Yearly Yinz 2021: Songs

Here it is: Bored In Pittsburgh’s favorite local tracks from the past year, arranged in no particular order. You can check out this handy user’s guide if you want to locate a specific track or artist.

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Reese Youngn – No More Parties (Remix)

Pittsburgh rap mainstay adds a serrated, unhinged edge to Coi Leray’s smooth trap ballad and goes viral. Highlighted by several heartrending “OOOOOOHHHH”s and the greatest car sound ad-lib I’ve ever heard. “VRR VRrRrR, VR VRrRrRrRrRrRrR!”

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Gaadge – Twenty-Two

Yet another Crafted Sounds band announced themselves, as a few of the Barlow boys polished that group’s sound just slightly and emerge with a gem of wooly slack-rock. The lead single’s riffs curl like waves on a static beach while frontman Mitch DeLong bottoms out, using the chorus not as an opportunity to rouse, but to sink into the floor.

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Andrew Muse – The Monk Of Prospect Park

In April 2018, an LGBTQ+ rights lawyer and environmental activist named David Buckel set himself on fire in New York’s Prospect Park, burning to death in the early hours of the morning. Pittsburgh’s resident avant-popper, drawing parallels between Buckel and Thích Quảng Đức, pays tribute to the man’s sacrifice via psychedelic folk balladry.

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Care Package – Blue (I Wanna Swim)

There are moments in life whose importance are not recognized until later, and there are moments that feel important as they happen. A late summer drive with old friends, an early morning slog through an airport terminal, a tipsy snowball fight outside a nondescript apartment building. This song translates those moments into the language of motorik dream-pop.  

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Ron Mist – Jeremiah (feat. FREEPARK)

The String Machine keyboardist’s DJ excursion positions dance music as a life-giving and life-saving force. This vocoder jam begins with the phrase, “Dancing is allowing your body to be a vessel for your spirit,” before a ghostly voice begins to hiccup its way in and out of existence overtop a minimalist house beat. The spirit is unleashed.

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Melt – Holy War

What do you get when you cross an angler fish, a cyborg, a coral reef, and an ichthyosaur? A Melt album cover, and a visual representation of the stoner group’s sound: wild, psychedelic, monstrous. “Holy War” swaggers and stomps like a substance-fueled Black Sabbath/Tame Impala jam session.

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BrothaMans – IDK

The prolific rapper pulled an 808s & Heartbreak and delivered a creeping piano bounce that could soundtrack a night spent hunched over a table in the darkest corner of the club, meditating on a rocky relationship while shedding tears into a glass of cognac.

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Men’s Apparel – When The Night Wanes

Nick Korzi’s sophisti-pop project arrived well-groomed and fully formed; his March debut announced itself with opulent atmosphere and big, swooning songs. This one toes the line between waking and dreaming, images of cable cars and candlesticks driven home by Tranquility Base grooves and massive slabs of synth.

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Lindsay Liebro – Wasted Potential

Despite what legions of online stans thought at first, this track is not a long-lost Taylor Swift outtake, but a rousingly defiant pop confection that dares to dream its musical dreams in the face of naysayers. Liebro’s next track will be a stinging, fifteen-minute putdown of Jake Gyllenhaal (just kidding).

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TyDanzuso – Lights In The Sky

A muted hip-hop instrumental acts as a launching pad for dazed lyrical observations, faint wisps of saxophone, and wave after wave of jam band guitar runs. “Lights in the sky” could refer to planets or stars, but the track’s tone suggests that something more psychedelic may be at play.

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