It was announced Thursday that BROCKHAMPTON’s new highly anticipated album, Iridescence, will be released next Friday on the 21st night of September (as Earth, Wind, & Fire would say it). This may be news to some, but to the boy band’s loyal following, it has been long sought-after since BROCKHAMPTON’s plan to release Puppy, the group’s original album, was scrapped after a member of the group was kicked out following sexual misconduct allegations.
To give a little background, BROCKHAMPTON is a group of guys in their early 20s doing everything from rapping to producing to even managing the band. The 14 or so members of the band take a very unconventional approach to rap and hip-hop music. One of 6 vocalists, Kevin Abstract has verses where he openly talks about being homosexual and his experiences with it in this day and age. Additionally, Matt Champion, another vocalist, raps about feminism and Joba sings about his struggles with mental health and how he was diagnosed with having split personalities. These topics are not typically brought to light in the music industry- especially not in the rap genre; so the band is credited with breaking down some of the barriers that have held musicians back for decades.
Recapping, the group was on track to release their fifth full-length record, Puppy, in June, but in May, vocalist Ameer Vann was accused of sexual misconduct by more than one victim. Knowing the morals that the band prides themselves on, the controversy arose: What would BROCKHAMPTON do following the allegations? Some thought the group would split up and some predicted correctly that they would choose to distance themselves from Vann. Despite deciding to kick out Vann, the band still lost many followers that were angered over how the situation was handled. If a member being accused of sexual misconduct wasn’t a big enough scandal, Ameer Vann was also seen as one of the main vocalists of the group, and his face was the cover to the SATURATION Trilogy that gained the band fame in the first place.
As the #MeToo movement swept the country last spring, the newfound awareness people have for sexual abuse and assault is still empowering women today. Many politicians and movie stars finally had crimes uncovered and were no longer allowed to hide in the shadows. However, this movement seems to be hitting the music industry just now- with more and more cases popping up. Vann was not the only musician to be torn down this summer; Chicago band, The Orwells, made the decision to break up a few weeks ago as a result of similar allegations. They too, have lost respect for their music now that their audience knows of their actions.
Despite all of the drama swirling around the industry currently, BROCKHAMPTON has still managed to keep touring and producing music- coming back even stronger without Vann. The group released a trilogy of songs in June titled The Things We Lost In The Fire. These three songs ultimately served as something for fans to munch on till they get their full-course meal of a whole album later in this summer.
The new record, Iridescence, is expected to have fifteen tracks- one of which the band featured live on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in June. I know I’m looking forward to reviewing each of them. Hopefully, the album will live up to its hype.
- Emily Bittman
Chicago is known for the many bands its generated. And many of WLTL’s classics such as Whitney, Twin Peaks, and the former Walters were all started downtown. Since the rise of these bands, who else has been creating noise in the Chicago music scene? Here are a few bands you should look out for:
Sad-girl indie meets surf rock. Lili Trifilo leads on vocals and guitar, making all her music on her own, only recently adding three band members to her performances. With a new EP and a growing fan-base, I see these guys gaining momentum, having just started a tour opening for Remo Drive alongside Field Medic.
Most Popular Song: Sports
Try This Song: February
Although only having two songs on Spotify, this is a band you sure don’t want to miss. Sounding like something that would’ve came out of one of The Who’s albums, Rookie brings ecstatic energy to the performances and their rock-based tunes sound like something out of a road trip playlist.
Most Popular Song: One Way Ticket
Try This Song: Let’s Get It Right
This jazzy little trio is one of the most fun, local concerts I’ve been to. Their guitar-heavy music is full of diversity, and their newest released singles show a lot of newer sound for the young band. With sweet lyrics and catchy guitar-riffs, this is an easy band to get into.
Most Popular Song: Song For a Friend
Try This Song: Still Dreaming Yesterday
I first heard about Whethan last year in my Spanish class.
“Wheat Thin? Like the cracker?” I had tried to confirm.
“No, no. He’s an EDM guy,” said my friend, displaying her Whethan on her t-shirt.
I soon forgot about Whethan. I had Spanish to focus on. For a while, I even thought he was named Triscuit. However, one day in radio management, this all changed.
Our General Manager had mentioned that managers could go to Mamby on the Beach for free. I love concerts, and quickly scanned the artists playing. When I finally realized that Whethan was playing, I immediately remembered who he was and signed up to review his show.
Months passed. We eventually took a train down to the city (after stopping at the Pride Parade that day- but that awesome adventure should have it’s own story). We made our way through security and I was amazed at the amazing art exhibits going on around the stages. Tarot card readers, yoga classes, and stages on the beach? How cool! We wandered from stage to stage eating falafel and ice cream, trying out free samples, and boogieing at a silent disco! Eventually, we made our way to the sand to see Whethan.
We took off our shoes. Our bags were put on the sandy ground, giving our backs a break and allowing us to dance around. In preparation, I had listened to all the Whethan hits (highly recommend Good Nights and Superlove). I screamed when Oh Wonder came out and sang with Whethan on stage. The visuals were bright and colorful, and the whole show was one of my favorites I had seen yet.
After the show, the party did not stop. We slid our shoes on, ran to Cold War Kids, and were equally amazed. I had been to festivals and concerts, but I had never seen a band on a beach before. Mamby on the Beach has a smaller crowd than Lollapalooza, but was equally as fun. The lines are not as long, the bands are just as talented, and the memories are equally as great! I cannot wait to buy my tickets for next year.