Showing posts with label vagabon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vagabon. Show all posts

Monday, March 20, 2017

video review: 'infinite worlds' by vagabon

This took entirely too long to get out - should have been out on Friday, but eh, it happens.

But it's not the only thing coming out tonight, stay tuned!

album review: 'infinite worlds' by vagabon

So a couple months back there was a thinkpiece published that tried to equate alternative genres with the alt-right in American politics, and it was stupid - amazingly so, there was a very good reason why Anthony Fantano did a Stinkpiece episode on it. Now I already ranted about this on Twitter, but for speculation's sake, let's try to get to a point that the author completely missed. Let's put aside how it completely ignored the much more diverse scene that is punk, or how it seemed completely ignorant of the strident political leanings that ran through alternative rock and country, and not just in the 90s but now as well, or how the piece seemed distinctly out of its own depth and uncomfortable even broaching the idea of alternative or conscious hip-hop.

No, let's talk about indie rock and raise the question: is this genre and the market that it primarily targets predominantly white? Well, given that we all live in the internet age and listen to everything and it's far from the only genre where you could ask that question, you might have a shot at making that argument... presuming of course you ignore Bloc Party, TV On The Radio, and a host of smaller acts with black members that have existed over the past thirty-five years and never really got the attention of critics or the mainstream public. There might be an uncomfortable truth there: that the majority of rock critics, who on aggregate were middle class white guys, tended to favor and promote music that spoke to their worldview - as much as I might like them, I'm not ignorant to why The War On Drugs, The National, and Real Estate are popular in the indie rock scene.

But it seems like slowly - often agonizingly so - that both the population of critics and preferred tastes are starting to diversify and we're seeing more acts in indie rock outside of the hipster type get critical appraisal - almost to the point where it can ring as a little patronizing and tokenizing to even bring this up, so even despite this intro I'm going to try to avoid it. And into the scene comes Vagabon, who has attracted a lot of attention for its frontwoman, multi-instrumentalist and producer Laetita Tamko. Growing up in Cameroon before moving to New York, she found a scene that cultivated her eclectic style and gave her a platform for thought-provoking lyrics that certainly attracted my interest. Hell, given how stale some indie rock can feel, I'd definitely appreciate a fresh perspective, so what did we get with this debut Infinite Worlds?