Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Delete your Spotify account and look beyond streaming

Andy Kilbride
Contributing Writer

Get off Release Radar. Stay away from [insert your favorite band’s] Similar Artists page and forget any way of finding new music that doesn’t involve driving two hours to a record shop where the clerks make fun of you because your taste in black metal isn’t kvlt enough.

Okay, don’t actually do that, but let me add some adventure to your music discovery. Ask your friends what they’re listening to and have them make you playlists, delve into the hives of scum and villainy that are music forums, find out what records your favorite bands obsessed over — if you get the opportunity, ask them in person — or just take some recommendations from this list that totally isn’t just an excuse for me to show you some music that’s near and dear to me but unfortunately not on most streaming services.

If you like Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, Sunny Day Real Estate: Lync — “These Are Not Fall Colors”

Like any dependable post-hardcore record, “Fall Colors” revels in its own murky dissonance. What makes Lync’s first and only album a real lost gem, though, is the catchy-as-all-hell songwriting and beautiful melodies underneath the abrasive musicianship and lo-fi production. The title says it all: it’s harsh and unforgiving while still evoking something unusually beautiful in spite of itself.

If you like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, The Beatles: Meeks — “Beatless”

It’s an entire album of shoegaze Beatles covers. What’s not to love? It doesn’t necessarily do anything sonically that hasn’t already been done, but these Beatles reinterpretations are pure ear candy that more than live up to their source material.

If you like Deafheaven, Panopticon, Agalloch: Weakling — “Dead As Dreams”

I know what you’re thinking. A 70-plus minute runtime. Lo-fi black metal. “Andy, why would I ever listen to this?” With the over ten-minute songs buried underneath blast beats and nonexistent production, this is a hard album to get through, let alone to love. But listen on, get past the haziness and let the repetition in the guitar riffs hypnotize you. Embrace the hellish nightmare that is “Dead As Dreams.” To paraphrase Belle & Sebastian, if you’re feeling sinister, go off and spend $500 on the vinyl. Or, you know, just find it on YouTube.

If you like: Neil Young, Yo La Tengo, John Denver: Sun Kil Moon — “Ghosts of the Great Highway”

Ex-Red House Painter Mark Kozelek doesn’t need an introduction as much as my other picks, but “Ghosts” is unfortunately difficult to find and overlooked compared to his other works. That’s a total shame too, because Kozelek’s reflections on death, heartbreak and grief intertwined with namedrops of Judas Priest guitarists and long-dead boxers make for one of his strongest albums, if not his best.

If you like Joni Mitchell, late-period Beatles, Pink Floyd: Keith Cross & Peter Ross ­— “Bored Civilians”

To finish this off, let me recommend to you the best dad-rock album you’ve never heard. It exists at a strange middle ground between 70s folk and prog rock, hitting at my soft spot for the former while letting me overlook my sheer hatred for the latter. As far as I know, Cross and Ross never made another album together, but when I hear their saccharine sweet vocal harmonies, I can’t help but be grateful it happened in the first place.

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