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Tyler Dunston
Tyler Dunston is a music writer for the Stanford Daily. He is a junior majoring in English and minoring in Art Practice. To contact him, e-mail tdunston 'at' stanford.edu.

On “I See You,” The xx stay true and expand

“Dangerous,” the opening song off The xx’s third album “I See You” surprised me from the minute I started listening. Opening with the fanfare of a brass-like synth, it seemed a far cry from the minimal guitar, bass and subtle production of The xx’s previous work. But as the characteristic Jamie xx drum loop came…

Ten featured albums of the summer

With Volume 250 of The Daily up and running, we’d like to start off the quarter by highlighting some of the best music releases that came out during summer break. 2016 has been an all-around great year for music so far, and this past summer is no exception. Below, I’ve compiled a variety of releases…

Bon Iver’s ‘22, A Million’ finds beauty in uncertainty

It’s been five years since we’ve last heard from Bon Iver, a band that, since its inception, has been undergoing consistent reinvention. Since the evocative, quietly experimental folk of “For Emma, Forever Ago” — Bon Iver’s debut LP — Justin Vernon has become one of the biggest stars in the indie world. Expectations for his sophomore…

Album Review: M83’s most recent space odyssey

M83’s new album is called “Junk,” the art for its lead single “Do It, Try It” features a floating dog head in space and its second single “Go!” features an epic guitar solo courtesy of Steve Vai. Compared to M83’s previous record “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming,” known for its hit single, “Midnight City,” the new album…

The Outsiders deliver a monster performance at EBF

Last Wednesday, The Outsiders stopped by the Enchanted Broccoli Forest to play a set that got the denizens of EBF Happy Hour even more excited than usual. Though both graduated last year, artists Eli Arbor (Elliot Williams ’15) and gage (Megan Gage ’15) returned to Stanford, joining EAGLEBABEL (Tyler Brooks ’16), Jae (Janei Maynard ’16)…

Real People Music dazzles at Sprung

For those who didn’t attend — and were perhaps wondering what was going on at FloMo Field this past weekend — Sprung Music Festival 2016, put on by the Stanford Concert Network, assembled a diverse team of artists for another captivating musical event. Attempting to cover every act at this five-hour festival in 500 words…

‘A Man Alive’ delivers a little slash, a little burn

Looking for weird melodies, experimental yet strangely accessible jams, or a personal record about love and lack? Thao & The Get Down Stay Down’s new album “A Man Alive” somehow checks all of these boxes. Musically, it’s across the board: rock/pop, folk, hip hop, punk, electronica. It’s all there — somewhere. Working with producer Merrill Garbus…

Is it human to adore ‘Adore Life’? Hell yes.

Savages leap right out the door on their sophomore LP “Adore Life” with the opening track “The Answer.” Barreling, crunchy guitar and the repeated, desperate refrain of “If you don’t love me, don’t love anybody” announces the post-punk ensemble’s follow-up to their excellent debut “Silence Yourself.” Vocalist Camille Berthomier’s ostensible resolution of “love is the…

Complex roots: Rooney Pitchford’s debut “Familiar Places”

Rooney Pitchford ‘15, the mustachio’d, Kickstarter-funded, guitar-strumming baritone, has just released his debut LP “Familiar Places.” It opens with a one-two punch: the twangy, world-weary title track — a song about the pain and fatigue of accumulated experience —and the impassioned country jam “Becky,” which narrows in on the more specific past. But this one-two…

The Daily’s top five debut albums of 2015

On Jamie xx, Algiers and Little Simz: Music critic Tyler Dunston ruminates on this year’s greatest debut albums. “A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons” — Little Simz Little Simz’s debut, though it leaves us too soon at a mere 34 minutes, brings with it the promise of more to come. As an album, it…

Arswain and TAPE GHØST reshape dance music at Kairos

Arswain (Freddy Avis ’16) and TAPE GHØST (David Grunzweig BS ’14 MA ’16) stood in the darkened room, with laptops, mixers and guitar at the ready, on a stage framed by Christmas lights. People sloshed their wine and chatted on the dance floor, eyes on the electronic duo. The first thing you could hear was…

Little Simz crowns herself king

One of the first lines on Little Simz’ manifesto/story/debut album “A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons” is the defiant opening statement: “Women can be kings.” What follows is irrefutable proof of this assertion. Simbi Ajikawo, better known by her stage name Little Simz, is a new rapper straight out of the U.K. Of course,…

Majical Cloudz’s new record is not ‘study music’

Indie-electronic duo Majical Cloudz’s new album “Are You Alone?” opens in Cloudz’s characteristic minimalist style, with quiet but resonant vocals, piano and some well-placed horns and synths on the opening track, “Disappeared.” Majical Cloudz often employs relatively few elements at a time in its skeletal indie ballads, but each element feels crucial, perfectly executed and oriented…

Enter the haze of Kurt Vile’s newest record

“Wanna live, wanna live / A life like mine / Ah baby, well, get in line.” If you’re unfamiliar with Kurt Vile, considered by many to be indie rock’s resident “Dude” Lebowski, this line from his new album “b’lieve i’m goin down” might ring with uncalled-for egotism. But if you’re familiar with his brand of…

Album Review: ‘Tallest Man’ and the Evolution of Folk

From the beginning, Swedish songwriter Kristian Matsson – better known by his stage name The Tallest Man on Earth – has drawn Bob Dylan comparisons with his feverish guitar strumming, reedy vocals and poignant lyrics. But like Bob Dylan, Kristian Matsson is equally indebted to the folk tradition of Woody Guthrie, characterized by simplicity in…
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