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Bandcamping: Screamo and Experimental Music Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

We know that the wait for Kanye West’s Swish Waves The Life Of Pablo is excruciating, but is endlessly refreshing Google search results and a Twitter search for “pablo” going to make the album come any sooner? Kanye’s an artist, meaning he’s prone to being unpredictable, so instead of unblinkingly staring at our screens from two inches away waiting for something to happen, let’s get off the edge of our seats and check out a sure thing: the best albums that came out on Bandcamp this past week.

Today’s installment of Bandcamping is light on hip-hop, but that’s fine if you’re down with electronica, indie rock and some more alternative stuff. If The Life Of Pablo drops while you’re reading this, absolutely open a new tab and go check it out. We’ll be right here waiting for you when you get back, with five pretty cool releases we heard this week, starting with:

5. Great Reward by Parents


Genre: hardcore, screamo
If you like: Fucked Up, Against Me!

It might not seem it aesthetically, but hardcore/screamo music is extremely delicate, in that it’s easy for so many things to go wrong and ruin it. It’s brash sensibilities mean that the organized chaos of the genre can easily become flat-out unenjoyable chaos if it’s done poorly, but Parents get it. The production and performance is clean, and the relatively straightforward nature of this release could serve as a good introduction to this polarizing and under-appreciated type of music.

4. Entitled To Be Stupid by Hideki Takimoto

Genre: electronica, ambient
If you like: Kraftwerk, Flying Lotus, Thom Yorke

Electronic music can often be experimental just for the sake of experimentation, eschewing the pursuit of something good in favor of something weird, but Takimoto takes chances on his latest release, most of which pay off. Like most experimental music, this album isn’t perfect, but what’s great about that is if it’s nuanced, these blemishes might eventually become the most enjoyable part.

3. Know. by I’m a Lion, I’m a Wolf

i'm a lion i'm a wolf

Genre: indie rock
If you like: Death Cab For Cutie, Manchester Orchestra

There’s a distinct indie rock sound that emerged from the Pacific Northwest in the late ’90s and early 2000s, and while it may be hard to pin down exactly what defines it, I’m A Lion, I’m A Wolf sure have achieved it. It’s both nostalgic and timeless, mysterious but instantly relatable.

2. Empathy by Why They Fight

why they fight

Genre: indie rock, pop punk, alternative
If you like: Sleater-Kinney, Silversun Pickups, Confide

This album almost falls on the post-hardcore side of things, but it’s really more focused on the more melodic side of the genre. The opening track, “Apathy,” is a triumph, blending the eeriness of slowcore with distant-sounding, reverb-heavy vocals that make them so much more immediate and powerful.

1. Los Assholes by Yellowbelly

Genre: alternative, indie rock
If you like: Sparklehorse, Cat Power

Yellowbelly consists of members of New York electronic pop group occurrence, and their new album, the title of which is Spanish for “The Assholes,” has a lot going for it. Cat Hollyer’s soothing voice plays perfectly with the alternately serene and experimental instrumentation, and the record succeeds in many ways beyond that.

All in all, this week was actually pretty slim Bandcamp pickins’, but here’s one other thing we liked:

Honorable Mention

South of Bloor by South of Bloor
Genre: indie rock, pop rock, alternative rock
If you like: Band of Horses, Fall Out Boy

Thanks for being here, and until next week, let us know in the comments which of our albums you loved, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, it’s right here, and the complete Bandcamping archives are here.

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