5. To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly”
Kendrick rolls us through the whole feel of the album, beginning with the first song. “Wesley’s Theory” funk rolls through the speakers and through my body. While this album received mixed reviews for sounding extremely different than Lamar’s other work. The album won a Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2015, suprising many critics. “To Pimp a Butterfly” is different but remarkable, bringing back the funk and soul of the 80s’. A reflection of old school L.A hip hop, with Lamars lyrics about politics, African-American culture, police brutality and mental illness.When I saw Kendrick in L.A last year, it is obvious that he isn’t like most rappers. Kendrick is the art and the artist, walking and talking through bars, he is mesmerizing.
4. Blond – Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean’s “Blond”
Frank Ocean’s anticpated album, “Blond” was one of the best albums of 2016. After “Channel Orange”, Frank took a 4 year hiatus, dropping two singles. Although not entirely absent, Frank would often post poetry or writings onto his tumblr about dealing with fame and depression. This album touches the darkness, the light and mysteriousness, that is Frank Ocean. “Blond” is a journey and an experience that echoes in my heart. Frank combines his smooth r&b voice with his unusual sounds that mix indie-psychedelic rock and hip-hop. With the single that started it all off, “Nikes” rings through the speakers. Breaking his silence, Frank mentions Travyon Martin in his music video. Dressed in a hoodie, the iconic martyr for all those who are innocent and voiceless. Frank has embodied that into his music. Frank is an incredible story-teller that tugs at your heart with his meledoies. He makes everything sound introspective and nostalgic through his use of trippy waves. Singing about coming out and life after fame, Franks voice is angelic and dreamy. Blond is truly an original masterpiece that anyone could relate to. This is a perfect album to get high to while reflecting or singing.
3. Midnight Snack – Homeshake
Midnight Snack – Homeshake
Homeshake is a solo-project made by Peter Sagar, the former guitarist for Mac Demarco’s live band. “Midnight Snack” is smooth, electronic and the guitar riffs makes you curious as to what is in store. His smooth r&b tones and house-recorded aesthetic voice makes “Midnight Snack” a perfect album to smoke a spliff to. Sagars voice is unique and the whole album has a psychedlic feel to it. His voice is enticing and seem to flow through the guitar riffs. The lo-fi music is very sensual and relaxing, make sure you listen to this album while you’re outside and preferably in nature. Homeshake reminds me of a house party in the suburbs where everyone you know is there. And everyone is smoking pot. “Midnight Snack” is also romantic, the lyrics will touch you if you’re a little introverted stoner. “Midnight Snack” ends in a hard funky note. Leaving you astonished, staring at an empty sky at 3 a.m, holding a bong and wondering, “Holy shit, that was incredible.”
2. Reptillians – STRFKR
Reptillians – STRFKR
STRFKR (pronounced star-fucker) is an electronic indie-rock band reigning from Portland. The bands second studio album, “Reptilians” made a huge impression in the indie rock scene, changing up their sound from their first album. This 2011 album is a record anyone can replay over and over again. It has become a timeless indie album that takes you onto an electronic, psychedelic journey. The first half of the album is fast-paced and upbeat towards the middle of the record and then slows down. Throughout the whole record commentary from philosopher Allan Watts is played in which he talks about life and death. STRFKR is a complete experience and each one of their songs can make you move and tug at your heart and makes you feel existential. “Reptilians” is a classic indie record with an amazing bass line that will live on and be used as inspiration for anyone with a synthesizer. Sit down in your car, light one up to this and look up at the night sky to feel less lonely.
1. This is Happening – LCD Soundsystem
LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
LCD Soundsystem’s last studio album released in 2010, “This is Happening” dropped before the band announced their last tour and shows known as their “Final Goodbye” tour. LCD Soundsystem touches the nostalgia of what its like to be in your 20s and to be with your friends again. Ryan Murphy, the bands frontman gained attention in the early 2000’s from being distinctly different than other American rock bands at the time. Murphy’s love for music and the love to mix it all up made LCD Soundsystem different. This paved the path to the band’s iconic dance-y and funky sound remembered today. LCD Soundsystem is the only band to make the cowbell sound good and danceable. LCD Soundsystem are indie rock Gods and when they preform it is a symphony that makes you want to dance. Murphy is said to have about 6-7 people preform with him when he does live shows. This is a perfect album to roll a few spliffs to and to get up and start dancing.