Colin Wessman

I Feel Ya, Dog

Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog

I’ve liked Philadelphia indie rockers Hop Along for a while now, but I think I’ve only recently cracked the code as to what makes them special. And that’s that on first listen they seem like the most typical amalgam of what an indie rock band would be expected to sound like: the crunchy guitars, the sneaky rhythmic patterns, the token lady lead singer surrounded by bearded bandmates. But when you actually listen to them closely, there are a lot of things that make Hop Along less than typical: the odd song structures, the leftfield brazenness, and a lady lead singer whose explosive vocals are far more raw and uncompromising than pretty much any lead singer going right now. Continue reading

Hour of Power

Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour

Sometimes, there are albums that are so easy to love that you don’t really have words to sufficiently describe your feelings for them. But, I suppose that gets at what is remarkable about Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, as it aims to capture a feeling that so many songs fail to. Which is a kind of love song ensconced in calmness. The other Kacey Musgraves albums I’ve heard seem to have a kind of slight neuroses to undercut all of Musgraves’ pangeant girl charms. And here, she seems completely comfortable with being herself, as well as with the idea of falling for somebody that gets her even if she doesn’t entirely get (or care) why. Continue reading

Heavy Fluff

Frankie Cosmos – Vessel

Frankie Cosmos’ Vessel is the kind of record I feel obligated to write about (since the last Frankie Cosmos album was my #3 album of 2016), but I’m not sure what to write about it. There really isn’t anything particularly different about it from the minutely awesome The Next Thing. Greta Kline’s songs here are just as simultaneously hushed and pulsating as ever, while she still seems quite overwhelmed by the world outside her bedroom, with little desire to do much else other than write a concise, poppy song about it. Continue reading

Clean History

Lucy Dacus – Historian / Soccer Mommy – Clean

Is it a bit reductive to be comparing the likes of Lucy Dacus and Soccer Mommy, two young singer-songwriters who seem to possess boundless potential? Perhaps. But then again, the conceit of this Compare/Contrast feature was to explore the idea that lots of art and pop culture gets compared to itself, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If anything, the fact that two uniquely fantastic albums anchored by two superb songstresses were released within weeks, just continues the hopeful theory I’d laid down in a past podcast that the future of rock is decidedly female. Continue reading

Poppin’ In The U.S.A.

U.S. Girls – A Poem Unlimited

Much like in life, the hardest thing as a music fan is to constantly keep yourself open to new things. I know I’ve heard numerous times that your early 20s are about the time that people stop listening to newer music, and of course, I’m a few years into this constant struggle. But even if you are someone like me, who finds themselves seeking out new artists, these new artists often end up sounding something like Car Seat Headrest or Courtney Barnett. Who are great, for sure, but they’re not too far off from other artists you’ve loved in the past. Continue reading

Twin Indie Rock Fantasies

Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy / Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive

I’d like to think that indie rock is in a place where there are no strict rules as to what constitutes indie rock, or for that matter what constitutes “good” indie rock. Namely, because there just aren’t as many indie artists that fall into the “rock” category that seem to have the same cultural caché as 10 years ago. But also because we’re living in a time where those kinds of labels have been thoroughly blown over, while musical diversity tends to be rewarded. Though you could easily make the case that many of the big indie artists of the ’80s (as well as the ’00s) were marked by their musical eclecticism. Continue reading

T3: Colin’s Top Ten Reviews of Mildly Pleased

I think it’s now becoming apparent why we don’t write as many posts as we used to. It’s just hard to get up the will to post something when you’re no longer a college student with a bunch of free time on your hands. And it’s especially hard when you have to write something with a restrictive, but also demanding structure, as was the case with Top Ten Thursdays. Which is why of course we ended up turning it into the much more fun to do podcast. But here we’ll return back to our original format of ten items ranked in order of personal greatness.

This time, however, I’m just going to order these things in chronological order. As I said, it’s been kind of a long week, and it’s really hard to rank items that aren’t from the same medium, as I’ll be including TV, music, movies, and even aural comedy on this list. Also, some of these may have some sort of personal significance to me or more related to the posts themselves, rather than being what I think are the best of their era. But I suppose that’s what these subjective top tens have always been about. So without further ado, here are my favorite things that I ever had the pleasure of reviewing on Mildly Pleased… Continue reading