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Once a month, VMP turns over the blog to Andrew Winistorfer, its resident pizza expert, man about town, and music writer. In Storf Sounds Off, he writes about a few things he thinks you should pay attention to this month. That’s the theory at least.
1. I’m writing this while trying to recover from Eaux Claires Festival-related bug bites and sunburn, so bear with me. I covered the inaugural year of Bon Iver’s new festival for Noisey, but I am finding it hard to write about any music that isn’t Corbin, the artist previously known as Spooky Black. His performance was riveting, mostly because it’ll never not be weird to see that voice come out of that kid, but also because he’s the literal representation of having no fucks to give. He couldn’t care less about any of the fame or the attention, and he has the confidence of someone who is more self-assured than I think I could ever be. He played an acoustic guitar on a couple songs, and it turns out he can play guitar. He went from being a meme I wanted to see live to being an artist I can’t wait to be surprised by in the course of his 40 minute set. Here’s “Without You” if you’re unfamiliar.
2. The first thing I did when I got back from the north woods of Eau Claire was download Future’s Dirty Sprite 2, and you should do the same. I wasn’t part of the wave of people who thought Honest, Future’s 2014 sophomore LP, was “weak,” so I’m not sure he needed to make the course corrective back to drug-tinted melancholy-raps, but his recent run of mixtapes—particularly 56 Nights from earlier this year—has been as great as everything that led to the instant classic Pluto (his 2012 debut LP). DS2 is the sequel to his breakthrough 2011 mixtape, and it’s got plenty of promethazine poetry, from the Cali-roll of “The Percocet & Stripper Joint” to the slang inventing “Blow a Bag.” Future continues his roll as Atlanta’s most consistently great workhorse with this one.
3. E•MO•TION, the sophomore album from Carly “Call Me Maybe” Jepsen, isn’t out stateside till August 21, but it’s been out in Japan for a month already. Which is to say everyone who was excited for it has heard it already, and I’m here to convince you that if you haven’t heard it already, you need to see yourself to this album post haste. I didn’t realize how much I missed Robyn till I heard the title track, because seriously, this is the greatest Robyn album of 2015. I haven’t been able to go a day without getting “Boy Problems” stuck in my head since I heard it. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but I’m betting this will be a lot of rockists’ “guilty pleasure” album this year.
4. I’ve been living with Anderson East’s great debut LP, Delilah, for more than four months (music critic flex), so I nearly forgot that it actually came out this month (July 10 via Elektra). I saw him open for Sturgill Simpson back in February, and he knocked me out with his raw, soulful voice, which was only backed up by his hollow body guitar. On record, he’s a mix between Wilson Pickett, Waylon Jennings, Van Morrison, and a coffee house folk singer, and is backed up by a bevy of Nashville-pros and great horn sections. He’s probably going to get overlooked this year because of Leon Bridges—another young buck with retro soul stylings—but I prefer East’s album to Bridges’, as Delilah is more varied, going from soul-shouters to quiet ballads to smooth, silky country. Don’t let this end up on your “Overlooked Albums of 2015” list.
5. A late contender for song of the summer is Jidenna’s “Classic Man,” a song that is literally impossible to get out of your head once it takes root. Jidenna is from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and he dresses like an extra from Boardwalk Empire. The beat here sounds like an Iggy Azalea song. As the Internet’s resident Wisconsin denizen, I apologize for all of this. I’m so sorry everyone.
Andrew Winistorfer is Senior Director of Music and Editorial at Vinyl Me, Please, and a writer and editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need in Your Collection and The Best Record Stores in the United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 30 VMP releases, co-produced multiple VMP Anthologies, and executive produced the VMP Anthologies The Story of Vanguard, The Story of Willie Nelson, Miles Davis: The Electric Years and The Story of Waylon Jennings. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.