Monthly Listening: December 2020
Updated: Feb 19, 2021
December is a ripe time for deep reflection, but I found a lot of solace in devoting energy to this installment of Monthly Listening. It kept me grounded and present rather than wondering where all the time as gone. Check out the brief synopses below - anything strike you, too?
Albuquerque seems to be dominating with quarantine creations. New band Only Fables are one of those pandemic projects put together solely to make music they love. Self-described as “esoteric crust punk,” their strengths seem to lie in vocal dynamics and driving drums. “Outsiders” is a hellacious vortex that’ll speak to you if you’re spiraling. “Worm” is a bit doomier and works itself up to that unrelenting beat. I'm highly anticipating what Only Fables has in store for us.
This hip hop group features some really skilled rapping and high-quality song production. All the Things You Miss is an immediate charmer with easy beats and hypnotic flow. Every track is a beast of its own. Notable for me were “Mary Jane”—dark and complicated—followed by “Big Big”—bouncy and eccentric. I would say eyes need to be on these guys, because they’re creating something relatable, enjoyable, and honestly just good.
This split might be the greatest gift of this year...
3) Constant Harmony
These five tracks were recorded live, and live is Constant Harmony at their finest. The punk rock sibling trio is an enchanting mix of dirt and rainbows. They came as a true breath of fresh air after inhaling smog since mid-March. The versatility of their individual musical abilities (they each perform vocals, guitar, drums, and bass) gives each of their songs a snowflake-like lifeform; they can be brash, like the gritty “New Fashion Punk,” and sweet, as shown by the dreamlike and swingy “Into the Stars.”
SHREWD show focused artistry with “To Be Continued,” “Pity Party,” “Control Yourself,” and “Slim.” I think they’ve exhibited the drama of punk by totally warping time. They seem to attempt to be complex and mysterious, and they succeed in curating a sound of their own. SHREWD have created a marvelous attention grabber here.
5) P – P
I went to Charley’s 33s and CDs and randomly pulled out a CD that had ugly cover art. It was $3.99. I had no idea what it was, and I didn’t understand the band name or album name. P? And? I can’t tell you why I bought it. Something made me think it was ‘90s alt rock, and I was open to the experience. I put it in my car immediately, and it was decent. Yeah, definitely alternative, maybe timidly experimental rock from the ‘90s. There’s this wild, dark, angelic cover of Abba’s “Dancing Queen,” followed by a few hokey songs. I googled it when I got home—turns out P was Johnny Depp’s band with Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers. Flea is on the album too. Not the worst $3.99 spent.