WRMC Radio Roundup: New sounds for a new semester (part II)

By WRMC Staff

Pia Contreras

Have your Spotify playlists become stale? Is your weekly mix just not cutting it? Maybe it’s time to branch out and listen to something new. The Executive Board of WRMC, Middlebury College’s radio station, has selected a wonderfully wide range of albums, spanning time and genre, for your listening pleasure. Check back each week for a new set of recommendations. 

*RIYL: recommended if you like

Programming Director’s Pick – Micah Raymond ’21 

Album: “Devil’s Rain” – Maria BC ’19.5

Genre: Ambient, Dream Pop

RIYL: Grouper, Oneohtrix Point Never, Broadcast

Blurb: This debut album from Middlebury and WRMC alum was recorded in the solitude of Maria BC’s apartment bedroom during lockdown. Maria’s classical vocal training shines through against soft guitar loops and ghostly reverb. The album gets its title from a folktale in which sunshowers are the work of an evil spirit; it is beautifully intimate, expansive and full of dreamy longing. Maria’s music is “close and visceral, like Cocteau Twins’ melodies repurposed as choral pieces… [it] lands as softly and naturally as snow at night,” Pitchfork magazine said.

Concerts Manager’s Pick – Gennie Herron ’23 

Album: “Atlanta Millionaires Club” – Faye Webster

Genre: Indie rock pop

RIYL: Ambient indie, good songs with snazzy lyrics, Better Oblivion Community Center

Blurb: Faye Webster weaves narratives using a wavy guitar and a solid rhythm. She has a lovely voice that conveys emotion in every note. Her songs are good for any mood: from moping break-ups to dancing in your room (alone or with friends). “Better Distractions” was also one of President Obama’s favorite songs from 2020.

Library Manager’s Pick – Jacob Raymond ’23 

Album: “Old Time Feeling” – S. G. Goodman

Genre: Country blues

RIYL: Margo Price, Tyler Childers, H.C. McEntire

Blurb: S. G. Goodman’s debut album brings us to the life of a Kentucky farmer’s daughter through its bluesy and Southern rock and roll influences accompanied by Goodman’s wistful lyrics and harrowing vocals. From the smooth “Tender Kind” to the angry and moody “The Way I Talk,” this album is both a love letter to and a painful protest against the Southern experience that seems to stem from her own experience. If you are looking for an album that is both old and new, feels both loving and longing, and sounds both subdued and emphatic, you will find it in “Old Time Feeling.”

Creative Director’s Pick – Pia Contreras Balbuena ’22

Album: “YHLQMDLG” – Bad Bunny

Genre: Latin Urban, Trap

RIYL: J Balvin, Ozuna, Maluma, Daddy Yankee

Blurb: This album title might look like a typo, but it’s actually an acronym for “Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana” or “I Do What I Want.” It’s an excellent album that takes this phrase very literally, especially with regard to its lyrics and production, which vary widely between songs. I highly recommend listening to this album, but beyond that I recommend adding Puerto Rican icon Bad Bunny to your playlists.

Business Manager’s Pick – Maia Sauer ’22 

Album: “The Tipping Scale” – Kinlaw

Genre: Dreampop, Artpop

RIYL: Caroline Polachek, Jenny Hval, Kate NV

Blurb: The album is dreamy, poetic and a little bit dancey for your “it’s still winter somehow, but all I really want is to be driving alone on a summer night with all my windows down” mood. Atmospheric and bittersweet, “The Tipping Scale” is chock full of sweeping synths and moments that sink into house beats and crowded basement sounds. Its lyrics center around memory and how to navigate changing relationships.

Social Media Manager’s Pick – Jose Morales ’22 

Album: “take it, leave it” – Jackie Hayes

Genre: Alternative, Indie

RIYL: Billy Lemons, Indigo De Souza, No Vacation

Blurb: Jackie Hayes’ latest EP “take it, leave it” is a small set of tracks that showcase her creative experimentation with production and vocal performances. This is her first EP as a solo artist since she left her previous band Family Reunion, and it holds the feelings of a transitional moment in her life. The first two tracks, “headache” and “enemy,” follow some introspective thoughts of dissatisfaction, frustration and confusion. The last two tracks “belong” and “dead of winter” build off these emotions and take on a more aggressive tone. The drums pick up their pace while the guitar and her voice become increasingly distorted. There is a sharp, high-pitched distortion that comes in during “belong,” evoking the emotions of frustration that come with feeling displaced mentally and socially.