The Soundtrack of Earth Day 2019
Earth Week Festivities have begun, and the long-awaited Earth Day Festivities on April 20 are almost upon us. This year’s lineup promises to be entertaining, and provide the perfect soundtrack to your day.
1. First up is the Chicago Afrobeat Project. The band started in 2002 when the musicians, fresh out of school, got together and began to jam. Afrobeat experimented with multiple types of music before creating a unique sound that combines elements of rock, hip-hop, jazz, and Chicago house RnB over an afro-beat. The band has a variety of music out, ranging from original songs without lyrics, originals with politically charged lyrics and covers of popular songs. Their most recent album, What Comes Up, was released in 2017 and features themes of ecological crises, freedom of expression and social and racial injustices. Afrobeat is easy to listen to, but provides an atmosphere to begin dialogues about issues that are taboo or that require more action in our society. Their messages, driving beat, and lively sound is sure to make for a good addition to the Earth Day festivities.
2. Jean Deaux is another musician hailing from Chicago who provides a fresh mix of house RnB and hip-hop. The mystical combination can be heard off of her first album, KRASH, which was released in the fall of 2018. Her RnB beats are combined with easy piano and violin chords that are then shrouded in an electronic finish. The album has singing, rapping and dialogues that give insight into the lives of different people that the songs could represent. This combination allows for a sound that is entirely unique to her. Deaux will be a great person to see live, and her wide array of talents and genres will shine.
3. Anemone is a psychedelic pop band from Montreal, Canada. Fresh off an album release earlier this year, the quintet has created music that is influenced by the 60s but still entirely new. Their name, Anemone, can be pronounced in many different ways, and they always welcome original pronunciations. This attitude is reflected in their music. They create music that can be listened to whenever and wherever, and can be what the listener wants it to be. This requires incredible artistry, as it is achieved in the emotions that their music evokes. Their laid back and chill sound matches the vibes of Earth Day, and the two will compliment each other nicely.
4. Ivy Sole is a singer/songwriter originally from Charlotte, NC, now living in Philadelphia after going to the Wharton School of Business at UPenn. Her hip-hop combines rap and singing in a perfect balance, creating a sound that will overtake you (happily paralleling her influence Mac Miller). The usually relaxed beats are layered with deep lyrics that examine challenges she has faced and that face our society. Her album, Overgrown, is a metaphor for how some parts of her are growing and flourishing while other parts and past selves are decaying. Her music takes the listener through this journey and allows for a relation to the music because of how she shares these personal stories. Sole’s music is unique in that the gospel and soul sound from her childhood in Charlotte have made it into her present hip-hop and artistry.
5. The second band from Philly, Spirit of the Beehive is a rock band whose most recent album was put out after only a few months of work — a testament to their incredible artistry because it sounds like they worked on it for over a year. Spirit excels at having a sound that washes over the audience and makes them feel. Their most recent album swings between relaxing guitar chords and beats to hard hitting vocals and strums. The juxtaposition they tried for and have found is startling like when you are about to fall asleep but then you jerk awake suddenly. Even this reflects the lyrics, which speak about the misconceptions and realities of life.
6. Of course, it wouldn’t be Earth Day without one of Skidmore’s very own bands, and this year it is Nu-Note! Nu-Note is a relatively new band on campus, but they have been hard at work. On Friday, April 5, they released their first single “Spell,” which does not disappoint. Their bass is very present which makes for great grooving, and is combined with piano runs, higher snare and cymbals that make for a jazzy feel. They also have soul and RnB influences that allow for beautiful blend of styles that is impossible to not like. Nu-Note’s passion for their music and what they do is incredible — and palpable when they play live. Earth Day will be a set to remember!
Earth Day is on April 20 from 12-6 pm on the Library Green. Let these bands be the soundtrack to your Saturday; you won’t want to miss it!