It’s that time of the year to mix booze with your cider and spend way too long on that D.I.Y. costume you thought would be wicked cool, but really just turned into a heaping mess of dried glue and fake blood (nice try though!). It’s time for our favorite holiday – Halloween! Carve your pumpkins and get your candy ready, because we’re diving into another Detroit playlist that will raise you from the dead and get your zombie-feet stomping.
Check out our picks this week! It’s sure to be a real fright!
1. Dear Darkness— “A Couple Fingers of Scotch”
Roughed up post-punk duo, Dear Darkness, offers up theatrical vocals with fuzzy guitar riffs that will you have your head banging to the beat. These chicks play up their garage-grunge style with ghostly harmonizing vocals that linger in the backdrop and haunt your soul. Each song on their release, Be Nice Honey, is catchy and dark with that perfect hint of angst.
2. Black Milk—“I Guess”
Hustling a transcendent, deep and moving single, Black Milk offers you a chance to sit down and just listen. The beats are steady and rhythmic while his rhymes merely touch the surface without breaking through and roughing up the track. The mood is somber and introspective with echoing vocals behind his voice to give a dreamy effect. The music is crisp and smooth, leaving you grasping for more. It’s easy to feel the heart of Detroit in his beats and we enjoy the laidback vibe.
3. Sound Boy—“Joy Road”
Sound Boy brings the very essence of R&B, hip/hop, and blues in his most recent release, No Format. This 16-track album keeps the mood relaxed and sultry with layers of simple beats that include piano, saxophone, and jazzy flute progressions. The tracks are short and sweet, which makes the listening experience effortless and casual. Sound Boy’s talent is undeniable as he mashes the old with the new and creates a soundscape that flows effortlessly.
4. Joel Edwards—“Trauma from Torture”
A simple acoustic singer/songwriter could easily be the description for this review, but that’s not the case for Joel Edwards. Sylvia, his sophomore release, is a haunting story of young girl brutally tortured by those that were paid to care for her. Not ironically Edwards’ album was released on the 50th anniversary of her death. The backstory alone is enough to give you the chills, but this album amplifies those eerie feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Each track harbors melancholy guitar chords and subtle supporting instrumentation that rounds out the silence, which feels purposeful and warranted. These haunting tracks are guaranteed to knot your heartstrings.There’s nothing more raw than a voice and a guitar, and Edwards knows how to play up those simple aspects to create a rounded-out sound that’s fulfilling yet leaves you grasping for more.
5. Poor Player—“Upon the Blue Ridge Mountains”
Some of the most authentic folk-Americana can be found inside the instrumental minds of Detroit folk group, Poor Player. As nostalgic as a paved-road drive out of the city, or hike in the woods, Poor Player’s release, High Holy Hills, will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside with thoughts of simpler times. Country slicked harmonies dance with electric guitar and lap steel solos, saloon-style piano, and a raucous jumble of harmonicas, bass and percussion. It’s as American as folk music can get and it’ll fill your heart with pride. We recommend a shot of moonshine whilst listening (please drink responsibly—as if you could, it’s moonshine).
6. HALA—“Something Else”
Quirky track titles, singular surfy sounds and a garage-style vibe is what we’ve discovered from HALA’s album, Seniors. It’s a humorous and dreamy adventure that has everything you love about lo-fi indie rock, and then some. Electric guitars churn out bright and groovy riffs, while beachy bass runs and fast-paced drum clips round out the sound. The vocals are low-key and welcoming, keeping the mood light and fun. You can listen to HALA while you admire that awesome Persian rug you found at the thrift store on the cheap.
7. We Are The Wild—“Wasting Time”
We Are The Wild bring you an alternative-folk mash-up with their EP, An Introduction. This release is filled with harmonious vocals and high-energy drums with accenting guitar strums. It’s like folk with a harsh twist that lends itself to more brooding and moody rock n’ roll. The body-swaying beat is bluesy and funky, which shows off their impressive guitar licks and trolling bass. There’s a beautiful contrast of delicate and rugged that makes this artist suitable for any mood you find yourself in.
8. Child Bite—“Life as A Parasite”
Hardcore is an understatement when you’re discussing Child Bite’s album, Vision Crimes. The bass runs are unstoppable as the guitar riffs practically tear your face off as they carry the momentum of these metal-coated tracks. This post-punk group doesn’t let you down easy as the drums kick it into high gear and keep the pace frantic and unrelenting. The vocals are wonderfully erratic and in your face; a head-banger’s dream. There’s shredding and mashing of instruments and voices. You can’t sit idly by while listening to Child Bite, you have to smash something at least a few times.
9. The Arch Mystics—“I’ll Forget You”
Colors In The Water by The Arch Mystics is a heart melting, mind-wandering masterpiece that’s as relaxing as it is exhilarating. Female vocals float delicately over Motown-style bass, and bursting saxophone. Arranged with special attention to detail, this release brings back that big band sound with a toned down twist. Horns, flutes, clarinets—you name it and they’ve got it. You can’t get any classier than this. Make sure to throw this on the next time you want to charm your sweety, seriously.
10. Casual Sweetheart—“Marchers of Loaf”
Take a listen to Casual Sweetheart’s newest release Always/Never if you’re looking for a nostalgic, punk rock album that will surely get you on your feet and wearing ridiculous amounts of leather. Casual Sweetheart keeps the energy high and the tracks enticing with their hyperactive drums and layered vocals. The guitars are fuzzy and playful keeping the vibe light, but this is garage punk rock, so that sinister grunginess you expect still dwells at the heart of this release.
We hope all you playlist junkies enjoy your night of terror, but be smart and safe! (Your parents told us you were a party animal).
You can find us back here next week for another round of Detroit artists, and as always, comment below and let us know what you think!
Happy haunting to all!