Well, I’ve been collecting various new releases for a while now, so it’s time once again to write up a few short blurbs about some cool stuff. In the coming installments, we’ll have a few video game based albums, an album about science, and some artists that are new to me (as well as new releases from familiar artists). Expect more sometime in the next couple of weeks!
Dr. Awkward – Blank Pages (NSFW)
Doc Awk’s second full album returns true to form with plenty of familiar topics, including, of course, a new “FUF.” That said, I detect a more mature and reflective attitude on this album. Case in point is “FUF 4.” In previous versions, getting drunk was much more the emphasis than getting together with friends and just having a good time (this is the first version that actually sounds like my idea of a great time, in fact, especially with the inclusion of tabletop games like Cards Against Humanity). There’s also “High Fives” that celebrates growing up in the ’90s. I’m a few years older than Doc Awk, but I can still totally identify with pretty much everything he mentions.
Of course there’s plenty of nerdiness around, too. Some good examples are the tracks with guest artists. Probably my favorite track is the collab with Schäffer the Darklord, “Now Hiring,” in which a superhero seeks a nemesis on Craigslist and finds the Darklord. Perfect! The track “Call Back” features ZeaLouS1 and includes one of my favorite lines on the album: “Five years strong, and I’m just gettin’ started. Got ’em sayin’ Doc Who like I showed up in a TARDIS.” Nice! And finally there’s “Cartoons” with mc chris, which is highly appropriate given mc chris’s voice acting career.
Blank Pages is available as a “Choose your price” from Dr. Awkward’s own page. Go grab it now!
Mega Ran and Richie Branson – The Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts EP
Richie Branson – From Guardia With Love
Mega Ran and Sammus – Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata
Both Richie Branson and Mega Ran are known for their albums about video games, so it’s great to see them collaborating together on The Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts EP. I haven’t actually played the game from which the EP gets its name, but that doesn’t really matter since the tracks are about various spooky topics like “Crystal Lake,” which is about Jason Voorhees. Admittedly this EP is a bit older, but I felt like it was worth mentioning given that both artists have released new video game albums.
Branson’s From Guardia With Love is about ChronoTrigger. It’s been ages since I’ve played the game, so of course I had to break out a copy of it to refresh my memory. It’s just as fun as I remembered, and the album replicates that enjoyment. Each track reflects one of the various time periods from the game, and Branson also incorporates the music from the game for the beats.
Mega Ran is joined by Sammus on Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata. I wasn’t really familiar with Sammus (who derives her name from Metroid), but I’ve been checking out her solo stuff and it’s really great. This album is, obviously, about Castlevania, specifically Symphony of the Night. I’ve only played the first Castlevania game, but I’m familiar enough with the story to appreciate this album, especially with Mega Ran and Sammus’s vocals. Go check out all the video game goodness now!
The Impossible Girl – The Sky Is Calling
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Kim Boekbinder (aka The Impossible Girl) brings us her space album, The Sky Is Calling. Boekbinder collaborated with various scientists and used actual space sounds to create this album. For example, the opening track, “The Big Bang,” is a 5-second “sonification of the first hundred million years of the universe by astronomer Mark Whittle.” My limited understanding is that the sound is from the cosmic microwave background radiation manipulated into a form that can be heard by humans, but there’s a more in-depth explanation here. The song “Stellar Alchemist” also contains space sounds, in this case from star HR 3831, as does “The Drake Equation,” which uses the electromagnetic dawn chorus (basically the sound of the Earth’s magnetosphere). Put all of this together with the amazing vocals and the highly danceable electronic music and you end up with a truly great album.