Eleanor Bogart-Stuart, staff writer
Although all three artists greatly differ in style and method, they have more in common then they think. With their new work they all share the pattern of a joyful, summery sound.
After such a dark and eccentric sophomore album, rapper/actor Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) has released a new song that comes a bit out of left field. “Sober” is simply infectious. It’s mellow beat is accompanied by simple lyrics that describe Glover’s look back and his mourning the lost possibility of a bright future while describing “all the things that we can be.” It’s repeating line of “and now that it’s over, I’ll never be sober” is practically a lullaby of adult proportions thank to Gambino’s sultry croon. It’s the first track off of his STN MTN/Kauai mixtape, which does not yet have a release date.
Tennis was mainly known for their slow and cheerful hit “Marathon”, which can be found on their 2012 debut album “Cape Dory.” Their best work, however, was shown within last year’s album “Young & Old” and 5-song EP “Small Sound.” With an impressive repertoire of indie, happy pop-rock behind them, the husband and wife had a lot to live up to with their third studio album, “Ritual in Repeat“. Unfortunately, Tennis just couldn’t match the smooth and satisfying sounds of their previous work. They have fallen into a trap that many bands fall into after releasing a first album: repetition. The peppy-rock that used to be a cute characteristic of all their songs has now become the same, dull happy guitar sound. The only standout songs are “Timothy”, “Needle and a Knife” and “Wounded Heart”, which, unsurprisingly, take different, angst-laden routes from the other tracks on the album.
By this point in time, most people have heard of the name Vance Joy. His ultra-summery single “Riptide” became a hit this year thanks to its catchy three-chord melody and simple production. Joy technically began playing music in the early 2000s, but just signed a record deal in 2013. He released his first album, “Dream Your Life Away”, in September. “Riptide” is a song that encompasses the soul of the rest of his album, a folky-eclectic journey through heartbreak delivered by raspy crooning and repetitive acoustic riffs. His music sounds heavily influenced by groups like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, as well as melancholy singer-songwriter Bon Iver. However, his typically clean and simple production has a strong effect on the bold and straight-forward lyrics it accompanies. Joy has definitely found his niche.