With summer ending and classes gaining speed Jacob’s Ladder takes a look back on what some of our peers got into this summer and what they listened to all the while.
Songs in the Key of Life- Stevie Wonder
I spent a lot of time working for the college and finishing up the remainder of my commercial pilot’s license. The times between work and flying began to feel really isolated, especially after summer term ended and campus was almost entirely empty. I spent a lot of time driving back and forth through Billings listening to music to keep myself from going stir-crazy.
Young Nudy – Rich Shooter
I spent a lot of the summer just doing what I really wanted and loved: playing basketball, late-night bowling, and some work here and there. I feel like this album came back into my rotation due to its insistence that people should stay true to themselves. Alongside that I cherished the soft side of my life, having friends around that have always been there and doing what we’ve always enjoyed.
Nudy is more than capable of sillier modes. “How I Eat” sees him slide into a squeaky, helium-addled flow, while “Green Bean” has a vague synth beat. Nudy’s fond of contrasts and irony, like “We Do Not Give Up,” which jolts you to attention with gunfire before breaking off into a Drake spin. Listening to Nudy’s solo tracks, I felt close to his mentality; the guest appearances remind me of how versatile he is. “Can’t Clone Me” puts it bluntly. While Young Nudy might share roots with his predecessors, he has come into his own.
Gemini Rights – Steve Lacy
I hoped for troves of fun events in the summer, but they didn’t come in the positive manner I hoped. Despite turbulence and some challenges, I felt steady on my
footing as it all eventually passed. Beyond that, I saw many sights: the Sierra National Forest, Las Vegas, The Outer Banks, and much more. I did not end my summer feeling destitute, but humbled.
I think this album resonates with a lot of similar themes. Lacy echoes an unapologetic perspective on finding oneself and the ripples it leaves. Songs like “Static,”
“Bad Habit,” and “Give You the World” speak on Lacy’s concept of love, a love in which the parties seek interdependence, and when these ideals aren’t met the subsequent reclusion from the relationship is subconscious. Beyond its ties to romantic love, the album is lined with Lacy’s own inner work to find himself first as a person and then as an artist. Lacy’s self-awareness and talent inspired me. It felt like a call to sit down and take inventory of what I still had in spite of trying times. Lastly, it had a vulnerability that was infectious. My personal favorite track “Cody Freestyle” shows a person grappling with selfishness like me.
Dance Fever by Florence and the Machine
Summer was never a season I valued above the others as many students and teachers do, but this year I actually enjoyed myself, and I think it's safe to say that the music I listened to during this time contributed to that. I’ve always loved Florence Welch and how her mind works, but this album solidified her in my mind as one of my favorite artists. I am also a strong believer that the music a person needs will reveal itself at the needed moment, whether that is through some overarching spiritual knowing or the trends of things. “King” and “The Bomb” as well as “Free” are among my favorites. Her lyrics and sound provide a liberation as great as summer itself. Flo’s style, the rawness of her voice, and the breadth of her vulnerability are enthralling, especially when joined by the feminist influence present in a lot of her songs. I think it is the sheer humanness in conjunction with her otherworldly essence that makes her music and this album so unique.
Citrona- Flipturn, Sadnecessary- Milky Chance, Fortress- Miniature Tigers
Honestly, I’ve been in a music rut this entire summer and can’t name a single new album I’ve listened to in its entirety. I have been listening to my old favorites and they’ve been doing me pretty well.