Colin Wessman

2018 Music Reloaded: Kiss Yr Frenemies

illuminati hotties – Kiss Yr Frenemies

Upon first listen, this album had a fair amount working against it. The first being that its title (and the band’s name) seem almost like a parody of what boomers assume millennial-speak sounds like. Then you listen to them, and they sound a bit like the kind of precious cutesiness that Gen-Xers probably think millennials turned indie rock into. Which I don’t think is necessarily wrong, but also doesn’t get at how funny, candid, and catchy this album is. Continue reading



I suppose I can take a break from these year-end music reviews to talk about a movie for once, since I just saw one of my absolute favorites from this year. Which means that yes, I’m one of those snobs who opted to see Roma on the big screen instead of waiting to watch it on Netflix in less than a week. And do I stand by that decision? Well, considering it’s one of the most absorbing and beautiful filmgoing experiences I’ve had in a while, I do. Though I do at the same time realize convenience is always a decisive factor in life, and really, seeing Roma on any-sized screen will be doing yourself a favor. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Look Now

Elvis Costello – Look Now

My relationship with Elvis Costello’s music is probably not that unique to a lot of rock stars of his generation and their fans. Because I would easily put Elvis up as one of my favorite artists ever. His music meant a lot to me during high school, seeing as I was this awkward geeky kid who thought he was smarter than everybody, but was deathly afraid of revealing this fact. So it blew my mind to discover this guy who made geekiness punk rock, all while sharpening his lyrical wit like a finely serrated knife, ready to pierce through every note he sang in his signature snarl. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Boygenius

Boygenius – Boygenius EP

It’s hard to say if the inherent brevity of this EP is what makes it frustrating, or what makes it seem even better than if it was a full album. Because getting to hear Lucy Dacus, Julian Baker, and Phoebe Bridgers all singing and playing together on one compact release is kind of perfect in a way, if a little fleeting. With three performers like this, all formidable forces in their own right, you have to guess that this isn’t going to grow into a full-time gig for the three of them. That combined with the fact that Boygenius was seemingly recorded over the course of a week, makes it all the more confounding that they sound so darn comfortable playing with each other. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Fall Into The Sun

Swearin’ – Fall into the Sun

Being the younger sibling seems hard. Being the older sibling of a more successful younger sibling working in the same field as you seems harder. This is the plight of Allison Crutchfield, who has carved out a respectable career with her band Swearin’ before they broke up and she pursued a solo career before reforming the band and releasing a new album this year. All the while, her sister Katie rose to further and further prominence with her band Waxahatchee. But that doesn’t seem to really weigh on Allison Crutchfield too much, considering she’s played and toured with her younger sister band, and generally seems to have the kind of close-knit relationship that one could only hope for with their own family members. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Dose Your Dreams

Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams

I’m now realizing these reviews might be less of a look back at 2018 music than a look back at Fall 2018 music that I forgot to review. Because looking back, I feel like I kept a pretty good handle on writing about most of the notable music I encountered this year, though that feeling may be almost entirely indebted to this post. Though, whatever season of 2018 we’re talking about, there weren’t any albums that sounded anything quite like Fucked Up’s Dose Your Dreams, an album that stretches the boundaries of what a punk album can accomplish, and in an era when very few bands seem interested in exploring those boundaries. Continue reading

2018 Music Reloaded: Chris

Christine & The Queens – Chris

Well, the end of the year has reared its head once again, and that leaves us here at Mildly Pleased staring down the barell of end-of-year list season. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been posting top tens of the year lists for 10 years now. But if there’s one thing that we’ve seen change in the past ten years, it’s how other sites have gradually pushed their top ten lists further and further up the calendar. Now, I can’t say I’ve seen any major lists pop up yet, but I feel like they could come flooding in at any moment, but for now, we’ll get started with our shortened reviews of stuff we forgot to review earlier in the year that may have a chance of cropping up on a list or two. Continue reading