Music Committee February Reviews

text by digital-media

28 February, 2024

KCSB’s Music Committee volunteers review so many albums every week. Keep reading for some of their reviews!

Florist – Florist

Reviewer: Sarah Ndawula

Label: Double DoubleWhammy Records

Focus Tracks: 4, 11, 14,

 19 (clean)

The album I picked out to review is titled “Florist.” I found this album to be much less of an album and more as a 19-part story with each track eliciting a different atmosphere. However, as a collective, it is strung beautifully together. This album reminds me a lot of J. Wiegold’s “Norfolk Serpent” album, with some songs being entirely instrumental and illustrating a very textured scene of the countryside. “Florist” by Florist utilizes elements of nature – such as cricket and bird chirps, rainfall, wind chimes, etc. – along with a lot of shakuhachi-esque sounds and ambience, which I found to have made my listening experience highly amusing. I feel like each song is so raw and especially nostalgic, alluding to the feeling of childlike wonder and melancholy (like if Let Me Hold You Longer, 

written by Karen Kingsbury was an album, this is that album). 

My favorite tracks on the album are Track 5, Track 6, Track 8, Track 11, Track 14, and Track 19. Every track on this album was composed perfectly, so picking favorites was hard. However, these tracks stuck with me the most, with most of my focus on Track 19 because it manipulates so many dissimilar sounds but is HEAVEN for the ears. I say this album is raw because the lyrics are heavily focused on reminiscing about a person or environment, as well as the constraint and desperation of wanting something you had that is now nonexistent. For example, Emma Sprague sings a lot about wanting to go back home, wanting to see her mother, not wanting to grow up, and – most importantly – wanting to love but having no one to give that love to. Also, Sprague’s voice is so warm and soft in the tracks that are not instrumental, and consists of a bit of vocal rasp –  almost as if she is just sitting in her bedroom ‘whisper-singing,’ which I feel adds genuinity to the lyrics. It’s not like she is just singing the words to sing them, but actively going through the motions of grief and heartache as she is singing them. I don’t know. I’m biased. As a long-term, avid listener of Florist, everything they produce pleases me. However, this album is genuinely a piece of art and would be perfect to listen to while reading a book, going on a walk, studying, or in need of some comfort. And if not that, and you find yourself to be extremely bored, it is really fun to listen to and reflect on during your leisure time!

Parlor Walls – Heavy Tongue

Reviewer: Lily Raesler
Label: Famous Swords

Focus Tracks: 3, 4, 5, 7 (clean)

Playing freely with extreme distortion, screeching guitar, berating drums, ample synth, and eerily fuzzed-out, talk-singing vocals, Parlor Walls blends punk rock vocal urgency (think Kim Gordon) with industrial, no wave-esque electronic soundscapes, blurring the lines between rock n’ roll and experimental electronic music. The lyrics themselves float somewhere in the ether beneath the unrelen

ting sonic barrage, and the refrain, “is it power you adore, or love you are after” on Track 3 is a compelling undercurrent to the album as a whole. The album flows from track to track as a consistent, yet intriguingly varied, musical journey. The first tracks are more subdued, building up to Track 5, which leans more towards loud, electronic, futuristic punk. Overall, it was a really enjoyable, fresh listen.

Cindy Wilson – Realms

Reviewer: Emilio Benenati

Label: Kill Rock Stars

Focus Tracks: 4, 6, 9 (Clean)

Giant, larger-than-life synths with a very articulate production. This album from a former member of B-52s is a synth-pop from someone with a great musical experience. The sounds are massive and well-developed and the overall style reminds of Björk. However, the songwriting is quite standard and it gets boring in the long run. This is particularly evident when listening to the single extracted from this album, the opening song “Midnight,” honestly unremarkable. Nonetheless, there are a couple very beautiful and interesting songs: take “Within,” with its trans-inducing sounds. Overall, it’s a beautiful uplifting synth-pop album.

Fire Trail – One of Two

Reviewer: Maya Widom

Label: Self Release

Focus Tracks: 2, 4, 6 (clean)

Made by 4 former and current UC Berkeley students, Fire Trail brings new contemporary flares to their indie rock sound. I found a lot of the drumming and layered flute melodies to be really interesting to listen to. The tempo and melodies are constantly changing throughout the songs, lending to a unique sound song to song. The lyrics as well are interesting to listen to, I appreciate the uniqueness of the singer’s voice against the backdrop of the flute, which gives it sort of a bossa nova flare. The whole creation of their album is very DIY and it’s described on Bandcamp in detail which was very interesting to read.

Cheekface – Its Sorted

Reviewer: Maya Widom

Label: Self release

Focus Tracks: 4, 5, 9 (#6 is explicit)

​​Upon first listen, I was really intrigued by the style of deadpan, spoken word mixed with portions of singing. It really reminded me of bands like Cake and DEVO. The lyrics are very humorous and ironic, they speak a lot to current generations who seem to be the target audience of Cheekface’s music. The instrumentation is super interesting, they play with different melodies and layering to get unique sounds which edged on pop and even resembled math rock at times. This album kept me on my feet whether I was listening for a new joke layered in the lyrics or a riff that was super unique. Overall, there’s a lot to gain from this listening experience and I think it really shows how fun songwriting and making music as a whole can be.

Girlfriends and Boyfriends – Fallacy of Fairness

Reviewer: Michael Zhang

Label: Oraculo Records

Focus Tracks: 1, 3, 4 (clean)

Delivering a bright and dreamy New Wave sound, “Girlfriends and Boyfriends” transports the listener back to the early 80s in Fallacy of Fairness. Navigating the highs and lows of love and loss, the mood never strays far from upbeat.


Steff Jetson – Super Fun Cleanup Site

Reviewer: Rio Blackshaw-McKee

Label: Loyal Records

Focus Tracks: 2, 5, 9 (clean)

Super Fun Cleanup Site is a good album, with a mix of influence from both classic rock and pop folk. Some songs, such as “Hand On a Gun,” consist of hard rock guitar riffs, demanding a loud presence through aggressive vocals in line with bands such as Soundgarden, just with a bit less intensity. On the other side of the spectrum, some songs, such as “Silly Girl Love,” center on softer guitar riffs and emotional vocals similar to Big Star. Overall, this album is a well-rounded collection with sounds reminiscent to that of 70s and 80s rock and folk.