Recently my music commentary has been incredibly repetitive, harping on the same handful of points ad nauseum. In an attempt to be less negative I have decided to focus less on music I dislike and more on music I enjoy. However I have found this to be particularly difficult this year as I don’t like anything. So I will just write a bit about some noteworthy trends.
- About three years ago I was smitten with a girl who ran with a very unique and particular crowd I dubbed the Queen Street West Art School Crew. They were incredibly hard to parse, not only as music fans but as people in general. They were a series of contradictions: stylish but unkempt, enthusiastic but detached, sincere but apathetic. Goth mentality without goth aesthetic. There was a lot of Adult Swim imagery, retro oddities, one word captions, baggy T-shirts tucked into high waisted jeans, floral-print shirts, wavy dyed hair and strangely hued sunglasses. They were all very much into underground trap, vaporwave, and Mac DeMarco. And perhaps most importantly, they were intensely unapproachable.
Fast forward to today and the above reads like an intro course to modern youth culture. There’s nothing foreign or strange about any of it; I’ve essentially described an H&M ad. Co-opted and gentrified by Instagram influencers and Post Malone, it’s the new mainstream. Now every big pop star is the sum of their personal demons, confidently introverted and pushing some sort of 24/7 spooky vibe.
Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters‘ ever-genial frontman, has given his blessing to one of these hazily defined wunderkind: Billie Eilish, who was one of the goo-goo voiced precocious pop singers that cropped up in 2017 along with Jessie Reyez, bulow, and Bebe Rexha. She’s poised to become a major name this year as she preps her debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The minimalist, sound effect laden atmosphere is undoubtedly interesting, like Lorde directed by some auteur of European high cinema. It’s the aural equivalent of unsettling stop-motion animals and limbs bending the wrong way.
- Those who were utterly and completely shocked by the revelations that R Kelly had been involved in bad behaviour in the 90s had their foundations rocked once again as the world was hit with the news that Michael Jackson had a secret ranch where he was unwholesome towards some young boys. It was a total surprise and led to celebrities denouncing the long-dead singer, along with radio stations banning his music. Nobody saw this news coming. How could Michael Jackson have kept this secret for such a long time?
- I don’t get what the big deal is with the Jonas Brothers. Why did 1 000 000 girls suddenly go wild this past week when their reunion was announced? I can’t name a single song of theirs. Did they ever have any sort of charting hit?