WRGW Music: What We’re Excited for in 2015

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Courtney Barnett

It’s January 5th and we here at the WRGW Music Department are just a little bit sick of the cyclical year-end lists penned by **in-touch** music writers and tastemakers who continually peddle the same albums over and over again, with more regard for controversy (Mark Kozelek shout out) than actual substance. Let’s face it – music journalism kinda sucks. The top blogs and sites are essentially celebrity gossip forums, with occasional big words and nice pictures thrown in. The promotions companies are no better, as the wealthier bands get press and talented, hardworking ones are left in the dust. Still, rant aside, 2014 was a damn fine year in music. The mega releases of 2013 slowed down enough to allow break out artists, like Ex Hex, Ty Segall, Angel Olsen (the list goes on) to break into new territory and release exceptional, career-defining albums. The future is ripe, and there has never been a better time to be a music fan with a pair of headphones and an internet connection.

Instead of laying out the “best” albums of last year, our three assistant music directors, our music promotions director and I share below the top three artists/bands that we’re genuinely excited about in 2015. This is by no means an objective or comprehensive list; those things do not exist in music journalism. Read, listen, and watch before they get drowned out by the next Kanye single, or another War on Drugs album. Regular blog content and programming will continue starting the week of January 19th – until then, indulge our egos and maybe find your next favorite band.


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Starfucker – Miracle Mile

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Starfucker, also known by their “safe-for-work” moniker, STRFKR, released their third LP Miracle Mile last week, along with dates for their ensuing tour (including a trip to the 9:30 Club on March 13th). The band’s previous record, Reptilians, was very popular among critics and fans alike, and showed excellent progress from their self-titled debut. Known for their mix of indie pop, electronica, and sometimes-funky dance numbers, Starfucker has achieved status as a major name, first in their hometown scene of Portland and more recently worldwide.

For their die-hard supporters, Miracle Mile is another solid chapter in the Starfucker catalogue. It has the same kind of hooks, catchy guitar twangs, and slightly obscure references to 19th century poets we’ve become accustomed to since their debut. Still, as much as it appeals to their fan base, the album refuses to climb out of the ever-growing pool of generic, boring indie pop music.  Even at its highlights with the songs “Kahlil Gibran” and “Atlantis”, the listener is subjected to adolescent lyrics expressing vague and rather clichéd ideas.

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