I am the worst intern ever.
Keep Shelly in Athens are a duo out of Athens, Greece. It was just announced today that their debut EP will be released in late November by Forest Family Records. The irony here is that while I intern for Forest Family, until two hours ago I had never heard the band. Oops. To make matters worse, I confused this band with an unnamed demo I had received earlier this year, so imagine my surprise when I pushed “play” and was greeted by a completely different sound than I had expected. C'mon intern, get with it.
But what a nice surprise it was. I’m way too stoked to wait until Sunday, but this is perfect Comedown Sunday music. Pitchfork classifies KSIA's sound as “Balearic,” but it’s only by virtue of their origin. Whenever I hear the word “Balearic” I immediately expect Ibiza anthems or traditional folk music. That’s not the case here. Instead, chill out to down tempo, ambient lounge music, accented by Sarah P’s wispy vocals. Three-fourths of the way in it’s all met by a triumphant triad progression, heavy kick, and a sampled voice declaring “Break it Down!” KSIA are pulling influences from nearly every genre in the book here, fusing them together to create something entirely sexy, dreamy, and new. I’m wary to make the comparison because of what high esteem I hold the following band in…but KSIA reminds me a lot of Röyksopp. Which is definitely, definitely a good thing.
*Vinyl connoisseurs (or anyone looking to start a collection), be sure to pre-order your 12 inches of beautiful beige HERE.
Right Click to Download: Running Out of You—Keep Shelly in Athens
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I am the worst intern ever.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Photo Credit Ibai Acevedo
I have no idea where this song came from. I have no idea who Everest are, and I don’t know anything about them except that they’re from LA and their sophomore album was released back in May. Their song Let Go showed up in my iTunes last week, and being an equal-opportunity music listener, I popped it on a playlist. Yesterday when it came up on my shuffle for the first time, it felt like an old friend was stopping by to say “Hey.” I didn’t recognize the band, I didn’t recognize the title, but I knew that I had heard this song before. Where? On the radio? No, it’s not charting anywhere. On Hypem? No, there’s only posts about it from blogs I don’t follow. On TV? No, I asked my roommate—a TV enthusiast—if she had ever heard the song used on a commercial or program; she hadn’t.
And then I realized: I hadn’t heard this song before. At least, not technically. But I might as well have for how familiar its formula is: Minor-chord tinged melancholy post folk sung by a heavily bearded 20-something who probably wears a lot of flannel. Think My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, Minus the Bear (who Everest supported this past fall), etc. It’s been done before, time and time again. But though the formula is tired, it’s still true, and when implemented correctly results in gloriously heartbreaking yet empowering anthems for the vinyl set . Or their mothers, who hear it on the Greys’ Anatomy soundtrack.
Right Click to Download: Let Go--Everest
Friday, October 15, 2010
This dropped only yesterday over at RCRD LBL, so it’s hot off the block.
A-Trak is one of the world’s greatest DJ’s, and that’s not just personal opinion: he won the DMCs World DJ Championship when he was only 15 years old, and since then has gone on to win basically every major competition the industry holds. His collaboration with Armand Van Helden as Duck Sauce brought us summer’s dance mega-hit Barbara Streisand, and the label he co-founded, Fool’s Gold, is set to release their first compilation CD on the 25th. Still not convinced? He was also Kanye West’s tour DJ for a number of years, which saw him performing everywhere from the VMAs to the Grammys. CyHi da Prynce is an up-and-coming rapper from Atlanta, who is also Kanye’s new protégée. These two members of Team Kanye teamed up to bring us Ray Ban Vision, a slightly ridiculous but undeniably fun song about seeing the world through mirror tints. I hate to say it because I am the whitest person alive…but damn this makes me wanna get crunk. Turn this one on this weekend when you want to feel motherfucking fabulous.
Right Click to Download: Ray Ban Vision (feat CyHi da Prynce)—A-Trak
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Photo Credit Julie Pike
Though the name may be deceiving, Miami Horror are not from Florida. Far from it. In fact they are from Melbourne, Australia, a city that must have something in the water what with the recent surge of dance-pop talent hailing from the area (including Cut Copy and Bag Raiders, to name a couple). I Look to You is the second single off their debut LP, Illumination, which was released back in August. It marks a calculated shift for the band from testosterone driven disco rock to genre-encompassing, glorious pop. Featuring deliciously seductive vocals courtesy of Kimbra, it’s a delight not only for dance enthusiasts but also general music lovers everywhere. With its infectious chorus, driving bass line, and masterful incorporation of unique elements (read: HORN SECTION), I Look to You bridges the divide between indie credibility and mainstream listenability. Basically, it’s the type of music destined for car commercials. But as far as being force-fed ‘relevant’ tunes by capitalist marketing enterprises goes, when it comes to this song I’d be completely okay with that.
Right Click to Download: I Look to You (ft. Kimbra)--Miami Horror
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Photo Credit We Are Tiny Things
I cannot adequately express how much I love Monarchy, but that story (tirade) is for another day. Here the focus is on Fyfe Dangerfield, a singer/songwriter out of London with a pretty fantastic name. She Needs Me is likewise a pretty fantastic song, made even more fantastic by Monarchy’s expert production skills. Monarchy highlight Dangerfield’s triumphant realization of “She needs me, and it’s okay!” with equally triumphant strings, and a pulsating rhythm that gallops along into the sunset; into which Dangerfield is undoubtedly riding with his dependant, albeit willing, lover in tow.
Right-Click to Download: She Needs Me (Monarchy Remix)--Fyfe Dangerfield
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Photo Credit Thobias Faldt
This song is over four years old, so it was quite a surprise when I heard it being used last night as the theme music to a new movie trailer.
Hearing it, I remembered why Muse was my favorite band for the better part of 5 years, and why I’d made a concerted effort to attend every one of their live shows that ever came within 100 miles of me. And how, regardless of the now-tired usage of conspiracy theory themes, occasional campiness, slightly whiny vocals, and Radiohead comparisons (which I personally think are pretty unwarranted), when Muse gets it right, they fucking rock. Nobody does bombastic progressive rock better, and if you need a soundtrack to your next world conquest, this is right on point.
Right Click to Download: Map of the Problematique--Muse
Sunday, October 10, 2010
It’s that day again. This Sunday’s comedown tune comes from Télépopmusik via the up-and-coming, LA-based dubstep producer MiM0SA. MiM0SA is one of the few notable American dub artists; his West Coast breakbeats have been winning him legions of fans since he sprung on the scene a couple years ago. His new album, Silver Lining, dropped just last week. Pick it up and hop on the MiM0SA bandwagon—in terms of North American dub this guy is at the top of the pack. Here he remixes the gorgeous Télépopmusik classic, Breathe. The original mix of this song is nearly flawless, and I was skeptical that a dub remix could do it justice. MiM0SA’s attempt passed with flying colors. Instead of implementing the currently popular (and highly over-used) dramatic dub formula of build-DROP-womp-womp, he approaches the remix from a trip-hop and break angle. The result is more reminiscent of acts like Burial or Potrishead than the recent crop of dubstep producers concerned only with wobble. He capitalizes on the hopeful, bated-breath mood of the original song with high octave arpeggiation and ever-nostalgic windchime effects. Perfect for a day of reflection. Even if the reflecting is just trying to recall what in god's name you did last night.
**MiM0SA will be playing this Wednesday, October 13th at the fabulous Trees in Deep Ellum. Check out the Facebook Event page HERE, and be sure not to miss it.
Right-Click to Download: Breathe (MiM0SA Remix)—Télépopmusik
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Cee-Lo Green's Fuck You is more or less old news. It's been dominating the Hype Machine charts for a couple months, its been featured as "Best New Music" on Pitchfork's playlist, and has been getting a ton of mentions by people in the industry. But it's new to me!
Seeing the rather explicit name, I assumed that it was going to be one of those ghetto rap numbers that P4k likes to include in their charts every once in awhile to seem more "mainstream" and to "appeal to a larger demographic." I wouldn't call myself a fan of ghetto rap (at all), so I avoided the song like the plague. Finally today, after seeing mentions of it everywhere, I cracked and downloaded. That's when I realized that my assumptions couldn't have been more wrong, it was the exact opposite of what I had expected, and HOLY LORD IF THIS ISN'T ONE OF THE BEST SONGS I'VE HEARD IN...at least the past week. Instead of being gangster rap about thug life and stickin it to the man, its mowtown baby. This is pure 1960's soul and r&b modernized with rather explicit but knife blade-sharp lyrics about a gold-digging ex.
That just goes to show, never judge a book by it cover, er, a song by its title.
Right Click to Download: Fuck You--Cee-Lo Green
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I have been waiting waiting waiting for the album release so I could buy and post this song. I guess I could have always posted the video or the soundcloud, but it’s so much more satisfying to have a song tucked safely away in your iTunes versus streaming it on the vast world wide web.
Anyway, here’s a song by Crystal Fighters, a band comprised of very attractive hippies hailing from Navarre, Spain (an area I’m currently studying about for my European Culture midterm). Their debut album, "Star of Love", was just released on October 3rd. If you dig the following song be sure to pick the entire album up HERE. Crystal Fighters are unique not only because they’re Spanish (can you think of any notable Spanish bands? I can’t), but also because their music is a certifiable hodgepodge of what seems to be a thousand different genres. They draw inspiration from everything from flamenco to folk, from dance to dubstep. However, rather than get lost in a sea of competing influences, Crystal Fighters are able to strike the delicate chord between paying homage to their predecessors and creating a unique sound all their own. Follow is a bouncy psychedelic rock number with a dose of flamenco. I guess the contest for my affection was over before it started, as anything with even the slightest Latin influence gets me every fucking time. Regardless, it’s delightful.
Right Click to Download: Follow—Crystal Fighters
Also, check out the super trippy/cool music video for the song HERE.