A detailed description of my music writing background

A Team or Single Person?

Despite the royal “we” I use sometimes If Ever Your Listening (IEYL) is a solo venture. All the content is original and written by me. For the longest time I was the only one who published it as well. Even though it is just me and I could have made this publication more of a vehicle for my personality I decided to let the articles speak for themselves. I envision IEYL in the same light as Rolling Stone Magazine, not Robert Christgau (now, And It Don’t Stop). Eventually, I want to employ writers and editors. In the future I may…


A review of Pinegrove’s sophomore album, ‘Skylight’

Background

By 2018, Pinegrove had gone through a lot in the previous two years. For one, lead singer Evan Stephens Hall was accused of sexual coercion. Additionally, some members of the band left and created music of their own. Moreover, organizations responded to the allegations and before we knew it, Pinegrove was another perpetrator in the #MeToo movement. All of this slowed down the release of the album, but did nothing to erase the potent emotions that existed inside. “Skylight” had finally arrived, and it was well worth the wait.


A review of Clairo’s debut album, Immunity

The unlikely rise of Clairo had been one of the most spectacular stories of 2019. From the obscurities of the internet this young bedroom-pop artist had rose tremendously through the fray and to the front of covers and trending lists alike. Immunity is a love letter to a younger Clairo. In it, she let’s herself know that everything is going to be alright. With this album the young singer-songwriter has put herself in the small circle of lo-fi ambient pop. This coveted group is filled with heavy weights like Lana Del Rey, Soccer Mommy and Billie Eilish. …


The difference between great protest music and sloppy virtue-signaling

Protest music is inherently offensive and thought-provoking. The music intentionally steers people away. Protest music that balances impact and seriousness is far and few between. Despite these challenges, some artists get it right. For example, Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is expertly executed. Unfortunately, most protest music is sloppy and annoying to hear. Instead of persuading the listener, it is antagonizing them. This piece will attempt to find that balance.

Oversaturating the Market

Proponents of protest music believe that big artists hide behind their stardom. Stars like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Drake are more concerned with mindless party music than progressive political messages…


Check out this reliable playlist when you’re searching for new finds

Howdy Riff Folks!

I hope everyone is doing well and having a solid April thus far. Between final capstone assignments and make-or-break second and third-round job interviews, the days have been feeling incredibly short. Nevertheless, this double-handful of songs has been consistently keeping my spirits up and eyes on the prize. Subconsciously, I picked a lot of percussive, hip-hop leaning tunes.

In the interim between this playlist and last month’s playlist, I published two new articles. The first is for those jazz lovers. It is an album review of Moses Boyd eclectic solo debut Dark Matter. If you’re not familiar…


Where did film scores come from and how can we appreciate the art?

Origins

Before the relationship between music and motion pictures were formed there was incidental music. Incidental music represents music meant for stage plays. In the 16th century incidental music was used significantly across Europe and in many famed plays including Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Purcell’s Abdelezer, and Haydn’s II Distatto. In the 19th century musicians like Schubert incorporated incidental music in Rosamunde and Mendelssohn’s used it for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In these instances the music was meant to inform listeners about the emotional state of the scene. Furthermore, it added texture and atmosphere to the performances. These instrumentations were…


Boyd attempts to unite the diaspora through his wonderfully accessible Jazz project

Dark Matter by Moses Boyd

Background

There are few artists who have been more influential to England’s Jazz Renaissance than Moses Boyd. The Catford native is performing on all cylinders. Up to this point, he had tremendous duo success (Binker & Moses) and band success (Moses Boyd Exodus). His early work received MOBO and Parliamentary Jazz Awards. These are no small feats for any professionally trained musicians, let alone one from a self proclaimed “bad school”.

After important mentorships like his one with Bobby Worth and graduation from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Boyd seriously pursued music. His style is referred to as…


No Place looks inward for the true destination of happiness

IEYL’s January Album of the Month: No Place By Danielle Durack

Background

Danielle Durack is a rising star in Phoenix’s singer-songwriter scene. In her teenage years, she taught herself several instruments including the guitar. She also wrote poetry and began creating songs around this time. When she first released Bonnie Rose, her 2017 debut, her music was still heavily tied to piano-laced pop singers like Sara Bareilles. By the time Bashful dropped Durack took on a more indie-pop approach and came closer to finding her own voice. On her latest album, No Place, that voice and sound became very clear. …


Check out this reliable playlist when you’re searching for new finds

Howdy! I hope everyone is doing well and having a productive week. We’re almost at the finish line!

I have been sitting on a lot of articles recently and have decided to release some of them in a flurry. I hope you enjoy them! I am releasing two album reviews. One is about the Talking Head’s coveted afrobeat, post-punk fusion project Remain in Light. The second was is about the Krautrock’s pioneer’s NEU!’s final project, NEU! ’86. Both of these albums impressed me and opened my ears to new genres and time periods. Speaking of genres, I am also releasing…


A review of Talking Heads’ fourth album, ‘Remain in Light’

“Remain In Light” is the fourth full length studio album from the New York post-punk band Talking Heads. The band was exceptionally adored by fans and critics alike. They were known for their geo-political commentary and ability to effortlessly fuse genres into appealing concert-ready anthems. In “Remain In Light” they take advantage of the post-Vietnam, post-Nixon administration era and do their best to make sense of it. Brian Eno comes in to introduce the band to afrobeats and compliments their already catchy rock tunes with melodic guitar pop influences. This album also sets the band up for greater success and…

If Ever You’re Listening

For music listeners and makers alike. IEYL is a blog dedicated to unique music opinions. If you ever want to talk music one-on-one email me at StanTM4@gmail.com

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