I’m back for another update on my recent music favourites, more specifically I will be going over the sounds of Radiohead’s 2016 album A Moon Shaped Pool.
(Thom Yorke) Photo: wenn
I got into Radiohead just under a year ago after being introduced to ‘Paranoid Android’ for the first time, which led me down a path of the dramatic rock of OK Computer, to the grunge guitar of The Bends, the melancholy twinkles of In Rainbows, and the ambient electronics of Kid A. The next album for me was their much anticipated ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, a beautiful blend of those melancholy twinkles and ambient electronics, with subtle traces and echoes of tracks such as ‘Exit Music (For a Film)’ and ‘No Surprises’. Essentially, it’s a stunning mix of arguably the bands top three albums.
The opening track, ‘Burn the Witch’, feels slightly stand-alone on the album despite its glorious build-up of dramatic strings, bass and vocals. Its upbeat cumulation of strings may be lovely, but I felt their tone didn’t set up for the rest of the gloomy, whimsical album. The track following it, named ‘Daydreaming’, comes as a complete shock to the listener as it shifts from melodramatic strings to sad and pretty piano, blended with digital effects reminiscent of ‘Kid A’ (and once again, those previously mentioned twinkles that Radiohead can’t get enough of).
From this point on in the album, you’re guaranteed a spine-tingling experience as you’re taken through tracks such as the folky acoustic guitar of ‘Present Tense’ (influenced by Brazilian samba and bossanova music) to the beautifully despondent piano ballad ‘Glass Eyes’ which tackles themes of anxiety. ‘Ful Stop’, one of my favourites from AMSP, a warm yet uninviting track reminiscent of Krautrock with its slow ominous build up to a chaotic drop of layered vocals; it almost sounds like it has echoes of a distorted, threatening version of ‘Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi’ from the 2007 album In Rainbows. In ‘The Numbers’, we get drifted through an amalgamation of angelic harmonies, until jarring, deep strings cut in; the melodrama of the orchestra juxtaposes the calmness of Thom Yorke’s vocals, as he sings about pretty broken flowers and the wings of a butterfly. The album closes with the tragic ‘True Love Waits’ (which has been declared the bands saddest song), a heart-breaking acoustic guitar-turned-piano tune first heard in 1995 about devotion and loss. The track aches even more when you learn that Thom Yorke’s partner of 23 years passed away the same year AMSP was released after battling cancer; the couple split in 2015, making lines such as “just don’t leave, don’t leave” increasingly more gut-wrenching and emotional to listen to.
I’ve not turned the album off since I first listened to it; there is something so captivating about the sound that runs all the way through all 53 minutes. AMSP is up there with my favourites of Radiohead’s discography, although it uses snippets of all their previous albums, despite their vastly ranging styles.
It’s been a little while since we have done one of these, last month was a bit busy with the release of our t-shirts (check homepage!) and didn’t get round to doing a WWL. But we are back, and today I am here to talk to you about music!
This month I discovered a new album which has become one of my new favourites. I’ve been a fan of Portishead for a couple of years now, but I checked out their ‘Roseland NYC Live’ album, released in 1998. This album is incredible. ‘Dummy’ has some brilliant tracks on it, including a couple of my favourite ever, but the live versions blew me away. The live orchestra throughout, the energy of Beth Gibbons and her wonderful vocals, and the slight twists of the reimagined versions of the original songs all create such a consistently excellent album.
Portishead were among the first to popularize trip-hop, blending genres such as cool jazz, electronic, acid house, and experimental into
Beth Gibbons, Portishead, live at Eve's Club London 1994
one beautiful ride full of record scratches and sensual strings. The live version of their popular song ‘Sour Times’ adds a whole new tone to the original song, with new dirty guitars and a lush crescendo towards the end accompanied by Beth Gibbons’ energetic and awesome vocals. Another popular song, ‘Glory Box’, is also reinterpreted, filled with synths and guitar, taking a new twist on the already gorgeous song. Despite picking two of the most popular of the band’s tracks, the whole album is equally as mind-blowing. I couldn’t get it off repeat for days after I initially listened to it, and the album will be something I come back to regularly.
Another obsession of mine lately has been metal/alternative rock band System Of A Down. First, I listened to the album ‘Mezmerize’, which I was shocked that I liked; my taste has suddenly shifted in the past couple months and I’ve gotten into heavier music than what I would normally enjoy. After the success of ‘Mezmerize’, I was recommended their self-titled, and soon after I listened to ‘Toxicity’ – this was the most surprising, as it’s probably their heaviest, but I adore this album. I think it’s super cool and the vocals are always amazing (I’ve never heard such nice harmonies in such intense songs). The political messages of the majority of their songs are also interesting to look at and always a good topic of discussion. The fact that I absolutely loved all three has definitely opened a new door of music to listen to which is really exciting. Shoutout to the friend who introduced me to them!
If anyone has any music recommendations, I’m happy to expand my taste and try some stuff out! Take care everyone :)
For this months music I wanted to not specifically talk about a specific artist or album but more how music influences us. If you're in the UK, hopefully the weather has been really nice recently and you're finding a bit of hope in the new lift of restrictions in the months to come. I wanted to write about happy music, literally just music that makes you happy and makes you have a lil boogie around your room.
I think music has a massive impact on mental health and people's wellbeing; the music you decide to listen to can affect your mood. It's important to stay positive in these hard times and although you can't go to clubs and dance the night away with your friends (very much needed though) you can still have a party of one and lift those serotonin levels leading to hopefully a nicer, happier day :)
Here at YOUTH we have created a public Spotify playlist for everyone in need of a positivity boost. Check it out at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2SO1W1vapE4rRMXP3SwzZD?si=D7SPTyB3RAm2k4pD41FpYw. We hope you enjoy and it brings
you as much happiness as it does to us. Try and stay positive, you are never alone. If you need help, reach out (our DM's are always open). Here's to March being a better month! Spring is coming you guys and that means we're not only one day at a time closer to summer but we're also leaving behind probably one of the worst winters in history. Blast some feel good tunes this weekend and have a good one :)))
of the month is a fresh new band named Vision Video, who describe themselves as “a new goth-pop group from Athens, Georgia”. They debuted in 2020 with anachronistic singles ‘Inked in Red’ and ‘In My Side’; both sound as if they belong in the 1980s, with clear influences from bands such as The Cure and Joy Division - both of whom I love. I’m looking forward to hearing their upcoming LP ‘Inked in Red’, due to come out in the Spring.
My next obsession is Yves Tumor. Sitting somewhere between psych-rock and modern pop, Tumor creates a blend of heavenly vocals and guitar, with features including Kelsey Lu, Moses Boyd and Croation Amor. ‘Kerosene!’ and "Gospel For A New Century" are a must for an introduction to Tumor's style. I am currently fixated on their latest release, 'let all the poisons that lurk in the mud seep out', as well as 'Dream Palette' from the
I’m super happy as this is the first article I am writing for YOUTH! Molly and I have been working super hard in order to get YOUTH up and running for you guys, and we are so overjoyed with the positive responses we have received so far. Thank you to everyone who has showed support! My first music discovery
Yves Tumor photographed by Vitali Gelwich
album 'Heaven To A Tortured Mind'. Tumor's discography is a wild (but fun) ride, through a mix of undertones of hip-hop, pop-rock and bedroom pop, created through groovy basslines, horns, divine guitar riffs and layered vocals. That’s all for today, but I look forward to writing some more of my top picks each month, and I’ll be back for film and TV, fashion and reading! Stay safe everyone :)