The Brockett siblings all have music rooted in them like notes rooted onto a staff. Gabe (12) plays the bari sax in middle school band and is in his middle school’s concert choir. Sophie (16) is in her high school’s woman’s chorale. Emma (18) is a member of the Adrian College Choir. Beau (20) plays the piano.
Naturally, the Brocketts have a deep passion for music outside of the fine arts. Each member of Team Brockett has chosen an album they can’t get enough of and think others should become obsessed with, too.
Dopamine (2015), BØRNS
Dopamine by BØRNS (the stage name of singer-songwriter Garrett Clark Borns), is filled with chilled hype songs. The album has a mix of instruments, from xylophone to guitar. In fact, my favorite song, “Overnight Sensation,” starts off with a xylophone and a funky rhythm and vocals, but BØRNS makes them blend well. The album is like a feel-good movie. It makes me happy just thinking about the songs, especially these three: “Overnight Sensation,” “Fool” and “Past Lives.”
“Overnight Sensation” is my favorite song in this album because, like I said before, its beginning blends two completely different sounds together perfectly. I think the beginning is actually my favorite part of the song. It starts with a calming xylophone and then brings in the funky rhythm and vocals. When this happens, it takes me to my own version of a place in my mind, which is California on a penthouse balcony watching the sunset with traffic driving by.
In “Fool,” there’s a break where people are talking in the background. It takes me to a beach in which my family takes long walks together on. Beau and Emma are back from college and making all of us laugh with the help of Sophie.
Last but definitely not least, “Past Lives,” which uses metaphors to explain how much BØRNS loves a girl. For example, he says “My ancient kingdom came crashing down without you.” In the middle of the chorus, a violin plays a trill (notes going down the scale with all the notes being played). All of its choruses are hype but the last is the best because it has a quiet break just before it. Though every song on Dopamine is brilliant, these are the best ones.
Something To Tell You (2017), HAIM
Something To Tell You by HAIM, the amazing all-sister band, absolutely rocks my world. Its pop feel, rocky undertones and catchy choruses leave me figuratively dead. Their feel-good music could send me summer vibes in the middle of a blizzard.
My spring ballad, “Little of Your Love,” puts me in a dance trance with its fun lyrics and peppy hand claps. Trust me when I say that this song will never get old.
Another great song, “Want You Back,” throws me into the middle of its music video when I hear it. I feel as if I’m dancing down an empty street with the band of sisters themselves. With its snazzy piano and funky techno beats, this is just a great song to jam out to.
Then there is “Kept Me Crying,” which slows down the pep train but is still equally as good as the others. It’s a fantastic song with a sick beat, awesome harmonies and a rocking guitar solo. I would 100 percent listen to this song while smashing my hypothetical ex-boyfriend’s windshield.
Something To Tell You is just a crazy good album that will make you feel good and eventually get you dancing.
Feel Your Feelings Fool! (2017), The Regrettes, (or, The Big Sister Band We All Need)
The time that girls spend as teenagers is already a confusing period of their lives. They are trying to figure out who they are by watching those around them. It becomes even more confusing when those people they are watching are speculating on how they should act and what they should believe in and prioritize. Feel Your Feelings Fool! by The Regrettes offers girls an escape and even protection from the criticism by providing them their own definition of what it means to be a girl and serving pop-punk tunes that are easy to dance to and relate to. Their collection of songs incorporates many different themes — including feminism and unashamed emotions — that can help guide girls through life.
The Regrettes first caught my attention when I heard their song, “Seashore,” which directly calls out all of the sexist remarks and actions frontwoman Lydia Night has heard and experienced. After discovering the song, I was interested to see if they made any more feminist songs that I could fight the patriarchy while jamming to. I was not disappointed.
Their songs do the following, among others: they encourage the normalization of the realities of being a woman (like periods and dressing like a bum); they discourage staying in a bad relationship to just be with someone; and they call out the mistreatment of the word, “bitch.” The inclusion of these themes is especially important to get through to their target audience, young girls, because of this vulnerable position they are in. These themes help establish what should be right, what is wrong and a sense of independence.
Another theme that their album touches are emotions and the embracement of them. Hence, their album’s title. The Regrettes flawlessly capture so many aspects of a teenage girl’s life, like the guilt in losing feelings for a guy; having a naive and rebellious love and the dismissive face that is put on to mask the heartbreak of a breakup. By transferring all of these overwhelming emotions that girls go through into songs, The Regrettes are normalizing these feelings, validating these feelings.
In a world where women and girls are constantly being critiqued, it’s nice to have an escape that can silence and even attack those negative voices and can allow you to feel all your feelings in a healthy and uniting way. It’s nice to have that older sister to look up to; taking control of the chaos for a little while to help you through the rough spots. This is exactly what Feel Your Feelings Fool! achieves. It’s this album that I want to come crying to for advice and motivation when I’m upset.
Greatest Hits (2017), Remo Drive
When Emma first showed me Remo Drive, I fell in love. Then I saw them live. When frontman Erik Paulson came on stage in a “Sex, Drugs and Christian Rock” shirt, his bassist brother Stephen wished the bowlers beneath the venue all scores of 300 and then-drummer Sam Mathys snapped us into a groovy headbang, I knew if I could become betrothed to a band, Remo Drive might be the one.
Remo Drive taught me how to rock again. It triggered the punk/emo phase I never had.
Erik’s lyrics are a fine balance between humor and wallowing. The music behind it jumps between happy, catchy riffs and crunchy guitar shredding. It makes you want to jump, dance and (mildly) thrash all at once. Between the music drops of “Crash Test Rating,” Paulson sings, “Only like me ‘cause I’m safe / With my four-star crash test rating.” After hearing, “All my friends are growing up / I eat shit daily” in “Eat Shit,” you can’t help but hop along to a staticky guitar break.
Greatest Hits is actually Remo Drive’s first LP, but the title isn’t wrong. These are some of the greatest hits in modern rock and some of the greatest hits on drums by a drummer. Greatest Hits is unique in that it is driven by the drums. Erik’s vocals and guitar are gritty and glorious. Stephen’s bass booms. But Mathys’ drumming is ecstatic. You can feel him bouncing up and down on his stool, head nodding.
Even without Mathys, I know Remo Drive will reawaken another punk/emo phase in me again. Their new fizzy, poppy EP, aptly named Pop Music, already makes my case.
Photo by Becky Brockett