Best of the Semester (So Far) – A WPTS Music Special Feature
By John Wright
Ah, Spring break… that magical time of the year where we get just a tantalizing taste of the freedom Summer brings to propel us through the last month and a half of classes and the hell of finals week to the promised land of sunshine, good vibes, and easy livin’ on the other side.
We here at WPTS Radio have decided to take a little spring break of our own, from publishing our album reviews that is. This week off will give us the opportunity to replenish our backlog of reviews and make sure we can continue to provide you with the volume and quality of content that we’ve been able to generate so far. But don’t fret! We’re not going away entirely, and you should stay tuned throughout the break for special content of all shapes and sizes, and I can think of no better way to kick off this week than with a look back at the phenomenal effort put in by all our writers and editors here so far this semester.
We here at WPTS radio decided to make a new year’s resolution to start bringing you more music content here on our website. When I was charged by our music director, Ryan Hartman, at the beginning of the semester to put out the call and assemble some of our best and brightest to write, edit, and publish our music reviews on our website, I could have never imagined the groundswell of talent, passion, and energy I’d be confronted with. There have been late nights, panicked group chat messages, frantic proofreads and edits, and deadlines that got here a lot quicker than we expected them to, but I feel the best endorsement of the team effort this has overwhelmingly been is to simply let the work speak for itself. I’ve taken this opportunity to go through what we’ve published so far this year and pick out some of my personal favorites, as a sampler of what’s come before and hopefully a foundation for bigger things to come after.
I would be remiss without first recommending our two phenomenal retrospectives of two albums in a league of their own in terms of musical influence, White Light White Heat by the Velvet Underground and In The Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel, as they’re both astonishing works of passion for two works of art that clearly left an impression on our writers.
Our friend Thomas’ review of Jeff Rosenstock’s new album POST- came out all the way back in January, and took a deep dive into the career and art of Mr. Rosenstock himself, one of punk rock’s current leading lights.
If a true “team effort” is what you’re after, why not read the review of our current chart-topper Rock Island by Palm from not one, not two, but three of our staffers; Spencer Smith, Elyssa Pollio, and Alyssa Davidson.
Fans of WPTS Recommends (catch it Mondays from 8 to 10 PM on WPTS Radio) will no doubt be familiar with the Spook School’s new album Could It Be Different? DJ Ryan, the host of Recommends, was a big fan of this pop-punk LP.
Those in search of something a little chill for spring break relaxation may want to peruse our review of Johnny Jewel’s new ambient electronic album Digital Rain, written by yours truly.
Hip hop fans out there should take notice of Nnamdi Ogbonnaya’s 2017 album Drool. If our friend Dustin is to be believed, it’s legitimately mind-blowing.
The more indie among us may want to hear our pal Sean’s thoughts on Belle and Sebastian’s new 3 EP cycle How to Solve Our Human Problems.
Did you see St. Vincent when she played Stage AE back in January? Jon sure did, and he wants to tell you all about it.
But if you want to dance, but you can’t get to a show anywhere near you, maybe the new Porches album, reviewed by own very own Julia Coakley, may be up your alley.
We hope you’ve been enjoying what our staff has been producing this semester so far, and that you’re looking forward to our regular review schedule resuming next week. We sure are.
You can catch John from Noon to 2 pm on Fridays as he hosts The Post-Punk Roc Bloc on WPTS Radio. This feature was edited by Derek Adams of the WPTS Editorial Board.