Best Albums of October
Halfway through November yet we’re still mulling over the October releases that impressed us so much. Check our picks for the best releases of last month.
Mr. Twin Sister - Salt
After four years of work, Mr. Twin Sister have crafted what is likely their best album to date. The band takes an omnivorous approach to songwriting, incorporating elements of jazz, pop, alternative and electronic music. From a swaggering electronic dancefloor crusher of an opening track with “Keep on Mixing” to the out-of-this-world coolness of the saxophone laden jazz number “Alien FM,” the album has never treads the same ground twice. All of this coupled with the overall sharp production makes this easily one of the most exciting listens in indie music this year. -Peter Melero
Joji - Ballads 1
Despite all the different opinions that people may have on Joji, it's undeniable that his last album Ballads 1 has some wonderful tracks. Joji first became famous with his YouTube channel FilthyFrank, in which his controversial yet comedic self was exposed. However, his passion for producing music was never hidden, and that’s what he’s been doing ever since In Tongues. As his music doesn’t really fit in one single category, I would say that most of the tracks of Ballads 1 are a mixture of lo-fi, R&B and smooth electronic music. Some of my favorite tracks from this album are “Can’t get over you” and “Wanted u” , songs that make you dance unconsciously and leave you with a warm feeling after listening to them. In my opinion, Joji’s music career seems pretty promising, it seems that he’s trying hard to make people “take him more seriously” with his music and he's doing great so far. -Cinthya Franco
Connan Mockasin - Jassbusters
Five years after his hypnotic album Caramel, Connan Mockasin unveiled an album that is strangely, not very strange. It’s an interesting development in Mockasin’s musicianship that emphasizes the sweetness of his style, yet maintains an easy-listening attitude that perfectly accompanies his interstellar sound. - Juliana Byers
Poppy - Am I A Girl?
Poppy’s viral YouTube performances and mysterious robotic persona have kept me intrigued since her 2015 debut releases. Although the bleach-blonde character and her collaborators have had a tumultuous year, they pulled together for a solid record with many things going for it. I had enjoyed the bubblegum hits of her first studio album, Am I A Girl? pulls some surprises out of the bag. In her new 14 tracks, she broadens her style by incorporating heavy metal and hard rock into her typical synth-pop. This fits with the dark themes sprinkled into the lyrics. Especially on “X” and “Play Destroy” (a totally badass collaboration with Grimes), Poppy hits ominous and heavy concepts amidst her usual bubbly musings. I truly enjoyed the punctuated songwriting of “Aristocrat” and “Chic Chick.” These are some of the catchiest songs of the year, featuring cocky vocals and sugary sweet synth work. After this fascinating mix of dance-pop and thundering rock, I’m excited to see what Poppy will do next. - Anja Reese
A Star is Born Soundtrack
Beyond the endless memes of Lady Gaga making incomprehensible growling sound poetic and Bradley Cooper looking like he’s seen better days while he dotes on her, the soundtrack for the most buzzed about movie of the year is a musical force in its own right. Blending a wide range of genres from the surprising mainstream revival of roots rock with Jackson Maine’s gritty “Alibi” to Gaga’s more familiar pop terrain of “Why Did You Do That?” (love it or hate it, you got to admit it’s a bop). There’s a mood for everyone on this album and that’s exactly the reason it reigned number 1 on the Billboard 200 for two weeks and why we’ll all likely be belting out to the chorus of “Shallow” for the remainder of the year. - Shianne Salazar
Trench - Twenty One Pilots
For reasons unbeknownst to even myself I have been incredibly reluctant to like anything that Twenty One Pilots creates. The only reason I ever heard the single “Nico and the Niners” was because it was playing on the radio. Mid-jam I went to see who the artist was and discovered it was Twenty One Pilots, deep reflection ensued. Was I now apart of that fanbase? Was I one of those people? Well, now I am. This is my official declaration of joining the Twenty One Pilots fan base because this album rules. Every song is a total jam and the super interesting and complex meaning behind this album is just as cool. Trench is such an interesting breed of alternative, that I haven’t really encountered before. From borderline punk-esque parts of songs such as, “Jumpsuit,” to tracks that totally bring me into my feelings like, “Smithereens,” I love every bit of this release. - Sarah Braddock
Allie X - Super Sunset
Super Sunset, the third project from Canadian experimental pop songstress, Allie X, is a bittersweet and deeply reflective ode to the city of Los Angeles. Moving to the city five years ago to pursue a career in music, Allie soon realized that the City of Angels is not quite as perfect as she thought it would be. On “Not So Bad In L.A.” Allie sarcastically details the city’s superficiality from its widespread ageism to the eating disorders so many young stars face due to pressure to always compete. On the shimmering 80s pop influenced “Girl of the Year” Allie expresses her desire to be the perfect pop star but how unfortunately that role probably belongs to somebody younger, prettier, and more agreeable. Despite this, Allie X can’t be slowed down. On the reggae tinged “Can’t Stop Now”, Allie confidently declares that she will defy L.A.’s expectations and achieve whatever she wants to, on her own accord. A brief project with just six songs and two interludes, Super Sunset’s short length works as a strength; it is packed to the brim with shimmering synth-pop production and insanely catchy hooks that leave the listener going back for more. - Max Schwartz