Liner Notes (October 30th, 2021)

Pumpkin

It’s almost Halloween, and I think one of my cats currently has on a bat costume and is starring in an Instagram video. This week I write about new music I checked out (Florrie, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, The War on Drugs, Ed Sheeran) and old music I revisited (Underoath, Anberlin), and then some thoughts on all the Halloween movies we’ve been watching this week. As always, there’s a playlist of songs I enjoyed, and this week’s supporter Q&A post can be found here.

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A Few Things

  • I ate too much candy last night. We’ve been watching scary movies all week, cause Halloween, and we have one of those big mixed bags of candy in the pantry. These days, even with my sweet tooth, I try and stay away from sugar as much as possible … with the exception of holidays. And last night? Yeah, I had too many Starburst. My body is pissed.

In Case You Missed It

Music Thoughts

  • Florrie just keeps releasing incredible singles. The latest is “Communicate,” and there’s a string of something like 10 or 11 now that I need to start just considering an “album” and listen to from front to back. I’m still hoping we get a full length at some point, but these are so damn good I need to embrace these one-offs and add them more into my musical rotation. (Singles and EPs always end up getting far fewer plays from me in a week because I am very bias toward full album listens.)
  • Speaking of singles, the new Nightly is also very good. And if you like that whole Nightly sound and vibe, I’d also recommend you check out the new EP from Victors that dropped yesterday. And, it’s not really in the same vein, since I’d call it more of a pop-rock sound from someone clearly influenced by pop-punk, but the new American Teeth album, We Should Be Having Fun, is an interesting album. I don’t think it’s great, but I do enjoy it—some good pop songs, some filler, but an artist that I’ll be watching.
  • My big kick this week ended up being Underoath. Early in the week, I thought to myself, “you know, I haven’t listened to They’re Only Chasing Safety in forever; I should give that a spin.” So I tossed that on and immediately was brought back to college summers driving around town blowing out my car’s speakers. And that just led to needing to play all their albums on repeat. And so I did. I think, and I don’t know if this is a hot take in their fandom or not, that every single one of their records is good. I still have a massive soft spot for Define the Great Line, and that may be my “favorite” if pressed. Still, I even really like their last album and its huge pop-rock turn—anyway, just an exceptionally fun group of albums to play exceptionally loud. I’m very ready to hear the new one. (I’ve been holding out on listening to any of the singles so that I can experience it all at once.)
  • I am a big fan of the new Circa Survive EP. This slightly modified and new direction works for me. It’s my favorite thing from the band in a long while.
  • This morning, I drank my Saturday morning latte with the new The War on Drugs album playing in the background, and that’s just about the best way to experience that album. It’s a fantastic fall morning, nowhere to be, nothing to do, listen.
  • Ed Sheeran is popular enough to be polarizing. In a different life, I probably would have cared. Today I just think the dude’s an exceptionally talented songwriter. As I’ve grown older, my pop-sensibilities continue to become more pronounced, and there’s something about just an exquisitely put-together pop song that does it for me. And more often than not, Ed is capable of getting to that spot. And, on top of that, I think he’s able to pull real emotions out of his lyrics. There’s something to be said about that. At times they can get a little saccharine, and there are a few songs on the new album that feel a little heavy-handed, but there are still some surefire hits. “Bad Habits” is a smash. “Collide” is great. And “Visiting Hours” is sure to lead to many tears spilled across many pillowcases. All-in-all, I think it’s a good album, and I remain impressed. Dude’s talented af.
  • SeeYouSpaceCowboy bring me back in the weirdest way. Their new album is very heavy, very; I don’t know … mid-early screamo? Late screamo? It’s something I should probably be able to pin down better, but I can’t really grab what it is that it reminds me of most. It’s fit in well with my heavy music streak lately (Spiritbox, ETID, Knocked Loose, etc.).
  • There were quite a few other albums in my playlist this week, but the big standouts include Every Time I Die’s Radical, which with every passing day, I get closer to calling their apex, their masterpiece. And then a discography dive of Anberlin ended my week. My word does that band have a great catalog. Cities is still an all-timer, but their last two albums, specifically Vital, are also just so, so good.

The Stats: Over the past week, I listened to 44 different artists and 442 different tracks (580 scrobbles). My most listened-to artist was Underoath, by a healthy margin. I got on a kick and just kept playing those albums on repeat. I regret nothing. That also meant Underoath’s Erase Me ended up being my most listened-to album for the week. My (maybe?) hot take is all their albums are good, including this one. Here is my Top 9 from last week, and you can follow me on Apple Music and/or Last.fm.

Entertainment Thoughts

  • It’s been a week of Halloween movies around here. We decided not to start another TV show yet and instead just watch a bunch of Halloween movies we’ve had on our list. For example, Hannah had never seen Paranormal Activity, and that movie holds up well. Quite creepy. We also did Friday the 13th since neither of us had seen it, and I felt this was pretty dated. Whereas something like the original Halloween holds up completely, this … did not.
  • Werewolves Within is a fun “horror-comedy” — it’s not in the same ballpark as Shaun of the Dead, but think that kind of movie. I thought it worked well and had some good laughs. Big fan of this genre. (Anyone have other movies recommendations in the same vein as Freaky, Final Girls, and The Babysitter?)
  • The Night House was creepy and had a cool premise; I think it worked pretty well. Wrong Turn was not scary and bored me.
  • Ginger Snaps was another movie that I’d just missed, and I can definitely see how this has entered “cult classic” status.
  • Third seasons of Titans was my least favorite so far. I liked some of the new characters, but the whole show felt a little all over the place and disjointed. It suffered from the “core” group of the first few seasons being in different places, and it just didn’t work as well for me. It was still something I enjoyed watching each week, and I like what’s set up for next season, but it also just felt like something was missing, and it never quite congealed.

Random and Personal Stuff

  • Yesterday, we buried Hannah’s grandmother. It was a beautiful fall day, and a round of drinks, food, and decadent desserts, with family, was a perfect way to say goodbye.

Ten Songs

Here are ten songs that I listened to and loved this week. Some may be new, some may be old, but they all found their way into my life during the past seven days.

  1. Nightly – Lose My Number
  2. Anberlin – Little Tyrants
  3. Florrie – Communicate
  4. Underoath – Reinventing Your Exit
  5. Ed Sheeran – Stop The Rain
  6. American Teeth – Glue
  7. Victors – Hey, U Up?
  8. Every Time I Die – The Whip
  9. Circa Survive – Imposter Syndrome
  10. The War on Drugs – Living Proof

This playlist is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Community Watch

The trending and popular threads in our community this week include:

The most liked post in our forums last week was this one by Sean Murphy in the “Every Time I Die – Radical (October 22, 2021)” thread.

Previous editions of Liner Notes can be found here.

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