By Cameron Deuel
Bandcamp is the single greatest music discovery platform in existence because it grants you instant access to an ecosystem of music in virtually every genre from artists around the world. You could accidentally click on an album under the Recently Sold section and discover your new favorite band. You might also quickly recognize that lo-fi didgeridoo two-step isn’t your jam. (Or maybe it is, and you find acceptance among the didgeridudes and didgeridudettes!) The goal of this column is to point you in the direction of great releases from the last month that flew under the radar. Here are a few from January that are very accessible and good.
Mary Bell LP – Mary Bell
On January 3rd – just 72 hours into the new year – the world received a contender for Best Punk Album of the Decade. Named after a murderous child, Mary Bell are a French four-piece riot grrl outfit that craft good old-fashioned punk anthems. Quite frankly, they frighten me but I cannot look away. I serve Mary Bell now. Sorry, Mom.
RIYL: The heebies, the jeebies, keyrings with far too many keys, yelling
The Yunahon Mixtape – Oso Oso
In a musical landscape where emo is killed and revived on an annual basis, you kind of take the genre with a grain of salt. Too often the moniker is used to justify an imaginary, profound reawakening when it really just means nostalgia. The Yunahon Mixtape by Oso Oso is a beautiful example of what happens when you strain the sweet catchiness and pure intention from your old iPod.
RIYL: Having crushes, ollies, hugging your best friends, not missing when your hometown had a Scene
Oído Absoluto LP – Rata Negra
The debut album from Madrid’s Rata Negra is a fantastic lesson in the how the catharsis of punk transcends language boundaries. While the band sings in Spanish, their music is fast and urgent, like a call to arms. Though they cite 80s punk as a major influence, Rata Negra’s debut album is a modern example of punk done well.
RIYL: zines, rats, black and white, general discontent
Just For Fools – Rebel Kind
Rebel Kind are a trendy four-piece from Michigan who have created a delightful, breezy pop album just in-time for the dead of winter. When I started Just For Fools I was sitting under forty blankets and when the album was over I was outside in my bathing suit and dying from hypothermia, but in a really fun and good way.
RIYL: Thrifting, film photography, the beach, wearing friendship bracelets until they fall off your wrist
Our First 100 Days – Various Artists
In uncertain times, art and music have been ways to cope, unify and rally for change. The premise of Our First 100 Days is simple: for $30 you receive 100 precious tracks from some of the best artists around, and your hard-earned cash will be donated to nonprofit organizations that aim for a better world.
RIYL: surprises, complete collections, positive change, counting (especially to 100!)