Lil Music Reviews: Butterfly / Lil Yachty / Nothing / Veil / Violent Femmes

Alan Fearns / Columnist

Butterfly – “Broke”

So many of you reading this by now already know how To Pimp A Butterfly, but do you know how to break one?  Aidan Christopher Haughey, the mind behind deceased project Teenage Daydreams, opens his 2016 anticipated album with the line, “Glued to my glowing, friend-like, fate.”  The song, “Ultra Connected Forever Alone,” is not an easy one to listen to, but if you test your limits then you will be able to seize the moment that Haughey is experiencing, which is an intense desire to feel an intimacy that doesn’t exist.

“You Can Not Win” is another song that is a rewarding listen as it has a seamless transition from the verse, using a clean guitar riff and vocal repetition that makes the the word “here” carry a ton of weight.  The drums and bass guitar are both evenly mixed, which is pleasant as well.  If you’re looking for some posi vibes then tune into the song “Just a Distraction” for its uplifting and fun sound.  Embrace that distraction, because the album gets really dark for the next 10 minutes (“Little Hitlers,” “Been Through Dying,” “Accidental Chore”).

Thankfully, it gets back on its feet realizing “Love Does Exist” and there is “Human Honey” which I took for an analogy for the last of the viscous emotion dripping out from Aidan’s soul.  It’s the most beautiful song I’ve heard in a while.  Definitely a “Something in the Way” moment for the album.

genre: noise rock

Lil Yacthy – “Lil Boat” [mixtape]

Rec’d Tracks: 4, 6, 7!!!, 8!, 9, 10, 11, 12!

Res: all

This debut mixtape from a red-dreaded rapper is fun and funny.  It opens up with “Just Keep Swimming” sampling Pixar’s Finding Nemo while Lil Yachty is calling for his little brother, “Lil Boat.”  He flows on it like he’s walking on seashells, prepping the listener for the stories he has to tell.  “Wanna Be Us” has a video accompaniment and strong hooks.  “Minnesota” features Quavo of Migos and Young Thug even appears for a little verse.  “Not My Bro” is refreshing.  He starts weighing out the pros and cons of success, still flexing, but sounding a little more self-aware.

“Good Day” is real breezy, and full of posi vibes.  Skippa Da Flippa comes in for some classic bars.  Digital Nas puts together one of the nastiest beats for “Up Next 2.”  Lil Yachty goes in hard on this one and BigBrothaChuba doesn’t hesitate to pick it up where Yachty leaves off.  But when Byou comes in.  Oh my lord.

“Rims so above the rim
No And1 but anyone of you ni**as cross me I’m up in it
Dump in it, huh
I’mma catch a body like a cheerleader
I’mma die fly like Aaliyah
R.I.P. I’ll see ya when I see ya”

And it only gets better.  His raw delivery is even caressed by Yatchy himself who exits the track with a meta dialogue about Lil Boat, D. Nas and himself.

“Run/Running” has a stunning Super Mario 64 beat by Earl & E-Bundles.  Yachty does his autotune wails over the top.  “Never Switch Up” is about how no matter what happens, he won’t let fame get to his head.  He promises to never switch up on his friends and be true to himself all the while.

The last portion of the mixtape is his breakout hit “1Night (Prod. Burberry Perry).”  “Out Late” is the first time we get a lovesong from Yachty.  His apology comes out in “Fucked Over,” which while produced by Ducko McFli, the beat sounds a lot like the one in “1Night.”  “I’m Sorry” and “We Did It (Outro)” are pretty self-explanatory.  A downer followed by an upper.

genre: trap and flex

Nothing – Tired of Tomorrow

Rec’d Tracks: every other track

I’m used to this heavy of music being angst-ridden and emotional.  It’s not void of emotion, but the whole wash of cymbals and massive guitars is caressed by a calm and clear voice, making the music relaxing overall.  It’s the closest I’ve ever heard this shoegaze genre sound like pop music.  Several of the tracks blur into one another making it difficult to recall, but the couple ballads on here are really solid.

genre: shoegaze

Veil – “Mud” [single]

The new Veil track unveiled by Bobbi Wilson (Vulcano Baby) is filled with fuzzy warmth and coos that are slightly less than understandable.  The punchy drums are decently mixed, but sound a little stock (particularly the clap and toms).  Nonetheless, “Mud” has plenty of reasons to keep listening, as the cymbals pan and a chaotic guitar riff glides in around the second verse.  The catchy bassline during the chorus makes “everything good” and if you listen to this before falling asleep you will appreciate the line “I’m hearing they want to turn the light out.”  Interesting electronic artifacts ring, zip, stutter and dial up.  It fades out nicely making it a great closing track to any soundcloud playlist.

genre: “sad pop”

Violent Femmes – “We Can Do Anything”

First album in 16 years.  Now signed the PIAS Records.  Gordon Gano still sounds like he did when he was in high school.  Punk music played on the acoustic guitar with creative vocals.  The album’s cover art was done by the keyboardist of Barenaked Ladies.  “Memory,” “Foothills” and “Untrue Love” are the only songs I would recommend.  Its much looser and lyrically uninteresting in comparison to their self-titled from 1983.  This album sounds like old buttocks.

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