Album art courtesy of ARTHUR and Cherry Glazerr
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ARTHUR – Woof Woof
Review by Seth Israel
ARTHUR is equal parts Citizen Kane and Sesame Street. The Pennsylvania-native- experimental-solo artist claims to write music from the simplistic perspective of a dog. His delivery is sing-song-y, like a toddler’s afternoon television programming, and as you become lost in his funky bass lines and simple elevator melodies, he’ll snap back to reality with a lyric about death or the mystery of God. In that sense, his music is a far cry from most of his “indie” peers. For all his weirdness and quirk, ARTHUR’s music is profoundly emotionally and simply beautiful. His unconventional instrumentals layer with poetic, introspective lyrics, making his music, at once, confusing and relatable.
Last November ARTHUR released his debut album, Woof Woof, under the label PLZ Make It Ruins, the musical project of artist and producer Vegyn, who also happens to be close friends with none other than Frank Ocean. Since being featured on Ocean’s blonded radio, ARTHUR has gained traction in the music world. While some may be immediately turned off by his eccentric style, I believe it’s for the same reason that others, myself included, are drawn to ARTHUR’s music.
His idiosyncratic, borderline bizarre approach to the music he produces and his accompanying visuals express a deeper weirdness that seems to lie within himself and his listeners alike. On the title track—a one minute and twenty-three second investigation into his psyche—ARTHUR candidly croons “Late at night I don’t have to be myself / pretend to read all of the books placed on my shelf.”
Every track features a variety of instruments and sounds, samples and noises, all graced by ARTHUR’s voice, which he manipulates in a range of pitches and tones, each one unique from the next. With the album, ARTHUR released a trilogy video, featuring visuals for tracks “Woof Woof,” “God,” and “Evil Me.” Scenes include the artist himself playing a metal guitar, blowing pond water with a leaf blower, and standing in the dark holding a toolbox saw.
ARTHUR’s music definitely isn’t for the masses. However, underneath the strangeness, ARTHUR presents a developing musicality and a thematic approach to his production that defines his individuality. In today’s never ending sea of musical artists, ARTHUR stands out because he chooses to be himself.
Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed and Ready
Review by Marie Lachance
On February 1st, indie rock trio Cherry Glazerr released their new album Stuffed and Ready. The star of this “garage punk but make it feminist” band is Clementine Creevy, a 22-year-old whose jaded songwriting leads you to believe otherwise. Hailing from the iconic Los Angeles DIY rock scene, Creevy operationalizes her angst, weaving it in and out of her songs with dreamy guitar chords and heavy percussion. Creevy has always sung the kinds of songs that make you love to hate being a teenage girl, but their third studio album cuts deeper—grappling with vulnerability and independence, femininity and strength.
Throughout the album, Creevy combines beachy and spiny guitar riffs to complement her muffled yet determined voice. On “Stupid Fish,” just one of the album’s grunge-ridden ballads, Creevy cries, “I see myself in you and that’s why I fucking hate you,” invoking a punk teenage daughter screaming through the door at her unsuspecting mother. Other tracks are personal and reflective, exploring how Creevy sees herself in the world—or more importantly, what she blames herself for lacking. As “Wasted Nun” guiltily admits, “I’m so tired, weekend in/I’m an unproductive sin.” The singer-songwriter ultimately craves growth and self-betterment, imploring herself not to be “wrapped up in these pieces” of anxiety any longer on “Pieces.” This 33 minute, ten-track masterpiece is the crystallization of all the frustration and exhaustion implicit in being a woman in 2019.
I had the pleasure of seeing Cherry Glazerr perform at the Bowery Ballroom in New York last weekend, and they exceeded my (already very high) expectations in every capacity. The overwhelmingly femme audience made it a religious experience—the lyrics allowed me the space to be angry and sad and hopeful at the same time as I thrashed around, singing along. I felt as though Creevy was feeding off of my unapologetic energy, and watching her serenade me with a giant, inflatable cherry behind her made me feel like everything might just turn out okay.