Hello everybody! Happy New Year! It has been a while. School and work kept me very busy this year. It prevented me from writing a lot of blogs this year. With that said, nothing will stop me from telling you all my top 50 albums of the year. Even though no one asked. This year has been an amazing year for music. In my list, I have a mix of the biggest releases and some underground gems. Every album here is great in my opinion. Check out these albums if you haven’t done so already.
Without further ado here are my top 50 albums of the year for 2021!
50) Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
49) Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti
48) CHAI – WINK
47) Chief Keef – 4 NEM
46) J. Cole – The Off-Season
45) Shelley FKA DRAM – Shelley FKA DRAM
44) Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson
43) Vince Staples – Vince Staples
42) Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
41) Tony Allen – There Is No End
40) Adele – 30
39) EXUM – Xardinal Coffee
38) Zack Fox – shut the fuck up talking to me
37) IDK – USEE4YOURSELF
36) Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah – To Kill A Sunrise
35) Rejjie Snow – Baw Baw Black Sheep
34) Pink Siifu – GUMBO’!
33) serpentwithfeet – DEACON
32) Bo Burnham – Inside (The Songs)
31) St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home
30) Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
29) Clairo – Sling
28) Nas – King’s Disease II
27) Conway The Machine – La Maquina
26) Paris Texas – BOY ANONYMOUS
25) Your Old Droog – Time
24) Porter Robinson – Nurture
23) Lil Nas X – MONTERO
22) Blu – The Color Blu(e)
21) CZARFACE & MF DOOM – Super What?
20) James Blake – Friends That Break Your Heart
19) GRIP – I Died For This!?
18) Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram
17) Turnstile- GLOW ON
16) Weezer – OK Human
15) slowthai – TYRON
14) McKinely Dixon – For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her
13) JPEGMAFIA – LP!
12) Black Country, New Road – For the first time
11) Tyler, the Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
10) Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth
9) Magdelena Bay – Mercurial World
8) BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW ROAD
7) Kanye West – DONDA
6) Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix
5) Backxwash – I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES
4) C. Tangana – El Madrileño
3) Spellling – The Turning Wheel
2) Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
1) Silk Sonic – An Even with Silk Sonic
Let me know what you think?
P.S. Just like last year, I have a Spotify playlist for my top 50 songs of 2021. Check it out! I also started list week on my YouTube channel (FancyMemo), if you are interested.
Hello everybody! Happy May! Sorry for not posting this article a lot sooner. Not going to lie, I have been slacking lately. This past month I didn’t listen to as much music as I would like. I’ve been too busy with work, studying and of course Animal Crossing. With that said I do think I’ve got a good monthly favorites for you all today. Lets just jump into it!
Song Honorable Mentions:
Tkay Maidza – Syrup: This will be Tkay Maidza’s year! I can see it now. Assuming Last Year Was Weird, Vol 3 is as good as Kim and Syrup, I can see Tkay blowing up even more than she has been. Tkay returns to a more aggressive sound. The production is pretty simple, but it slaps. I love how heavy the bass is. Tkay kills it as always. Her pen game is on point. She drops a lot of great one liners. I’m just obsessed with this track. I can’t wait for the new EP.
Rina Sawayama – Chosen Family (with Elton John): Although I have always enjoyed the original track, I did think there was something missing. I think the addition of Elton John fulfills the missing feeling. Not only is his performance amazing and grand, but I think the addition of his piano adds a lot to the production. I also think turning a track about friendship into a duet is such a great idea. I am so happy this exists. Rina and Elton sound so good together. It’s a match made in heaven.
Freddie Gibbs – Big Boss Rabbit: At this point there is no stopping Freddie Gibbs. Every time he is on the mic he reminds everybody that he is one of the best MC’s right now. He makes rapping seem effortless. In this track he is rapping over a cool trap beat with a Nas sample tying everything together. Although the beat is cool, Freddie can rap over nails on a chalkboard and that song will still be amazing. I know Gibbs is dropping an album this year, so I hope he continues his winning streak.
EP Honorable Mentions:
Dev Lemons – Lemontopia: I have mentioned in the past that Tik Tokers and YouTubers should know their place and never drop music because most of the time the outcome is not good. Dev Lemon is an exception. The quirky personality she shows off in her Tik Toks appears in the spacious bedroom pop production that is displayed on Lemontopia. The instrumentals make me feel like I am floating on clouds. I am surprised at how good of a singer she is. For some reason she sounds like Kali Uchis to me. This EP is only 4 tracks with a run time of 8 minutes. It is definitely worth a listen.
The Alchemist – This Thing Of Ours: The Alchemist is by far one of the most consistent producers out right now. I don’t remember the last time he has missed in recent history. In this EP he brings in guests to rap over these beautiful lofi beats. He got Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue to start off the EP. Both Sideshow and Boldy James kill it on their verse on the very next track. Pink Stiifu and Maxo did their thing on the third track. Earl shows up again on the last track. I think the Alchemist does a great job at providing the foundation needed for his guest to thrive. Give this EP a listen. The second half of the EP is the instrumentals from the previous four tracks, so if you didn’t like any of the features at least you got the beats.
Cordae – Just Until….: I forgot how good of a rapper Cordae is. Cordae is really spitting on this EP. Something that Cordae doesn’t get enough credit for is the way he can adapt into different rap styles. On the first track, Cordae is being introspective with Q-Tip. Two tracks later, Cordae is being braggadocious with Young Thug. In this short EP, Cordae is showing off his skill set and preparing the listeners for his next album. He said his next album is coming soon, so that’s good. I’m excited!
Album Honorable Mentions:
Thom Moot – Thomfoolery: This is by far one of the most unique albums I have listened to this year. Stylistically this album is all over the place. The first track is a fiery grunge cut. He has several other rock tracks, but there are also a lot of interesting detours. For example, “Alien Invasion Rag” starts off with an old western piano playing, but then an alien invasion happens around the midpoint. The following track sounds like an intergalactic space battle to me. Thom does a great job at making a story with his music. If you are interested in a weird experience give this album a shot.
Kenny Mason – Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut: Kenny Mason is someone you want to keep an eye on. He is such a breath of fresh air in the rap landscape. The beats he raps on are so dark and heavy. His rapping is insane. Although he could be laid back and monotone at times, when he wants to rap he raps. His technical ability is mind blowing. Believe it or not this rap album isn’t just a rap album. “Play Ball” is a straight up punk song. He is rapping over metal guitars on “Pup”. Although I do prefer the traditional rap songs, I do admire this album’s creativity. I really want to know what direction Kenny’s sound goes to in the future.
Flying Lotus – Yasuke: Yasuke is a pleasant surprise. I had no idea Flying Lotus was dropping an album this year. Let alone an album for a Netflix show. As always expect a weird, hypnotic, spacy, and serene ride when diving into a Flying Lotus album. Something that makes this album different is that since the album is for an anime based on Japanese samurais, this album takes influence from Japanese music. It’s a cool change of pace for Flying Lotus. I think he did a phenomenal job. Put on some good headphones, lay on your bed, close your eyes, and give this album a listen.
Favorite Song of The Month:
Little Simz – Introvert: If you told me before this song dropped that Little Simz was dropping an album I would have been excited, but now I am counting down the days until it drops in September. I literally can’t wait! This tack is one of the best songs I heard this year. It might be my favorite Little Simz song. As always, Little Simz kills it lyrically. I love how conscious and focused she is. With that said, I think the instrumentation is what steals the show for me. I love how big and grand it is. You can tell they took the time to perfect this instrumental. If Little Simz’s next album has amazing bars and instrumentals like these throughout the entire track list then its game over. Every artist should might as well pack their bags and take a break until next year because Little Simz will take album of the year if her next album is as good as Introvert.
Favorite EP of The Month:
Kero Kero Bonito – Civilisation II: With only three tracks, Kero Kero Bonito blows my mind with their second installment of their Civilization series. The trio are back with their signature cute and colorful musical styling, but with more of an electropop sound. The trio uses this cute style to sing about what the world is going through during the pandemic. The second track of the album is basically a day of their life during the very beginning of the pandemic. The innocent observation they give in “21/04/20” is very interesting. The following track “Well Rested” gives the listener some hope. Sarah reminds the listener the human race has gone through a lot already. At this point nothing will be able to take down the human race. The production is insane on this track. In February, I named “The Princess and the Clock” as my song of the month. I love that song, but “Well Rested” is even better. This EP is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough.
Favorite Album of The Month:
BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE: BROCKHAMPTON seems to never disappoint. The boys are back with the first of two albums they are releasing. Even if they end up not dropping a second album this year I will be happy because ROADRUNNER is amazing. They basically took elements from their past work and put it all together. If you miss their Saturation series and you want bangers go listen to “BANKROLL” with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. If you want to listen to something similar to Iridescence check out “BUZZCUT” with Danny Brown. If you love the GINGER era try out “COUNT ON ME”. Do you feel like crying? Go listen to “THE LIGHT”. I can go on and on. There’s something for everybody. Even if you don’t end up enjoying the entire album like me, I guarantee you there is a song for you in this album.
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!
Hello everybody! Happy April! Somehow we are already one quarter done with 2021. How did that happen? This past month was jam-packed with great music. Although I did struggle finding a lot of good albums to write about, there were a lot of great singles and even EP’s released in March. There’s a lot of music I want to point in your direction, so let’s just jump into my monthly favorites!
Song Honorable Mentions:
Osay – How Many Licks: If you are a boring person who gets offended over songs like WAP, then you might want to sit this one out. Chicago-born rapper, Osay, dropped a short track about sex. With a song title like that, what else would this song be about? When listening to this expect some hot bars and impressive rapping. Although the beat isn’t amazing, Osay’s charisma is able to carry this song. Although it is easy to dismiss a short sexual trap song like this, I do admire Osay’s talent. After listening to this track, and some of her other singles like “Bad Girl”, “Off Brand”, and “Shimmy Season”, you can tell that she is passionate about her craft and hip hop in general. I can’t wait to see what Osay does in the future. Give her songs a listen.
Mello Music Group, The Lasso, & Open Mike Eagle – Gold Gloves: The independent music label Mello Music Group has been churning out tracks with several different artists and producer’s for an album called Bushido. It is out now! They’ve dropped several singles for this project, but “Gold Gloves” is probably my favorite. I just love how suffocating The Lasso’s production is at the beginning, but it quickly smooths out when Open Mike Eagle hops on. Both Mike and the track itself are pretty chill for the most part. The magical outro is really cool. It’s a hypnotic experience. Check out “Gold Gloves” and Bushido.
Aesop Rock – Long Legged Larry: Aesop Rock rapping about a frog named Larry saving the day is something I didn’t think I needed, but I am glad it exists. It’s such a cute song. I just love the innocence and child-like whimsy in the lyrics. If I had a kid, you best believe my kid and I will be bumping “Long Legged Larry” in the whip. Fuck “Baby Shark”! My kid will be bumping Aesop Rock thank you very much. Seriously though, the rapping and production are top-notch even though the lyrics are very playful. Aesop Rock has always been good at being a descriptive storyteller when he raps, so seeing this skill set being implemented in a song that is basically a nursery rhyme honestly makes sense. Out of all the rappers out there, he is probably the guy you would want making nursery rhymes. I genuinely wouldn’t mind more songs like this.
ZillaKami – Chains: For some reason, I don’t talk about ZillaKami as much as I should. He does have one of my favorite voices in hip hop. It is so rugged and animalistic. It pairs well with the trap metal fusion he has been doing on not only his material, but also with SosMula on City Morgue. “Chains” is a perfect example of the type of music City Morgue and ZillaKami are known for. On this track, ZillaKami is shouting and rapping over trap beats and energetic electric guitars. It’s abrasive and kind of catchy. I recommend checking this song out if you are curious about this weird trap metal fusion. If you do enjoy it check out City Morgue.
AG Club – TRUTH (feat. Sam Truth and redveil): I wasn’t really familiar with this rap group, but AG Club impressed me a lot. I love the rebellious energy in this track. This track starts off with a bang. Jody Fontaine sounds so focus while the beat sounds so hard-hitting. Jody’s pre-chorus is catchy and it segues nicely into the sung chores from Sam Truth. I love how the production transitions into a beat switch. I think the new beat fits well with redveils rapping style. I think everybody kills it on this track. It’s a great posse cut. Give it a listen.
Laura Les – Haunted: One-half of 100 Gecs, Laura Les, dropped “Haunted House” this past month. 100 Gecs is a guilty pleasure of mine, so you know I was excited when this song dropped. Like many 100 Gecs tracks, this song does a great job at blending cuteness with insanity. The beat starts off pleasant, but as soon as that inaudible chorus hits you get reminded its a hyper pop song. I absolutely love the crazy energy on the chorus even though I have no idea what she is saying. I think her verse was pretty good. The monotone delivery contrasts nicely with the crazy chorus. The only bad part about this song is that it is too short. I want more!
BROCKHAMPTON – BUZZCUT (feat. Danny Brown): BROCKHAMPTON, the best boyband since One Direction, are back with a FUCKING BANGER! I absolutely love this song. The instrumental sounds like something off Iridescence, but on crack. It is insane! Weirdly, Kevin Abstract is the only member rapping on this track besides the feature Danny Brown. They both brought in a chaotic, yet infectious energy to the track. For some reason, Kevin sounded like Denzel Curry to me. Danny sounded like he was in his prime form again. I also really love the outro. Joba’s beautiful singing and Merlyn’s adlibs finish off the song nicely. I can’t wait for their new album. I’M SO HYPED!
EP Honorable Mentions:
S. Reidy – I Started Grieving Today: Oklahoma rapper, S. Reidy just dropped an EP this past month. It is very short with it being only four tracks and it is barely over 7 minutes long. He comes across as a pretty angry, moody, and passionate rapper. His lyrical content are basically passionate rants half of the time. You can feel the passion on tracks like “Pity Party”. His voice sounds so bold on that track. I believe Die Cute is the producer. If he did produce the EP, I think he did a great job at making a very moody aesthetic for S. Reidy. Not a bad EP. I just wished the songs were longer. Check out this short gem.
JAHMED – ARMANI: This is such a fun and addicting EP. JAHMED is such an entertaining rapper. I love the different flows and vocal inflections he does on this EP. He reminds me a lot of rappers like Vince Staples, Baby Keem, ScHoolboy Q, and Ski Mask the Slump God. Like those rappers, JAHMED is good at being an expressive rapper. The hard-hitting trap beats suit his voice nicely. It’s hard not to be pumped up after listening to a lot of these tracks. Freddie Gibbs has a great feature on “GLIMPSE”. The skits are entertaining. JAHMED has a lot of potential. He is definitely a rapper you should keep an eye on.
Moore Kismet – Vendetta For Cupid: Moore Kismet is a very talented young individual. At only 16 years old, Moore Kismet is producing insane electronic dance music. The production on this EP can be harsh and abrasive, but at the same time, it can be very pretty. The hard-hitting beat drops are chaotic. The features are great as well. They add a lot to the music, but Moore Kismets’ production always shines through. I hope we get more music from them soon. If Moore keeps up the great work, I can see them becoming one of my favorite producers right now.
Michigander – Everything Will Be Ok Eventually: This one for my indie rock fans out there. This EP is my first introduction to Michiganders music. After giving this EP a listen, I instantly became a fan. Michiganders music is very relatable. This EP is about being heartbroken and trying your best to be better again. This man is in his feels big time. Although the subject matter is pretty sad, the music itself sounds pretty uplifting. The instrumentals are pleasant to the ear. Lead singer, Jason Singer, singing is filled with so much emotion. I can’t get enough of this EP. Pretty please with a cherry on top, give this EP a listen.
Benny The Butcher & Harry Fraud – The Plugs I Met 2: If you have listened to Benny The Butcher or Griselda in general, then you should know what you are getting into before listening to this EP. If you have never listened to a Benny project you should expect great drug rap and grimy beats on every project. This EP is no exception. Benny is dropping fire bars. Harry Fraud kills it on production. It sounds very classy. This is some high-class drug talk. Chinx, 2 Chainz, and Jim Jones were great features. I don’t know if I like this more than the first one, but The Plugs I Met 2 is a great rap EP.
Album Honorable Mentions:
Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram: Legendary rap duo, Armand Hammer, teaming up with legendary producer, The Alchemist, is a match made in heaven. Just like past Armand Hammer projects, Billy Woods and E L U C I D delivers great cryptic rapping, but this time it is paired with classy yet grimy production from The Alchemist. It is hard to decode what Armand Hammer is rapping about, but when a bar finally clicks your mind will be blown. I am actually surprised at how well The Alchemist is able to make Armand Hammer-like production, but it still has that elegant feel you expect from an Alchemist beat. You can tell this album was a team effort. This is no high school group project. Everybody put in the work. This includes the features as well. This is definitely one of the best rap albums of the year.
serpentwithfeet – DEACON: What a beautiful album. This is the first time I listened to serpentwithfeet and I am impressed. He reminds me a lot of Frank Ocean. They both have a similar chill and laid-back delivery. Serpentwithfeet sings with a bit more vibrato, but other than that I think they have a similar style. As the album’s description says, this album is about black gay love. Serpentwithfeet is in love and he is not afraid to show it. This album is very romantic. I love how pretty and heavenly the instrumentals are. If you want to listen to a good R&B album, then check this album out.
Kota the Friend & Statik Selektah – To Kill A Sunrise: Kota is back once again with another album. I was nervous before going into this album because I was afraid it was going to be more of the same chill raps. Although it is very chill, Statik Selektah comes through with lushes jazzy boom-bap instrumentals. The change in production helps spice up what Kota has been doing, but at the same time keep the chill aesthetic his fans love. I also like how Kota sounds more focused on this album. He is laid back for the most part, but he does sound energized in tracks like “Wolves”. I really hope Kota and Statik keep working together because this album is great. I would love to see more albums released from this duo.
Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – UNLOCKED 1.5: Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats ARE BACK BABY! Earlier this month, they dropped a remix album based on their 2020 album UNLOCKED. They had an assortment of guests to provide their own spin on UNLOCKED. Artists like Smino, Joey Bada$$, Benny The Butcher, Kenny Mason, and Arlo Parks, just to name a few, came through with great features. Most of the beats were remixed by other producers like Robert Glasper, Charlie Heat, The Alchemist, and Jay Versace. With all these people helping on the album, this remix album ends unbecoming a totally different experience. Although I do like the original album even more, if you are a Denzel Curry fan this is a must-listen.
Favorite Song of The Month:
Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open: Although there were a lot of great songs this month, nothing was able to top this masterpiece. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak came through with probably the best song of the year and we still got nine more months left. They really took aspects from 70’s neo-soul music and modernized it. Doing this makes the song sound nostalgic, timeless, and forward-thinking at the same time. I am surprised with how well these two sound together. Even though they are similar in many ways, they do still find ways to compliment each other. Anderson comes through with some smooth and charismatic bars, while Bruno kills it on the chorus. His singing sounds so powerful and grand. I’m expecting big things from these two. I’m on the Silk Sonic hype train. We might be hearing a classic pretty soon.
Favorite EP of The Month:
CHIKA – ONCE UPON A TIME: CHIKA IS AMAZING! She really is such a brilliant lyricist. This conceptual EP has a very creative fairy tale theme going for it. I absolutely love how she is rapping about serious topics while constantly making fairy tale references. Before this EP, I preferred CHIKA’s singing over her rapping, but that has changed. She is an amazing rapper! The flow switches on the first track alone is mind-blowing. Her rapping is flawless. She makes it seem so easy. If she is putting all of this work in a short EP like this, it makes me wonder what a CHIKA album would sound like.
Favorite Album of The Month:
Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth: Last month I said that Genesis Owusu was my favorite discovery of the year. I gushed all over “Gold Chains”. Now that he dropped his debut album, I can now gush all over more of his music. This album is fantastic even though it was not what I expected. “Gold Chains” was such a smooth and cool track, so I didn’t expect a track like “On the Move!”. This track sounds like a Death Grips song for some reason. I like it, but I just didn’t expect it. Surprises like that happens a lot on this album. Genesis can come across as smooth, chill, aggressive, cartoony, serious, and even sensual. Genesis is such an entertaining and diverse performer. Each song on this album sounds different yet the album is still cohesive. I am absolutely in love with this album. I can’t wait to see how his career unfolds. I expect big things from Genesis.
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!
Hello everybody! Happy New Year! So I am going to do something different this month. I usually write an article about my favorite music of the month, but since the shit show we call 2020 just ended I rather rank 50 of my favorite albums from 2020. Starting today on my YouTube channel I will be starting list week. I will be talking about my favorite and least favorite music from 2020. My top 50 albums video is the last video I will be uploading, but I think it would be a good idea to release my list early here on Indie Pong.
Although I think I have a pretty good list I do have a couple disclaimers. First of all, I kind of cheated. This list is called my top 50 albums of the year, but I do have a few EP’s in the list. Also, I know this is an indie music blog, but I do have some mainstream albums in the list. There has been several mainstream albums I enjoyed this year, so I would feel weird not to include them in my list. With that said, I don’t think my list is that bad. I am honestly proud of it. 2020 might be a shitty year, but at least there has been a lot of great albums released in 2020.
Without further ado here is my top 50 albums of the year for 2020!
50) Kota the Friend – EVERYTHING
49) Lady Gaga – Chromatica
48) Joji – Nectar
47) Bad Bunny – YHLQMDLG
46) Rico Nasty – Nightmare Vacation
45) Jme – Grime MC
44) SAULT – Untitled (Black Is)
43) Aminé – Limbo
42) Logic – No Pressure
41) Thundercat – It Is What It Is
40) Nas – King’s Disease
39) 070 Shake – Modus Vivendi
38) 21 Savage & Metro Boomin – Savage Mode II
37) Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind
36) Childish Gambino – 3.15.20
35) Action Bronson – Only For Dolphins
34) Deante’ Hitchcock – BETTER
33) Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
32) Jean Dawson – Pixel Bath
31) Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
30) Blu & Exile – Miles
29) Fionna Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
28) R.A.P. Ferreira – Purple Moonlight Pages
27) Qualle Chris & Chris Keys – Innocent Country 2
26) Kid Cudi – Man On The Moon III: The Chosen
25) Benny The Butcher – Burden of Proof
24) Oliver Tree – Ugly is Beautiful
23) Kali Uchis – Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞
22) Black Thought – Streams of Thought, Voll:3 Cane & Able
21) JPEGMAFIA – EP!
20) The Koreatown Oddity – Little Dominiques Nosebleed
Hello everybody! Happy first day of November! I hope you all had a wonderful October and a happy Halloween! Starting this month I want to do a monthly series where I talk about my favorite songs and projects released in the past month. I will be naming my favorite song, album, and EP for this month, but before I do that let’s first talk about honorable mentions.
Songs Honorable Mentions
Jesswar – Venom: This track is insane. Jesswar is cold-blooded as hell on this track. She is basically coming after anybody who is in her way. She is not someone to be messed with. Her delivery is very aggressive. It pairs well with the hard-hitting production. This is my first introduction to her music and I am very impressed. She is definitely someone to look out for.
Freddie Gibbs – 4 Thangs (feat. Big Sean & Hit-Boy): Freddie Gibbs keeps blessing us this year! He first drops Alfredo with the Alchemist. Now he dropped one of the most addicting tracks this year. This song has a great Big Sean feature. I love how both Freddie and Sean were trading bars while having some very fast flows. Hit-Boy also delivered with the dark trap production. I am very impressed with the chemistry everybody had on this track.
Anderson .Paak – Jewelz: Andy never disappoints. This track had so much hype around it and luckily it delivered. It is a very catchy and feel-good song. I like to listen to this in the morning before work because it helps me get into a good mood. A lot of people might not like the chipmunk vocals, but I don’t mind it at all. I think it adds to the track. Give this song a listen if you need a mood booster.
Album Honorable Mentions
Open Mike Eagle – Anime, Trauma and Divorce: This album is a very nice and calming listen. The lowkey instrumentals are matched perfectly with Mike’s baby butt smooth voice. This album makes you feel like you’re in a coffee shop during a slam poetry session. Especially since Mike is known for his having some weird yet poetic lyrics. My favorite part from this album was when Mike had his son join him in on two of the tracks. I really liked listening to their father-son dynamic.
Clipping. – Visions of Bodies Being Burn: This is the perfect album for October because the trio implements horror elements into the album. Even though I am not a horror fan I do appreciate how creative this album is. The beats are obviously scary. Not only do they implement scary sound effects, but the abrasive sounds makes this album an intense experience. The beats are so weird, I am surprised with how well Daveed Diggs raps over these beats. His rapping is very impressive especially from a technical standpoint. I do need to give this album some more listens, but I do think this is one of the craziest and creative projects released this year.
Jean Dawson – Pixel Bath: Thank you Indie Pong for helping me discover Jean Dawson! He is one of the most unique artists I have listened to in a while. I just love how he blends different genres like experimental hip hop and bedroom pop. The weird combination of different genres made this album a very fun listening experience. Dawson has a very angry, angsty, carefree, and energetic delivery throughout the entire album and I love it. I think this album is a must-listen. I can’t wait to see what Dawson does in the future!
Favorite Song of the Month
Tierra Whack – Dora: Song of the month goes to “Dora”! Just like every other Tierra Whack track this is weird but in a good way. The trap production is very cute and kind of childish. Even though Tierra is being very silly and whimsical, her flow and lyrics are still top-notch. Tierra whack never lets me down. I really hope she drops an album soon. I need that ASAP!!!
Favorite EP of the Month
James Blake – Before: This is probably the only EP I’ve listened to this month, so picking EP of the month was pretty easy. Even though there wasn’t really any competition, Before does deserve attention because oh how beautiful it is. Going into any James Blake track you will always receive angelic passionate singing. What surprised me about this EP is the amount of experimentation going on in the instrumentals. The artsy instrumentation is one of a kind. You can really tell James Blake is trying to push himself as an artist and a producer. If his next album builds off of the ideas on this EP, then we might be getting James’s best album yet.
Favorite Album of the Month
Gorillaz – Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez: I am a huge Gorillaz fan, so I am definitely going to be very biased. With that said, I love this album so so much. This is the best batch of songs Gorillaz have made since Plastic Beach. Even though there is no theme to this album, the quality of each track makes this album work. Each track is a total banger. This includes the bonus tracks as well. What makes me love this album so much is the fact that it is a very happy album. Most of these tracks will make you smile at the end. I feel like we need a happy album like this especially in 2020.
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!
This is our weekly best new tracks article. We cover mostly brand new songs but also some gems from the last few weeks. Follow our playlist if you want to follow on Spotify or if you hate my writing and just want the music:
I’m going to keep this quick because I have enough Thanksgiving turkey tryptophan in my body to subdue a horse. I’d like to give a shoutout to my little brother because we roadtripped back to Chicago for 15 hours and I made him listen to me skimming through over 200 albums for most of the ride. This year I am thankful that my brother (I’m going to leave his name out of this so the instant fame doesn’t ruin his life) didn’t drive us straight off the road when I’d go five straight albums without listening to a full song.
‘Strangest Places’ – Approachable Members of your Local Community, Dulcie
This band name is hilarious, and they also have an album called ‘If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to contact us’ which I also think is funny. I might just be high on Thanksgiving family vibes (or tryptophan) but these dad jokes are hitting right now. These Australians (because as we previously discussed I guess I only listen to Australian music now) have not come out of nowhere, they have a ton of great songs that have led up to this absolute jam.
Oh yeeeeah, this is a jam. Do I even have to say anything about this?
‘Descendant of the Stars’ – Action Bronson, The Alchemist
Damn this song is old af! I didn’t even realize until I started doing some digging to write the blog since it was released officially on the album this week. I guess that’s going to happen sometimes when you do most of your research in the car on your phone. Oh well, always happy to give national treasure Action Bronson some extra attention. Check out his show F*ck That’s Delicious if you haven’t already, it’s awesome.
‘Blinded’ – Mint Julep
This was one of those songs I started sending out immediately as soon as I heard, love these tender vocals over the airy, dreamy production. Can’t wait to cruise to this in the car on some Sunday morning when I’m in a good mood. Fun fact, half of this band Keith Keniff (along with Hollie Keniff) produced the song that Facebook plays for the “look back” feature.
‘Save Room For Us’ – Tinashe, MAKJ
This reminds me of my guilty pleasure songs from the 90s, I’m going to share one with you now that I used to play on my blue portable CD player when I was like 10:
That’s one of those songs you play for your little league team in Chicago one time and then quickly learn that you don’t have to talk about everything you listen to and can instead focus on the finer points of the game and your sunflower seed technique. Also, Tinashe will soon be making an appearance on our BEST OF THE DECADE playlist:
‘Mullet’ – Upset
Two weeks in a row for Upset!!! What an… I won’t say it but you know what I was going to- UPSET! This is a first in Indie Pong history that this supergroup (who we discussed last week) has just against all odds pulled off. Congratulations to Upset, your names have been engraved on our Indie Pong plaque sheet of paper in our headquarters.
Also Donnie Baker came up when I typed in Mullet Upset so… I’m not going to post videos because they can be a bit unsavory but if you want to look them up yourself be my guest.
‘The Keeper’ – Blossoms
Little bro (whose name will remain anonymous as to keep hoards of people from sliding into his DMs because he’s a spoken for man) found this one on the road trip, and it’s wonderful. Blossoms are a UK band, and I’m pretty sure they’re one of those bands that is an extremely well kept British secret that hasn’t fully traveled over to the US yet, because their music has 10M+ listens on more than a handful of tracks and they are doing an extensive UK tour right now. This was the case with Mahalia, who before absolutely exploding and becoming a top five Indie Pong artist of the year, already had wide acclaim in the UK. At her show in LA she explained that it was her first US tour which shocked me because she’s the best and has a huge following already. Well it’s time for your boy to shed some light:
Actually that’s enough right, you guys get it right, they’re an awesome British folk rock band that’s about to blow up in America soon so keep them on your radar. Also, this song reminds me of one of my faves from back in the day, little folk gem for you:
‘The Tide’ – Ruthie
This is just a straight up great song, would have been ten, twenty, thirty, forty years ago and is now. I highly recommend new EP Universal Heartbreak Now, and especially this jam for when you’re traveling in time and you’re not quite sure what year you ended up in because you spilled coffee (or space coffee) on your motherboard (?) and need to play a song for the locals to prove that you’re from that decade and not an alien like in Back to the Future.
‘I Wish I Never Met You’ – Oh Wonder
Some smooth tunes over here! This is the kind of song that is all you want to listen to after a long day, to ease you into your dinner/movie plans (making a makeshift dinner from loose ingredients in my kitchen and watching Chopped and queuing positive reviews of the judges up to your first bite so it’s like Aarón Sánchez is complimenting YOUR bean and cheese burrito) or if you just want a gorgeous pop songs to get you through whatever you’re going through.
That’s it for this week, thanks for reading and happy Thankgsgiving y’all!
And don’t forget to follow our playlist on Spotify for instant updates!