HAPPY COLLEGE RADIO DAY! Borrowed the image from CMJ, and here’s my list:
• Cerulean, Baths. Will Wiesenfeld performed at the first Art After Hours I attended on campus, after which those events became a staple of my Thursday evenings. From his SoCal roots to the maximalist, overwhelmingly awesome sound, Cerulean encapsulates my first semester of college.
• Cape Dory, Tennis. One of the first albums I reviewed for the station, not too long after they performed live on campus (brought to us by the wonderful DJ Ari). The sound of early Tennis screams traveling, happiness and nostalgia, all of which defined my college experience.
• Tomboy, Panda Bear. The first album I played in the station that I thought was kinda weird at first, but grew to love, like so many that make KSPC great. Noah Lennox bends genres like no one’s business: who knew Gregorian chant-style singing over electronics would work so well? Panda Bear, along with associated artists like Animal Collective and Atlas Sound, expanded my tastes in music beyond the point of return, and I love it.
• The North Borders, Bonobo. I spent large portions of my senior year writing papers (hello, thesis!) and ambient/pretty electronic became my go-to genre. Bonobo’s most recent album stuck with me the most. You can tell he really knows what he’s doing, with 10+ years in the industry; the production mastery shines through live as well as on the CD.
• James Blake, James Blake. How could I not mention James Blake in the same breath as college? James Blake was part of every year of my undergraduate career, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! He released his first album in my freshman year spring, and second in my junior year spring; I completed the cycle by seeing him in concert in both my sophomore and senior year. Both albums and concerts arrived at transformative moments, and I also think both albums transformed my life, through their heartfelt and often heartrending beauty.
I nominate everyone reading this post, if you so choose! Go forth and support college radio!