Welcome to the fifth rendition of What We’re Vibing With. We hope you enjoy our revamped format for the freshest finds from the past sixty days.
Interested in our other suggestions? Check out our previous posts below:
January & February 2021
March & April 2021
May & June 2021
July & August 2021
Without further ado, welcome to our fifteen favorites from September and October!
“breadwinner” – Kacey Mustgraves
Released September 3
Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer-era wordplay and cleverness wasn’t always apparent on her latest album, star-crossed, but knowing her ex-husband Ruston Kelly was listed in much smaller font than she was on the 2019 Lollapalooza poster really makes “He wants a breadwinner / He wants your dinner / Until he ain’t hungry anymore / He wants your shimmer / To make him feel bigger / Until he starts feeling insecure” fill in a lot of blanks on Musgraves’ divorce album with just a few well-placed words. Plus, the song is a certified dancing-in-your-car bop.
“Vampires” – Tommy Lefroy
Released October 27
Many of the bands we get pitches for here at Staged Haze draw comparisons between themselves and Phoebe Bridgers, but Tommy Lefroy is one of the few artists who, to me, actually gives off some of the same powerful energy. The band, named for Jane Austen’s “heartbreaker muse,” is a half-London-based and half-LA-based duo, Wynter Bethel and Tessa Mousourakis. Their murmured delivery, atmospheric backing, resonant lyrics, and references to LA bring to mind indie favorites like Bridgers as well as Clairo and I haven’t been able to stop listening to “Vampires” or the few other tracks Tommy Lefroy has out ahead of their upcoming EP.
“Infinite Josh” – The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die
Released October 8
Over the last few months, I’ve realized that I really love long songs with several sections to them. “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus, especially live. “Yolk in the Fur” by Wild Pink, especially live. And now, “Infinite Josh” by emo/indie band TWIABP, which I hope to one day see live. The song, clocking in at over 15 minutes, is ridiculously long, only to be topped by “Fewer Afraid,” the next and final track on TWIABP’s new record Illusory Walls, which is nearly 20 minutes long. “Infinite Josh” endlessly unfolds in a twisting tumble of post-rock strings and post-hardcore riffs brought to you by Chris Teti, very impressively the only guitarist on the entire album. This song has shot to the top of my most played songs in the month since it’s been released, and I want to live in it forever.
“An Acre Lost” – Sleigh Bells
Released September 10
I included “An Acre Lost” on one of our New Music Sunday posts and two months later, I emphasize the same thoughts 一 BLAST. THIS. TRACK. The chaotic whirlwind of synths, drums, and electric guitar gets the blood pumping in seconds. Gym playlists, intense run playlists, agro driving playlists 一 Sleigh Bells fits all of the molds. Quit trying to hide it, you know you want to give this track a go.
“Perfume” – Del Water Gap
Released October 8
“Perfume” is a much tamer recommendation than “An Acre Lost.” Del Water Gap is the solo project of S. Holden Jaffe, and needless to say, his talent transcends the airwaves. This track (and this album, for that matter) is perfect for a picturesque drive along a coastal highway. Speakers up and windows down, this is the definition of an ultimate chiller album. Jaffe’s found his sound, and hopefully he finds your ears.
“Secrets (Your Fire)” – Magdalena Bay
Released October 8
Interested in taking a trip back to the disco? Look no further, ‘cause Magdalena Bay figured out the secret to time travel on her latest album Mercurial World. “Secrets (Your Fire)” is exactly that—a fiery blaze of perfectly matched instrumentation and laissez faire lyricism. The blended airiness and dynamism of this track will sweep you off your feet, thrusting you into a rift of spacetime; you won’t know where you are. Just kidding, this song won’t rob you from Earth’s orbit—but you get the point. This track is fantastic.
Sean’s Honorable Mentions
“Battle Lines” – Kero Kero Bonito (Released September 10)
“Still Be Friends” – G-Eazy (Released September 24)
“One in a Million” – Inner Wave (Released September 30)
“Silk Chiffon” – Muna, Phoebe Bridgers
Released September 7
Honestly, did we really get through September 2021 if we don’t reference the collaboration of the year? As an avid Muna fan since the beginning of their career (yes I am being one of those people), it was a dream learning that they were signed to Phoebe Bridgers’ label earlier this year, and even more exciting to learn they would be collaborating for a song.
What else have I learned about this track? That Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, two of the producers who helped craft Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, are cowriters on this song, and it felt like everything came full circle. A MUNA song through and through with a verse so quintessentially Phoebe, this song took on a life of its own on the internet: and one that I have listened to so frequently, it continues to play on my Spotify account after an album I’ve queued up ended. Not sure if this a real algorithm, to play my most streamed songs after I’ve finished my queue, but I wouldn’t doubt it.
“Many Times” – Dijon
Released September 17
I’ve been ranting about how talented I think Dijon is for a month at this point, specifically pointing out one of his songs from his recent album in our New Music Sunday post last week, but I have to make another point to share the news right here again because I truly believe he deserves all he promotion in the world!
Dijon’s recent album, Absolutely, is an album so full of reimagined takes on R&B, funk, pop and hip-hop that I wish I could put into words how satisfying it is to hear these genres interlaced so seamlessly. “Many Times” is the perfect song to familiarize yourself with the rest of his discography, and I’m certain you will fall in love with the rest of his music once you listen.
“Crown Vic (Black Cloud)” – joe p
Released October 22
When I first heard this song, I had to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t music from the lead singer of Hippo Campus, (a band who also released new music recently): but then I remember the lead singer’s name is Jake, not Joe. I find their vocal similarities to be uncanny. I digress!
joe p, a musician from Ashbury, New Jersey, just dropped a new EP, Emily Can’t Sing, and I can confidently state that it’s one of my favorite projects of the year after just one listen through. It also happens to be his debut EP, which I find shocking, considering how tight, well-written, and confidently executed I find the eight songs to be. It’s rare for me to hear music from an artist I’m completely unfamiliar with and to absolutely fall in love with every aspect of it, and that’s exactly what I did with this song and the rest of joe p’s EP.
Kristin’s Honorable Mentions
“Life’s A Bitch (LAB)” – Nina Nesbit (Released September 24)
“Lady Jesus” – Upsahl (Released October 8)
“Trouble” – Joy Crookes (Released October 12)
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