The Year of the Queens

2015 was The Year of the Queens. For those of you who were busy Beliebing or GPS tracking Frank Ocean’s every move (WHERE ARE YOU FRANK?!?), you missed out on the explosion that was Laura Marling, Brittany Howard, Courtney Barnett, and Julien Baker.

I SAID OOH GIRL, SHOCK ME LIKE AN ELECTRIC EEL. Laura Marling released an electrified, amped up version of herself which was everything I imagined and more. Already a pro at the acoustic guitar and making hit records, Laura found a new element to her sound with the electric guitar…and it’s shockingly (get it?) good. Don’t stop girl, I will follow you into the dark.

 

“It’s Brittany, bitch!” Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes, that is. I actually yelled this, front row, at her show and it did not get the laughs I wanted. Timing is everything, y’all. Anywho, have you heard dat new album tho? Wait. Before you run off. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Sound & Color is a vinyl must. If you have the equipment, please please please have your first listen on a smooth, waxy format. If you’ve already had a listen, then buy a vinyl copy and repeat because oooooh does it sizzle. They are up for a handful of grammys (grammies?) and rightly so as this is an impressive follow up to what was a 3x grammy nodded first effort (See: Boys & Girls).

 

All hail the queen of the mundane. Courtney Barnett’s sophomore album “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit” is your favorite album because it’s your everyday life set to music. With nothing else to add but one question: can you marry an album yet? MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR ALL.

 

The only real newcomer out of this bunch was Julien Baker who released her solo debut album “Sprained Ankle” with such force that you would’ve thought she was a seasoned vet already. It’s heavy material but comes straight from Julien’s life which has been heavily concentrated with grief. We grieve with her as she addresses her demons via strained voice and unwavering guitar. I can already tell that I’ll be a lifelong fan.

 

Bow down, bitches. Rock and Roll is back.

 

-JH

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