Author Archives: Connorgilroy

Childish Gambino – Kauai EP

Cover for Kauai EP featuring STN MTN title

Donald Glover, the man, the myth, the comedian/rapper/actor/human-swiss-army-knife is at it again. Better known in the music scene by his alter ego, Childish Gambino, the 31 year old boy wonder recently released his highly anticipated EP full of island beats and dreamy hip hop fittingly titled, “Kauai.” A day before Kauai was released for public consumption on iTunes, Gambino released his mixtape to go along with the Kauai EP, STN MTN. The projects were presented together and one is supposed to complement the other. STN MTN features Gambino crushing tons of known beats originating from his Georgia, his home turf and the Kauai EP is all new material with some bonuses added in.

Lets focus on Kauai. The EP opens with a track that Gambino released via his Soundcloud titled, “Sober.” We hear bouncing synths and we hear the hook, “And now that it’s over/I’ll never be sober/I couldn’t believe/but now I’m so high.” A line that while it’s not easily accessible to everyone is still relatable to those that have gone through a break up. Here, Gambino gives us a somber track about longing for someone who’s already let you go on top of one of his most hauntingly uplifting beats yet. The best part of this track has to be the unexpected drop of his heatwrenching, bass-y bridge. By this time, it’s clear that this EP is going to be good.

Before you can talk about the EP, however, it should be said that this isn’t a typical Childish Gambino release. For one thing, it features Jaden Smith, the prodigal son of actor and “former rapper” Will Smith. Jaden Smith plays the part of “The Boy” on two tracks of the EP, and to anyone that knows Gambino’s screenplay from his sophomore album, this jumped out right away. “The Boy” is the main character from a 75 page screenplay that Donald Glover wrote to accompany his second album, “Because the Internet.” The album artwork for Kauai that Glover leaked revealed Jaden Smiths involvement from the very beginning and solidified the EP as a continuation of the project he began with Because the Internet. That being said, Jaden Smith’s presence on the EP is actually pretty cool.

At the end of the second track, “Pop Thieves (Make It Feel Good)” Jaden Smith has a sort of spoken-word verse, in character of course. Smith hasn’t necessarily made a good name for himself in either the acting world or in the music industry (he hasn’t actually made music, but after his father’s blip of a rap career and his sister Willow’s insufferable, “Whip My Hair” song, his attempts would already be spoken for). However, his verse at the end of “Pop Thieves” and his voice at the beginning of “Late Night in Kauai” really help the EP flow together coherently. It’s also pretty pleasing to the ear, especially since Famuel Rothstein of Royalty acknowledges that people don’t take Jaden seriously in a poem at the end of the song. Though at first it was questionable, Jaden Smith definitely belongs here.

Overall, the album doesn’t showcase his rapping prowess as much as his two previous albums, but artistically, this EP is an absolute gold mine. It’s a great addition to the Because the Internet concept, and the songs themselves are incredible. Full of soul and spice in good measure, each track is something to behold, from the conceptual masterpiece that is “Late Night in Kauai” to the car-radio-thumping “The Palisades” which is my personal favorite off the EP, Childish Gambino has truly delivered again. It really feels like listening to this latest installment could take you to a night of bliss on a beach somewhere in Kauai.

Goodnight Tonight – Watch the Rain

A good way to describe a band and their sound is to compare them to other more well-known bands. Some people, usually the bands being described, don’t like this kind of description because it “labels them” or defines them by other people’s work or some other bullshit of that kind. In the case of the band Goodnight Tonight, however, it’s pretty appropriate. Goodnight Tonight sounds like Paramore if Paramore sucked a lot. The band is composed of Emily Gambone on guitar and vocals, Holly Camp on bass, and Logan McNeal on Drums. Their 6 song album, “Watch the Rain,” consists of some decent vocals backed by really predictable and boring guitar. Overall, it’s just not very exciting. Read More →

Antennae by The Premiere

Ok, this was probably one of the most heartbreaking music submissions I’ve ever listened to here at WQAQ. A lot of times I’ll listen to a band and their music and I’ll think to myself, “Man, this band would probably be better if they did this…” I’ve never really felt as heartbroken about a band’s shortcomings as I felt about The Premiere.

According to their label, they sound like such bands as Die Antwoord and Gorillaz. They’re not too far off. The Premiere is essentially two guys making electronic backing music to some rapped verses and choruses. There are also some guitars thrown into the mix. The rapping is pretty good whenever it shows up in each song. The lyrics are pretty good and whoever it is rapping between the two guys (named David Jackman and Adam Wilkey) knows what he’s doing. I genuinely enjoyed the rapped portions of each song and I wish that’s all each song was. Read More →

The Need by Honey and the 45s

I try my very best to listen to new music objectively when I get a CD from the radio station submissions. Sometimes music is good but only within its genre and sometimes it just kind of sucks, period. Honey and the 45s was thankfully the former. Honey and the 45s are sort of country western rock. I was going to classify them as country, but I could see non-country fans listening to them.

Honey and the 45s consists of two lead female singers and some crunchy guitars, violins, and occasionally some upright bass. This band could probably be in the soundtrack for a modern movie about the old west and I wouldn’t be surprised or disappointed by it. Their name is also pretty appropriate. They’re as old school sounding as a 45 with a little bit of honey, courtesy of their talented female lead singers Kristina Cottone and Kim Kozel. Read More →

Orange – Diamond Youth

We got an AMAZING CD from Top Shelf Records a week ago. This gem is none other than the six-song EP Orange by Diamond Youth. Diamond Youth is a 3 piece indie rock band from Baltimore. They rock and they rock out loud! Apparently they’ve become quite popular in the underground scene. I learned recently that they’re touring with other indie metal bands Polar Bear Club and Citizen and they were even at The Space. Unfortunately we missed that show! And there was much sadness. Read More →

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