My Playlist

TeenTix Press Corps Writer Alden N.'s Recommendations

Alden is a high school student at Garfield High School, in the 2017 graduating class. More interested in music than writing in his free time, he’s been writing his own material for a few years now, primarily electronic and orchestral or both. He hopes to study biotechnological genetics or music production/management for a career and to be honestly happy and self-loving for a lifetime.

1. Kithkin
“Kithkin are a Cascadian treepunk tribe out to spread the hidden knowledge of the forests. Through its rituals and performances, Kithkin hopes to confront crowds about the impending ‘end of things’ through witchy rhythms and chaotic sorcery.” That’s what their Bandcamp profile states. Only having produced one full release ever — their Takers and Leavers EP back in 2011 — this band is still touring with the same material more than 3 years later. And it’s still amazing. Really, it can’t exactly be described with words, as the band has such a finely-tuned and crafted aesthetic that the their very existence is art within itself. Check it out. That is all. And be free.

2. Sufjan Stevens
Easily one of my favorite indie folk/baroque pop artists out there right now, this guy is just beautiful. It's hard to really say something notable and meaningful beyond that, besides that his 2012 collaborations with Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner are just as good as David Bowie and Queen together. Most will recognize Stevens’ folk hit “Casimir Pulaski Day,” but his collaborations with Muhly and Dessner breathed to life the track “Jupiter,” which is a bit like cuddling with St. James himself.

3. Death Grips
I’ve liked a decent amount of hip hop in my time (A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, and Blue Scholars are easily some of my all-time favorites.), but it’s never been my favorite genre of music, by far. Yet this group has had me hooked for weeks now. Their experimental, post-industrial, and punk rock-infused lines and beats deal with issues such as schizophrenia, insanity, a primal will to hurt (not kill, though), suicide, and overall just the darker, more innately human form of rage that resides within all of us, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not. They’ve released a handful of LPs now, but I personally suggest their debut mixtape, Exmilitary, as a place to start. They’re currently touring with Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden, and if that doesn’t say something, then I don’t know what does.

4. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Kerouac’s quintessential work, as it has almost unanimously been acclaimed as, is a classic. And yet, even after it’s many prizes, awards, and massive influence on music and writing — see Death Cab for Cutie’s track “Passenger Seat,” Iggy Pop’s hit Passenger, the band Passenger, and every damn song by the local fabulousness that are The Onlies (who you should definitely follow) — it’s not on the (ridiculously long) Advanced Placement reading list. I really can’t describe it justly in as short a paragraph as this, so please people, don’t be a degenerate, get On the Road by Jack Kerouac for yourself.

5. Parov Stelar’s electroswing
This is a musical genre, children. It’s a kind of electronic music that focuses on sampling (or making your own) swingy/jazzy tracks and fusing them with modern electronic music. Commonly, light techno, trance, and even some (deep) house is fused to create it. And it is cool. You may have not heard of the genre, as it has unfortunately never garnered that much mainstream attention, but Parov Stelar is just fantastic at it. He has grooves that never get old, samplings that please the ear every time, VERY nice live shows — fit even with some live instrumentation in addition to his DJing. Sadly though, he hardly ever comes to the states and has almost never left Europe. But if you do ever get a chance to see him live, please do. He’s fab beyond compare.

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