Strawberry Skies Monthly Jams: September 2021
It's officially fall, which means it's time for another installment in the Strawberry Skies Monthly Jams playlist! This was a super exciting month, from really getting into the swing of things with college classes, to seeing some of my favorite bands, to starting my own radio show on WQAQ 98.1 FM, The Soundtrack of Quinnipiac University.
There's a lot of music to recap this month, so we'll get right into it. You can listen to this playlist on Spotify here.
"THINK I AM" - SPACED
New York hardcore band SPACED released their first EP, titled "DEMO 2021" in early August, and I became obsessed with it this month. They produce a really specific, exciting kind of music that can be hard to find within hardcore. I included their track "TEAR ME DOWN" on my first weekly playlist for my radio show and also interviewed the band's vocalist Lexi Reyngoudt for Girls Behind the Rock Show, which should be out soon.
"Locked Up & Away" - Homesafe
Homesafe is a band that has been very special to me for a very long time. Their live shows hold some of my best memories, I got to work directly with them as the cover band of our second print issue during my time at Legends of Tomorrow magazine, and they've just generally been one of my favorite bands for a few years now.
Their new album "Nervous Reaction" certainly did not disappoint, and it's been in my rotation since it dropped in the first week of September. Another track from this record, "Old Soul" was featured on my Weekly Jams playlist for my radio show last week. Be on the lookout for more Strawberry Skies content involving Homesafe coming soon!
"Call From You" - Anxious
I mentioned Anxious on August's Monthly Jams playlist, as they had just been featured on the fifth edition of the America's Hardcore Compilation, signed to Run For Cover Records, and released this song, "Call From You." I've liked this song since it came out, but it's grown on me a ton in the past few weeks specifically - I listen to it every day when I'm getting ready for class. I'll be seeing them for the first time since early 2020 in about 10 days, and I couldn't be more excited.
"Stay" - Belmont
If you asked me about a month ago if I thought pop-punk band Belmont could pull off a cover of a song by Justin Bieber and The Kid LAROI I probably would have laughed, but I clearly stand corrected. This rendition of one of the most popular songs of 2021 is genuinely so much fun to listen to and I (almost) hope they play it on tour in the fall.
"Bury Me (Tonight!)" - Save Face
On last month's Monthly Jams playlist, I raved about "GLITTER", New Jersey band Save Face's first original song since their 2018 album "Merci." This month, they announced their new album "Another Kill For the Highlight Reel" due out October 29th, 2021, and the announcement was accompanied by the release of an incredible new single, "Bury Me (Tonight!)"
My Chemical Romance feels like the easy comparison here, but it is so, so fitting. This track further proves that the more over-the-top, dark, and theatrical Save Face is, the better they are.
"Real Mad" - Girl K
The last time that I mentioned Girl K was on my monthly playlist for July, when their single "Girl K is for the People" dropped. Now, a few months later, they have an EP with the same name out (which has this great song and a few more great songs on it), and it's absolutely beautiful. Working with this band is a dream.
"Damage" - The Band CAMINO
Continuing the theme of hyping up bands that I haven't talked about in a while, I last told you about The Band CAMINO on my monthly playlist for June when their effortlessly catchy heartbreak anthem "Know It All" took over my Spotify profile for weeks. Their debut self-titled LP dropped a few weeks ago (I included the track "1 Last Cigarette" on a Weekly Jams playlist this month as well), and there is not one song on this album that I skip. They are the definition of a perfect pop band in 2021.
"Wildest Dreams (Taylor's Version)" - Taylor Swift
If you follow me on social media (or have known me in any capacity since, like, 2006), then you know how much I love Taylor Swift. "Fearless (Taylor's Version)" has been one of my favorite releases of the year (I included "The Other Side of the Door (Taylor's Version)" on the first-ever Strawberry Skies playlist) and "Red (Taylor's Version)" is one of my most anticipated albums of the end of this year, both of those facts being true despite the fact that I had known each song on each album for years beforehand.
I think what Swift is doing, re-recording her albums to gain control of her masters, is such a power move and makes her even more of a role model for women in music. Also...does this song being released mean "1989 (Taylor's Version)" is coming soon?
"Ordinary Love" - Sporting
Rhode Island/Massachusetts alternative-pop band Sporting's single "Ordinary Love" was the first release I really got to take the lead on with Vibe Check PR and Management since joining the team about six months ago, and I'm beyond overjoyed at how it's been going, so overjoyed that I played this song on the radio and included it in a Weekly Jams playlist a few weeks back. This band is made up of some of the kindest humans and most talented musicians you will ever come across, and I can't wait to watch them grow even more.
"I'm the Worst (But I Love Myself)" - LexMo
This track by LexMo was recommended to me this month, and I'm really digging it. It reminds me of early Lorde or Lana del Rey (think "Glory and Gore" or "Body Electric" and "Blue Jeans") and it makes me feel like a super cool female villain in a scary movie whenever i listen to it.
"he's not your boyfriend, he's your boy friend" - remy
I have TikTok to thank for introducing me to this song! This track was one of those songs that I just heard at the right place at the right time and absolutely fell in love with it, feeling completely understood and listening to it on loop. I also played this on the radio on September 23rd, 2021.
"Outta My Head" - State Champs
I'll say it, I am living for these new State Champs singles. I included "Just Sound" on last month's Monthly Jams playlist, and "Outta My Head" serves as the perfect follow-up. Whatever it is that State Champs is planning, it's sure to be amazing.
"Torn" - Corbin Giroux, Jordan Black
This month, Corbin Giroux (formerly of Rarity) released his first full-band solo album, titled "Docile." "Torn" is one of my favorite tracks off of it, featuring Jordan Black of pop-punk powerhouses Like Pacific. You can check out my review of the album and interview with Giroux here!
"The Anthem (It Iz What It Iz)" - Payback XXX
I saw Payback for the first time as the very first opener for the Philadelphia Hardcore Unity Barbecue back in July and was instantly hooked on their live presence. I'm happy to say that their recorded music is just as amazing as seeing them live, and this whole album is worth listening to, not just this track.
"As The City Sleeps" - One Step Closer
One Step Closer is one of those bands that I think is going to take over the world. Their new album "This Place You Know" is already one of my favorites of 2021. I've included them in too many playlists and lists to count, just start listening to this band if you don't already.
"Sunsets and Revelry" - Christian Sparacio
I included Christian Sparacio's "Open Season" on my first Weekly Jams playlist at the start of September, and he returned this month with yet another brand-new song. Really stoked to see what's coming next for him.
"Anniversary" - Incase We Crash
Incase We Crash is another artist that I've been working with for about six months now, and it is such a joy to watch them create things that they are so passionate about. If you're in the area, be sure to catch their first show back (also serving as the belated release show for their "Soul Paint" EP) with DeadHawk FM, there there, and Summer Heights on Friday, November 5th, 2021, at Sneaky Dee's in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
"Market Scheme" - rationale.
I got to interview rationale. for the second print issue of Legends of Tomorrow magazine earlier this year, which really opened my eyes to how little I was appreciating their music. Their new album "If the Problems Persist" is the perfect length and there isn't a dull moment on the entire tracklist. I also played another song from this record, "Same Old", on the radio last week.
"Spinning" - Real Friends
Real Friends is a band who has had an unbelievably passionate fanbase for over a decade now, and it's cool to see that that hasn't changed, even as they've signed to a new label (Pure Noise Records) and welcomed a new vocalist (Cody Muraro) this year. Their new EP "Torn in Two" includes original songs as well as reimagined versions of those tracks, a trend that I'm hoping continues for other artists. You can find their single "Nervous Wreck" on last week's Weekly Jams playlist and June's Monthly Jams playlist.
"Sick Statistic" - Year of the Knife
I saw Year of the Knife twice this past weekend, and it still somehow wasn't enough; I debated somehow trying to get myself to Massachusetts on Sunday so I could see them for the third day in a row. "Internal Incarceration" was one of my favorite records of 2020 (full review via Legends of Tomorrow here) and their live presence is just absolutely unmatched.
"Expiation" - Broken Vow
About a year ago, I listened to Broken Vow for the first time a few weeks after their debut was released. Fast forward one year later and I've interviewed them (for Legends of Tomorrow and Girls Behind the Rock Show), included them in a bunch of playlists and lists, and even did guest vocals (if you can call me screaming into a microphone guest vocals) for them this weekend...time sure does fly when you're having fun, huh?
I say this every time I mention this band, but they are some of the most genuine people I know and are so incredibly talented. It's been great to see them finally getting to play shows, especially with bands like Soul Blind, Koyo, Restraining Order, Rule Them All, and Year of the Knife. You can find a full list of all the chances you'll get to see them live on their Instagram, @BrokenVowCTHC.
"free soul" - Range Life
If you've been following this blog from the beginning, you've already seen a ton of Range Life content on the site, from playlists to reviews. The solo venture of Mike Chiarappa, the project's debut album "When It All Gets Old" will be out on October 11th, and the record release show will be on October 15th at Gold Sounds in Brooklyn, New York with support from Pollyanna, Fox Teeth, Lizzie Donohue, 7Elevan (acoustic) and Okay Okay (acoustic). Definitely consider coming out to the show or checking out the record - you couldn't be supporting a better musician or a better human.
"Without Warning" - Halogens, Save Face
Yet another Save Face mention! Readers of this blog (and anyone who follows me on Twitter) already know that Save Face is one of my favorite bands ever, and this collaboration with fellow New Jersey band Halogens is undoubtedly one of my favorite songs of the month. Halogens' debut LP "You're Being Weird" will be out on October 15th via Refresh Records. You can pre-order the record on vinyl and pick up some album-themed merch on the label's website.
"They Take What They Please" - Fuming Mouth
Fuming Mouth put out one of my favorite releases of 2020, a three-song EP titled "Beyond the Tomb" that I called relentless, atmospheric, and an all-consuming sucker punch that lasted all of 12 minutes (full review here). They accomplished something similar on "They Take What They Please - Devolve", two singles clocking in at just under four and two minutes respectively but don't let their runtimes deter them at all. This band is one of the best in hardcore right now.
"Silk Chiffon (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)" - MUNA, Phoebe Bridgers
Sometimes you just need a fun, feel-good song to get you through a rough few weeks, and MUNA's "Silk Chiffon (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)" has done exactly that for me. This track is sunshine set to music.
"Algorithm" - Boston Manor
The second single in Boston Manor's new era as a Sharptone Records band, I was scared that I wouldn't love "Algorithm" as much as I loved "Carbon Mono"; I'm happy to report that I was dead wrong. This was the perfect follow-up to their first single of 2021 and made me even more excited for whatever these songs are leading up to.
"Shine" - Rich People
Time for the monthly Rich People section of the playlist! This is my favorite band in the world, they have a new song out, and it's a lot of fun. Go listen to it, and pick up some new merch while you're at it!
"LINYHC" - Pain of Truth
I got to see Pain of Truth for the first time this past Saturday at Amityville Music Hall in Amityville, NY, supported by Jay Six, All Due Respect, Laid 2 Rest, Year of the Knife, and King Nine. This is exactly the kind of band that makes me proud to be from Long Island.
"jerk" - The Front Bottoms
I also got to see The Front Bottoms (with support from Oso Oso and Sydney Sprague) for the first time a few weeks ago, after calling them one of my favorite bands for something close to seven years. I hadn't really given their new record "In Sickness & In Flames" a chance before seeing the songs off of it live, but there are definitely some hits on this album.
"Down University" - Fiddlehead
Completing the trilogy of bands I got to see for the first time this month, I finally got to see Fiddlehead in mid-September at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia, PA with support from Worn, Blair, and Ekulu. Words can't describe how important this night was to me, so I'll leave it there.
Thank you, Fiddlehead. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
What were your favorite songs this month? Let me know by tweeting me at @JENSESSlON or the blog at @StrawbSkiesBlog! The blog can also be found on social media @StrawberrySkiesBlog on Instagram and Strawberry Skies Blog on Facebook.