NEWS ARCHIVE 2013
Let’s hit 2014 off with a bang shall we? I will finally answer the Womack call and choose to dance against all odds; ain’t that a statement! So before I start to ramble about nothing, Tokyo Police Club is back and man do they know how to make an entrance. “Argentina (Parts I, II, III)” is a nearly 9 minute epic that reminds you why you loved them so much after Champ but leaves you wanting more. It’s a bit of a lyric video I guess, but I’m not much of a labeller- at least I don’t think so.
I have two sisters that are almost the same age as me however, we are ages apart in every other way. If I told you they love One Direction, would that be enough? I love them to pieces but I cannot enable that obsession. My oldest sister told me that I’m basically an urban legend seeing as a lot of her friends have never seen me. After coming across Morgan Delt’s “Obstacle Eyes”, I’ve decide this is my official background music for every first encounter. It’s almost too grimy for comfort but the thoughts of swirling psychedelic patterns make it perfect for my mystery. The vocals have the same tendency to melt as the melody, but that’s the way I like it.
I have this strange weakness for songs that have a folky and country vibe. I know that sounds a little odd seeing as I really do not consider myself a country lover but there is just something about being able to pull that off that is unlike anything else. Califone will make your thoughts sway and maybe spark your journal writing once again with their latest track “Movie Music Kills a Kiss”. The song has a very soft tempo and the video has an elegance to it but I personally adore that the awesome title is actually a lyric in the song.
My (least) favourite thing about North America is that we are always on to the next thing. We can’t concentrate on one thing or “holiday” at a time. I won’t complain too much seeing as Starbucks’ run to the Valentine’s Day finish line delivers us Sweetheart 2014, an array of love songs covered by your favourite artists such as Beck. Hear his take on “Love” by John Lennon. Grab your tissues or your big spoon (I’m not talking about ice cream here either) ‘cause it’s out February 4th.
I was reading somewhere that more than half of all the movies to be released this year are sequels. That’s why I love music, because somethings just never get old whereas watching Space Jam for the 27th can actually lose it’s magic. Relevance? The Silversun Pickups will be releasing their first best hits album, The Singles Club (wittiest thing ever, eh?) February 25,2014 and they are including a new track titled “Cannibal”. Now this track is definitely worth a feature in a film.
Can we agree to disagree about the whole dubstep revolution? I’m just pretty over the whole thing, but I can argue that it opened up the opportunity for female vocalists to basically take over the mechanics of electronic music. Georgia Nott is half of the wonder that is BROODS, her brother Caleb rounding out the duo, but her tone will hypnotize you. Their track “Never Gonna Change” is stuck in my head and it’s definitely a slinkier, darker kind of R&B/whatever-you-want-to-call-this-genre. It deserves a listen and maybe even a coveted spot on your music player.
This is my last post of 2013 and I think we should celebrate! Seeing as my first post was in July, I missed half the music year, so I’m throwing back. First up is “Ya Hey” by Vampire Weekend. I was so excited when I heard the boys were releasing a new album because Contra is still a go to record for me. This was the first song I heard off Modern Vampires of the City and boy oh boy was I thrown off guard. This track is so different from anything I ever expected and that’s what makes it golden.
Now this pretty little track glimmers, clicks, claps, chimes and will get stuck in your head. Although ODESZA’s “Without You” has been around for four months, it still didn’t get the attention it deserved. The clever cuts of the unforgettable Gotye song of 2011 is a throwback in itself. It’s very dynamic and definitely good for a car ride with some friends, no sub required.
The Joy Formidable delivered lyrical and thoughtful songs off their album Wolf’s Law that dropped in January. The title track has the most intriguing video but my favourite song has to be “Little Blimp”. There is this energy and ferocity to it that makes you want to be in a cinematic action sequence. Listen to the wicked guitar at the end too!
Daughter became an obsession very quickly when I heard the track “Smother” from If You Leave. Elena Tonra’s vocals are very vulnerable which makes each track on the album a personal experience. There is a sense of peace and introversion that results from taking the time to listen to the album through. Trust me, it was hard to pick one song to feature because they all have something to offer.
I Love You by the Neighborhood is one of my favourite albums of the year. Jesse Rutherford gives Alex Turner a run for his bad boy money with his sarcastic and very alluring voice. You can definitely get a little carried away with the “whispering in your ear” vibe from the whole record. One of the songs that definitely deserves some praise is “Female Robbery” with its explosive intro and sleek chorus.
Last song of this year is “Retrograde” by James Blake because everything about this song screams individuality. The biggest lesson I learned this year is that being comfortable with who you are makes others extremely uncomfortable,“so show me where you fit”. His soaring voice contrasted by the clapping and low bass gives the structure of the song but a winding, cranked up synth during the chorus adds quite the spark to the track. If you can’t get enough, check out Overgrown.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times that before I am many of my identifying traits, I am a creator. That sounds very pompous, but all I mean is that I’m happiest when I am making something. I admire people who can explain their process in a way that affects many people. Autre Ne Veut is one of those musicians to me. Watch his body language as he explains his style for Yours Truly and enjoy an unplugged version of “Counting”.
There are four days before Christmas and it’s currently raining in the Great North, although I basically live in the tropics of Canada. This next track is just super upbeat and has the feel good vibes of spring. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of snowfalls, but Torontonian band Alvvays has me dreaming of sunshine and bunnies. Check out their song “Adult Diversion” off their debut album out early next year.
There are definitely rules I have with the music I choose to share here, but today they’re not my main concern. I love Kendrick Lamar, my close friends know this about me and my secret rap obsession. He is so witty, poetic and has a strong presence about him. His track “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst” off of his Grammy nominated good kid, m.A.A.d city is such an intimate look at his art that it is being split into two video parts. Here is “Sing About Me” (Part 1), but “I’m Dying Of Thirst” Part 2, is due for a January release.
I’m extremely for one album in particular out in February, that would be Home Like No Place Is There. If you haven’t heard the Hotelier (formerly the Hotel Year), it’s a good idea. Their track “The Scope of All of This Rebuilding” is basically the feeling you get when someone breaks your heart. It’s an explosion of energy you don’t even need lyrics to because you just know they understand.
It seems as though the theme of the week is art and creation, so a conceptual video should fit right in. Phantogram debuted their video for “Black Out Days“ off their album Voices this week. It’s a fierce and dynamic compilation of different scenes, cutting back and forth as the music boils around it. Watch for the gold paint and listen for the echoes during the climax of the song.
This is an experiment; you know those long exposure videos of flowers blooming and birds taking their first flight? Well I feel every big announcement should be revealed with one of those little videos. Now although Owls may not agree with me on that, the release of their second album in 2014 is clear even though that is literally all you get from the teaser…I guess it fulfilled its purpose, maybe.
When the video to a great song is well thought out, it just makes the musical experience so much more powerful. I was so delighted when I watched Young Galaxy’s collage-style video for “Fever” illustrated by Gaëlle Legrand. It’s a very witty narrative and the more you watch it, the more you notice. The fact that the track is catchy and slightly dark makes it a must-see! I like to think that Montréal is more so a feeling than a place and boy does this band reflect that creativity.
It’s been a strange week to be honest. I finished my exams and my best friend is home, but feel this odd disconnect and I don’t know what to do with myself. Usually that’s distracting, but it’s this numb state of being. I listened to Nai Harvest’s “Hold Open My Head” and I was just able to be at peace with my surroundings. Its clean and classic guitar along with fluttering, yet impatient drums are such a statement when the opening lyrics are “Something in my head. Go to sleep instead.”
Zula’s “Twin Loss” is a stand out this week. It’s a self-directed video about grieving but you just love it immediately. It actually reminds me of one of my favourite bands…but let’s see if you can guess who that might be. The track has a very distinct bass line that pounds into your head. It’s full of melancholy and rhythm which just happen to be two of my favourite things.
I’ve basically decided that at this point all my posts will reflect the angst of a teenager because I really haven’t milked that enough yet. Alright, here is Modern Baseball’s honest track titled “Your Graduation”. It’s about all the situations you go through when you have no clue who you are, who you want to be, who you love- you know, the good stuff. It’s all set up to a brilliant buzzing punk melody and it kinda makes me uncomfortable, but only because I know those feelings all too well.
To wrap up the 90’s sound trio, listen to Swervedriver’s “Deep Wound” because who doesn’t love a little shoegazing? The fact that I missed out on the beauty of alternative rock movements because I was simply unconceived is quite the tragedy to me, so I marvel at it whenever I can. Not only is the song everything you hope it will be, although not as kinetic as “Duel”, the video is rather cute. It’s just them playing music that they obviously love while multiple effects embellish the foreground.
The last track comes from New Brunswick-based Gates with their emotional “They Only See Shadows”. If you like Caspian and Explosions In The Sky, but also love strong vocals, this one goes out to you. This is one of those songs you can lose yourself in because it’s so charged with the ghosts of days past. Every frustration you’ve ever had can be channeled through this song.
Blouse’s “Feeling Like This” has a free and relaxed attitude to it. There are traces of psychedelic guitars hidden under vocals, a great drum ostinato, and perhaps the sound of animated bubbles popping? It’s paired with a black and white video full of stunning images but pay attention for the pops of colour throughout. It’s off their album Imperium, released in September that also features the song “Shelter”, so give it a listen.
Metric is a band I don’t think I’ll ever stop listening to. When I first started to discover my musical identity, I always came back to them especially with “Combat Baby”. Last year, my best friends and I saw them live and it was quite the event! Synthetica is full of so many interesting, electronic based tracks that really expand their sound, but you can’t shake rock n’ roll easily either… Here is the video for “Lost Kitten” featuring the beautiful and talented Tynomi Banks.
I love music that makes you happy the second you listen to it. This week that song is “Passengers” by Forest Fire. It has a bright flute, beachy vocals and an equally colourful guitar. It’s the type of song you could eat a popsicle to in the scorching sun, while disregarding the bees around you. Did I mention the fact the Maurice Thomassen and his art are the main focus of the video? I’m a big fan of the artistic process and watching others work.
Best track of the week? Easy, I’m absolutely obsessed with Warpaint’s “Biggy”. The vocals are confident, sorrowful and light which match the tone of the music exactly. Cymbals, a shaker or brushed drum, bright synth and a hazy mixture of guitar and bass. It’s dark, but the kind that doesn’t make you uncomfortable like when you know you have to overcome a tough situation. Their self-titled album is out January 21,2014, so mark your calendars.
I have a lot of respect for Stereogum as a music blog , so when I looked at their list of top albums of the year I was perplexed. I just don’t agree with excluding AM from the list, period. I like to think Alex Turner will sweep me off my feet someday with his classy, but oh so bad boy ways and I will admit that “You’re So Dark” has me swooning. The Arctic Monkeys will be releasing this track as the B-side to “One For The Road”’s 7” on December 10,2013; it’s a perfect pair!
Have you ever found a band that you love but know nothing about? It’s such a rush and although I am patiently waiting, Seoul has definitely got me on my toes. Listen to their only record “Stay With Us”. It is dreamy, relaxing but very interesting with hints of music decades past. You need to understand how amazing this track is and the video is equally as beautiful in it’s simplicity. I don’t expect anyone to overlook this band when their LP I Become A Shade drops.
There are some songs that just resonate on a level that nothing can ever really compare to, “Betwixt” by OMN is one of those songs for me. The mantra “I don’t think I can” is repeated over the 5:36 minute-long track. It’s the backbone to a shimmering and bubbling electronic beat and it just catches you off guard. So many people trap themselves in the mindset that they “can’t”, but oddly enough, this song let’s me know I “can”. The kicker? Ollie McKendrick-Ness is a year older than me, that’s right folks, the ripe age of 19. Needless to say, he’s one to watch.
If “Shot At The Night” didn’t blow your mind, hopefully the Killers get it right with “Just Another Girl”. Within the first minute of the video, a shower of clips from videos past appear before you and you just fall in love. Now although Dianna Agron standing in for Mr.Flowers makes me feel uncomfortable, the song has all the Killers bliss you know. There is something classic about it and really, what better way to some up Direct Hits?
I have a friend who is a dancer, but I have never seen her perform. That might seem a little weird, but I think it’s a sacred state for her, like you could see through her if you watched long enough. I heard Jess Williamson’s rippling and desolate “Blood Song” and I just pictured my friend dancing and stretching her soul across a stage. The vocals in this song have a shaky but intense strength matched by a weeping guitar. It’s like when you know a secret that explains wonders, but it’s a secret after all. It’s off the album Native State out January 28,2014, so give it a listen.
I have been following Twin Shadows’ UNDER THE CVRS series on their Youtube channel and this week they premiered their cover of “With Or Without You” by U2. Other than the vocals taking an interesting twist on the original sound, what’s better than watching someone jam? Exactly! It’s even better when the song is a staple of your childhood (you knew an age comment was coming. No, you’re not old). It’s got this playful feel about it you can only really experience when you watch the video.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I have heard an interesting R&B song, but today’s the day! Here’s “A Narrative. An End.” by PANES. The beat consists of a steady drum, a siren-like wail, echoes, chimes, what I believe is a xylophone and cymbals. Listen for the drums every 7th count and try to pick out as many shifts in the song as possible. It’s quite complex without be overly synthesized. The vocals nestle right in among the layers, which makes it quite calming as well.
If I learned one thing from English class in my last year of high school, the word “juxtaposition” is easy to throw into arguments. Now although that is pretty irrelevant, I feel that Popstrangers picked a mighty interesting name for their latest track “Rats In The Palm Trees”. It basically most of the things I look for in a fuzz-pop-rock track. There’s a fab guitar solo in the second third of the song and it just makes me feel like I’m staring out a Greyhound’s
I was raised in a family that shows its love through great sacrifice and action. I, however, believe that you have to let people you love know that you truly do by telling them. That is my love language and I happen to be the black sheep in the clan for feeling that way. Something I will never forget is my mom telling me is that the only arguments that will ever matter to anyone are those they have with their loved ones. This holds true for me and I know I literally said nothing about Arcade Fire’s “Afterlife” but that’s because all I hear is “Can we just work it? Scream and shout ‘till we work it out.”
This next track is calm and light with some beautiful guitar chords but when you listen closely, there is something unsure in the vocals. “Drum” off of Hiss Golden Messenger’s Bad Debt dangles in a state of uncertainty and confidence. It’s kinda like when you can tell someone is faking a smile but you have no clue what to say, so you don’t utter a sound. It’s like the song is trying to persevere; who doesn’t love some hard work? The record will be out January 14, 2014 and I don’t see myself forgetting that any time soon.
Kings Of Leon is one of those bands that knows how to make lyrics you want to just belt out anywhere. Have you ever tried to resist the great power of “Use Somebody” as it comes on the radio? You, my friend have made it through a struggle I am not strong enough to face. Not only does “Beautiful War” fit this category in the sense of uncontrollable emotion, but it has that inspiring feel that songs like “All The Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers evokes every time you hear them. Now let’s cut the emotional crap and watch a jail rodeo!
Let me turn into an adult here for a second (I am 18, friends of the internet): there are so many responsibilities that other people have that I don’t. Sure, maybe you are thinking that is incredibly childish of me to admit, but let that sink in for a second. There are so many things I want to run from but I just can’t, so I use music and art to ground myself. After listening to the energy and determination in “Tough Luck” by the Eagulls, I just want to blast it at the top of my computer’s speakers and drown in it. Everyone just needs a little inspiration sometimes, right?
Sleepy Sun is dropping their recently announced album Maui Tears on January 28, 2014. The track I’m captivated by is “The Lane” because you really get lost in all the different sounds. The video perfectly reflects the morphing and details in the track through triangle teleportation. The twisting, turning and looping is grounded by a persistent drum and the occasional texture of wooden percussion. They say it’s all about perspective but I think it’s all about dimension.
My mom is always talking about how great everything was in the 80’s and although I believe her somewhat, I feel like you had to be there. Now regardless of a generation difference, good music is simply that. If I say “Take On Me”, do you think paper animation in a video or Jimmy Fallon lip syncing? Take “The Hearse” by Wampire and listen to the similarities, but admire the differences. The track takes on quite a few changes and there is a great little breakdown in the middle. This is a foot-tapper for sure!
Now I know you have all heard of M83 because their hit “Midnight City” has been everywhere in the past year including a car commercial. I’ve had this conversation before, but if I had to pick one word to describe them it would be “cinematic”. Disagree with me if you will, but French director Yann Gonzalez obviously thought that was suitable when he gave the band scoring privileges to his film “You And The Night”. Here’s “Ali & Matthias” from the movie’s soundtrack; no, I am not disregarding their work for Oblivion.
This week was quite eventful in terms of tour announcements. Two amazing Canadian bands, City and Colour as well as Arcade Fire, let us know they will be hitting the road (separately though). Dallas Green tweeted about the tour a day before the official dates were released on Tuesday to keep us on our toes and Arcade Fire tweeted a picture of their tour stops just yesterday. If only I were rich…or good at saving my money. Since I have bombarded you lovely people with Arcade Fire for the past 6 months, we will give City and Colour the spotlight this time.
I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong time, like the experiences of the world’s past would much better suit my way of life. I have multiple complaints on our society, like how the children of my family’s home country are starving everyday while political figures can spend money to their heart’s content without serious reprimands. Now before I start a rant on rape culture, let’s stop to appreciate the raw and power-driven rock that is created by Angel Olsen’s track “Forgiven/Forgotten”. Music just isn’t always made the same anymore, but this one has a nice throw-back and this old soul can’t get enough.
Ah the elegant and delicate art of the mix tape. Yes, I have made quite a few in my short life and although I have yet to receive one out of infatuation. I did however receive two from my good friend for my birthday which absolutely made me smile. A good mix tape demonstrates how much someone understands and cares about you; it has exactly what you didn’t know you needed. I made one recently and it included the emotionally stinging and blunt “Chloroform” by Pheonix. The video for the song is out and although this is an unusual request from me, read the article on the video and then watch video itself on the MoMA’s Inside/Out blog. http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2013/11/12/poprally-exclusive-sofia-coppola-on-directing-phoenixs-chloroform-video/
I really have no clue how to introduce the next song without pointing out the obvious grunge influence and the pull it has on me. I was busy eating grass and proclaiming my desire to become a pony in the early to mid-90’s so really, what do I know? It’s lethargic and in your face (or ears) for a moment, but oh so melodic. Can you feel the raging youth?! If Holden Caufield were alive today (or real), he would so listen to this. So there you go,my non-intro to Happy Diving’s “Sincere”. It’s times like these when you just have to appreciate the talent and I will sink my teeth into it when their self-titled EP drops in January.
I like diving into my bed after a long day of…life and I have this habit of seeing things as though they were a movie. Like every person’s life has a perfect soundtrack. I also think that whoever I am meant to be with whenever the rest of my life comes around listens to good music. They are the ones singing the songs that get stuck in my head without me knowing why. They would fall asleep to “Bored” by Barnaby and I know that because you can always fall in love with an idea. This is such a mellow track with a beautifully subtle bass line and a touch of longing in the vocals is oh so attractive. It’s an appealing idea isn’t it?
I have a lot of work ahead of me in the next couple of weeks, I am finally applying to university and going to become an active member of society. Sometimes, I just need to take a deep breath and Haerts is a go to with their gossamer-like pop. Now I’m not usually one for remixes, but the one you’re about to hear is only a pick because it changes the song in a way were it becomes something completely different. Here’s the Shlohmo Remix to Haerts “Wings” off of their debut Hemiplegia, but I’m going to break my own rules and include the original too. See what I mean?
Do you ever use Songza? It’s this really great playlist generator based on mood and genre, look into it because I’m talking 50 track-long playlists. Although it causes me great distress to admit that it is better than 8tracks (a similar deal) like my previous art teacher told me…it is and “Coming True” by Guards is just one reason why. This is a super catchy, sing-along type of music that I just can’t get enough of and hopefully you won’t either. Warning: It will get stuck in your head.
You know when you hear a really great track and you can’t decide if it’s the singer’s voice or the melody/beat of the song that pulls you in? That’s something you are bound to experience with Mac DeMarco’s “My Kind Of Woman” from his first LP 2. Not only is the song amazing but it get’s me picturing a quirky 20 something who reads leather-bound books and works at the local animal rescue. That might just be me though…
So I’m just gonna mini rant here, Canadians make GOOD music. Rant over, but if you disagree let’s just put the Great Arcade Fire Argument aside and focus on Ontario-based band Born Ruffians. You may have heard their hit “Hummingbird” a few years back, but they are back with Birthmark and it’s gonna be a good year. Here is their video for “Permanent Hesitation” which features lead singer Luke Lalonde sweeping you off your feet with his dance moves. Don’t be ashamed if you are caught dancing with a hairbrush to this one.
I love it when a song starts of with clicking, and that’s been quite the trend lately (yes, even Arcade Fire did it). I was kinda blown away by the intricacies of the “Move On” by Garden City Movement. It has everything I prefer in my electronic music and I just had to share. The vocals are so fresh even though they are a little distorted. The light and colourful elements that pop out throughout the song just make me smile. Oh yeah and the chorus is gorgeous; this Israeli trio is just killing it for me.
I have a friend who is trying to expand her musical taste, because although she is proudly a country lover, she knows there is much more out there. She has called my music taste interesting before and sure it might come out as a bit of a sting, it’s the best compliment ever. When I heard Night Beds’ “Lost Springs”, I thought of her immediately. It’s got country roots, has a gentle beat, with a melody that just wraps you up. I’d say it’s a perfect combination for anyone just looking for a little tranquility and something new.
Something that I have started to embrace is the fact that I don’t have to be the same person all the time. My favourite person is Om the camp counselor who leads meditations for the kids and has a calm demeanor. This was me this summer and the elegant track “Odyssey” by Dream Koala reminds me of what it was like to feel so at peace. If you need a little down time, watch the video because it is stunning.
I’m in Toronto for my uncle’s wedding and it’s super foggy, but the city has this very sleek and sophisticated appearance nonetheless. King Garbage’s “Telephone” is slinky, cool, bluesy and modern. The bass is only second best to the honey-like vocals. Definitely perfect for walking down these streets with a tea in hand.
Need some feel good music? Wanna travel without moving? Do you like the fine tunes of the 70’s? Boy, do the Dirty Projectors have a track for you! Their Swing Lo Magellan EP is full of great tracks and “Impregnable Question” is no exception. Everything about this song screams honesty and the Paulie Bleeker like protagonist of the video really ties it all together.
So let’s be honest with each other, Halloween is next week and before you try to tell me how it’s not a holiday, my only argument is The Nightmare Before Christmas at the moment so be nice. I watched most of AMC’s Fright Fest this week with one of my best friends and Johnny Jewel’s “Symmetry/ The Hunt” would not have been out of place in the title credits of any movie. Have you checked under your bed lately?
I went through a Miike Snow phase and it was severe my music preferences fluctuate with my mood, but I had to quit this addiction cold turkey. My love for clever house and electro pop (think Delorean and Friendly Fires) was rekindled when I heard Marley Carroll’s “The Hunter”. Old habits die hard I guess.
Although I mentioned their perfection in last week’s Arcade Fire intro, the Arctic Monkeys are back with the black and white, fireworks sprinkled, farm staged “One For The Road”. The video compliments the song perfectly and the tractor in the middle of the video is the cherry on top. Check it out!
Apologies for the late post, I was busy becoming a “leader”
This weekend I was invited to a conference on youth advocacy and I heard some incredible stories about learning to believe in your personal worth. I couldn’t have asked to watch a more beautiful and simple video than “Darkest Place” by Woman’s Hour. This video absolutely reflects the message of discovering yourself in tough times. Every teenager reading this right now has to watch it; you won’t understand unless you give it a shot.
There’s something about starting a song with what sounds like a man crying that automatically intrigues you, or at least me. What about twinkling bells contrasted by shallow bass? Perhaps it’s the mix of vocals that let the song flourish. No? It has to be the sax then. Listen to High Water’s “Someday” off of the Beautiful Moon EP.
Let’s get this straight, Arcade Fire can do no wrong and if you feel as though this is a repeat of the Arctic Monkeys obsession, it is although I would marry Mr. Turner. The fact that this teaser is longer than 45 seconds already eases my soul, but the second you look into that teenager’s eyes at 1:26 it all seems to make sense. The sense of community and the use of voice distortion makes my skin tingle. I’ve mentioned it before and will again, the anticipation will be the death of me!
There are certain songs that I love to learn so that I can sing them in the shower. I don’t aim for Beyonce but that shouldn’t be a surprise either. My newest shower goal is “Hum” by Tiger’s Jaw. The song just feels comfortable, like it understands you. Listen closely to the lyrics because they will stick, no doubt. Good music really doesn’t need an intro.
“Use your youth”, this simple mantra was a key message this weekend, so let’s practice shall we? Only Real debuted his “Get It On” laid-back, DIY video. Now before you jump the gun and start picturing Marvin Gaye under your bed, take a deep breath because this video is full of smiles, British boys awkwardly dancing and looping guitar-bass combos. Instead of burning down a building today, just foot tap to this little ditty.
The first time I ever listened to TuneIn Radio, I heard this layered and almost heart-breaking track called “Playing House” by Active Child. Needless to say, I was hooked and he’s back with Rapor EP. Although you can stream the entire project on SoundCloud, start with “Calling In the Name of Love.” You need to hear the whole thing though, at least once. Please?
The fire is alive with the teaser for “Awful Sound” (Get it? I know it’s lame but that amuses me). Arcade Fire is a well-oiled, hit-making machine and it’s just so fantastic that they take the time to create an experience with this album. Those tribal drums with all that build up and then a serene ending. My favourite element has to be the clash between rich culture and the studio process. This is mandatory viewing material and this paragraph made no sense.
So I have the greatest friends on the planet and whether they are in Sudbury becoming the next David Caruso or not, we know the difference between what we appreciate and don’t. Relevance? Listen to “Is It Me” by Jim-E Stack; the grumbling and buzzing take you aback initially but it transforms slowly. This is one of those tracks you have to listen through a couple of times, but worth it.
Caspian will be releasing Hymn For the Greatest Generation on November 12 ,2013 and the title track is already a standout. There is something to be said for music that boldly swells and grows, all based on its own confidence. No lyrics are needed to push you into that creative space only music can. There is so much elegance in this instrumental track and anyone can enjoy its beauty.
Who knows the myth about Echo; it’s a great read, if you don’t. It’s a really fascinating effect that sound can achieve, now this next video doesn’t explore harmonies but does however demonstrate the interesting relationship between seen and perceived. Scenes featuring double vision, highlighting the powerful and crooning voice of SZA are the emphasis in “Team Spirit”. Yet another slow jam, but you know you love them.
I will mention this once and only once, there may or may not be a boy…now this changes the game a bit because it’s like having new skin; it all feels different. Mutual Benefit helps me out with “Advanced Falconry” off of their Love’s Crushing Diamond album out now! If that isn’t the most epic title to a love song ever, I think you have unrealistic expectations. Then again what would an infatuated teenage girl know?
Now for my usual take on romantic feelings, Saintseneca gets it right with “Uppercutter”. Although I will have to wait until March for their second album, this track can feed the angst. The sounds of hinges and somber, yet beautiful harmonies really give you that punch in the throat I adore. In the words of the great Ali, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
Have you ever looked at a picture and felt that something just wasn’t right but it was still beautiful? Well that’s how I feel about Tei Shi’s “ M&M” off of her Saudade EP out November 12, 2013. The broken up melody, seeming to exist on different planes of music, the warm tone to the vocals and the bright percussive accents make this one a keeper. Aren’t sine waves just the best?
My favourite fall track so far is definitely the distant and slow “Calico” presented to us this week by Widowspeak. Their EP, The Swamps is to debut November 12,2013 and if it’s got the same bluesy, sodden (you would think I’m more crazy if I said soggy, no judgement) tone then it’s a winner. Just let your head roll to the beat.
My favourite hairstyle is the “54-year-old-hippie-adjusting-to-modern-times” look. This may or may not be the way I choose to style my own hair (to my mom’s dismay), so I basically would fit right in with Cults. I lack absolutely all their talent and “High Road” is a great reminder of that. Let’s take a tally of who remembers TVs with dipole antenna, you know…bunny ears…
I’m on this dance/disco binge and no one fills that craving as well as World’s End Press. The band is full of energy and highlight their style so precisely with smooth vocals and sharp percussion that it’s impossible not to be intrigued. Now even though their self-titled album is only out in Australia starting yesterday, “Reformation Age” has a kaleidoscopic video so we can enjoy them no matter what.
Here’s a track that is bound to put a spring in your step immediately. Paradise lights up your day with “Stars Shine Bright”, an appropriate name if you wanted my opinion. I just feel bursts of colours and warmth every time I listen to it. Check it out, especially if you need a quick break from work.
Now this last one, is a beaut because it’s a duet and honestly, not many still do it this way. Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caw really compliment each other and the familiarity of the melody really helps push the song forward. I bet that you can figure out my favourite lyric in this song by listening to it once and by not knowing much about me. So good, just give ‘er a try. http://www.stereogum.com/1506562/minor-alps-far-from-the-roses-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/
This has been a crazy week and sometimes all you need is a little music to calm you down. That’s exactly what Cuushe’s track “Sort Of Light” does. It’s distant, foggy, and surreal with very delicate vocals, but do not underestimate. The song evolves while layering percussive sounds and the little Latina girl inside me can’t help but pick out the marimba.
Here’s the thing, when Mr.Brightside came out I learned the lyrics in -0.5 seconds because I loved it so much, now the Killers are releasing their collection of Direct Hits November 11 and I’m trying not to cry. It gets so better though, M83 produced the single “Shot At The Night” and it is my favourite song of the week and probably the next couple of weeks. I won’t say much else because it’s just so good. This one’s for you Kirk.
It’s common knowledge that creepy is very intriguing to me, so stumbling upon “Out of the Woods” was a pretty great event. Foals has built up this weird reputation of odd and disturbing videos lately but this one is safe, at least until the end. Come on, we are following a woman through her biggest fear people. What about that tribal beat though?
Have you heard of Radkey? This garage punk band of three brothers with the coolest names ever is really full of energy and talent. Check out the first track off of their Devil Fruit EP out October 15, “Romance Dawn”. It’s a head bobber (I’m not that hard core) and the video has a comic book feel to it. Great things are to come, I can feel it.
When you hear “Eden” what comes to mind? Well, Ben Khan’s song by that very name is not what I imagined, but in the best way possible. Slinky guitars stretching over a house bass with a swelling melody, only to be broken up by what seems to be a horn blast. It has a feverish energy and the vocals are sultry making you really understand the lush life of paradise.
British rockers Yuck have an overflowing and emotional track called “Memorial Fields” out. It’s as though the music being created can’t be simply described in terms of beat but the feelings that can’t quite be contained or absolutely determined. The star here is the guitar that brings all sorts of colours to the melody letting it coast peacefully but keeping it interesting all the while. Don’t forget the wailing trumpets at the end.
I don’t know what it is about this week but I need slow jams in my life; my mom reads my posts so that’s as far as that will go. It’s rainy where I live and all I want to do is read and drink tea, so when Darkside’s “Paper Trails” came into my life, I couldn’t resist. It’ll be featured on their album Psychic available October 8,2013. The real question now is: what song by the xx am I thinking off?
Canadian weather is insane and even that is an understatement. It was only 9 degrees Monday and then yesterday it was 24 and extremely humid. For all of you who miss the summer, listen to Korallreven (with Cornelius)’s islandy tune “Try Anything Once.” The song is breezy and features moombahton bass along with a Swedish choir. The 12” will be out October, 2013.
Is anyone else excited for Grizzly Bear’s Shields: Expanded? That’s right, all the tracks from Shields plus eight extras including three demos. This little gem is set to drop November 12, 2013 on Warp. If you are ready for some smooth vocals that rise and fall among the depths of the bass, you are ready for “Will Calls (Marfa Demo).” Just prepare yourself for a little shift in there.
On the opposite end of the musical spectrum, White Sea released “They Don’t Know” off of in Cold Blood, her forthcoming album with no release date yet. This song better be the closing track to a huge movie because it has all the energy and power of victory. If you like bells, it has those, if you like progressive bass, it’s got that. If I just write “epic”, am I jumping the gun?
Let’s take it down a notch; dim your lights and snuggle in because “Us” is just that ambient. Aussie Trio, Movement’s track was released on the 20th in Australia, so thank you internet. The house based melody along with almost aggressive urgency in his whispering vocals adds to the intensity of the song. This is the one I’ve been listening to on repeat because I “remember us”.
This song is so rad I can’t even describe it, so you will have to watch the cheesy video yourself. Let’s make a list of why you have no excuse not to check it out: funk groove, jazz flute, (charmingly) bad visual effects, Kyle Mooney and the fact that your eyes can’t keep up with the video. No excuse. Here’s The Stepkids with “Moving Pictures”
I have never waited up to the exact hour of a release, in my life. My patience was put to the test with the debut of “Reflektor” by Arcade Fire. Monday was a day of magic and tears. I have decided that everyone needs to watch this video in order to fully appreciate what these artists are capable of. Think Bonnie and Clyde meets Saturday Night Fever with a little French tossed in.
Remember La Roux’s powerful and super catchy “In For the Kill”? Well during this week’s BBC Radio1 Live Lounge, London Grammar takes on the track with a slowed, precise, and equally as strong in terms of vocals, rendition. The absence of dance music and electronic signatures really brings forth the intensity intended for the lyrics. Better than the original? Perhaps, but definitely a wise choice.
Check out Junip’s song “Walking Lightly” off of their self-titled album. It’s the kind of song you hope your local drum circle will perform in the main park. It’s the kind of song you want to be enlightened to, the kind that tells your soul who it is. That was probably the most vague sentence I have ever written, but how can you blame me? It’s not easy coming out of a trance.
So this is Lorde, she is sixteen and from New Zealand. Probably the best combination ever and I know some of you may be rolling your eyes at the mention of a “teen idol” but I guess that would be your loss. Her voice is mature and her lyrics ooze with sarcasm therefore you have to listen to “Team” off her upcoming album Pure Heroine is out September 27,2013. If you like this, “Royals” is the first single off that album, it’s a definite win.
Well ladies and gentlemen, AM came out this week and it is incredible, but that doesn’t stop the madness for me. Nope, Alex Turner and the boys could play anything and make it sound cooler than your grandpa’s old cardigans look. Not only do they rock out to a Drake song, but they make you want to as well. Here’s their cover of “Hold On, We’re Going Home” on BBC Radio1’s Live Lounge.
Now for the one unlike the others, Son Lux released “Lost It To Trying” on Monday from his album Lanterns coming soon. It is a beautiful mash of everything between frills, bass drops, soaring vocals, with stops and cuts and dips and drops and chaos. It’s how I picture a Jackson Pollock would sound, but with less anguish. Give it a listen won’t ya?
Well, it’s that time of year again, you know, when we go back to the real world? To indulge you in some summertime sadness, listen to “Waiting Game” by BANKS. Her voice is comparable to Ellie Goulding and the swelling loneliness of the lyrics and melody will really put you in the mood to lay in bed a little longer.
Being 18 can be pretty annoying since you are an adult but really you can’t actually handle any responsibility; Los Campesinos! always help me with my cliché frustration. Check out their track “What Death Leaves Behind” from their upcoming album No Blues, out October 29,2013. The music I listen to really tells you all about me….
With less than two weeks to AM’s release it would be very un-music blogger of me to not freak out over how much I love the Arctic Monkeys. If you don’t like them, we simply cannot be friends. However, I will still make you listen to them. Here’s “Stop the World I Wanna Get Off With You”.
Can a song be awesome in less than 90 seconds? You betcha! Tony Molina gets you all wound up with “Breakin Up”, a quick anthem to all your heart aches with an unexpectedly great guitar solo in the middle. This song will be on his Six Tracks EP out in October.
I don’t usually tend to watch the music videos to songs, because I’m all about the lyrics. Surprisingly in my navigation of the inter webs, I found the masterpiece which is Delorean’s “Destitute Times” video. Not only is the song cheery and house-y but it showcases their quirkiness. Best KO combo out there. Apar is out September 10,2013, if you just can’t get enough.
Finally, Frankie Rose has got you picturing Molly Ringwald running through a hallway with her cover of the Damned’s “Street of Dreams”. Yes, I was born in the 90’s, but I can still pick out songs John Hughes would be intrigued by. If you like this track, check out “Sorrow” as well off of Herein Wild to be released September 24,2013.
You would be lying if you said that you have never heard of Ellie Goulding; if you really haven’t heard of her, she is releasing Halcyon Days, the deluxe edition of her latest album August 27. Check out the track “Goodness Gracious” for a little taste of the songs to come.
There is nothing that I love more than a good acoustic version of great songs. This week Cloud Nothings played an acoustic version of their new song with the working title “Psychic Trauma” in Vienna. The band is currently working on new material to be out early 2014. Is this what you were hoping for?
I had never heard of King Krule until I listened to his BBC Radio 1 Maida Vale Session and let me tell you, I’m glad I did. He has these very syncopated lyrics with a jazzy flavour. Not at all what I expected, but everyone loves a good surprise. Here’s “Krockadile”, a track found on his debut album 6 Feet Under the Moon out today!
Looking to expand your music horizons this week? Listen to Glasser’s “Shape”. Now the best part of this track is that the vocals are light and flowy, but they are backed by a chillstep melody. Yes, chillstep is a thing; it’s the less obnoxious, younger sister to dubstep and everyone likes her better. If anything the video will hypnotize you.
GRMLN recently released his debut LP Empire and the video for his song “Do You Know How It Feels?” premiered this week. Not only is he stuck in an animal cage for the most part, but some strange masked crowd bangs on the bars. It’s very California beach punk, but the breakdown is just incredible! The first time I heard it I smiled from ear to ear.
Now I need you to trust me with this one, I want you to have a musical experience. There has really only ever been one song that has made me question life just by listening to it, and that’s Lifestory: Monologue’s “Dancing and Kisses”. Similarly, Pinkish Black’s “Ashtray Eyes” is the kind of song that haunts you for weeks. It’s quite the long song but listen to it the whole way through.
Now even though Perera Elsewhere’s LP Everlast isn’t out until October 28 ,2013 her EP Bizarre is out September 9 and the title song is great. It’s a sinking, dripping, creeping distant type of song. The bass line is similar to Blue Foundation’s “Eyes On Fire”, so give it the chance it deserves.
You might have noticed by now that I love me some punk music, so it should come as no surprise that NYC based Parquet Courts are high on my favourites list. Their album Tally All The Things That You Broke is out October 8,2013. Before you go crazy trying to figure out what the high-pitched screeching is during this track, pretty sure it’s a recorder; they’ve got YOU wondering don’t they?
Obits will release their album Bed Bugs September 10,2013 and the track “Spun Out” was debuted this week. It’s the kind of song you picture someone running to or hiding from someone else in a movie. Scooby Doo would definitely catch the villain to this song. http://www.stereogum.com/1439642/obits-spun-out/mp3s/
The second this song starts to play you automatically fall in love with the distressed voice. Listen to Wymond Miles’ “Passion Plays” for a spiraling hectic experience. It’s dramatic, but oh so good! His album Cut Yourself Free will drop in October.
I’ve got a very sarcastic sense of humour and YACHT really helped feed my twisted sense of delight with their “Party at the NSA”. It’s an incredibly catchy song about the vigilance of the National Security Agency in the States. You just have to listen to it once to feel their annoyance.
These New Puritans released their album Field of Reeds in June, but the video for the track “Organ Eternal”, just came out. While at work this week, one of my co-workers almost hit me with her car. Now, if my life were to have flashed before me, this is what I would want playing in the background.
The Field announces his LP Cupid’s Head to be released September 30, 2013. After albums Yesterday and Today as well as Looping State of Mind there is no way this one won’t showcase the unique artistry of minimalist techno.http://pitchfork.com/news/51720-the-field-announces-new-album-cupids-head/
Montreal native CFCF released his track “Jump Out Of the Train” this week; it will be featured on his upcoming album Outside which will be out on October 22,2013. The song has a bit of an “Africa” feel to it and is some of best melodic synth around.
Jackson Scott’s video for “That Awful Sound” premiered this week. Not only is the style lethargic and grimy but the video has a psychedelic vibe to it. Warning, if you are a lover of bunnies there is a bit of a surprise for you at the end.
Potty Mouth’s “Black and Studs” off their debut project Hell Bent, coming this fall was released this week. Not only is their sound definitely basement punk rock, but they also plan to tour in a green Chevrolet Astro AWD, enough said. If that’s not a good reason to check them out, I’m not doing them justice. http://www.stereogum.com/1422991/potty-mouth-black-and-studs/mp3s/
The peaceful, chill and creative video for “Maze” by Young Hunting came out this week, The story plays out with the band jamming out in the kind of park Paul Cézanne would’ve painted with a melodramatic tug-of-love going on. This is the kind of video you watch on a Saturday morning to unwind.
Completely opposite to former, Wise Blood keeps you on your toes with the video for “Alarm”. Although the video is very captivating, let’s focus on the music. The track is layers upon layers of disjointed melody, heavy bass that sinks into your skin and a head-spinning counter melody; definitely worth the listen. h
This week, music news is full of scream worthy announcements, so make sure you’re sitting down.
I was going to save this for the last post, but I decided that there is no point in sharing my favourite story last. Listen here, MGMT is releasing their self-titled album this year and the album cover has been unveiled. Take a peek already!http://pitchfork.com/news/51379-mgmt-reveal-new-album-cover/
Cults announces their second album to be released October 15th, 2013. Watch their suspenseful take on the album teaser. That whole idea of presenting the album like a feature film seems to be a big deal nowadays, you know what I mean?
While everyone raves about the amazing Basement Jaxx track “What A Difference Your Love Makes”, here’s a house song you definitely shouldn’t miss out on. Supreme Cuts released “Envision” featuring the lead singer from Poliça, Channy Leaneagh this week and it’s perfection.
Ever heard of a little someone named Kieran Hebden? Maybe you know him as Four Tet, the ambient dance music dynamo will release his LP Beautiful Rewind this year. His sound is unique and definitely one to keep you engaged for hours, http://www.stereogum.com/1412972/four-tet-beautiful-rewind-details/news/
Since this is supposed to be “quick” I can’t fully praise Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, anyone?), but I will leave you with the precious gem that is Volcano Choir’s “Byegone.” I actually can’t tell you anything more about it without going over some kind of word count.
This last one is so completely different from everything else this week. Listen to Broadcaster’s “Tomorrow” because pop punk never dies. Did you really think the adolescent was going to skip angsty songs? http://www.spin.com/articles/broadcaster-tomorrow-track-million-hours-album/
Well I should probably mention that I’m the new kid on the block and I’ll be bringing to your attention what I think is the best music news of the week every weekend. I’m 18 and this is a big deal to me; seriously there was a lot of jumping and screaming when I found out I was in. I’m so excited to be here so enjoy and explore!
So my confession of the week is that I can’t stop listening to “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. Now before you judge me harshly, Vampire Weekend covered it this week. It is the highlight of my day and better than the original. If you wanna hear Ezra Koening tell you that “you know you want it” and serenade you with his falsetto, you will get exactly that and some rapping on the side. Cowbell anyone?
Nine Inch Nails will be releasing their album Hesitation Marks, September 3, 2013, but the excitement has already begun. Four different mixed media covers mastered by artist Russell Mills have been revealed as potential art to accompany what is expected to be an incredible album. Which one do you prefer?http://pitchfork.com/news/51566-new-nine-inch-nails-album-will-have-four-different-covers-check-them-out-now/
If you need a song to add to your road trip playlist in this sweltering July heat, fuel your angst with a little royalty. Confused? Kings of Leon’s “Supersoaker” is a percussive anthem that can’t be ignored. You get a little grit and if you enjoy the Vaccines,think “If You Wanna”,but more upbeat.
I don’t think that I could ever explain my love for the Arctic Monkeys to anyone and September will bear the gift of AM, their next album. If your past two years have been spent with Suck it And See on replay, change has come. The track “Do I Wanna Know?” was released this week. Basically, if you enjoyed “R U Mine?” this will be your new favourite song, just listen close and you will see.
Here’s a track for everyone, listen to “The Way” by Friends. Samantha Urbani’s vocals are both sweet but powerful and will definitely make you want to keep listening all the way through the night. Did I mention the electric guitar, now that is reason enough to check it out.
Now for a little fun, lyric videos are usually super cheesy but Summer Camp has changed the game with their whimsical take on the art for “Fresh”. Clips of both animated and real life video are the background for the bolded lyrics, the song is super catchy and a smile is guaranteed.