Full moon tunes


Emma Caplinger

New albums from The Lumineers, (Sandy) Alex G, Charli XCX and Twin Peaks were released on Friday the Thirteenth this year, making the spookiest of days a little less scary.

The Homecoming parade, football game and a full moon all fell on the infamously unlucky Friday, Sept. 13 this year. In all the (potentially spooky) chaos, you may have missed the drops of new albums from The Lumineers, (Sandy) Alex G, Charli XCX and Twin Peaks. These albums are all great listens for the odd, in-between feeling you get in the transition from summer to fall, so give this review a read and find out what tracks you should start on. 


“III” – The Lumineers

The most well known of the albums in this review is “III” by The Lumineers. I like to consider ourselves well-acquainted with the indie music scene may be at first embarrassed to admit that this album slaps as hard as it does. However, once you submit to the fact that you might like the same music the general public also enjoys (*gasp*), The Lumineers’ third album is sure to impress even the most pretentious of indie kids.

My favorite track so far on “III” is “Donna,” a haunting, piano-driven song with an equally poignant music video. I loved the stripped down vibe of “Donna,” the vibe of the song asking you to really listen and take in the lyrics. Perhaps the most interesting thing about “III” is the music video series that accompanies it, a ten part storyline that pieces together into a short film sharing the name of the album. The multi-layered artistry of the album is more than impressive and is likely a prognosis of the future as the music industry shifts further towards incorporating multimedia into its products. 

Even without their music videos, The Lumineers are incredible storytellers.  A great example of this is in “It Wasn’t Easy To Be Happy For You,” a dark, aching breakup song that follows the downfall of a relationship. Each verse is so specific in its detail that, as a listener, you almost feel like you are reading someone’s diary. 

Overall, the distinctive personality of the Lumineers’ music keeps me coming back, and this new album is no exception. To get your folk rock fix, become sucked into a soul-stirring storyline or just feel warm and cozy with some good acoustic guitar, check out the Lumineers’ “III”.


The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “III” a 9.7/10.


“House of Sugar” – (Sandy) Alex G

If you’re not quite ready to let go of your indie cred, (Sandy) Alex G’s new album is here to save your reputation. Perfect for the transition from summer to fall, “House of Sugar” is just nostalgic enough to keep the summer’s energy while bringing you sweetly into fall with cozy guitar and lazy drum beats. Be warned though, every single one of Alex G’s songs sound like he recorded them from the next room over, but the muted tone is easily seen as charming.

The stand-out song on this record for me was “Southern Sky,” a somewhat jazz bluegrass inspired tune that lives up to its name in terms of sound. (Sandy) Alex G has a way of making lyrics haunting, even if you’re not sure exactly what they mean. I first experienced this feeling while listening to “Sarah” from the 2015 album “Trick.” The lyrics, “Sarah runs to feel the burning in her lungs” give you a lingering sense of worry that returns in “Southern Sky.” The chorus, “It’s okay, don’t cry / We love the Southern Sky,” sets you just a little bit on edge. This, combined with (Sandy) Alex G’s signature far-away sound, makes his music stick with you.

It’s always a little difficult for me to get into (Sandy) Alex G’s music, but once I do, I never regret it. “House of Sugar” evokes nostalgic, reflective feelings like those you get from pulling on an old favorite sweater.  The easiest songs to get into are “Hope,” “Cow” and “Southern Sky,” so if you’re looking to get into (Sandy) Alex G they are a great place to start. The emotions this album gives me make it one of my favorites released in the past few months–it is definitely worth a listen.


The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “House of Sugar” a 9.0/10.


“Charli” – Charli XCX

I’ll be honest, this album gave me a headache. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m so used to *soft indie jams* that Charli XCX’s pulsing electropop is a bit too much for me, or if I just genuinely didn’t like the album, but either way it was not my favorite. For me, Charli was the spookiest part of the day.

To give credit to Charli XCX fans, though, I can appreciate the concept of this album and the features it includes from some of my favorite artists like Troye Sivan and Haim. Haim and Charli XCX joined forces on “Warm,” my favorite track on the album. The minimal instrumentals and staccato rhythms were definitely influenced by Haim’s style, and I’m not complaining. This song is great for people like myself who aren’t ready to fully commit to the musical equivalent of strobe lights, which is how I would describe most of the album.

The final track on the album, “2099,” features pop artist Troye Sivan, who many probably remember from his start as a youtuber. The beginning of this song is experimental, more of a collection of sounds than music, and eventually fades into Charli and Troye singing in unison. It’s more of an experience than a song, but whatever it is, I’m into it more than other songs on the record, but it still just isn’t for me. Maybe it was the full moon, or maybe I just learned that I don’t like electropop, but overall, “Charli” just wasn’t doing it for me. 


The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “Charli” a 4.6/10.



“Lookout Low” – Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks might be my favorite band, but I promise that’s not the only reason “Lookout Low” got almost a perfect score. Reminiscent of classics like the Rolling Stones, Chicago-based indie rock band Twin Peaks’ sixth album gives me fall road-trip vibes, perfect to listen to kicked back, sipping a glass bottle of Coke. “Down in Heaven,” the band’s 2016 release, is easily one of my favorite albums ever, so “Lookout Low” had a lot to live up to, but, fortunately, I was not disappointed.

Often reflective in their lyricism, Twin Peaks continues to give me that happy-sad feeling of looking back on old memories in the title track. The pre-chorus, “Takes too long a time to get to know ya / And it takes too short a time to say goodbye / And if on some sudden night I lost you / You’ll always be a long time on my mind” really gets me, especially as a senior this year. In times of change, Twin Peaks will always be there with the right words, and “Lookout Low” adds to the collection. 

“Lookout Low” is the perfect album for hanging out with friends, appreciating the happiness and warmth you feel around the people you love. For me, Twin Peaks’ music feels like home, and “Lookout Low” made it feel a little warmer. Try “Lookout Low” on your next long car ride to do some deep thinking and recounting of happy memories.


The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “Lookout Low” a 9.9/10.


Full moons and Friday the Thirteenth are two events meant to cause chaos, and it’s almost like the Lumineers, (Sandy) Alex G, Charli XCX and Twin Peaks knew this and gave us albums to get through the most uncertain of times. Either that, or the album releases were just a really good coincidence. Either way, “III,” “House of Sugar,” “Charli” and “Lookout Low” are four fantastic albums to help you navigate the nostalgia of changing seasons, so grab a sweater, get cozy and check them out.