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Play Anything: August

By Entertainment

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“Play Anything” is a monthly column exploring the best parts of the music world, from deep cuts and B-sides to new releases.

julieruin“Hit Reset”

The Julie Ruin

Hardly Art

The Julie Ruin was initially the name of a solo record penned by Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna in 1998. In 2010, Hanna formed the band with her former Bikini Kill bandmate Kathi Wilcox as a fresh way to re-enter the music scene. Hanna hadnt released a new record since Le Tigres This Islandin 2004.

The Julie Ruins first full-length record,  2013s Run Fast,was imbued with the inherent excitement of a project launch. At the same time, the band was still trying to find its stride as a group of working artists. By contrast, Hit Resetis much more polished, the sound is tighter, and Hanna is on her toes spitting witticisms left and right.

In Mr. So and Soshe chatters about Hello Kitty, feminism, and mansplaining during the first few bars, backed by keytar riffs that would feel more at home on an 80s power ballad. This is Hannas glorious take-down of the male dominated aspects of the music industry circa 2016. She teases, I love girl bands/ how they take command/ its a turn on/ you dont have to know.

As always, Hannas lyrics serve as a biting commentary on everything from contemporary feminism to temporary heartbreak. Yet, Hannas lyrics are also hilarious; lines like I can play one-handed guitar/ while braiding my hair on a shooting star,and pleas from audience members to take your autograph to my womens studies classshow theres room for humor in both indie music and feminist discourse.

Much of this record is imbued with the same infectious energy of Le Tigre staples like Deceptaconand My Art.In the ennui and PBR-soaked landscape of indiemusic, this record has the potential to be both a pep-talk and a dance party.

 

crying“Get Olde Second Wind”

Crying

Run for Cover Records

Part berserk Nintendo, part indie-rock jam, Crying is a three-piece band out of Purchase, New York. The name is slightly misleading. This is not a band that makes standard acoustic tearjerkers; Cryings sound, rather, is downright jubilant, bursting with unbridled energy — a thrilling combination of bombastic synths and kick-drums. Their anthology record, Get Olde/ Second Windis a record thats perfect to blast while your entire life goes to shit.

On Vacation,the lyrical apathy of nothing makes the blood boil/ like a Costco run,stands in opposition with the ecstatic guitar solos and bloops of the drum pad. Part of it  feels weirdly familiar, like the Postal Service hopped up on amphetamines. Bits of lyrics heard amidst the bloops like, What will be left of me when Im 51add a dash of anxiety; but this record is sonically immersive. It makes the listener forget any problems they could face once they shove their headphones in their pockets.

 

a2894757879_10“Super Predator”

Mykele Deville

Self-released

Stream on Bandcamp: http://mykeledeville.bandcamp.com/releases

Chicagos own Mykele Deville experiments with the musical and emotional boundaries of the mixtape in his first release, Super Predator.Track one isnt a song at allits a sound byte of Hillary Clinton referring to young, black men as super-predators.Delville uses this as a lyrical launching point, using Clintons ignorance as a creative catalyst with laser-sharp precision.

A thoughtful lyricist, Deville remarks upon feelings of belonging and resistance with a poignancy that seems unfamiliar in DIY scenes, all while maintaining an impeccable lyrical meter. He quips the phrase, Why do we wonder/ molecular blunders/ commonplacewith ease. He bounces between genres with equal ease, pulling from lo-fi, hip-hop, and more. The intro to I Dont Know,sounds more like a glamorous Vegas standard, before Delville starts to rap.

The transient nature of Devilles sound and lyrics create a carefully-crafted collage. As with any great mix tape, the songs flow seamlessly from one to the next, in a way that seems particularly crafted for the enjoyment of the listener. The amount of care that went into this project is evident. Everything is carefully thought out, from the track listing, to the number of syllables in a line. Thus, Super Predatornails the elusive realm of both thought provoking and danceable, summer jams with a cosmic conscious.

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