September 23, 2023
Sep 23, 2023
from the desk of Cassidy Ann, Citizen Vinyl Staff Producer
Music this past year served audiences in numerous ways. Songwriters lent us their words and helped us feel and process the disorienting shifts of the pandemic. Electronic beats and funky basslines got us back up on our feet. Some of our favorite bands went back on tour. We rejoined crowds of fans and belted out lyrics from behind our facemasks. It was an intrepid return to music as we know it — but perhaps with ears more tuned and more grateful.
Citizen Vinyl gathered up album recommendations from staff in Session Cafe, the vinyl press, and Coda. These picks represent a wide spectrum of genres and sounds, from Americana to reggaetón. Some of these records might not have graced your radar, but these are the ones that made us feel, made us dance, and kept us hopeful about what’s to come. Happy New Year, everyone.
Yoshinori Hayashi’s work spans numerous genres, from ambient to house and drum and bass. “Pulse Of Defiance” is a fantastic dance album that shows Hayashi flexing his production chops, with fantastic tracks like “Touch” and my personal favorite, “I Believe in You.”
“The whole album is very dreamy and instantly makes me tune out the world. I was fortunate enough to see her play live in Brooklyn this year, which was absolutely breathtaking – Balloons fell from the ceiling, and who doesn’t love balloons?
Everything about this era of St. Vincent is pretty darn cool, well thought-out and executed. Annie Clark toured with this album, and I went to see her concert in Nashville. What she curated was truly inspiring – Everything from stage design, stage antics, costume design, the clarity of sound and just overall experience. Especially as a woman in the music industry, she is making it known that she’s a force to be reckoned with! I felt as if I was witnessing a living legend. It’s personally a goal of mine to feel this sort of self autonomy and curate the life that I want to live.
This LP is connective music across both genres and generations. It finds a way to not only sonically challenge one’s expectations, but to reveal the beauty of the elder/younger dialogue. There’s resonance in creating hybrid forms using technologies across centuries, and Promises shows what can be when boundaries are erased and embraced.
Butterfly 3000 is a really beautiful and unique take on psychedelic dream pop. Its flow through transitions, melodies, rhythms and instrumentation make the project really cohesive as an album from start to finish. If I skip a song, it makes me feel like I missed a really crucial element for the listening experience as a whole. Every song matters and adds something new and unique to this album. Every time I listen, I’m able to find something new within the music.
This album is absolutely luscious, from start to finish. It’s like a sleek leather jacket. You feel instantly cool and sexy every time you put it on.
I continually find the spiritual undertones of the writing, combined with such a passionate and honest delivery to be powerfully relatable and comforting.
This latest release from Roberto Lange got multiple recommendations from staff, so we decided to give it the collective, CV popular vote. “Far In” is Lange’s most personal album yet, but it seems to be the music we all needed, too. He creates textured soundscapes that transport you to a colorful, luminous place. It’s meditative and existential at times, and at others, it’s a sparkly disco.