Chorduroy 2014 Listening Guide

Chorduroy’s 2014 album features 15 original tracks from what the music organization identified as Boston College’s premier musical acts. The Scene put together a road map for listeners.

1. “Garden State” – Terry Peng
Senior Terry Peng’s “Garden State” is Mraz meets jazz. His vocals are as smooth as his instrumentals. Airy and light, the track is very “I’m Yours”-esque, with its catchy string melodies and down-to-earth lyrics about love: “When I said I loved you that night / We were drunk / But I meant it.” With its suave, retro keys and deep bass riff, the song defines itself as more than just another summer beach tune.

2. “Wasting Daylight” – Lucid Soul
After Lucid Soul opened for Macklemore at Modstock last spring, there’s no denying the group can groove. “Wasting Daylight” showcases this talent. The guitar solo toward the end of the track is when the band shines brightest, though the song’s lyrics and vocals are worth mentioning too. As James Farrell, A&S ’15, sings “I can’t light the flame alone,” in his raspy voice, it’s hard not to get up and jam along to Lucid Soul’s funky vibe.

3. “Empire” – Arielle Rivera
Pristinely produced and recorded by BC seniors Jack Godfrey and Arielle Rivera, “Empire” sounds like the kind of trendy song you’d hear from female R&B/pop artists playing either on the radio or in a club. Against a background of clean beats and electronic synths, Rivera demonstrates a Demi Lovato-esque control over her voice, riffing on the chorus as she sings, “I’m standing in your empire / And I can’t even look away.”

4. “Passion” – Times New Roman
Times New Roman (William Bolton, CSOM ’16) effortlessly fuses Motown influences with more contemporary sounds on his sexy track “Passion,” one of the leading songs featured on his 2013 EP Satisfaction. A steady metronome beat, a jazzy guitar rhythm, a set of trumpets, and a stuttering vocal refrain characterize Bolton’s track. These distinct, yet deftly blended elements, coupled with Bolton’s idiosyncratic style of rapping and singing, give the song a real retro-cool feel.

5. “Can’t Figure Him Out” – Acarodeux
With its trippy sounding piano keys and haunting chorus, “Can’t Figure Him Out” is a psychedelic listening experience. The song, created by Acarodeux (Aarron Carrillo, A&S ’14), seems to extend infinitely, despite the fact that it’s just about three minutes long. Most of the track highlights its neatly arranged electronic soundscape, with a deep vocal refrain cutting in a couple of times and repeating, “You can’t figure him out / You can’t figure him out.”

6. “Take Me Too” – Seaver’s Express
Seaver’s Express’ debut EP Parachute was released at the end of September, and the band has since kept a strong presence in the Boston area, frequenting Music Guild events and building a name in Cambridge venues. “Take Me Too,” one of the stronger cuts off Parachute, is featured on the Chorduroy spring collection. The song shows off the band’s range of dynamics, opening with a soft tonewheel intro, and building to a driving rock dynamic.

7. “First & Last” – Bobnoxious & The Master Craftsmen
Bobby Scheuch, CSOM ’14, is the Miles Davis of BC-a music-everything man with classic charm, and unprecedented stage presences. “First & Last” shows off Bobnoxious and company in an atypically mellow state, highlighting the group’s technical gravitas, but leaves out much of the chaos that characterizes the band. It’s a quaint expose of talent that, among other things, shows off another face of the dodecahedron that is Bobnoxious.

8. “Granada Blvd” – Romulus
Miami guitarist Dan Fuenmayor, A&S ’16, makes his Choruroy debut with “Granada Blvd,” a track recorded with his band Romulus in the group’s debut EP The Third Leg. “Granada Blvd”  is the upshot of the grunge aesthetic pioneered by bands like Nirvana, and has a veneer more typical of ’90s rock. Lead vocalist Henry Sosa shows off his versatile vocals in the track, blending well with Fuenmayor’s expansive instrumental backdrop to put out an impressively sized sound.

9. “Drunken Poets” – Biggs, Minsaw, and Apex
“Drunken Poets” is one of the more unusual cuts off Chorduroy 2014, a a purely hip-hop track with a scaled-backed production that consists of little more than a recurring hook and constant beat. The actual verses are recorded in significantly lower fidelity the rest of the collection, and as a result, it feels raw and unpolished. “Drunken Poets” is divided into three isolated verses, and is a nice introduction to the three artists featured on the track.

10. “Disconsolation” – Anonymouse
Anonymouse goes long on “Disconsolation,” a track off the band’s EP Outboard, which is featured in the Chorduroy collect. There’s something of a Green Day flare in Anonymouse’s “Disconsolation.” The chorus to the song repeats, “I’ve lost all hope in you”-but there’s hope yet for Anonymouse. The track shows off a young artist, ready to take off and grow.

11. “Words Rang Hollow” – Scojo feat. Alandra
Scott Johnson, A&S ’14, who goes by the name Scojo on the Chorduroy album, is headed in the right direction with his dance track “Words Rang Hollow.” It’s not blaring club music by any means-rather, his synths start out smoothly, and slowly build up alongside the elegant, mature vocals of Alandra. Scojo is self-described as “just a dude with a laptop” on his SoundCloud page, and this song perfectly highlights his abilities.

12. “The ’95 Sweep” – Blame the Sirens
If Johnson is just a dude with a laptop, then Blame the Sirens is just a group of dudes and their guitars-yet, there’s something very honest in their purity. “The ’95 Sweep” is a stripped-down testament to a simpler time, as Nick Benevenia, A&S ’14, sings, “I know I’ve been wasting my time / Watching highlight reels of the Devils in ’95 / But it makes me smile so damn hard.” The track starts and ends with sound clips from the game itself, further transporting us into that moment.

13. “Found My Way” – Jimmy and the Gooch
“Found My Way” is a bright, feel-good track from Jimmy and the Gooch, a folk duo from Long Island, N.Y. With uppity acoustics supported by the mandolin strings, the track gives more of a bluegrass vibe, taking a lighter approach to the folk genre. This is a roll-down-your-windows kind of tune, evoking images of the sun and sky-much needed at a time like this.

14. “Alright” – Free Alley
The Chorduroy compilation makes a more subdued transition with Free Alley’s “Alright,” a mellow folk track that is dusted with light piano in the chorus, and fuses more prominent keys as the song progresses. By the end of the vocalist’s sequence, the song shifts and builds to a faster pace more typical of Mumford & Sons songs-simultaneously drawing from contemporaries and maintaining a style all its own.

15. “Locked Up” – Lucas Allen
Lucas Allen, A&S ’16, made his debut as a freshman on last year’s Chorduroy album with his song “This Night is Ours,” and this year he’s back with “Locked Up.” While his first track harmonized with female vocals, Allen is all on his own for this one, and the result is a more consolidated showcase of Allen coming into his own smooth rock style. The extended guitar play at the end of the song rounds off the track-and the album-in a stylish, satisfying close.

About John Wiley 98 Articles
John Wiley was the Editor-in-Chief of The Heights in 2015. Follow him on Twitter @johnjaywiley.