WRMC Radio Roundup: a sonic study break

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)

 

Tech Director’s Pick – Maddie Van Beek ’22.5

Album: “Sound Ancestors” – Madlib 

Genre: Hip-hop, Jazz, Instrumental

RIYL: MF DOOM, J Dilla, Four Tet, Flying Lotus

Blurb: Madlib collaborated with Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden to produce an album that is a study in archivism, sampling and homage. Pulling from his own catalogue of music, Madlib rearranges beats and vocal lines to reference the past and bring them into the future. “Sound Ancestors” also includes samples and draws inspiration from Snoop Dogg, MF DOOM and J Dilla. This album is perfect for turning the lights off and listening to straight through, but it’s also a great study album because it is predominantly instrumental.

 

Concert Manager’s Pick – Eric Kapner ’21

Album: “Sultans of Sentiment” – The Van Pelt 

Genre: Emo, Indie Rock

RIYL: Braid, The Promise Ring, Cap’n Jazz

Blurb: Now this is a true emo throwback. In the mid ’90s, while many emo bands were getting louder and faster or embracing the emerging pop punk sound, The Van Pelt was crafting an album that was slower and more thoughtful, but still quirky and hard-hitting. “Sultans of Sentiment” is an accessible record for fans of indie rock, while also remaining essential for midwest emo purists. If you’re short on time, check out track numbers one, three, nine and 10. This album could change your life — or at least your perspective on music!

 

Business Manager’s Pick – Maia Sauer ’22

Album: “Quiet Signs” – Jessica Pratt

Genre: Folk / Singer-Songwriter

RIYL: Angel Olsen, Cate le Bon, Bedouine

Blurb: If you haven’t heard this gentle, wandering 2019 album, you’re missing out. Jessica Pratt has a haunting voice that swirls in and around her pared-back instrumentals. The resulting sound is hazy and poetic, perfect for getting lost in the woods or watching rain slide down your window.

 

Library Managers’s Pick – Jacob Raymond ’23

Album: “Long Violent History”Tyler Childers

Genre: Instrumental Country, Bluegrass

RIYL: Colter Wall, Lillie Mae, Norman Blake

Blurb: A surprise release from modern old-country artist Tyler Childers, “Long Violent History” appears to be a quiet, unassuming fiddle album. Childers’ lyricism plays almost no role in this album. He has crafted a very low-production but nonetheless pleasant record best played in the background while sitting in a rocking chair reading a book. However, this wasn’t Childers’ only intent for the album. Alongside the release, Childers uploaded a six-minute message to YouTube contextualising the album and the powerful final track, the titular “Long Violent History.” In the song and video he speaks about the suffering endured in a country ravaged by Covid-19, as well as the violence and oppression inflicted on Black Americans and people of color. He attempts to bring to light how Southern, rural white people refuse to accept and empathise with the horror of this reality. Childers implores them to shatter their ideologies and communities of hate and apathy, and stand up for those who are being harmed and killed in this country.

 

Creative Director’s Pick – Pia Contreras ’21

Album: “Whack World”Tierra Whack

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

RIYL: Mac Miller, Buddy, Drake

Blurb: I was introduced to this album when I heard the song “Pretty Ugly” playing in a Walgreens commercial about sun protection, and I was immediately hooked. While I didn’t go buy sunscreen, I did make a dash for my phone to pull up Shazam. When I found the song, I was thrown for a loop when I saw it was only a minute long. Actually, all 15 tracks in this album are one minute long — and they are fantastic. If you have a couple of minutes, I strongly recommend listening to this brilliant collection of whimsical vignettes. There are so many different production styles and musical themes represented in this single album that there’s something for everyone.