musicianship and focus on seriousness makes this record Garden and Villa's strongest to date.