Though W.C. Lindsay is self-described as “The Beastie Boys watching The Breakfast Club at Warped Tour,” it’s tough to detect any type of snarky battle rap or John Hughes type influences in this Philly-based Dance-Punk collective’s offerings, nor does the Warped Tour-label do justice the pulsating energy distributed by the outfit’s flashy synth flourishes and intelligent Pop refrains, which suggest a knowledge of, if not an affinity for, the likes of Vampire Weekend.
Regardless of the grounds W.C. Lindsay’s roots may reside, the group caught the ear of Brendan Lukens, frontman of another burgeoning Philly band and SIMGE favorite Modern Baseball (who recently delivered a new single) with a 2013 EP titled Tree.
Lukens quickly signed the group to his upstart imprint Big Footprints, and will release W.C. Lindsay’s forthcoming collection Easy Victim, Charitable Deceptions in 2014.
Today, W.C. Lindsay provided fans a taste of what’s to come by unveiling the record’s lead single “Kids These Days”. Stream the cut below while checking out the individual members’ favorite releases of 2013.
Richie Straub’s Top Albums
1. White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade
A few years back I saw White Denim live and was absolutely blown away. It took me until this release to finally check them out and I’m glad I finally did. Every track on this record has a memorable hook complimented with fantastic musicianship. It reminds me of a lot of bands from the 1970s and with so many bands going for the sounds of the 1980s it’s very refreshing.
2. Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is the Killer
Two words: Billy Rymer. The drumming on this record is unreal. “Understanding Decay” goes through so many blisteringly fast drum parts. I can’t imagine playing an entire song through let alone a whole concert. Whenever I’m stuck in a creative rut with drumming I go back to this album and listen to the way Billy orchestrates the songs through his parts. It always works.
3. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
I look to Vampire Weekend as one of the bands that is constantly pushing the boundaries of modern commercial music. Their first two albums were pretty different stylistically and it seems with this album they found a way to blend those two sounds together and great a new, better sound. The ending of “Hannah Hunt” is one of my favorite musical moments of 2013.
4. James Blake – Overgrown
Possibly my favorite album of the year. From his beats to his vocals, James Blake has put together an incredibly impressive album. He continues where his first album left off, but it’s clear that he has grown as a producer and songwriter since then. The way the opener, “Overgrown”, builds the same idea from nothing to an orchestral flurry throughout the song is absolutely awe-inspiring.
5. MGMT – MGMT
What a weird record. On first listen I didn’t really know what to think, but I did know I had to listen to it again. With every listen I discovered new layers until I eventually realized what the band was going for. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I love the direction MGMT is going in. They are definitely making the music they want to and I have a lot of respect for that.
George Legatos’ Top Albums
1. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Whenever, If Ever
Initially, I wasn’t too crazy about this record, but it quickly grew on me, and soon enough I couldn’t stop listening to it. What grabbed me early on are all the post-rocky elements that make this record sound so huge. From there it was just a matter of getting more familiar with the songs and really listening to the lyrics.
2. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
The first time I listened to this album, I immediately listened to it three more times. It’s hard to believe how much Vampire Weekend have matured since their earlier stuff. This album has so many incredible layers, and each song is killer and unique in and of itself.
3. Restorations – LP2
Restorations are one of the best bands out of Philly right now, and this album is proof. Its raw, its gritty and its honest. And there are plenty of hooks that are great for yelling along at their shows.
4. Deafheaven – Sunbather
I remember when I first hit play on Sunbather. The guitar started droning on… then the drums came in and I was all like, “woah”. I had never heard anything so heavy and yet so beautiful. The way the album ebbs and flows is perfect. Its extremely dynamic overall, running the gambit of emotion.
5. Caspian – Hymn For The Greatest Generation
I love Caspian because they don’t fall into the stereotype of most post-rock bands. They’re bolder, more experimental and more melodic. 2013 was a tumultuous year for Caspian; their bassist Chris suddenly passed away just weeks before a huge tour and the release of this EP. In that way, it almost sounds like a eulogy.
Will’s Top Albums
1. Volcano Choir – Repave
Anything Justin Vernon touches is an exercise in dynamic mastery, and Repave is no exception. In my opinion, a dynamic piece of music goes from a whisper to a scream and keeps you at attention for the whole ride- “Comrade,” one of my favorite cuts off the record accomplishes this fully. Volcano Choir has also done an incredible job here of melding synthesized elements and parts performed and recorded live. The acoustic guitars mix in perfectly with the auto-tuned vocals and they manage to achieve a juxtaposition that is never jarring. Quite possibly my favorite record of the year.
2. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap
There is one main thing that explains why I am so drawn to Chance the Rapper, as well as Drake and Kendrick, a few of my other favorite current hip-hop artists. That thing is genuineness- I appreciate genuineness, even if it is used in regards to subject matter that I can’t necessarily relate to. I need a record to be honest, and Chance has achieved that on his sophomore mixtape, particularly on tracks which present stark lyrical contrast like “Pusha Man.” I also just love it when artists sound like they’re having fun on a track. Chance and Childish Gambino create this atmosphere on “Favorite Song,” and the production surrounding the guitar sample is snappy and infectious. Noname Gypsy’s heart wrenching verse on “Lost” also provides a tender moment of introspection. She just rules overall. Also the record is free, which is nuts.
3. Tiny Moving Parts – This Couch Is Long & Full of Friendship
On this record you’ll hear what I think of the year’s best guitar work. Dylan Mattheisen plays the instrument like no one I’ve ever seen, and the way he builds and inverts chords to fill the sonic spectrum is unrivaled. This record is also a great example of raw emotion, and I appreciate its simpler attack- the lyrics are young and ruthlessly relatable. I also enjoy when artists employ varying audio samples to weave a more intricate narrative with a record, and Tiny Moving Parts’ inclusion of audio from Bret Favre’s farewell press conference is actually quite emotional in context. The production is flawless and crisp, and the performances captured are as raw as can be.
4. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
The way Matt Berninger’s cryptic yet forward lyrics drive this record’s narrative may actually be the most instantly engrossing thing I’ve heard all year. The honesty and depth can be heard in the low tones of his voice, and his vocals on this record just make me believe and feel every single word he says. “Demons” and “I Need My Girl” are songs that I was initially drawn to because of the way they reached me personally. I think that might be the most endearing of The National’s qualities. On each record, I’m confident that anyone could find a song that reaches them in some capacity. They navigate emotional content both sonically and lyrically in such a way that leaves them telling their listeners own story- The National makes me feel like they’ve written about me.
5. Disclosure – Settle
This is one of those records that I listen to and am blown away that it even exists. Disclosure totally came out of left field for me, and with such a powerful and well produced debut that’s attached in one way or another to so many vocalists that I already follow. Dance music as a whole has essentially had me alienated until this record came about, but Disclosure gave me hope in this “EDM” era of repetition. I’m particularly drawn to the texture’s these songs present, and in this regard I think of “White Noise” featuring Aluna George as the standout. The sonic swells that build and release throughout this track are great examples of how the energy carries throughout. I also love the slowed down grooves of “Help Me Lose My Mind.” This is a great record from a genre that I had all but given up on.
6. Drake – Nothing Was The Same
I love Drake and almost everything he’s ever done. This record, as is the case with all Drake’s works, is drenched in production work by Noah “40” Shebib, who is one of my favorite producers today. The way his low-passed introspective beats carry Drake’s mournfully candid verses has always compelled me, and Nothing Was The Same is no exception. The standout tracks for me are “Own It (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR)” and “Too Much (feat. Sampha)” mainly because of darker emotional mood. I also feel that these to songs are great examples of Drake’s ability to choose collaborators. Sampha’s ghostly vocals carry tracks to an eerie place that Drake’s verses inhabit comfortably as they ruminate on family and relationship troubles that although they are spoken from the perspective of fame, they remain true relatable for a much wider audience. I think Drake is one of the most important characters in hip-hop today, and what he and Chance The Rapper are accomplishing as far as innovations in both lyrics and production are keeping the genre interesting