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Students at the University have a particularly unique opportunity, and it doesn’t just have to do with the Rotunda, gorgeous architecture or sunning on the Lawn. It has to do with The Fralin Museum of Art, a full-fledged art museum located right near Grounds. The Fralin is situated across from Madison Bowl, and it welcomes guests with eye-catching outdoor art and free admission. The Fralin encourages visitors to celebrate and study its diverse and ever-changing exhibitions in addition to its vast collection of 14,000 permanent art objects.
“Things Are Great” is a phrase one would hope to say in earnest. Band of Horses takes this oftentimes genuine sentence and wields it as a weapon of denial. If fans are having a hard time letting go of 1978, this is the ideal release to listen and feel to, especially when it comes to “Warning Signs.” The entire album is thick with nostalgia, guitar and timeless vocals. This may read like too much of a deviation from their 2016 project titled “Why Are You OK.” However, it’s not a new sound entirely.
If there was ever a perfect location to hold a staged reading, it would be Common House in downtown Charlottesville. Rich, earthy tones and modern art mark the whole winding space. A place dripping in art is extremely fitting for a showcase of artistic writing, acting and feeling. Those who gathered to attend the reading of “Steps” Feb. 3 were scattered around the room in bright, metal chairs — the front row consisting of a teal chaise and other velvet seating accouterments. Gentle conversations took place as the performance neared, and the soft music of Cults and MGMT floated down the stairwell from a bar above.
"Cherry Plum" by Astronauts, etc.
Snail Mail is solely made up of Lindsey Jordan, a young musician with training in classical and jazz who now releases iconic indie rock albums. “Valentine,” her latest release, harkens back to her genre-based roots. Some of her songs even give a faint impression that they could be performed in a smoky jazz club. Jordan’s musical training serves as an explanation for her clear proficiency in instrumentation and arranging music. This particular album’s vocals, as well as the others, are also nothing to be snuffed at. She mixes impeccable control with something gorgeously guttural and natural. There’s a perfect scratch, breath and scream scattered throughout the lines of “Valentine.”
Hovvdy’s name makes it glaringly obvious that the duo of Charlie Martin and Will Taylor hail from Austin, Texas. However, listeners might not make this connection upon their first discovery of Hovvdy’s music. There is undoubtedly a slight, folk influence, but it is often overshadowed by an electronic indie aesthetic. Their most well-known song “Pretend” is a far cry from Texas twang. “True Love” was dropped with a subtle bang Oct. 1. It shows a slow creep toward indie folk rather than indie pop, which is what Martin and Taylor are predominantly known for. They seem to be trying on folk for size since their popular release of “Taster” in 2017, and it certainly fits.
It’s a known fact that everything miniature is undeniably cute. Tiny homes, pets and foods have always garnered a great amount of attention in popular culture, usually for good reason. Who knew miniature museums could have the same awe-inducing allure? The Fralin’s new exhibit certainly shows the joys of the miniature.
FDOC is just around the corner. Luckily for you, here are not one, but two playlists that will carry you through the semester — from the anticipation of returning to the University all the way to rushing across Grounds to make it to your 8 a.m. and everything in between.
As we have all come to learn, virtual concerts are a new and occasionally discouraging way to carry on events in a COVID-19-safe way. However, the Virginia Women’s Chorus has mastered the art of the virtual music experience. On April 17, the Virginia Women’s Chorus broadcasted the "Women Against Violence: Brand New Day" Benefit Concert on YouTube in support of sexual assault awareness.
“Green Blue + Indigo Violet” sets a very specific scene — staring at the cosmos, straining to find meaning and dancing despite the confusion. COIN kept this album short but unavoidably sweet, once again epitomizing the indie pop genre. Chase Lawrence, Ryan Winnen and Joe Memmel collaborated to create arguably their most advanced album yet. Deeply colorful and comforting, each song paints a picture of life’s many contradictions in an irresistibly cool way. On “Green Blue + Indigo Violet” — COIN’s fourth studio album — the group appears to have nailed its sound down to an artistic science. These songs evoke the feelings of listening at sunset, soaking in summertime and experiencing a comforting sadness.
The ideal artistic vision for punk-pop lovers of the early 2010s has been realized in “The Shadow I Remember.” Three years after their last release, “Last Building Burning,” Cloud Nothings finally made a loud return to the musical world. This newest album is, to put it simply, a big deal for the band and the brand.
It seems artists and fans alike have desperately clung to music as a creative escape from the horrendous turnout of what was supposed to be another promising year. Whether they were broadcasting from their bedrooms or releasing surprise albums, some of our favorite artists still managed to elevate our otherwise ever changing moods — Taylor Swift, for example, has released two albums over the past several months. Even though it is easy to stick with the artists we do know during these “challenging times,” those we don’t know are still on the fast track to receiving widespread critical acclaim. Here’s a rundown of some of those soon-to-be household names that dug their heels in this year and dropped shockingly loveable tracks.
Listeners searching for a lyrical mixture of broken glass, love letters and unabated yet confused confidence have come to the right place. BENEE’s recent release of “Hey u x” flips through the full spectrum of emotions as quickly as the sun sets, leaving nothing to be desired by any stretch of the imagination. This musical feat of indie-pop bliss was created by a 2020 breakout artist who gained massive recognition through her devoted following and the social media powerhouse TikTok. “Hey u x” is her longest album thus far, but BENEE has been on the road long before this much-awaited release. She has traversed the U.S. with fellow indie-pop breakout Conan Gray, sold out shows in countless cities across the world and won awards for her early releases all the while. This recent album has proven to be the culmination of her early success and raw musical aptitude for conveying a mind-bending array of emotions. It’s not hard to lose yourself in a deep dive of this alluringly melodic and eclectic tracklist.
The following of dreamy indie pop band Cults will be both infatuated with and shocked at their new, slightly proactive album, “Host.” The well-loved duo of Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion bring their emphatic New York spunk to this sensually-charged new release, which dropped Sept. 18. This being the first album dropped since their 2017 project titled “Offering,” it’s a much-awaited divergence from their usually upbeat mode of expression. From the clutter of vines on the album cover to the tangled mixture of aesthetics present in each track, “Host” presents an amalgamation of indie bliss.
In the midst of COVID-19 wreaking havoc on artistic creation, many music-lovers wondered how long it would be before they could marvel at live concerts or sweat profusely in general admission standing rooms. The wait is now — somewhat — over. Pictures of fans seated six feet apart have been circulating online and foreshadowing the future of the socially-distanced consumption of art. This slightly melancholic display of live music seems to be the new normal for the time being. However, many venues, including Charlottesville’s very own The Front Porch, are still opting to host live, online music events in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. These long-awaited concerts are filling the homes of whoever decides to tune in with waves of smooth jazz, therapeutically loud classic rock and so much more.
Listeners of Eyedress — the stage name of Filipino musician Idris Vicuña — are no strangers to his flawless emulation of music’s hazy, punk-filled past. His recent release, “Let’s Skip to the Wedding,” which dropped Aug. 7, harkens back to the deep, mumbled vocals of gothic 80s staples like Joy Division while still upholding a sense of unshakable modernity. Vicuña — the producer, instrumentalist and lead singer of this project — is seemingly influenced by the rebellious post-punk electronica scene of 20th century Los Angeles as well as his past work with the psychedelic indie band Bee Eyes. No matter its specific genre, the new album is the modern-day fuel for chipped black nails and septum piercings — with a hint of what could only be described as an inherent love of skateboarding.
tik tok truly paralyzes me like i'll watch it for 45 minutes in whatever position i was in when i opened it. the stillness of a lizard in danger
Feng Suave – Maybe Another Time
For dedicated Grimes fans, the wait for her long-anticipated album “Miss Anthropocene” is finally over, after a five-year period following the artist’s 2015 project, “Art Angels.” Already having gained strong critical acclaim and numerous positive reviews, the album has quickly skyrocketed to the top of the charts. Claire Elise Boucher, the artistic authority behind the stage name Grimes, both wrote and produced all of the sinister pop anthems.
West-coast duo Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno meld the sounds of the ‘80s and ‘50s with their modern surfer-rock aesthetic in Best Coast’s fifth album — “Always Tomorrow.” The project became anticipated after the abrupt drop of the surprise song “For the First Time” in 2019. This release marks an impressive continuation of their tendency to wave the flag of emotionally-charged indie rock, embracing consistency in both instrumentation and theme. “Always Tomorrow” details the choppy timeline of growing up and desperately trying to roll with the punches of everyday life. Contradictions between falling victim to life’s hardships and utilizing the power of positive thinking to overcome them seem to alternate on a song-by-song basis.