For the Record: New albums of autumn

Victor Kidwell, Features Editor

As fall winds to a close and December hits, it’s important to look back and see what we may have missed. This autumn went by so fast, so here is a quick recap for those of you that may have lost track of the music world.

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For the Record is the Lasso’s music column. (Graphic by Ellen Chadwick)

“grow your hair long if you’re wanting to see something that you can change” by Field Medic

Field Medic is the freak folk project of Kevin Patrick Sullivan, and his new album “grow your hair long if you’re wanting to see something that you can change” upholds his reputation as one of the most consistent folk musicians nowadays. It sees him veering more into indie-pop territory than he’s dared to venture into yet, and I think it works excellently. I would consider his previous albums to be more lo-fi, but this album sees him working with a full band—creating a much lusher feel and sound.

The opener “always emptiness” has almost a western feel to the song, a slow-paced waltz that feels forlornly romantic. Completely opposite to the lyrics, however, as we can see Sullivan was really not in a great state of mind when writing this album. 

The next track “weekends” follows this trend, as it is a full-band piece with an energetic feel. Yet, Sullivan here laments that “weekends are the hardest part,” as he wrangles with loneliness. The cognitive dissonance between the feel and the message of the track is jarring and continues to the next track, “i had a dream that you died.”

I would consider this song one of the most hopeful on the album. Sullivan battles with mortality and emptiness next to a drum machine and acoustic guitar, with some exceptionally placed synth in the chorus. Despite the dreary content of the song, we see Sullivan gravitate toward fleeting positive notes, almost as if even in the song he’s trying to flee his dreary memories.

Field Medic’s latest album. (Photo via Bandcamp)

Track 5,“i think about you all the time,” is a startling departure from the themes of the album.  For the tone of this song, Sullivan remarked that he wanted to make a ‘Walmart pop song’ at one of his latest concerts in DC at Songbyrd (a great venue if you’re looking to go to a show!). It’s a delicate and lovelorn tune and is worth your attention. 

The latter half of the album falters a bit, especially since the first half is so compelling. However, the song “miracle/marigold” is still a simple yet captivating tune. 

Overall, even though there is a slight drop in the latter half, I would say that this is a remarkable Field Medic album with songs that jump out in their discography. If you’re looking for a new acoustic or indie album to check out, this one is definitely one of the best. 


“Her Love Still Haunts Me Like a Ghost” by Montell Fish

Montell Fish's newest release. (Photo via Spotify)Montell Fish’s distorted RnB project hits really hard, honestly. His reflection on past loves and people he’s lost is a most fitting subject matter for an autumn release.

The album opens with “Every Night,” a haunting and burned-out tune that’ll stick in your head for a while.. It really sets the tone for the rest of the LP, and is one of the best songs. 

“Escape” is a striking stand-out song on the LP. It reminds me of “DEATHCAMP” by Tyler, The Creator in the same kind of fuzzed-out rock way. It’s catchy and shows off Fish’s strengths on this project.

I’m still not sure where I land on the track “Pretend Lovers.” It has the same melodic themes and trademarks as the rest of the LP, but it just felt repetitive and annoying. It would work thematically if it were just an interlude and not one of the longest tracks on the project. 

I really enjoyed “Altitude” and “Blame,” with the latter being one of the more emotional tracks on the project. It’s a bit of a confessional, with the narrator exploring whether how he treats other people is a reflection of how he feels about himself. Following this, the switch to “Bathroom” was jarring, but it’s such a sick track with an awesome beat that it doesn’t even matter. This is such a banger and a strong outro to the project.

This was only a 20-minute-long LP, but it still dragged at times.. The falsetto Fish effects for the majority of the project can be grating to some, and I would definitely say that if you don’t like the tone of the first track, it doesn’t change. Even though this project was a bit of a mixed bag, I’m excited to see where Montell Fish goes with his music next, as he has a companion LP to his past album “JAMIE” coming out soon. 


“And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow” Weyes Blood

Weyes Blood’s newest album, “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow.” (Photo via Spotify)

Singer-songwriter Weyes Blood released her newest album on the 18th of November to much acclaim. “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow” is an ethereal romp through Weyes Blood’s psyche. I have to say, I haven’t been the biggest fan of Weyes Blood- her previous album “Titanic Rising” was pretty underwhelming to me, especially with the amount of hype around it. 

The first track “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” provides a floating sensation, almost suitable for a ballroom, rather than a pair of earphones. You could picture this tune in the background of a period piece, as this album is nearly cinematic in its tunes. 

The fourth track, “God Turn Me Into A Flower,” is one of Weyes Blood’s best vocal performances on the LP. Her deeper voice works excellently with the instrumentation and it’s very flowy, with the standard of the album. 

The eighth track “In Holy Flux” is an eerie, yet dreamy ambient interlude that works just as well as the other tracks. It’s not boring, as tracks like these can be, and actually uplifts the other songs on this record. I am really glad that ambient music is getting more airtime, as it has been pretty unappreciated at least in the mainstream indie world. 

The almost-final track “The Worst is Done” is an energetic guitar ballad, with downtrodden lyrics emphasizing the upcoming doom. It stays vague, as I think much of the album emphasizes the vague aura of hope and despair, though still remaining immaterial.

In this album, listeners see Weyes Blood expanding her sound and embracing an airier and synthy-er tune, and it yields a far better product. It eliminated the sound I was frustrated with on her debut album and cements her further into the dream-pop realm.