The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


This month in music: Vol. 2 (October edition)… Part 2

Four more albums among the best from the month of October offer something to love for everyone.
Brett Brose
The top albums of October include the likes of Smino and Polyphia.


Laughing so Hard, it Hurts – Mavi 

23-year-old Charlotte rapper, Mavi, continues his notable accent into hip-hop’s most respected lyricists with the release of his second album. Laughing so Hard, it Hurts spills out introspective and intimate lyrics warmly wrapped in a collection of soulful instrumentals. Mavi‘s tendency to melt into and swim within the beats makes each track viscous, the listener wading along through layered streams of thought.

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The youthful wisdom of Mavi shines the brightest during “3 Left Feet,” a love song as much as it is a breakup song, detailing an intense young relationship that ultimately crumples away as the two grow apart. A flowery beat of keys and rimshot drums entangle around Mavi while he chooses to cherish the past rather than battle the present, tenderly stepping through memories of shared intimacies that provide momentary solace amongst the heartbreak.

The hard-hitting and soulful “My Good Ghosts” chops syrupy samples alongside jazz-infused guitar and drums, Mavi’s voice piercing through the soundscape garden, now elated and passionate. Despite Mavi’s triumphant mood, the track is riddled with references to drug dependence, depression and longing. A closing refrain, enveloped within soulful hums, shows Mavi trailing off with pleads of companionship before fading off.

Despite the young lyricist’s age, the profound wisdom found within Mavi’s songs continues to propel him toward hip-hop renown. Laughing so Hard, It Hurts is a soulful dive into modern concerns with the exploitative music industry, loneliness and depression.

Rating: 8.6/10

Best Song: 3 Left Feet/My Good Ghost

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Remember You Will Die – Polyphia

Polyphia’s fourth instrumental album, Remember You Will Die, is a fast-paced, shredding masterclass of instrumentation and innovation, combining masterful guitar, bass and drum playing with elements of jazz, hip hop and pop. Tim Henson and Scott LePage’s contrasting guitar work melts into each other to glaze over the top of Clay Aeschliman’s thunderous drumming while Clay Gober lays down an intense bass line, a potent and unrelenting concoction that spills through each track.

The soft intricacies of Henson’s finger picking introduce the epic “Playing God,” doused in reverb before slowly spilling into the foreground. Blistering speed and fretboard proficiency overwhelm the foreground as hastily tapped hi-hats and marching snares color in the empty space. The track comes across as boastful, displaying instrumentation that bends the expectations of what is possible from the quartet, all the while showcasing a new sound from Henson’s iconic guitar that supplies an identity to the new release.

Similarly, it is Henson’s picking that ushers in the monumental final track, “Ego Death.” LePage’s shredding riffs slice through a wall of glitched-out effects and send the track into an undulation of aggressive bursts and beautiful glimpses of tranquility dotted with keys and synth, renowned guitarist Steve Vai supplying unwavering solos that tie the ends together.

As Polyphia continues to rustle the rock scene with their ever-progressing style, seniors Justin Pedersen and Eden Echevarria bear witness to their newest statement in the release of Remember You Will Die.

Pedersen rated Remember You Will Die 8.5/10.

“With modern music, you won’t listen to anyone who’s bending the possibility of what can be played on their instruments or going to the extremes that Polyphia goes to,” Pedersen said. “It’s something special.”

Echevarria rated Remember You Will Die 8.5/10.

“The [introduction of] acoustic guitar comes with a completely different feel with it that takes you somewhere else,” Echevarria said. “[Remember You Will Die] is definitely a step forward in a different direction, but it still has all the Polyphia must-haves like the shredding and the craziness that they do.” 

Rating: 8.8/10

Best Song: Playing God

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Luv 4 Rent – Smino

New school hip-hop veteran, Smino, delivers his highly anticipated third studio album, Luv 4 Rent—a funky and soulful record riddled with lackadaisical and often whimsical flows, wrapped in bubbly, laid-back instrumentals. Smino continues to bend the limits of wordplay and rhyme throughout the 15 tracks, twisting each annunciation to the will of the song, reinforcing a noise the Smino has flourished within since LP one.

Each guest spot on Luv 4 Rent is purposeful and fulfilling towards the track. “90 Proof” featuring J. Cole showcases an innovative instrumental matched with Smino’s tendency for ear-wormed, dizzy choruses. J. Cole pushes his way into focus as the beat morphs with chopped-up vocal samples, complimenting Smino on the formation of an undeniable hit.

The glistening smooth “Modennaminute” combines the efforts of Smino, Lucky Daye and Phoelix over a minimalist, bassy instrumental—swimming with reverberated vocal samples and quiet keys. What remains is a flirtatiously slurred and mellow gaze into companionship and intimacy.

Luv 4 Rent shows Smino in his most focused yet laid-back approach yet, packing lazily spoken lyrics full of life. The project is packed neatly in an atmosphere handcrafted and perfected, encapsulated in a warm and waving haze.

Rating: 9.0/10

Best Song: Modennaminute

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Waiting To Spill – The Backseat Lovers

Young and enthusiastic alternative rock band, The Backseat Lovers, showcase an immense amount of songwriting prowess and musicianship in their sophomore release, Waiting To Spill. The four-piece collective weave together tight-nit and layered instrumentals while lead singers Joshua Harmon and Jonas Swanson dance voices with a delightful chemistry, the tracks left behind glowing with the warm embers of creative cohesion.

A perfect testament to all of the band’s intricacies comes at the midpoint of the record. “Words I Used” is ushered in with somber keys and elongated, wailing guitar, Swanson’s pained whisper barely audible from beneath the instrumentation. Despite pouring heartfelt truths out into each lyric, Swanson still fears that whoever he writes to will despise the words written, a sentiment that can only describe an ever-drifting relationship, or possibly an already fractured love. A fluttering piano solo splits the track into two, slowly swelling as rhythmic drum kicks crawl out of the foundation. A blissful wave of acoustic strumming expands to encompass the keys as Harmon’s voice crashes into the track on a current of strings. Harmon is shaken and desperate, detailing a story of separating from a lover as they travel distances away—a prologue to the following track, “Snowbank Blues.” Harmon and Swanson’s faltering utterances trail off together, recounting the refrain, and dying with the instruments.

The Backseat Lovers continue to perfect their craft and garner the attention of listeners. Senior Chloe Barbarise is among those entranced by the artistic progression of the band.

Barbarise rated Waiting To Spill by The Backseat Lovers 9.2/10

“I feel like [Waiting To Spill] shows a lot of growth from their last album,” Barbarise said. “There they were getting into this genre, and it was more mainstream. I would say this album, on the other hand, has a uniqueness. The song, ‘Words I Used,’ really showcases that growth.”

Rating: 9.5/10

Best Song: Words I Used

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About the Contributor
Brett Brose
Brett Brose, Tom Tom Staff
Brett Brose is a senior that has been on staff for three years. He enjoys reading, listening to and playing music in his free time. He spends most of his money on records, books and coffee. Brose especially loves to write about music, as well as work on creative writing projects of his own.
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