Sounds Good is a monthly roundtable where we ask Straight staff what their ears are plugged into during one of our morning meetings. We’ve got a pretty diverse set of tastes, so there’s absolutely no cohesion here: just good vibes. And honestly, that sounds good.
This month, we cheated, and everyone answered over Slack like the cowards we are.
Sara: I’ve been on a country kick lately. Orville Peck is always in rotation, and I’ve also been listening to Charley Crockett, Sturgill Simpson, and The Steeldrivers.
“I Choose You” by The Steeldrivers has been hitting me right in the feels lately (probably because I’m in love); so has “Magdalene”, which is interesting because it’s definitely about Jesus, and I am agnostic. But the lyrics are beautiful and the way they harmonize is pretty special. The power of music, hey?
V: Aww, love (and Jesus).
Sara: I was listening to “Magdalene” yesterday like, “Wow, this song is so beautiful and it’s definitely about falling in love!” and then realizing it was about falling in love with JESUS. But “I Choose You” is actually about love. I think. Maybe it’s about Jesus too!
V: “I Choose You, Jesus.” Like Pokemon.
V: I’m still kind of bummed I missed The Aces play the Rickshaw last month, so I’ve been making up for it by bingeing their discography. I’m obsessed with “Suburban Blues” off their new album, if only for the lyric, “Good girls love Jesus/Not that girl from Phoenix.” Which is also about… not choosing Jesus. The guitars are kinda fuzzy and jangly, and it’s got two of my favourite topics: queer religious trauma, and hating your hometown.
My other pick is just a fall classic: “Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy Tonight” by Fall Out Boy. This is from their 2003 full-length, Take This to Your Grave, so there are people born after this song who can legally get drunk and vote. Wild! It makes me want to smear on black eyeliner and scream this in a rainstorm. Fall Out Boy’s output post-reformation is frankly a bit cringe, but their old stuff speaks to teen angst in such an overdramatic, primal way (when it’s not super misogynistic) that I always come back to it once the weather gets shit and gross.
Mike: I spend most days in a foetal ball listening to the Smiths’ "How Soon Is Now?" in the dark.
V: That’s going on the playlist.
Mike: Sometimes it’s all too fucking much. The world is imploding overseas on two fronts, Donald Trump is inexplicably still the most dangerous cult leader in America, and fucking Pierre Poilievre shows up in my fucking X feed every five fucking minutes even though I don’t follow him and have never “liked” a single fucking one of his fucking tweets (or ideas for that matter). All of which explains why the only soundtrack that matters right now is Wednesday’s Rat Saw God, which finds a bunch of guitar-obsessed kids from Asheville, North Carolina sounding like they can’t decide who they love more: Sonic Youth, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, or the late great Geraldine Fibbers.
Got no time for full-length albums these days? Head directly to the eight-minute exorcism, “Bull Believer”, the last half of which has singer Karly Hartzman cathartically screaming, “Finish him” mantra-like while her bandmates crash around like they’re soundtracking the apocalypse. It’s good to know someone understands.
Angela: Music I’m listening to these days is music that’s cozy, warm, and comforting, now that it gets dark at 4pm and the rain is only increasing. I’m really enjoying David Vertesi’s latest single, “My Parents’ House”. The song is a duet with Sam Lynch, who’s also local. Vertesi has a very low voice that has a hum to it that you can feel in your chest, and Sam Lynch’s voice is so sweet and angelic and together they just complement each other perfectly.
I’m also listening to Mitski’s latest album that came out back in September, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We. That album title is very applicable to Vancouver! It’s the perfect fall record to play in the background while you’re cozying up inside.
Stephen: I’m just over a month into this 1001 Albums Generator challenge, where I’m sent a new album every day, so have mostly been caught up in that, discovering some albums I’d always heard of but never actually heard. One of those is Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On—I knew the hits, which are as timely as ever, but the back half of the album absolutely slays with the deep cuts. “Right On” is probably the best thing I’ve heard since starting this challenge: it’s smooth, groovy, totally heady, and catchy as hell. Beautiful stuff.
I’ve also been really loving the final Beatles song, “Now and Then”. I know it’s weird for some people, but to me it’s such a loving tribute to John and George, and clearly meant a lot to Paul. Given that neither him or Ringo have very long left, all things considered, it really does feel like a fitting capstone to a remarkable career (as long as it’s ACTUALLY the final Beatles song). And it’s a great song! It’s nice to hear it played floating through London Drugs or wherever else I go these days.