With their third album on the horizon, fans are incredibly hyped for the latest Stolas release. We already had the privilege of talking to Carlo about his Top 10 Favorite albums (check it out if you haven’t) and now get to share RJ’s list.
RJ plays bass in the band and was also responsible for writing the concept behind Allomaternal. He’s also currently on tour with Vox Vocis filling in on bass (Be sure to check them out they’re incredible!) check out the remaining dates below as well as his top 10 favorite albums!
1. Portugal the Man – Waiter: You Vultures.
I admire Portugal’s first few albums for having strikingly different textures from each other. They made something impactful with Waiter with a relatively small palette from which paint. Everything from the electronic percussive elements (the vinyl taps in “Stables and Chairs” or the sampled drums in “Tommy”) to the tasty bass lines completely hits home while the songwriting subverts expectation somethin’ clever. See also: It’s Complicated.
2. Coheed & Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume 1
It’s worth mentioning I didn’t start listening to music avidly until I began playing bass. It’s the window through which I first got a good look inside the structure of music. Good Apollo was the first record I heard that featured creative bass playing in a genre in which I wanted to write. I’ve probably heard this record more than any other. It’s bells and whistles will forever line my musical bag of tricks.
3. Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
My good friend Michael-Rex Carbonell (@brownmetal) turned me onto Manchester Orchestra last year on tour. I was initially lukewarm toward this release as opposed to Mean Everything to Nothing, but as Rex accurately predicted, this one grew on me with repeat listens. Still haven’t stopped actually. Please send someone to wrest this album from my shaking hands. Just kidding. I can stop whenever I want. No, that’s a lie. This has ruined my family. Help.
4. The pAper chAse – Now You Are One Of Us
You know how you’ll be into a band and a friend goes, “Hey, if you like that, check out this!” And so you do, but maybe it doesn’t quite hit that same spot for you that Band A did. Maybe it misses the mark altogether. I have never found another source for what I like about John Congleton other than John Congleton. It is the soundtrack for anxiety. It is the soundtrack for the soul of the horror genre. It simultaneously knows how evil it is, is scared of how evil it is, and is scared that it even knows how scared it is. Great for parties or family get-togethers.
5. Closure in Moscow – Pink Lemonade
Having cut my teeth growing up on classic prog rock like Rush and Pink Floyd, Pink Lemonade captured me with its flourish and humor. It’s a homage to prog albums while also laughing at its own inherent whimsy. That’s not to say that I just love it for what it is; “Church of the Technochrist” is seriously groovy, and “Seeds of Gold” is perfect for any occasion. Plus, this album shares with us the true knowledge of our existence within the Brahmatron. Have I told you about the good news of the Brahmatron? Excuse me, why are you shutting your door?
6. The Dear Hunter – Act I: The Lake South, the River North
I love albums that are entirely cohesive. The ones where each track unmistakably belongs to that album, and Act I is where I acquired that taste. Many other people have expounded on the brilliance of Casey Crescenzo, and I’ll leave them to it. I just love that I can listen to this, close my eyes, and see a whole play unfold. It’s like it literally creates a stage in my house. Speaking of which, if you know any stage managers, please have them email me.
7. RX Bandits – And the Battle Begun…
I couldn’t stop listening to this album after Sergio showed it to me seven years ago. There’s so much energy in every passage, even on slower jams like “Apparition.” I’m actually going to take a break from this list and just go listen to that.
8. Snarky Puppy – We Like It Here
This album is gratifying to listen to as both a musician and music lover, which I find is a hard balance to strike with jazz-inspired music. There’s an excellent video on YouTube called “How To Make Music For Both Brain and Booty” which interviews Michael League about why their music works, and it explains everything I enjoy about this album and more. “Lingus” will forever be my theme song if I have to pick one.
9. Old Languory Hills/Moon Bank – Short Stories EP
I was going to avoid picking albums by my friends so they wouldn’t roll their eyes at me, but Lucas Ulrici made something amazing with Short Stories. It is hauntingly beautiful. The guitar work, the vocal harmonies, the shifts from plangent strumming to bouncy choruses. All of it haunts. It lives in my closet and whispers to me at night. Get the fuck out of my room, Luke.
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
Almost didn’t include this one because I’ve mostly outgrown the music. One can only fool oneself for so long that Anthony Kiedis’s intentionally confounding lyrics don’t fall short of surreal and land in the mire of dopey. However, this album is the first one I heard that informed me bass playing could be more than root note motion faithfully following the guitarist. After listening to Californication, I began looking all over the musical map for my place in a song.
Check out Stolas‘ music below and stay tuned for tour dates and more on the new record!
VOX VOCIS TOUR DATES