February arguably started off better than any other months will this year. February is the month that Title Fight released their third album, Hyperview. The album leaked at the end of January, but that is not what I cared about. After a few listens to the leaked version, I realized I needed a higher quality version than the 128-kbps leak. I wanted to buy the 320-kbps version. Title Fight chose to go with an extremely different sound than their fast-paced punk from yesteryear. This time they were making their sound the most important aspect of each song. Without the best quality tracks, the album did sound a little muddy. I had to turn to read the lyrics to truly enjoy it to its fullest. Beside the vinyl, the 320-kbps was the best version to truly enjoy it. With producer, Will Yip, I knew the album was going to be nearly perfect. In 2012, their second album, Floral Green, was my album of the year. Even after having some sort of version of the album for over a month, I still need to let it settle in my stomach. Sure, I love it and it is easily my album of the year, at the moment, but that could all change within the coming months. Three of my favorite artists: Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Radiohead are all due to release albums this year.
After a conversation with my friend, Nick Gandy, about 2015 being the tenth-anniversary of Armor For Sleep’s What to Do When You Are Dead, I had to revisit it. I usually spin a couple Armor For Sleep songs on a regular basis, but for some reason, it had been months. The album holds up impressively well. I still got goose bumps during tracks like “The Truth About Heaven” and “Remember to Feel Real”. Both of those songs are complete bangers. When “Basement Ghost Singing” flows into “Walking At Night, Alone”, I melt into a puddle of 17-year-old happiness. I’m very happy I managed to catch them on their farewell tour in 2012.
At work, we listen to the radio. Usually, I hear the same shitty top 40 songs over and over and over again. Sometimes I don’t have very much patience for the pop-stations and I change it to oldies of some sort. One of my favorite songs that would play moderately frequently is a song called “Bennie and the Jets”. At the beginning of the month, I was having a rough time at work and then that song came on and my mood did a 180. I downloaded it later that night only to find that it’s an Elton John song. I didn’t hesitate to check out more of his stuff. I knew he was talented, but I had no idea how many older songs I liked were by him. What a talented man.
I made a New Year’s resolution with myself to see some friends outside of the usual weekend alcohol binge. I made that promise true in February with a few of my good friends. I didn’t pressure anyone to join me because I had been drunkenly telling everyone I wanted to do something like this for what seemed like years. After reaching out to a few friends, I was happy to hear that all three would love the idea of getting lunch or coffee during the workweek.
The first friend I got coffee with was my good friend, Dan Brown. Dan and I met in March of 2013 at a mutual friend, Tyler’s birthday party. The night I met him also happened to be the night I met a good chunk of my current friends and my girlfriend, Lydia Hagins. There was something about him that made me almost instantly respect him. Before I got to know him at all, I respected him and I have no idea why. Maybe it was just the way he presented himself. He seemed eager, driven and far from content. At that moment, I think I felt the same way. It was an eerie feeling being in the same proximity as someone else that you could just tell felt the same way as you.
Even though I made a New Year’s resolution doesn’t mean that I actually planned on following through. Nobody as follows through with those, do they? Maybe it was actually something that I would bring up, drunkenly with friends just to make myself feel better. Dan Brown didn’t operate that way. He reminded me about it the follow Monday after his birthday in mid-January. We genuinely were hanging out at least once a week in February, just him and I, chatting about any and everything. I almost forgot how important it was to have a friend to just spill your guts to from time to time.
In our conversations, he recommended I check out a record label from LA, Soulection. I didn’t really take him seriously right off the bat. I knew he had at the very least a decent taste in music. He liked some of The Chariot’s stuff, which I totally respected, and he also is the person that got a lot of people into RL Grime. One of the best conversations I have ever had under the influence was with him after the RL Grime show in Omaha, Nebraska in July 2013.
A couple days after he recommended that record label, Soulection, he sent me a text about one of their newly signed artists, Same Gellaitry. Gellaitry is from Ireland and he’s only 18-years-old. On February 17th, Soulection released Gellaitry’s debut release, Short Stories EP. His Short Stories EP instantly set my brain ablaze. I got halfway through the second track, “Reflectionz”, on Soundcloud and bought it off of Bandcamp moments later. The EP is that good. I haven’t been able to go a day without listening to it. I am very excited for what the future holds for “Synth-E-Sam”.
It was only a matter of time before someone uploaded on a remix of one of Gellaitry’s tracks on the Short Stories EP. When the 16-year-old from the United Kingdom, Oshi, uploaded a remix of “To Earth and Back”, Dan Brown made sure to ship the Soundcloud link my way. I thought to myself, “What do you know? Another talented child.” The track is almost better than Gellaitry’s effort. The second drop is way smoother on Oshi’s remix. I decided to check out his Soundcloud and Facebook page and get some tracks to jam out to on the go. I really like “I ❤ u” by him. I also think that his attempt at a fresh remix to Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” isn’t half-bad.
Adventures released their debut album, Supersonic Home and unfortunately for them it was on the same day that I was introduced to Sam Gellaitry’s Short Stories EP. A good week into March and I still haven’t given the album the fair amount of spins they deserve. I really liked the single and music video that accompanied it earlier in the February, but like I said, I just cannot stop listening to material from Sam Gellaitry and Oshi. I hope to give it a fair spin in the March or April.
At work, when I don’t give a fuck and I get really sick of the radio, I’ll just put my phone on shuffle. It may not seem like a big deal, but with a bunch of co-workers around me, they can hear everything I am playing. It’s weird, literally everywhere else in my life I try and promote the music I love. I wear band t-shirts (almost exclusively, I have music tattoos (almost exclusively) and if you follow me on any of my social media accounts, you will get an weekly update about music (at the very least). I mean these blogs about my monthly playlists are evidence enough that music matters a lot to me. So, why is it that I am always trying to hide my music tastes at work? I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist. Anyway, on the last Sunday of February, I put my phone on shuffle. The last two tracks of Circa Survive’s Juturna played and I was instantly sent into a rush of my 16-year-old self. What a perfect album. I ran through the album, passively, a couple times that day. It still holds together really well.
The following Monday, the last of February, I decided I should actually check out some of Paper Diamond’s stuff. Especially since my friends and I were planning on seeing him in Kansas City on Saturday (2/23/15). I went to his Facebook and downloaded an EP or two and his 2014 Summer Tour mix. The mix was especially good. Paper Diamond samples some really outstanding tracks. Spoilers: the tour mix plays a huge role in the beginning of my March playlist. See you all next month with my March playlist!