Cambridge Audio’s New Music Picks – August 2018

Another month, another set of music recommendations from Cambridge Audio HQ. 

As Summer fades into Fall and the world begins to offer a more comfortable feel with a cooler breeze and lack of torturous humidity, we connected with these great new releases from August 2018. A variety of genres are hosted in this month's blog, so try some new music with us, and hopefully, you will discover something you love. 

Tracks

Bayside – "It Don’t Exist"
With the announcement of Acoustic Volume 2, the follow-up to its predecessor back in 2006, New York rock band Bayside have treated our ears to a brand new track, “It Don’t Exist”. The rest of the album is said to feature completely reimagined acoustic versions of tracks spanning the bands back catalogue, rather than simply trading electric for acoustic instruments. “It Don’t Exist” looks to spearhead this direction with a fuller experience, featuring keys, drums, and plenty of atmospheric lead guitar lines to relax to. It’s a dreamy song that’s perfect to soon see in the Autumn/Fall season.

Ariana Grande- "REM"/Beyoncé- "Wake Up"
Before Beyoncé released her self-titled album in 2014, she was trying to curate a doo-wop album, believe or not. She would eventually scrap that concept in exchange for a neo-soul-focused sound, but one of the demos from that now-defunct project, "Wake Up", has been revived thanks to Ariana Grande. It's rumored that Pharrell Williams has some production credit on the track and introduced it to Grande for her latest album, Sweetener, resulting in "R.E.M". Grande recycles Queen B's "wake up" chorus hook but reworks the demo's lyrics to display an undying affection for her lover. Both tracks are worthy of celebration, at the very least.

(True story- The center channel in my best friend's ten-year-old car blew out a bit after listening to Beyonce's "Wake Up". It wasn't because the track was played too loud though- it was just the straw that broke the camel's back. Still, proceed with caution.)

     

Young Thug- "Audemar"

Just like we said about the genius of Playboi Carti, soak in Young Thug's ballistic energy on "Audemar" instead of focusing on the lyrics. While Thug impressively sprinkles diamond-studded, high-end brands in the track's lyrics, he only flaunts the objects that accent his wardrobe and lifestyle. What impresses us most is his myriad of delivery styles, from screaming the lyrics to chanting "skrrt" like he's imitating a broken wheel. Thugger's swagger is revitalizing. 

Albums

Travis Scott- ASTROWORLD

ASTROWORLD is the name of a newly-revived theme park in Houston, TX and title of Travis Scott's best album. The album is loaded with complex beat transitions, bold and pristine production, and a kaleidoscope of vibes, from serene to hard-hitting intensity. What makes it stand out more than any other release this year is its impressive roster of guest artists. The all-star team of the album is featured on one track, "Stop Trying To Be God", including Stevie Wonder, James Blake, Kid Cudi, and Earth, Wind & Fire's Phillip Bailey. The combination of everything feels like an adventure of adrenaline-loaded bangers and spacey adventures, and at the center of it all is Travis Scott. While he doesn't flex the most thought-provoking bars throughout the album, he did hit one on the head- "Who put this shit together? I'm the glue."

Foxing – Nearer My God

The St Louis band have released their third album last month, and it’s probably going to be their masterpiece. Not only that, but it nearly didn’t happen. Unsure about the direction they were taking and how it would be received by fans, it took ex-Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla to take on the production role and turn the band's ambition into an album. Facing the band’s fears, Nearer My God oozes in skyward-soaring vocals (“Nearer My God”) and raw energy (“Gameshark”) with plenty of daring ideas and experimentation tackled brilliantly (“Heartbeats”). We’ve seen similar bands successfully step up to bring modern emo to the forefront (Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, The Hotelier, etc.), and with Foxing doing the same, it’s certainly here to stay.

Sabrina Claudio- No Rain, No Flowers

This album is perfect for a summer night while the sun sets. Sabrina Claudio felt like she was at the height of her R&B songstress powers when she knocked out her latest surprise project, No Rain, No Flowers, in less than two months with producer SadBoyMusic. All of the songs here are down-tempo, reflective, and sexy, and Sabrina's whispered vocals sound as confident and lush as ever over every cool instrumental. If you have someone to throw your arm around while spinning this as the sun disappears, channel the desire that Sabrina breathes into these tracks into your connection and feel the romance move with a seductive bounce. 

Julee Cruise- Three Demos

If you're a Twin Peaks fan, you are probably familiar with Julee Cruise, the ethereal muse who led the band at the Roadhouse. Cruise's influence is noticeable in modern dream pop, especially in bands like Beach House, Lana Del Rey, and Cigarettes After Sex. She recently reissued her haunting sophomore album, The Voice of Love (which coincided with the release of David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me) and unveiled an EP of demos from her influential debut, Floating into the Night. These cuts are slower, droney, and minimal, influencing your mind to travel back to the forests of Twin Peaks and be enveloped by their trees' eerie shadows. 

That's our list! Now, we want to know what you've been listening to this month. Let us know in the comment section.

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