Page 19





BY HALEY WEAVER – In the summer of 2016, a video of Pharrell Williams listening in awe to a demo of “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers during a Masterclass at NYU went viral. It wasn’t Rogers’ first creation; in fact, she’d released two albums and several tracks before then on Bandcamp. But “Alaska” proved to be her TV series-worthy key to fame, earning her a headline tour, press circuit, fans upon fans, the works. Rogers was a big part of my 2017, with her EP Now That The Light Is Fading a backing soundtrack in my daily life. Her sound is unique, in that it’s singer-songwriter folk but with a pop influence that makes it dreamy and vibrant. Rogers has stated that nature is a prominent influence for her, that it is her “place” and where she finds the most inspiration, and it proves to be the defining characteristic that differentiates her from acts such as Broods and Ella Vos. The opener, “Color Song,” is backed by crickets and harmonies in lieu of instrumentation, and is lyrical representation of a Monet painting, while “Better” uses distant bird chirping to evoke the feeling of driving down a coastal highway. The production on both “On + Off” and “Alaska” is striking, layered expertly and re-

lying heavily on harmony to create a mood of simultaneous nostalgia and the need to dance defiantly around the house. “Dog Years” stands out as particularly poignant to me, a song about life after graduating college and wanting to make the most of the time you’ve been given even in your uncertainties. It’s hard to tell what direction Rogers is leaning to with Now That The Light Is Fading, especially considering how folk-based her prior releases have been and how her current inclusion of synth is a popular method in the current music scene. Either way, I look forward to hearing more from her in the coming year.

STANDOUT TRACKS: On + Off Alaska Dog Years

by Will Isern– I could hardly be called an avid listener of house music, but there’s something about Yaeji that draws me in. The New York City-based, 24-year-old producer and vocalist – whose real name is Kathy Yaeji Lee – has just a handful of tracks to her name, but she’s already been dubbed by Pitchfork as “house music’s most exciting new voice.” Yaeji’s hip hop-inspired house music ranges from oozing subtle energy, as on “New York 93,” STANDOUT TRACKS: to full blown trap-pop on “Drink I’m Sippin Drink I’m Sippin On On.” The single “Raingurl,” with its infecRaingurl tious chorus and four-on-the-floor beat, Feel It Out is one of those songs that could be a huge smash if only enough people could be exposed to it. Yaeji’s voice, presented in a mix of English and Korean, rolls out in smoky whisper, and, as many writers have been quick to point out, sounds unlike anything else in house music today. Her lyrics, which most listeners will have to look up and translate to understand, are abstract and perhaps subjective in meaning, though for most listeners it won’t matter. Because that’s the thing about Yaeji: I might have no idea what’s she’s singing about, but it sounds so good I don’t care.


Call Me By Your Name

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

This movie has been out for a couple months in Los Angeles and New York City but releases nationwide in January. With stunning cinematography and leading men Armie Hammer (an established favorite tall man of Hollywood) and Timothy Chalamet (a soon-to-be favorite indie boy newcomer), Call Me By Your Name tells the adapted story of two young men and their journey of love and heartbreak in the Italian countryside in 1983. It’s a leading film for nominations this awards season, despite the controversy that always comes with LGBT love stories. I’ve been waiting to see this movie for the better part of 2017, and have gotten emotional just watching the trailer. Genuinely excited.

Going to start by saying I didn’t know the Maze Runner film series has been successful enough to merit any further sequels. It’s also especially amusing to see Dylan O’Brien, the star of the series, return to playing what is supposed to be a baby-faced seventeenyear-old boy after playing Mitch Rapp, a mid-twenties super-human CIA operative with full facial hair and a dead fiancé in American Assassin. Obviously actors do this all the time so who knows why it’s so funny to me, but while we’re asking questions who is still asking for Maze Runner movies? I saw the first one after having read the book series, only to see O’Brien look pretty on a big screen. It was lackluster enough that even he didn’t make it worth my time.




Downtown Crowd Jan. 2018  
Downtown Crowd Jan. 2018  

Q&A: They Might Be Giants Resolutions You Can Keep Return of the Punk Rock Flea Market The Typewriter Project