All right, here we go.
I saw ads for Royal Blood’s album on the London Subway – whoever said anything about not judging an album by its cover? The music turned to be quite unlike the stuff I usually listen to, but who am I to deny the power of a guitar-bass-drum album? The video is incredible, of course.
You may argue that Trent Dabbs is country music and not worthy of your attention, but you would be doing yourself a disservice. He has worked with artistes like Katie Herzig, Hayden Panetierre (yes, that lady) and Ingrid Michaelson and his own voice sounds pretty darn good.
This Klangkarussell song is one of my default running songs, and I occasionally find myself wanting to scale skyscrapers and stare in the distance when the song plays – I am sure you will understand why. The sample of Salif Keita’s song Madan comes out of nowhere, and adds a lovely counterpoint to the buzzy synths that dominate the first half of the song. Also, can someone tell me which city this is shot in?
Robin Schulz’s remix of Lilly Wood and the Prick’s song seems to be definitive version – I mean, I am not even interested in finding out if there is an original and what it sounds like. That’s rare for a remix. Or maybe I am just lazy. I also keep misrepresenting this song as a ‘Robin Thicke’ remix, and then proceed to feel ashamed of myself. That guitar loop reminds me of Wankelnut and Asaf Avidan’s One Day.
Ice Cream by BATTLES is a delightfully kooky song, and the NSFW video (don’t blink) just adds to the flavor. 1:55 is my favorite part of the video. The video for Karma Fields’ Build the Cities is equally trippy. Wait for 1:40. The drum patterns remind me of a great Kirsty Hawkshaw song I heard back in the day. Hmm, I should probably go listen to more Kirsty Hawkshaw.
I am in an intimate relationship with the new Purity Ring album at the moment, and I cannot contemplate talking about any of their music with any semblance of objectivity. Go listen to ‘Another Eternity’, their new album if you have time on your hands. You could also listen to this great collaboration with Jon Hopkins. Another guy whose album Late Night Tales is on my current playlist rotation.
Message To Bears turned up in a Spotify ambient playlist, and it is one of the songs that suddenly wash over you when you are trying to concentrate on whatever you’re doing, and make you stop and listen to it with all your attention. It makes me want to go walk along the beach in the evening while holding hands with someone.
Salt Cathedral glided into my life via Spotify Discover, my default way of finding out music that appeals to me. Short album, but overflowing with whispery percussion patterns, gentle glitches and delicate harmonies. It’s funny – and oddly satisfying – how the songs that stick to you on the first listen have the best videos.
‘Sugar in My Coffee’ by Caught a Ghost played on the season premiere (finale?) of The Blacklist. I didn’t stick with the series beyond a few episodes but the song keeps coming back. A beautiful combination of gospel choruses, a bassline that threatens to eat you alive, and catchy lyrics. There is a live version by the band that I like quite a bit too.
How do you not listen to someone called Com Truise? His music is ironically futuristic, and a whole lot of fun. The album that this song comes from is my favorite end-to-end listen on freeway drives. Makes you want to crank the music up really high, feel the wind in your hair and bop your head at passing cars. I think I may buy a black leather jacket just to live up to this song on my speakers.
Indila blew my mind (and yours too, I hope) with ‘Derniere Danse’ a year or so ago. The other song of hers that I liked a lot was ‘S.O.S’, but it was when I heard her album all the way through that I realized how good she really is. This song is all grace, elegance and tenderness wrapped in a waltz.
The Lottery Winners remind me of Metronomy, Cake and the Barenaked Ladies – all bands with a propensity to look awkwardly into the camera while talking of broken hearts and shattered dreams, albeit with upbeat melodies and patterns in the background. The video for this is creepy and sad at the same time, while the song is endearing.
Las Cafeteras keeps performing in Los Angeles, and I mean to go see them soon. This particular song is a remix, but captures the Chicano/feminist soul of their music quite well.
I missed seeing Madeon in Brussels, boo. And his concert in LA is sold out. His new album Adventure is killing it, and you ought to check it out. His music and videos are full of cryptic messages that people are working hard to decipher, and that adds an extra level of enjoyment to his music. This song features Passion Pit, yet another band that I would love to see again.
Ooh, do not listen to Nils Frahm at night. Especially if you are alone. Every plink on his piano is like someone touching your spine with fingers of ice. Goddammit, what an amazing artist!