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ICYMI vol. 7: Lana Del Rey, Big Joanie, Sloucher

ICYMI is a new series featuring new and notable releases you (and we) may have missed

“hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” – Lana Del Rey

I somehow managed to miss out on the whole Lana Del Rey phase that struck tumblr, Urban Outfitters, and the world in 2012, but “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it” is catching me up to speed real quick. A bare piano ballad that’s rich in iconic Americana references from Sylvia Plath (whose namesake was the song’s original title) to Slim Aarons and Charles Manson, the song conjures contrasting images of decadence, disparity, and depravity, while Lana confesses details of her depression and what feels like wavering sanity.

“You Can’t Make Me” – The Casual Sexists

A dark and defiant dance floor anthem, “You Can’t Make Me” is biting, absurd, and catchy as hell.

“Sky So Blue” – Hot Flash Heat Wave

Dreamy, slightly psychedelic, and definitely reminiscent of warmer days “Sky So Blue” is a retro sun-washed escape from the bitter winter. While it starts out as a wistful retelling of a simple summer love, it turns out that dreams might have gotten confused with reality and just as quickly as we’ve fallen in love, we force ourselves out of it. Favorite line: Back on my bullshit, I’m such an Aries.

“Whispers” – Holiday Sidewinder

Perfect for the mental 80s movie montage you’ll concoct in your head after listening to this (you can even cue the VHS glitch), “Whispers” is a true throwback pop song is all it’s glory. We’ve all been there before — you meet someone, you fall in love, they leave, you miss them terribly. “Whispers” is often optimistic in the hope that you’ll get back together, but eventually realizes that things are done for good and asks to be set free.

Sistahs – Big Joanie

Big Joanie is changing the face of the London DIY scene and with their debut full length release, Sistahs, I have no doubt their impact will sweep the globe. Somehow managing to toe the line between empowering feminism and a “fuck off” edge, they perfectly exemplify how the new punk ethos of inclusivity and love can still have grit and guts to it. Standout tracks are “Fall Asleep” and “Used To Be Friends”.

Be True – Sloucher

Sloucher just jumped to the top of my favorite Seattle bands list. Be True has everything I want in an album — there’s heavy 90s nostalgia, vocals akin to Elliot Smith, sad songs that aren’t too sad, and it’s as interesting lyrically as it is melodically. Favorite tracks are “Up and Down”, “Blurring the Line”, and “Waiting to Start”, but honestly, there’s not a bad one on the record.

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