My name is Hunter Franklin and currently, I am a sophomore at BYU-Idaho studying Pre-Med (Human Biology). When I’m not studying, I’m either skating, rock-climbing, tinkering with my turntable, or listening to a new album that came out. Over the past few years, music has grown to become one of the most important parts of my life.
Growing up, my musical taste was limited. My siblings and I could listen to only three CD’s, those being a John Denver compilation, the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, and a compilation of Weird Al songs. Even though I didn’t listen to much music back then, those three CD’s shaped how I consume music now. To this day, I hate John Denver and Weird Al with a passion, but I love the Bee Gees. That should tell you what I listened to most often, but on a more serious tone, it made me value how diverse music can be when I got older and was introduced to stuff other than a Weird Al parody song.
I believe that every genre of music has its place and holds some sort of musical value. Finding new music and getting into new genres of music is something that I always enjoy so for this playlist I tried to pick songs that varied drastically from one to the other so maybe those reading could find a song they never heard of and use it as a stepping stone to explore music they may otherwise avoid or not be aware of. This is my #EnnuiOnWednesday.
“Do They Owe Us A Living” — Crass
The best way I can describe Crass is that they are the epitome of what it means to be punk. They formed back in 1977 starting with Steve Ignorant and Penny Rimbaud in Epping, Essex and then added members after that. The band are credited with being one of the first to popularize anarcho-punk and it shows. They were no stranger to putting their political views into their music and had a DIY ethic that is still prevalent now in punk music.
The song “Do They Owe Us A Living” off their album The Feeding of the Five Thousand is a fast-paced, metallic 90-seconds about how authority has screwed people over and now owe us because of that. Listening to this song it feels like it is about to shatter into a thousand pieces, but the catchy lyrics and short play time keep it from overstaying its welcome. You may not agree with their politics but the influence they had on the punk world is definite. I recommend their albums Penis Envy and Feeding of the Five Thousand if you’re in the mood for some quality anarcho-punk.
“Servants” — Zeal & Ardor
Zeal & Ardor is the creation of Manuel Gagneux and the album that this song comes off is honestly one of my favorite metal projects of 2018. His super interesting fusion of slave spirituals and black metal come together to form a metal album unlike no other with haunting chants and piercing screams throughout the atmosphere created that keep the listener engaged and wondering what blasphemous abomination of sounds will be created on the next song.
The song “Servants” has this sense of ambiguity where the lyrics could be read as a call to revolution or coming together to worship Satan which I believe comes from the clashing elements of black metal and spirituals. It’s this sense of ambiguity that makes me enjoy this song and this album — you don’t know what you’re going to get — there is nothing to compare it to. I recommend the album Stranger Fruit, (which this song is from) to anyone that loves avant-garde metal or just metal in general.
“Father Sister Berzerker” — Tobacco
I honestly find it hard to define and describe this artist and his music. Tobacco, his real name is Thomas Fec, is more well known as being the front man for the more popular band Black Moth Super Rainbow and you can hear the similarities between the two. They both have psychedelic elements, but Tobacco takes his solo efforts down a darker road as opposed to the Psychedelic pop and hip-hop tendencies of BMSR.
The song “Father Sister Berzerker” is one of his more complex songs where instrumentation will fade in and then be swallowed up in distortion. It’s dark, psychedelic, and almost menacing as the song overtakes you as it progresses. I recommend his album Ultima II Massage and Dandelion Gum by BMSR if you want something a little more poppy.
“Tintin in Tibet” — Mount Eerie
Mount Eerie is the project of probably my favorite singer-songwriter ever Phil Elverum. I may be biased though since we’re both from Washington and his hometown of Anacortes is just a short car ride from my house. His discography is quite extensive with over 10 studio albums from all his projects and some are quite celebrated such as The Glow Pt. 2 by the Microphones. He works primarily in a folk style but has also worked in elements of noise rock and drone in his work on The Microphones.
On “Tintin in Tibet” however, he sticks to folk, where the lyrics deal with his recently passed wife and the times, he spent with her. I’m reminded of Mark Kozelek on this track due to the rambling nature of how the song progresses, but I find the stories Phil tells on the track heartfelt and captivating. There probably isn’t an album by Phil I wouldn’t recommend but if you have never heard his music, I would recommend starting with The Glow Pt. 2 by The Microphones.
“Bubblegum Dreams” — Ariel Pink
Last one, this ended up being a lot longer than I thought it would, so I’ll try to make this one quick. Ariel Pink is known for his style of lo-fi pop music heavily influences by previous decades. His brand of “hypnagogic pop” is unmistakable and I love it.
On “Bubblegum Dreams” he continues this by creating this catchy tune that has this drugged out quality to it. It’s almost as if the song is at a seven on the “baked” scale and everything is happy but sluggish at the same time with that lo-fi quality to it of being run through a cassette. The sound is what sells this song for me and Ariel Pink with his knack for catchy songs and songwriting is why I keep coming back. I recommend his albums Pom Pom, Before Today as well as Dedicated to Bobby Jameson.