The Stray Birds make beautiful bluegrass, a lush sound characterized by tight harmonies and all-encompassing instrumentation. “Sabrina” is no exception, three-part vocal harmonies soaring above mandolin, guitars, and fiddle. It’s more upbeat than some of their other work, a dance song extolling Yuengling and living wild. The song’s bright shuffling is a joy, a tightly-wound chunk of down-south cheer and storytelling.
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The Bourgeois’ “Summer of George” rocks like it’s 2007, their form of alt-metal ticking all the boxes which made bands like Evans Blue and Mudvayne so good. Drop-tuned guitars noodle, drums skitter forward, and lead singer Zach Mobley drawls seethingly over it all. It’s an immersive song, bass and guitar enveloping in the verse and overpowering in the chorus. It’s a time-tested style, and if “Summer of George” is any indication, it’ll continue testing well for a while.
The downcast pop of Esh is part Adele, part Tove Lo — mournful and slow while retaining a more nasally inflection and immersive electronic production. Esh makes a strong case for merging these two genres more frequently, spectral synths moaning over unobtrusive drums and impassioned vocals. Esh (Sarai Givaty) casts a dusky pall over her music, looming large above the dull brilliance of the production behind her. Pop is always interesting when it takes a turn for the ominous, and Esh is no exception to that rule.
Last week I wrote about the story content of Spirits of Xanadu. This week I want to write about its graphics, those terrible graphics that “look like a student project from the early 90s”. That description still holds true, but what’s impressive about this virtual world of simple geometric shapes is how much emotion and style it wrings out of such low fidelity graphics. It might not showcase much detail, but it know how to frame a scene, and in this case, composition is more important than detail.
There are two scenes in particular that I want to call out. Both can kind of be considered spoilers, but one can definitely be considered a spoiler, so I recommend that you play the game first before reading on. It’s only a few hours long and only $10.00 on Steam. With that said…
Chris Ingalls: An excellent collaborative effort that seems completely natural. Producer the Bug teams up with grime MC D Double E and it’s a deft pairing. Everything clicks. The Bug’s stuttering beats and blips are a perfect foil for D Double E’s rapid-fire rhymes, creating a contemporary urgency. The arrangement is dense and stuffed with interesting sonic choices - there’s something new to discover on each listen. [8/10]
// Moving Pixels
"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.READ the article