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2013 B+W Alt Rock Rate: The 1975 vs. Vampire Weekend vs. Arctic Monkeys vs. The Neighbourhood

Picture this:

it's 2013 and you're in your sophomore year of high school. your best friend just introduced u to tumblr and u two DM each other "save pop punk" memes on instagram. your feed is meticulously organized monochrome images of white text lyrics over blurred photographs. you just discovered Vine and trap music. "dumb ways to die" is trending on YouTube. life is absolute shit.
this is the music you listened to back then.

ok yikes wtf was that?

That was a shitty intro but I'm keeping it. This is the 2013 B+W "indie rock" rate! These bands might have very little in common with each other when taken into consideration now, but in 2013 they all felt firmly in the same universe. The 1975 and the Neighbourhood were new blog darlings who created hyper-polished rock, while Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys were long-beloved indie bands that took new leaps in sound and direction that led to both commercial and critical success.
The album covers are all in black and white, which is kind of interesting because despite the darkness that pervades all of the artworks here they really do have some bright, poppy tracks that kind of negate that. 2013 was a year for self-proclaimed hipsters to embrace themselves, and these four albums feel like they came in a time before the cynicism that pervades a lot of indie music nowadays. Two of these albums have achieved huge critical success; two of these albums were practically skewered by the musical press. Two of these albums come from across the pond; two of these albums embrace their American selves in all their glory. Two of these albums are wholly sensitive pop works; two of these albums sound like they came from a place of scum and muck (in a good way). It's a rate of a lot of opposing forces, but ultimately these albums all feel natural together. If you like one, you really are bound to like the others.
I payolad pushed for this rate to be chosen mostly because this year is the year of 2013 comebacks. All four of these artists are expected to, or have already released, albums this year. They've all undergone some crazy transformations in the past 5 years, and what better to celebrate their development by rating the groups at their arguable best or most iconic? I'm perched to see how dramatic this ends up!

If you're not interested in the crap, here's a link to the playlist of all the songs, and here's a link to submit.

The 1975 - The 1975

Across the pond, somewhere in Manchester, the home of acts like the Smiths, New Order, and Oasis, some kids decided the best thing to rip off was U2.
And, surprisingly, they succeeded!
The 1975 formed in 2002 and went underneath several name-changes, including:
The Slowdown
Talkhouse
Drive Like I Do (?)
Me; and You Versus Them (??????)
Guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross McDonald, and drummer George Daniel are led by the talents of Matty Healy on vocals. They met in high school, and started out covering punk tracks as a group. In 2012, they released their first EP, Facedown, and followed this up with three subsequent EPs up to the release of their true debut record. BBC Radio allowed for singles like "The City", "Sex", and "Chocolate" to garner a huge following for the band, and by the time of the release of their self-titled they had already earned several charting UK hits.
Their self-titled is an amalgamation of their diverse musical influences, and serves as a taste of the group's ambition that they would further explore on their sophomoric record. On The 1975, they more subtly indulge in '80s revivalism, occasionally sneaking new wave guitar lines into Phil Collins-esque drum patterns on tracks like "Chocolate" and "The City". The band has an irresistible sheen of polish to their songs that may be courtesy of their producer, Mike Crossey, best known for working with the group Arctic Monkeys. The 1975 pay their debts to the indie rock greats of the 2000s as much as they pay their debts to pop punk acts and electronic synthpop across the 16 tracks of the record.
Matty Healy is a charismatic frontman and a remarkably snappy songwriter, detailing the romances and affairs his own personal life in vivid color. He's a pretty cinematic narrator, and music videos like the ones for "Robbers" and "Chocolate" feel like true-to-the-book depictions of the stories Healy tells. The image of the 1975 might feel a bit easy to pick apart now, but in 2013 they felt real and honest.
The 1975 garnered tons of fans through the countless visuals they released for the album, and they have a surprisingly disproportionate amount of album Spotify streams compared to the pretty massive amount of YouTube listens they have on their videos. It shows that there's a lot that can happen when you set up an aesthetic that hits all the right bases for artistically inclined teenagers. While the album was certainly not one for the critics, the band's continued popularity and commercial success achieved after this record proves that the group have a lot to prove.

Spotify

Apple Music

  1. The 1975
  2. The City
  3. M.O.N.E.Y
  4. Chocolate
  5. Sex
  6. Talk!
  7. An Encounter
  8. Heart Out
  9. Settle Down
  10. Robbers
  11. Girls
  12. 12
  13. She Way Out
  14. Menswear
  15. Pressure
  16. Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend are the punchline to every joke made about the state of indie music in the 21st century. A bunch of Ivy League guys decided to make Graceland-esque indie rock, and they got absolutely clowned for how white they were as much as they got praised for their eccentric songwriting and tightly catchy instrumental sections. Amongst other achievements made in their pre-debut blog buzz, their "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" made Rolling Stone's best songs of 2007. It was practically a replica of the same success that Arctic Monkeys had, minus the actual hits. Vampire Weekend, their 2008 debut, was full of perky chamber pop and Afrobeat that was guided by the oddly endearing lyrical prowess of frontman Ezra Koenig and the production of Rostam Batmanglij. Contra built upon the base of influences they had on Vampire Weekend, by adding more electronics and introducing a more "art pop" approach to their songwriting. The record debuted at #1 on the album charts, proving that the fanbase they had built had become passionate about their music no matter what. However, this didn't impress critics all too much, and many felt they didn't step outside the box they had given themselves. Even "Holiday"'s success amongst Honda commercials couldn't make up for how many critics felt disappointed.
With Modern Vampires of the City, everything changed. For the first time, they enlisted an outside producer, Ariel Rechtshaid 😍, for an album. Gone were the pretty twee electronics of Contra or the twangy guitars of their self-titled. Vampire Weekend threw away their synthesizers and replaced them with organs and string samples. The record aches with a certain melancholy that hasn't been as upfront on their previous records, and that shows right out the gate with the instant start of "Obvious Bicycle", an oceanic ballad of minimal percussion and piano. Koenig writes lyrics that are hugely cryptic, yet somehow the most personable of any of the songwriters in this rate. His musings on aging, religion, and maturity feel like those of someone wise beyond their years, and it's easy to relate to his emotionally sensitive songwriting. It's one of the most exemplary records of the "studio album": full of tape trickery and pitch shifting amongst other effects, it's hard to imagine it without the pop prowess of Vampire Weekend's talent.
Modern Vampires of the City was released to immense critical success. Critics found the album an excellent foray into new territory, and it was named the #1 album of 2013 by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Slant Magazine, PopMatters, and Under the Radar. It won them a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album, with an iconic speech that unfortunately isn't on YouTube anymore, and grabbed them a #2 spot on the Pazz and Jop poll. This is all also with huge commercial success for the record itself; it debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts. They have critical clout, but will this be enough to lift them to the #1 track spot? Hell, will it even be enough to lift them to the top 10? Or the #1 album average? Who knows.

Spotify

Apple Music

  1. Obvious Bicycle
  2. Unbelievers
  3. Step
  4. Diane Young
  5. Don't Lie
  6. Hannah Hunt
  7. Everlasting Arms (this video has shit quality don't listen to it)
  8. Finger Back
  9. Worship You
  10. Ya Hey
  11. Hudson
  12. Young Lion

Arctic Monkeys - AM

Even though I was a teenager long after Myspace's prime, it feels as if though the social network was absolutely key to my growth as a human being. In the mid-2000s, the budding artists on its platform were embraced by the site, with Arctic Monkeys being the band that spawned from it. They had grown a huge following without even being aware of their huge fanbase on Myspace, and by the release of the 2006 Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not British media and tabloid press were obsessed with the indie rockers from Sheffield. "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" was a #1 hit on the UK charts, and their success was only furthered by their first album, which eventually became the fastest selling debut in British history at the time. Arctic Monkeys maintained their critical and commercial momentum going into Favorite Worst Nightmare. Going into the dark, studio-produced Humbug era, they had a bit of a stumble singles-wise as "Cornerstone" missed the success of their previous singles by a huge margin. However, Alex Turner and co. still maintained their critical acclaim and both Humbug and Suck It and See debuted at #1 on the album charts. Hell, they performed at the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. Arctic Monkeys were doing fine. At least in Great Britain.
If you had asked the American general public about them, there would only be one question: who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?
With AM, it seems as if Alex Turner wanted to answer that.
AM somehow manages to be both pristine and gritty, taking heavy influence from blues rock, psych rock, soul, and hip hop. The band propels themselves forward with tunes that sound ready for American alt radio, with very little time wasted for filler. While some of their original fans felt alienated by the squeaky clean shine of the record, Arctic Monkeys gained thousands of new teenage American fans obsessed with the leather jacketed Alex Turner. Contemporary R&B production processes delineate the indie rock the group have built themselves on, and Turner's penchant for witty songwriting still remains. The album art is a quirky interpretation of the record's name, standing for "amplitude modification" as well as the obvious, and its simple yet aesthetically pleasing appearance might explain why it's one of the highest selling vinyl records of the decade.
AM was an absolute smash. "Do I Wanna Know?" is one of the highest streamed songs on Spotify ever, and that's without charting in the US top 40. For the first time in the States, the group managed to mirror the same success they had in the UK. Their singles smashed alt radio apart, and their renewed vitality certainly added several years onto Alex Turner's life. The record received several year-end accolades, and remains treasured by hip teenagers everywhere despite the relative falling out of the record amongst indie rock elitists for its poppier sound. It returned them to the eyes of the critics, and earned them their first Mercury Prize nomination since Favorite Worst Nightmare. Rock and roll was effectively saved by this album, for better or for worse.

Spotify

Apple Music

  1. Do I Wanna Know?
  2. R U Mine?
  3. One for the Road
  4. Arabella
  5. I Want It All
  6. No. 1 Party Anthem
  7. Mad Sounds
  8. Fireside
  9. Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?
  10. Snap Out of It
  11. Knee Socks
  12. I Wanna Be Yours

The Neighbourhood - I Love You.

The Neighbourhood, truth be told, look a lot like a boy band for emo kids. Don't let their name fool you; despite the British spelling, they very much hail from California, and they're eager to prove it. Led by Jesse Rutherford, the group gained popularity nearly out of nowhere for their mysterious image and cryptic promotion. They released two EPs prior to their studio debut, and even got a spot on Coachella before the record's release.
On I Love You., the group melds R&B beats into their dark, moody indie songs. It's very trendy and very polished, but underneath the layers of pristinely orchestrated pop the Neighbourhood do have some genuinely anxious, personal lyrics that can often be quite poignant. The album was produced by Emile Haynie, who had previously worked with fun., Lana Del Rey, and Bruno Mars, and his talents shine through in the overcast, grandiose R&B/rock/pop that very much echoes the once novel beat-driven pop of Born to Die.
The true star of the record is the hit song "Sweater Weather", which is probably the most popular and recognizable track out of all of these albums. The single's pseudo-rapping and boom bap beat were something that weren't really heard of in the mainstream at this point, so having something like it become a hit was absolutely welcome in a time where alternative radio hits could break into the mainstream easily. Songs like "Afraid" and "How" are full of densely layered electronic production that feel key to the record's atmosphere: one of angst, anxiety, and stress that was once so intriguing back in its release.
The record currently holds a 48 out of 100 on Metacritic.

Spotify

Apple Music

  • Note: most of these videos have horrid sound quality. Listen to it on a streaming service or use the Topic videos if they're available, because these aren't the best representation of the album.
  1. How
  2. Afraid
  3. Everybody's Watching Me (Uh Oh)
  4. Sweater Weather
  5. Let It Go
  6. Alleyways
  7. W.D.Y.W.F.M.?
  8. Flawless
  9. Female Robbery
  10. Staying Up
  11. Float

Bonus? Songs?????

These are deluxe songs, B-sides, collaborations, or simply obscure cuts that were released around the album eras of these artists. In the case of the 1975, we selected the most popular song on each 1975 EP by looking at Spotify. Sorry if your favorite song got excluded :(. Be glad we didn't include Vampire Weekend's cover of "Blurred Lines".
The 1975:
Vampire Weekend / Ezra Koenig
Arctic Monkeys
The Neighbourhood

fucking RULES

READ THIS SHIT

SERIOUSLY GUYS
  • Listen to each song and assign each a score between 1 and 10. Decimals are fine, but please refrain from giving decimal scores that have two decimal spots. What is wrong with you? Don't give a 6.75, that's just ridiculous.
  • Yes, you have to listen to every song. I will not accept your ballot if you have a score missing. That's because it will crash the program. It's exhausting when I'm putting in all the scores in last minute and somebody decided not to rate "Float" because they were so bored with the album they forgot to put something in for the last track!
  • Your scores should NOT be considered confidential. How have you not figured this out by now? It's a rate! They will be revealed!
  • You may give ONE song a 0 and ONE song an 11. By one, we mean that this is one song total, not one song per album. Please reserve these for your least favorite and most favorite tracks; excessive sabotage ruins rate results. It's annoying!
  • You can change your scores at any time! Feel free to PM either me or fourchip again afterwards. Actually, just PM me. fourchip will probably not have access to the scores
  • The program makes things a lot more efficient and reduces errors on our part, this does mean that scores need to be sent in a very specific way. The easiest way to make sure your scores follow the necessary format is to use the pre-prepared link, found right here. PLEASE USE THAT. You can copy and paste it to a notepad file or something and fill in your scores there, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use that format to send in you scores.
  • If you don't follow the format, we'll still accept your ballot, but I reserve the right to publicly shame you and your inability to follow basic instructions. And I will present your username in large, bold text making fun of you every single time a song is revealed. We'll also probably/definitely ask you to fix it on your own if the issue seems like it's going to take a long time to correct.
  • If you want to attach a comment to a specific song (which is encouraged!) write it right after your score. Make sure nothing is separating your score and your comment except for a space!
  • If you want to attach a comment to an album, add a colon after the ALBUM name and put your comment there!
  • If, after submitting your scores, you change your mind about a certain song, I WILL change it up until I stop accepting scores.
This is the ONE AND ONLY correct format:
Obvious Bicycle: 8 What the fuck is an obvious bicycle?
These are INCORRECT, in fact, LITERALLY ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT IS ABOVE IS INCORRECT:
Obvious Bicycle: 8: What the fuck is an obvious bicycle?
Obvious Bicycle: What the fuck is an obvious bicycle? 8
Obvious Bicycle: What the fuck is an 8bvious bicycle?
Obvious Bicycle: 8-What the fuck is an obvious bicycle?
Obvious Bicycle: 8 (What the fuck is an obvious bicycle?)
You can also comment on albums by adding a colon after the album title!
Album: AM: Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?
NOT LIKE THIS
Album: AM Who the fuck are Arctic Monkeys?
im too lazy to come up with more examples but u get the gist
  • Bonus tracks CAN NOT GET 11s OR 0s. You can also optionally rate only a few bonus tracks, but why would you do that? Just rate all of them if you want to do it, but you don't have to rate the bonus tracks.

USE THIS LINK TO SUBMIT YOUR SCORES AAAAAAA

HERE AGAIN

And if neither of those links work, use this pastebin!!!!

HERE'S A PLAYLIST POO MADE BLESS HIM

Have fun rating! Please be nice to all these albums, because I probably will.

Don't forget to do Nerdy_boy_chris and rickikardashian's X Factor Groups rate! Give "Not That Kinda Girl" your 11s!

~peace out from kappyko and fourchip

submitted by kappyko to popheads [link] [comments]

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