For every living being on the planet, January is a month of hastily-formed and just-as-hastily-waylaid resolutions — and Georgetown students are no exception. Why else would Yates be more crowded during the month of January than the other 11 months of the year? Not surprisingly for those who know me, my New Year’s resolutions never have anything to do with going to Yates. Instead, my goals for the coming year are pretty much the same as they have been for the past 11 months: read (not just for class), stop biting my nails (fat chance, I’m breaking that one as I type this) and force myself to drink water (don’t look at me like that … I don’t like the way it tastes).

But with this column in mind, I’m adding a belated resolution to the list: Find three new artists every week whose sound is a bit different from that of my usual jams. I’m always on the hunt for new music, but I tend to screen for artists that sound similar to those I already love. So I’m putting a stop to my lazy listening. I know that I may not like everything I find, but at least I will be expanding my musical horizons. By next year my brain will be a veritable Oxford English Dictionary of sound. Or not.

First on my list of new discoveries is Demon Fuzz’s “Hymn to Mother Earth.” I know that saying this strips me of my already low street cred, but I’m not always a fan of music that stresses instrumentals over words. Its instrumentals — which give jazz-like solos to everything from the trumpet to the triangle — are by far the best thing about it. They steer the song from experimental to familiarly upbeat to mellow and then back to experimental again. How can you not like a song that makes use of the bongos for 30 seconds toward the end, giving the conclusion a primal feel?

Next on the docket is “Die Young” by Happy Trendy. I never gravitate toward electro music … you know, the kind where you’re instantly aware no instruments were harmed in the making of the song. I think I tend to associate (unfairly) all synth-driven sound with the house music of European clubs. But “Die Young” is a refreshingly mellow track, the kind you could play if you were having trouble drifting off to sleep. The sound, while electro, is incredibly cool — it sounds like an old recording of someone playing a lullaby on the xylophone. The song is capped off with a couple of monotonous male voices that seem to recite lyrics rather than sing them, lending the song a depressingly ethereal sound. It works.

My last find for this week is pretty conventional, but no less of a stretch from my usual listening. I can’t usually endure male/female duets … I tend to think their lyrics rely on cliches, and the whole thing reminds me of that MTV series where Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock were forced to pretend they had things in common. But I can’t help liking “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men — ok, so the lyrics are still a little cliched, but the singers’ voices are so soft, light and well matched that I hardly care. Plus, the entire song is euphoric. It’s driven by horns and tambourines and sounds like an upbeat Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros track. This one’s definitely my favorite track of the week, and not just because I can pretend to have multiple personalities when I sing along.

So there you have it, the beginning of a new year and a new music resolution. Who knows whether I will make it past February, but I think that finding three new artists a week is a reasonable goal for myself. I mean, what else do I have to do … homework? Pshaw.

 

Kinne Chapin is a senior in the College. Face the Music appears every other Friday in the guide.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*