Happy New Year Everyone! With the holidays and a lapse in new music being released, I took a bit of a hiatus, but WE’RE BACK and I’ve compiled a healthy amount of sick tracks to start your new year off right! A quick note that most of the songs featured this week are not brand spanking new, but many of the artists will have releases coming out in the first part of the year.
The first track this week I found poking around the music charts on Spotify this week. It’s from Swedish producer Danrell and Swedish singer Småland and called “Hostage.” It’s hard to escape how catchy this song is, which is how it’s been able to break through and gain some traction. This track is a study in minimalism with a simple yet airy beat, but tho song as a whole sounds complex and orchestrated. There’s no doubt a ton of production behind it, but it certainly makes for the smoothest of jams. Let’s keep in that same mood, but float over to Los Angeles electronic group, Goldroom. According to the interwebs, this guy is pretty popular, so apparently I’m late to the game. The track “Pacific” is Goldroom’s most recent offering and it seamlessly blends trance-inducing waves of textures into prominent Caribbean drums. A perfect track to teleport you out of the doldrums of winter.
I find songs of love are often my favorite and electronic music has continually been exploring way to express love through deep bass and soaring leads. The next track has neither of these things (except for the end, okay!), but it also does not come off as cheap; rather it comes off very authentic. After doing some research, I found Echos has actually covered this track “All I Want” which was originally performed by a bloke named Dexter Tortoriello (or probably better known by his artist name of Dawn Golden). The song could drive anyone with empathy to tears, and to me, that’s what a great love song does. Tears of joy, tears of loss, tears of want, just tears of emotion. It’s a powerful thing, and something to admire within the electronic world.
Okay, so electronic music isn’t your shtick? Well, I haven’t forgotten about you. How about underproduced lo-fi? Yeah? Perfect, so let me present to you “Mixer” by Nap Eyes. I’m guessing these Canadian rockers capture the live sound so well that they just record their honest-to-goodness tracks in one take. Straight out of the 60’s, these guys are a real trip and they probably put on one of those shows where you never realize quite how loud the music is until you hear it live.
To be honest, until I put them on this week’s list, this is probably the first time I’ve ever heard The Besnard Lakes. I know they’ve been around for “like forever,” and while I’ve heard of them, I never got to listening to them. I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t have them through my adolescence, much like the first time I appreciated Fleet Foxes (far too late). This song, “The Plain Moon”, is a…brash…track with oodles of rough guitar riffs and overlapping vocals, and I love it just the way it is. With many layers of echoed-out vocals and a consistent crash of instruments, it just sounds like a cacophony that just somehow works in perfect harmony. Don’t believe me..give it a listen.
Let’s get to this week’s other featured tracks:
Public Memory – “Ringleader” – I may abuse some words on here. I’ll be the first to call myself out on this, but when I say this track is haunting, I mean that in every sense of the word (and in the best sense of the word). I mean I’m actually going to be hearing tambourines following me around and that creepy little jingle @1:10!!! All that said, I freaking love this in all it’s “no mom, please leave the nightlight on tonight” glory
Lushlife, CSLSX & I Break Horses – “The Waking World” – So I had a friend in college who was pretty in tune with the new music pulse and he introduced me to CSLSX in 2009. I’d all but forgotten them before I found this track. There is a ton going on in this track, but none of it bad. Lushlife offers up his lyrical prowess, CXLSX kills it with the electricity, and I Break Horses softens it all up with her dreamy, shoegaze.
Port St. Willow – “Ordinary Pleasure” – This ambient music outfit is the solo project for Portlandian Nick Principle (great name right?). Diving into the first few seconds of this track, you’ll begin to feel a calming feeling throughout your entire body. A feeling where all care melt away and nothing is harsh except for the discordant orchestral sounds you hear as you drift in and out of consciousness. Woo, almost lost it…
Ra Ra Riot – “Absolutely” – WAKE UP!!! Okay, so in my opinion Ra Ra Riot has been flirting with the line between “indie” and “pop” and I think they’ve decided which side they want to stand on with this track. Not a bad thing, just an observation. It’s “Absolutely” a pick-me-up song and I like that RRR has always found a way of sounding cheery without being too flowery like you experience with the rest of the indie-pop world.
Have a wonderful week,