Category Archives: Album News

Information Session Tonight

Hey everybody!

Are you interested in listening to CDs before they even hit stores from artists such as Vampire Weekend, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and The Civil Wars? Do you love the sound of your own voice and think others should hear it on the radio? Have you dreamed of expressing your musical tastes on the radio?

WUSO 89.1 FM is having an info session tonight from 8 – 9 pm in Shouvlin 105. Don’t worry if you don’t know exactly what you want to do with WUSO just yet – that is what this meeting is for! WUSO’s executive board will be there to introduce you to all of the aspects of Wittenberg University’s radio station, answer your questions, and get your input of what you would like to hear on the station. We might even be giving you some WUSO swag!

Everyone is welcome to come! If you are a student, faculty member, staff member, or just a member of the Clark County community, you are encouraged to come to the meeting! We want to get input, radio show submissions, and CD reviews from everyone! We hope to see you there!


(Image via, full link:

Welcome back!!!

Welcome everyone to another fantastic year at Wittenberg from WUSO 89.1 FM, the berg, your student-run radio station! I’m Melanie Ellis, WUSO’s Webmaster! Our executive board is so excited to see returning students and meet incoming students, so we decided to host a live broadcast to provide the soundtrack for your move in!

We have an awesome morning planned for you guys! Members of our executive board will be DJing while you guys are all moving in, from 7:30 am till 12 pm. To learn more about these awesome people, check out our staff page at

We’ll be doing giveaways, throwing you guys some sunglasses, cups, water pouches, and our coveted shirts from Wittfest 2014 (ask any upperclassman – we ! Listen to 89.1 FM to find out how to get this awesome swag!

There will also be a few visitors today – some of our incredible faculty and staff members are joining us on the air! We’ll be interviewing them this morning, so tune in to get the scoop about these people before you meet them!

To our returning students, welcome back to campus! To our new students, welcome to the best school you ever did see!

New Music Thursday!

The Chieftans- Voice of the Ages
Caity says: New takes on traditional Irish music! Incorporates artists from a variety of genres, including indie-rock, Americana, Scottish folk; just look at the list of featured artists!!! (Bon Iver, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Paolo Nutini, Lisa Hannigan… to name a few.)

Down in the Willow Garden (featuring Bon Iver):


Hospitality- Hospitality
Mix with: Belle & Sebastian, Vampire Weekend
Caity says: Rich arrangements of keyboards, horns, synths, guitars, and a compelling female voice. Catchy pop aspects that encourage dancing.

Lana Del Rey- Born to Die
Caity says: Beautifully crafted pop songs, with 50s female vocals. Distinctive sound, but sometimes the melodramatic production is overwhelming.


Laura Gibson- La Grande
Mix with: Feist, The Decemberists
Kate says:  Nice folk-y female vocals. Well balances between slightly ambient/ airy and more fast paced.

La Grande:


Nada Surf- The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
Mix with: Telekinesis, Band of Horses
Kate says: Sounds a lot like past Nada Surf, if a bit more upbeat. Fairly simple and catchy throughout.

Of Montreal- Paralytic Stalks
Mix with: Deerhunter, Passion Pit
Kate says: Good psychedelic-indie-pop with intriguing lyrics.
Caity says: It’s basically a hippie vomit up of all the drugs they’ve taken in their life.

Regeneration (multiple artists)
Steven says: Groovy contemporary music mixed with classics or classical music.

Sharon Van Etten- Tramp
Mix with: Neko Case, The National
Caity says: Hypnotic female vocals with a variety of instrumentation, with a sense of folk foundations and emotionally propelled rock aspects.


Terra Lightfoot- Terra Lightfoot
Mix with: Blind Pilot, Laura Veirs
Kate says: Folk/rock/pop singer songwriter. The best songs are where she successfully focuses within a genre, ie. the most strictly folk, rock, or pop tracks.

Heads, Tails, Tails:


New Music!

Hey guys! Here’s our first round of new music from the CD Review Committee [Caity, Kent, Andrew, Nate (and sometimes Kate)] this semester!


Interesting in being on the CD Review Committee? Email Caity Valley at


Big Harp- White Hat

Mix with: My Morning Jacket, Tallahassee
Andrew says: “Country folk/indie. Guy sings throughout pretty low and liltingly. Some really cool tunes and great guitar work.”

White Hat:


CSS- La Liberaciòn
Mix with: My Morning Jacket, Tallahassee
Andrew says: “Poppy techno-ish, indie/alt. Lots of female vocals. Dry talking parts throughout. Fun and catchy.”

City Grrl:


Etta James- The Dreamer
Mix with: Gary Clark Jr., Aretha Franklin
Andrew says: “Very blues-centered sound. Low female vocals with soul. Some interesting takes on old songs. Her last album before she passed away.”

In The Evening:


Jim Keller- Soul Candy
Mix with: Elvis Costello, Tom Petty
Andrew says: “Deep male vocals, kind of viscous and growly. Makes some nice catchy tunes, nothing too serious.”


Tallahassee- Jealous Hands
Mix with: Big Harp, Fleet Foxes
Andrew says: “Blue grass type indie rock. Some nice textures.”

Winter Trees:

New Music Thursday: New Sigur Rós, Real Estate, Phantogram

New music this week from the WUSO CD Review Committee (Kent, Andrew, Nate, Caity, Joe, and Rory).

Interested in joining the WUSO CD Review Committee? Email Kent at


The track ‘Cardinal Rules’ includes the lines “I’m going downtown/ Springfield, alright!/Oh, tonight.” Like anything alluding to any given Springfield, we’ll just pretend it’s about our own. And we even have a link to a free MP3 of that song from their label for you, too.


No review yet, but Sigur Rós released a new live album, Inni, recorded during a two night London performance by only the original four members, with two free tracks avaliable for download on their web site: Ný Batterí and Festival.


The Dø-Both Ways Open Jaws
Mix with: Moriarty, Cocoon, Asteroids Galaxy Tour, White Rabbits
Nate says: “Really catchy indie’folk album spearheaded by some superb vocals. Some electronic and pop touches thrown in to good effect.”


The Jigsaw Seen
Mix with: XTC, The Kinks, Squeeze
Nate says: “A really fun and original-sounding Christmas/winter-themed album with folk rock and classic rock influences.”


*Joy Kills Sorrow- This Unknown Science*
Mix with: Nickel Creek, Wailin’ Jennys
Caity says: “Combines the virtuoso skill of traditional bluegrass with contemporary songwriting.”

One More Night, live at Halkaer Kro in Aalborg, Denmark:


Last Charge of the Light Horse- Curve
Mix with: Movies with Heros, Dreamers of the Ghetto
Andrew says: “An interesting and very well done mix of low-key dark rock and traditional indie-pop song structure. Very melodic with some great song writing.”


Loney, Dear- Hall Music
Mix with: Patrick Watson, Portugal.The Man
Caity says: “The album is essentially an attempt to communicate love. Harmonious laying of orchestral instrumentation and sentimental synths.”


Pajama Club- Pajama Club
Mix with: MGMT, The xx, Modest Mouse
Caity says: “Low key typical indie pop. Low key vocals and repetitive synth beats with drums with lots of reverb guitar and heavy bass. Very chill, almost psychedelic tunes.”


*Phantogram- Nightlife*
Mix with: Yacht, Cults, Pheonix
Andrew says: “Techno/indie vocals and sound. Lots of catchy rhythms and melodies. Predominately female vocals (girl sings in the duo). Lots of synth and repetitive drums. Would appeal to college kids.”

Make a Fist, studio performance:


*Real Estate- Days*
Mix with: My Morning Jacket, The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie
Andrew says: “Light indie rock, some Shins-like guitar sounds. On the whole fairly catchy stuff.”

It’s Real, studio performance:


*Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin- Tape Club*
Mix with: Kaiser Chiefs, Toyko Police Club, Throw Me The Statue
Andrew says: “High and light male vocals. Many of the songs are classic indie mellow guitars and carefree major melodies. On the whole and interesting band. ”

Cardinal Rules (MP3 download, from their original record label):


9Tomorrows- Gravity in Love
Mix with: Fountains of Wayne
Nate says: “Combines the very best elements of blues, indie rock, and reggae to create an enjoyable record. Plus, the vocals are outstanding.”


*Wishes and Thieves- Lighthouse EP*
Mix with: Phantogram, Phoenix, Jeff Buckley
Andrew says: “Ethereal techno indie. Sultry female vocals. Catchy drum beats and synth sounds over light indie rock guitars.”


Coldplay, “Mylo Xyloto”

"Mylo Xyloto" (Parlophone, 2011)

A week after the release of their fifth studio album, “Mylo Xyloto” (pronounced “MY-lo ZY-letoe”), Coldplay’s official Twitter feed read the following: “Worldwide highest first week iTunes sales ever—of any artist. #1 album in 21 countries so far.” At this point, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Coldplay might just be the biggest band in the world today. And they know it. For better or for worse, this year’s “Mylo Xylolto” sounds exactly like the kind of album that Earth’s most popular band might create.

As a great admirer of Coldplay’s early work on releases like 2000’s “Parachutes” (including international hits like “Yellow,”) or 2002’s “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” with tracks like “Clocks” and “The Scientist,” seeing the bands development through the course of the last decade has been more than a little bit worrying. The band’s third release “X&Y” (2005) began a gradual departure from the personal and intimate, guitar and piano based, slightly rough-around-the-edges alternative rock of their earlier creations, toward more heavily studio-produced, mass market music, in the style of radio friendly hit singles like “Speed of Sound” and “Fix You.”

The massively commercially successful “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends” from 2008 saw the band adapt “French revolutionary” costumes on their world tour and the album’s single “Viva la Vida” thoroughly monopolized the radio waves all summer long. With “Mylo Xyloto,” the Coldplay boys have arrived, musically, at a strikingly different place than when they were strumming their guitars in little pubs around Liverpool ten years ago. Coldplay’s development over the years has felt as if they were a gang of blue-eyed country boys breaking out of their molds, and small town quiet comfort, running off to see the world. In this way, the band’s albums have subsequently gotten bigger, more expansive and appealing to increasing scores of audiences. With “Mylo Xyloto,” Coldplay has come full circle, reaching the Big City, with no sign of turning back.

Influenced by “old school American graffiti and the White Rose Movement,” as the band itself claims, “Mylo Xyloto” has largely faded the acoustic guitars and piano—which were so prominent in earlier times—to the background, behind layers of synths and drum beats, making it easily Coldplay’s most danceable, club-friendly album. It also presents itself as a concept album, with the album’s lyrics following a love story taking place within the context of a kind of oppressive, Orwellian society, complete with the paranoia and fear of surveillance described in songs like “Major Minus” (“They’ve got one eye watching you/One eye on what you do/So be careful who it is you’re talking to”), and a portrait of youthful naïvité and hopes of a blissful living being crushed in the face of reality, on the single “Paradise” (“When she was just a girl/She expected the world/But it flew away from her reach/And the bullets catch in her teeth.”) The concept album feel is driven home with the inclusion of three under-a-minute instrumental vignettes, in the spirit of classic concept albums like Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” or “The Wall.”

The album opens with the airy and gentle 42-second instrumental title track, launching seamlessly into the soaring and aerodynamic “Hurts Like Heaven,” which has a way of sweeping the listener off her or her feet, serving as a very potent album opener, leading into the more laid back “Paradise” and the hard-hitting and melodic “Peanuts”-inspired “Charlie Brown.” “Us Against the World” is a simple acoustic guitar tune that slows things down, being the first obviously romantic song on the album, furthering the album’s conceptual plot. Brian Eno’s influence (an innovator in ambient electronic music and one the album’s producers) is heard on tracks like the brief “M.M.I.X,” which moves into “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” the gradual festival-pleaser, released as a single earlier in the summer.

Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin’s flirtations with hip hop and R’n’B—beginning with Martin contributing vocals to Kanye West’s 2008 single “Homecoming” and continuing with Jay-Z being featured on an EP from the “Viva la Vida” era—have finally resulted in a first date on “Mylo Xyloto.” A definite outlier in Coldplay’s songwriting history, “Princess of China” is a noise-filled, dance-friendly duet featuring Rihanna. If “Mylo Xyloto” is a gritty movie on urban life, “Princess of China” is the turbulent club scene.

A definite standout from “Mylo Xyloto” is the guitar-driven “Major Minor,” harkening back to tracks like “Shiver,” from Coldplay’s earliest albums. Tracks like the acoustic “U.F.O” provide more quiet intermissions between louder songs, while tracks like “Up in Flames” and “Up with the Birds” glean moments from the band’s piano-influenced past.

The lyrics on “Mylo Xyloto” are also worth mentioning. It would almost seem as if Coldplay’s lyrical variety and vocabulary have gotten smaller as their variety of instrumentation has gotten more experimental and diverse. For someone who, in 2002, sang verses like “Come up to meet you/Tell you I’m sorry/You don’t know how lovely you are” in the intensely heartfelt way they appear on the single “The Scientist,” uttering something like “I turn the music up/I got my records on” in the way they are on “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” just does not seem characteristic of Chris Martin or the rest of the band. It feels less honest, somehow cheaper, less evocative. Whether or not it is simply a reflection of the band’s musical phase at the moment, the words do not seem to be coming from the same place they did on earlier works.

The lyrics on “Mylo Xyloto” range from occasional genuinely thoughtful metaphorical writing, with lines like “Like a river to a raindrop I lost a friend” on “Up with the Birds” to articulations like “Come on baby, don’t let it break your heart.” Or take the opener “Hurts Like Heaven,” with the chorus “You use your heart as a weapon/And it hurts like heaven.” It is, of course, up to the listener to decide whether pop music truly has something to contribute to biblical exegesis, or if Chris Martin simply chose his words for the sake of alliteration and an admittedly catchy chorus.

While Coldplay’s latest offering might come as a disappointment to those expecting a return to their earlier work, “Mylo Xyloto” is far from being a bad album. Although Coldplay have certainly adopted a more mainstream, pop sound—being better suited for radio airplay and dance parties than evenings by candlelight—what they do, they do very well. Even after analyzing the album under a critical microscope, one cannot help but admit that the tunes of “Mylo Xyloto” are endlessly infectious, catchy and fun. And while their lyrical message might not inspire social change, the narrative it weaves is definitely enjoyable, overall making the album a worthy, though markedly different, addition to the Coldplay canon.

(Martin Lukk is a Staff Writer for the The Wittenberg Torch. He can be reached at

It’s Thursday again…

New music this week from the WUSO CD Review Committee (Kent, Andrew, Nate, Caity, Joe, and Rory).

One of these bands is on Red Bull’s label. Which does, in fact, exist. Now the free Red Bull everywhere at CMJ makes sense: as Caity puts it, “they need an in with the music industry…all the hipsters need energy, too.”


Interested in joining the WUSO CD Review Committee? Email Kent at


*Bonnie “Prince” Billy- Wolfroy Goes To Town*
Mix with: Iron & Wine, Sun Kil Moon
Caity says: “Will Oldham’s latest record is folky, mystical, and quirky. Songs take awhile to build but are worth it.”

New Whaling:


*Gauntlet Hair- Gauntlet Hair*
Mix with: Dead Oceans
Caity says: “Shining, disorienting, colorful noise-pop anthems. Melodic and exploratory.”


The Cranberries- Tomorrow
Mix with: “Tomorrow” (Single)
Kent says: “Good mid tempo pop song, female vocals. If you’re familiar with this band, it sounds just like everything else (not bad).”


David Lynch- Crazy Clown Time
Mix with: Blockhead
Nate says: “Slow, atmospheric tracks that would probably best serve as background music in one of Lynch’s movies. Requires a full listen to appreciate.”


Pterodactyl- Spills Out
Mix with: Double Dagger, PRE
Nate says: “Decent post-punk rock with some interesting riffs. Really solid drumming throughout.”


Rob Crow- He Thinks He’s People
Mix with: Pinback, Three Mile Pilot
Nate says: “Really good low-key record with multiple stylings. Great tracks on here. Best described as slower indie pop.”


*Sparkadia- The Great Impression*
Mix with: Arcade Fire, Muse, The Dodos
Kent says: “Stadium indie rock…. big choruses and good harmonies. Lots of instruments in the background.”


Twin Atlantic- Free
Mix with: Manchester Orchestra, My Chemical Romance
Kent says: “A little heavy and mainstream rock-ish, but not terrible.”

New Music Thursday!

WUSO CD Review Committee (Kent, Andrew, Nate, Caity, Joe, and Rory) offers their expert opinions on the new music this week. Favorites albums are starred, as usual… there were a lot of great music this week! Tune into WUSO to hear more from these albums.


Interested in joining the WUSO CD Review Committee? Email Kent at

The Beets- Let the Poison Out

Mix with: Sic Alps, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall
Nate says: “A mixture of psychedelic and garage rock. Lots of reverb, acoustic guitar, and gang vocals.”

*Gringo Star- Count Yer Lucky Stars
Mix with: The Doors, The Animals, The Killers, The Stroke, The Arctic Monkeys
Joe says: “Awesome indie rock with bluey classic rock notes mixed in. Fun vocals, good driving music.”
*Group Love- Never Trust a Happy Song
Mix with: Tokyo Police Club, Two Door Cinema Club
Nate says: “Authentic and energetic indie pop. Very catchy; not a low moment in the album.”

Colours (Live at SXSW 2011):


*Have Gun Will Travel- Mergers & Acquisitions 
Mix with: Old 97s, Low Anthem, Avett Brothers, Langhorneslim
Kent says: “Good mix of bluegrass, country, and rock. A bit redundant at times, but some really cool modern country rock on here.”
The Loose Hinges- The Loose Hinges
Mix with: The Shins, Sleater-Kinny
Joe says: “Light beats w synth. Vocals are nice. Lyrics are simple. Background/elevator music.”
*M83- HurryUp,We’reDreaming.
Mix with: Neon Indian
Kent says: “Synthy indie pop, a lot of electronics but some really cool spacey songs here too!”

Midnight City:

The Rapture- In the Grace of Your Love
Mix with: Metronomy, Holy Ghost, Friendly Fires, LCD Soundsystem
Nate says: “A seamless blend of dance, indie pop, and port-punk influences.”
*Tom Waits- Bad as Me
Mix with: Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen
Kent says: “Really gravelly voice, lots of experimental instrumentation but some good rockers and ballads hidden beneath.”


Sticks and Stones: Feist Rests her Bones with “Metals”

“If ‘The Reminder’ is Feist’s golden child success story, then ‘Metals’ is its moodier older sister.” — “Metals” (Cherrytree/Interscope Records, 2011)

(By Kelsie Evelsizor, Staff Writer for the The Wittenberg Torch)

After a two year hiatus, Canadian songwriter Leslie Feist returns with a new album that is a much darker departure from her previous pop efforts.

“Metals” was released on Oct. 4 and is Feist’s fourth album.  This effort delves deeper into the bluesy folk that skirts around the edges of the 2007 album “The Reminder.”

You may remember the sweet and simple single “1234.”  Perhaps you heard it on an iPod commercial or on “Sesame Street.”  Sometimes it plays in department stores, and I find myself shopping with a lighter step.  This cute pop style has not been laid to rest in her new album, but “Metals” is a bit fiercer.

If “The Reminder” is Feist’s golden child success story, then “Metals” is its moodier older sister.  The lyrics are still catchy, yet there is a sophistication that might be attributed to the singer’s experience.

Feist, 35, recorded the album in a renovated barn in Big Sur, CA.  The coastal influence can especially be heard on the sixth track.  “The Circle Married the Line” is a repetitive song where she expresses a desire to “get some clarity following signs.”  The sunset is not the only place she looks to catch her breath.

The album’s title explains the heavy influence and presence of nature in the songs.  By looking at the artwork on the cover, the listener can imagine Feist actually lounging on a tree branch and listening to the birds: “Come to the hill / Got a nest to build,” she sings on the lush closer, “Get it Wrong Get it Right.”

In “Caught a Long Wind,” she seems to become the bird itself, asking, “Where will you go to stay afloat? / Feeling old until the wing unfolded.”  This album is her journey to find peace in her life by stripping everything down and reconnecting to the land.

With classes and hectic schedules, not to mention the droning club thumping music that seems to dominate the airwaves, “Metals” is a space to catch your breath.  The album takes you under its wing, and Feist croons in such a heartfelt and wide-ranging manner that you can’t help but be at ease and sway along.

But it’s not pure hippie strumming and loving.  She experiments with horns, strings, handclaps, and background vocals to create an atmospheric sound.  The songs bleed into one another, but there is enough distinction between them that this does not cause the scope of the CD to wax monotone.

Besides nature, Feist deals in heartache on songs like “Comfort Me” and “How Come You Never Go There.”  The latter is a very bluesy track that evokes the smoky vocal styling of Cat Power’s Chan Marshall.

The best track is “Cicadas and Gulls,” because it highlights Feist’s raw vocals with simple guitar picking.  She shines the brightest when superfluities are extinguished.

In this song, she sings “Maps can be poems / When you’re on your own.”  However, her poetic, melancholy songs can be studied like maps to try to figure out some of their hushed riddles.   Or they can just be heard with the same intent as they were recorded: to find solitude and stillness.

(Kelsie Evelsizor is a Staff Writer for the The Wittenberg Torch. She can be reached at