Destiny Barton

Gushes, complaints, and stories.

Category: Music

I Discovered a New Artist

Her name is Tessa Violet and she’s one of the many YouTube musicians.

It was this past Saturday. I had an assignment to be working on when I stumbled on her newest music video so, my obsessive discovery of it was ill-timed. Funnily enough, the beginning line of the song is “I can’t focus on what needs to get done.”

I regret nothing.

I’m into the music video far more than the song itself, though do not get me wrong, the song is fantastic. It is exemplary of the potential of indie pop music. It’s fresh, it’s catchy, and it’s about unrequited love. It’s perfect.

The music video is even better. It’s filmed in a small grocery store where Tessa sings and dances through aisles, in a shopping cart, on the check out, on top of the freezers. Describing it does not do it justice. The pace of the editing and shots mirror the beat and melody of the song in a fun way. The whole thing is fun, charming, and kind of bouncy, a lot of which has to do with Tessa herself.

Tessa has bright yellow hair, with matching backpack and shoes, and you can tell she’s having a blast with it. She flashes some adorable, crooked smiles, sticks her tongue out a bunch, and at times tosses herself into her dance moves. If we’re talking about pop as being cookie-cutter and most of the cookies are perfect, manufactured sugar cookies, Tessa and her song are a homemade M&M cookie.

This video does feel like it’s coming from an independent artist and it’s all the better for it. This video is a musician doing the best with what she’s got to make her art and share it and nailing it.

Watch it. Obsess over it.

The Internet and Music

I feel like a love-hate relationship with the Internet is inescapable for everyone.

The whole music industry likely has one of the more blatantly contentious relationships with the Internet, aside from, you know, everyone else.

As technology has advanced, the focus of music distribution has put convenience over quality. Obviously, musicians aren’t stoked. MP3s, which if you know much about audio files, are nearly the worst. They utilize lossy compression which, as it cutely says on its own, means they lose data.

Basically, the technology that is used to get music to consumers and the streaming services that most of us use promote the distribution of compressed audio, especially since most music is played through computer or cell phone speakers.  This whole issue really bothers most musicians, understandably so. People aren’t hearing everything that musicians are putting into their work.

Thanks to the internet and newer technology, we have poorer quality music and singles are valued over albums, putting pressure on musicians to churn out hits. The Internet is a bummer.

However, I discovered The Avett Brothers, Mal Blum, and an entire album about wanting to meet Richard Dreyfus because of the Internet. (That album is by Gabriel Gundacker. Look. It. Up.) Words cannot express how grateful I am to have found an album that basically retells the plot of the movie Space Jam and bouncy, indie songs about orange juice. All of this thanks to first, Pandora and then, Spotify’s Discover Weekly.

Tons of my favorite music is only known to me at all because I first heard some terrible, compressed version of it on the Internet. Have you heard of Watsky? No? You can find him all over the internet.

After you find him on the Internet, you can invest in some amazing headphones. You can buy incredible sounds systems. You can learn everything you need to know about how to maintain an impeccable collection of Watsky vinyl.

Yes, the Internet is often a bummer. It’s also awesome. Music may be at its worst when you’re getting off the Internet but there are so many ways to invest in it, and you should.



In Case You Haven’t Heard of The Avett Brothers…

…Prepare for this blessing.

They haven’t done anything particularly new recently. You just need to know about them.

The Avett Brothers are a part of the very vague music genre Americana, which is essentially what the U.S. describes itself as, a total melting pot. It’s an amalgam of folk, country, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, bluegrass, and gospel music. So… lots of wiggle room in what gets to be defined as Americana.

If you ask ThoughtCo, it’s the music of the moment for hipsters but don’t let that stop you from checking out The Avett Brothers. They share the genre with musicians like, Lucinda Williams and Johnny Cash with contemporaries like, The Lumineers and The Civil Wars.

With my self-declared, impeccable musical taste and critical expertise, I can officially inform any and all that they are amazing.

Seth and Scott Avett, brothers and front runners of the band, have an incredible relationship, which you can get a peek at in Judd Apatow’s documentary about the band May It Last on HBO and Amazon. They seem to spread the love they have for each other around and bring their family and band members in to share it. It’s beautiful and I ugly cried over it while watching their documentary.

Their music is possibly just as diverse as the genre it’s attached to. Though their music always seems to feel exactly like them, which is hard to explain. They have an ability to make music that feels like something you want to giddily scream-sing in your car to something that leaves you wanting to spend the day crying though your apartment, with so much in between. If you listen to their song “Through My Prayers,” a song about losing a loved one, and do not want to spend the rest of the day crying through your apartment, we may not relate.

From what I can tell, The Avett Brothers use their music to explore everything and do so with incredible energy and emotion. In fact, the album that launched them into recognition is entitled Emotionalism, which is exactly the word I would want to use when describing what kind of music they make.

The music they make seems to always be involved in their personal exploration and search for truth, which they can tell you about themselves in their song “Salvation Song.”

Maybe it’s the comfort and security given from the bond the two have as brothers or maybe it’s something they simply happen to both have within themselves, but The Avett Brothers are comfortable with deep vulnerability and vast expression. From songs like, “Pretty Girl at the Airport,” expressing what sounds like the pain of losing a relationship before it’s had a chance to really start, to songs like, “Living of Love,” vouching for a life lived through hope and sharing your heart, they seem to be uniquely capable of articulating human emotion and experience.

I could go on but their music says it better than me.


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