Tis such a silly world we exist in where we complain about the changing of the seasons. What a glorious anomaly of existence that we get to experience such varying degrees of climate all within a period of time that, in comparison to life, is quite short.
Thanks everybody. Tell your friends.
New Mix – Our Love
So Sharon Van Etten has been kicking my ass lately. I simply cannot shake the emotion conveyed on her new record Are We There. She leads off this mix with the brooding “Our Love”, which opens with a smooth drum-machine beat that carries the song. Also in this mix is Frankie Cosmos, whose song “School” makes me feel funny. It’s such a simple song that carries a decent amount of weight. Dan Croll’s “Wanna Know” lodged itself in my head for a good long while and “Warranted Queen” was a song that I caught on a mix and I was delighted to rehear a week later, this time with the artist info(Arum Rae). “Why” from Mas Ysa is a bit of a frantic dance hit, with a fantastic hook. Dana Buoy fell on my radar because they’re opening for Sylvan Esso on their current headlining tour. The mix finishes with hands down my favorite producer, Jamie XX with a track he wrote on the road because he missed the UK. While I’ve never been to the UK, I sure do miss a whole lot of places.
Tracklist after the jump Continue reading
At the top of this list is Hozier, an Irish singer-songwriter I can’t seem to stop listening to. He writes powerful songs that have a blues root to them that really extracts the emotion from his lyrics and lets them shine on top of wonderful arrangement he and his band have composed. Next is Chad VanGaaelen who released an album, Shrink Dust, earlier this year that was quite different from his previously more avant garde electronic releases. This one strips away the busy fuzzes and beeps and lets his songwriting ability stand up front alone. Lana Del Rey speaks for herself. Rubblebucket hit my radar because of their booking at Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati, one of my favorite independent music festivals. They have a great energetic sound led by a femal vocalist that has a bouncing voice that really carries a good melody. Towards the end of the list is Wet, one of my favorite new bands out of Brooklyn. Their music is a expression of melancholia with harmonized vocal effects and lyrics like “All I know is/When you hold me/I feel lonely”.
Hope you guys enjoy this one, its been a fun one to put together.
“If I were more nocturnal, I would surely miss seeing my shadow. This peculiar dark spot that diligently follows my earthly shell, reminds me of the momentary changes I can make to this physical world. Similarly, it is a constant reminder of the great ball of fire that we rely on to survive on this planet. Lying on my back towards the sun, I am often stricken with guilt that people of the current era do not pay respect to the sun as much as the people of old. With spring fully upon us, the days are getting longer, and our mid-day shadows are becoming much shorter. This provides an excellent opportunity to explore the wonders of your individual world. So the next time you’re feeling the urge to re-watch old episodes of your program of choice, drop your headphones onto that powerful cranium, and romp around for an hour or so. If you truly regret it, then you may be having an uncommon case of springtime seasonal depression, and just might be beyond help.”
– Robert “Bobby” Frost
This month’s Brain Salad comes with its fair share of sunny and bright tunes, most notably, two tracks off the debut release from Vacationer with “No Rules” and “Good as New”. Both tracks are extremely catchy and have everything that I look for in a good synth pop song. Make sure to check out their album,Gone, on their Bandcamp, it’s too legit to be illegitimate. Topping of the mix, is two folky songs, one from an artists I’ve been following for a while, Of Monsters and Men, and a brand new discovery to me, an excellent folk group out of Houston that goes by the name of Buxton. Next, the fun, bounding track from Imperial Teen, has been my international walking anthem for the past few weeks. Delicate Steve teases us with a track his latest album, Positive Force, coming on May 15. I brought in another track off Conner Youngblood‘s free EP Sketches Pt. 1, simply because he’s making some extremely creative music and I firmly believe that more people should be aware of it. Nite Jewel‘s album One Second of Love, caught me completely off guard and I’m simply infatuated with the track “She’s always Watching you”off that one. The mix ends with some peppy, and almost-annoying tunes, from Tanlines and the always reliable Remix Artist Collective. The last track on this is a unique banger from french hip-hop/edm producers Chill Bump. Watch out for them if you dig this track because they’re quite on point.
As always, take care, please share, and Thank you x2. xx
Tracklist and link After the Jumpoff
Brain Salad – March 2012
Despite being relatively absent from the blogosphere for the past few months, I have been listening to a fair bit of music. So here I am picking it back up with a brand new Brain Salad release. March’s mix continues the trend of eclectic compilations with everything from Shigeto’s exciting glitchy remix of Sufjan Steven’s “Futile Devices”, to the light folky soul tune in Michael Kiwanuka’s “I’m Getting Ready”. Highlights from this month’s include a quality track titled “Lonesome” from another quality release from Dr. Dog off Be the Void. The new track from one of my personal favorites Yellow Ostrich, “Shakedown” is a driving rock tune that starts off strong and ends with a crescendo that is as fulfilling as it is hectic. Blood Orange has been ringing its smooth R&B Rock through my head for the past few months, so I figured I’d share “Forget it” with all y’all. By the way, Blood Orange is the project of one Lightspeed Champion, who I found out about through Emmy The Great, won me over with his excellent name and even better music, so check him out, please. Pepper Rabbit comes through with a nice catchy tune that is just plain nice. Michael Kiwanuka and Ben Howard wins the best folk tunes so far this year. Polica and Rhye and Grimes all came out of nowhere this year with some awesome female dance/electronic tunes. Conner Youngblood continues to crank out tunes that I can’t help but love, and even better, “Will You Be There”, came on a free EP called Sketches Pt.1. Last of all comes A$AP Rocky’s “Peso” which if you aren’t already aware of, fix it, because A$AP Rocky is doin his own thang like none other, and gettin paid for it. As always, thanks and enjoy and thanks.
Tracklist after the Jump.
Delicate Steve just might be an enigma wrapped in a mystery enshrouded within the cloaks of secrecy that protect the deepest meanings of existence. Similarly, Delicate Steve is a instrumental rock group that’s been exploring the origins of music by way of NYC, creating waves of sensation in the ears of many and confusion in the heads of all that are perplexed by what they have encountered. Having been paired by nothing less than fate with the wonderfully talented Yellow Ostrich, the most Delicate of Steves recently, were on tour supporting Ra Ra Riot.
Delicate Steve’s story is one that’s been flooded with what our ancestor’s called “Tall Tales”. In a bit of a publicity stunt, a publicist for the band sought out acclaimed music writer Chuck Klosterman to write a press release, without really knowing what the band was about. Chuck did just what he knew he had to do, write a such a ludicrous fabrication that it could easily be taken for the truth by someone who has little time to let it sink in, or at the very least check some facts. So it became a parody of music journalism, and the sad reality of what a press release is, which is merely a cheat sheet for journalists to shirk their duties of investigating and reporting the facts. So by feeding the hungry eyes of bloggers and music journalists with false facts and outrageous (and imaginary) descriptions, Klosterman managed to “Pull a quick one”. This trickery did not go unappreciated by those who recognized, most notably NPR, who’s Ann Powers wrote an excellent article about this situation and the portrait it paints of the music journalism scene.
So the way I will choose to describe the wizardry that Steve Marion, the mastermind behind the luscious compositions that make up the debut album Wondervisions, is with this:
In the hot summer sun, some time ago, I spent a handful of moments to stop and observe/ponder the remains of a squirrel. His time must’ve came, in one panicked moment, a day or two before. The rot had started. Definitely. The flies, seemed to gain vigor from the promise of something to occupy their seconds of flight for many minutes to come. As I took it all in, I thought I heard something. I know I heard something. In the distance, but obviously within earshot, was the soft singing of tree birds, with the accompaniment of the breeze. What seemed like a celebration cantata was occurring just a stones-throw from this location of sudden or slow lonely demise. My feelings were mixed. No not mixed like blended, but more like alternating, or see-sawing. I couldn’t help but to be saddened by the fate of the adorable rodent. I couldn’t help to be delighted by the performances of the natural choir perched above. So I decided to try my best to combine these emotions that I had always felt separately before. And quite naturally, I found myself at a funeral. Celebrating the life of the critter. Rejoicing for the all the smiles that he had caused as he scrambled around a trunk trying to catch a fellow nut-stasher. Accepting the fate that world has brought to this thing. And really, really, really enjoying the music.
Check out these videos, if you so desire.
“Whenever the first leaves would fall, back when I was a child, I would began to count down the moments until there were enough to gather. The amount wasn’t anything specific, more like an estimation of how big the pile would have to be to break my fall. Just beyond the worn away patch of dirt in the lawn, I would corral the leaves. Always careful to try and filter out any twigs or other debris that could later become dangerous. The old rope swing stayed up year round, but some seasons were favorable. You never knew for sure if it was a good cushion until you tried it. So once I felt I had an adequate collection I would back up as far as I could go. Running and leaping with a mighty push, I would launch into the brisk air.”
Sometimes music comes along that just has too much flavor for me to share it with anyone right away. I get nervous that I’m enjoying these sounds just because of how unique it is, instead of it simply just being good music. Its almost that I feel like I might be getting tricked by a facade of production tricks or gypsy magic that makes me THINK that the music is good, as opposed to knowing for sure. Upon first listen of Diamond Mine from King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, I was enamored by the richness of the backing tracks (Jon Hopkins) and the vocals (King Creosote). First off, I’m a sucka for vocalists with blatant accents, and King Creosotes Scottish* drawl plays right into that weakness. The first track that caught my attention was “John Taylor’s Month Away” which is a slowly building track that swells up to large wide sounds and eventually fades into a soundscape beautifully orchestrated by Jon Hopkins. This album was reported as a project that was “a culmination of about seven weeks of work spread over seven years of recording and collaboration” which really shows in the final project. I feel like this started as a dream between the two of them to work with a musician that they respected and because they both had a unique vision for the project, it ended up being such a masterpiece. The standout track on Diamond Mine for me would definitely be “Bubble”, which features Hopkins knack for minimalist percussion and other droning chords that create such a lovely backdrop for the harmonizations of the the vocals. The final product is quite the enchanting adventure, and they managed to capture that with an AMAZING music video. Check out the video and other quality tracks below.
“John Taylor’s Month Away”[audio http://www.archive.org/download/KingCreosoteJonHopkins_690/02-JohnTaylorsMonthAway.mp3]
“Bats in the Attic (unravelled)”[audio http://www.archive.org/download/KingCreosoteJonHopkins_690/03-BatsInTheAtticunravelled.mp3]
Check out their concert from the Tiny Desk Series from NPR to see how it all happens.
Thanks and enjoy and thanks. xx
Last night I had a dream that my friends and I were being pulled around a lake (in which one end was a shallow indoor pool) by a rope that had some sort of strange throttle mechanism on it. Hanging on to this rope, my friends and I zipped around the lake just enjoying the ride. All of this was fine and grand until we were pulled back into the pool area and we discovered something written on the floor of the pool. I remember getting just close enough to read it, feeling scared because of the way that my friend had shouted about it, and then I woke up.
Enjoy this months Brain Salad.
James Blake has been blowing me away since I first heard “Wilhelm Scream” early last year. Since then he’s been amazing me with his amalgamation of minimalist, post-dubstep, and r&b stylings. His sorrowful falsetto is the perfect counterpart to his distinct glitchy reverbed percussion that he uses on the majority of his tracks. He is easily one the best new artists (nominated for 2011 Mercury Prize a.k.a. the Grammys of The UK but better because its not in America) and continues to impress the blogosphere with his excellent productions and mixes. I’m really into the whole post-dubstep movement and the new bass music sounds that are coming out of the UK right now (see: PostDubstep Tumblr) and James Blake is one of the defining artists in this movement and alot of what we are seeing are reflections of his sound. It is a wonderful place we live in where artists can be immediately influential in the music world.
I’ve been wanting to post about James Blake for a grip now, and the fact that he’s preparing his new album is a damn good reason to continue building the hype about this guy. He’s collaborated with one of my favorite voices/songwriters in the whole world, Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon, for a track on the upcoming album. This track “Fall Creek Boys Choir” is just a clue as to what this new album will be like, and its a huge tease. The full track list has been released and the album is to be called Enough Thunder. (Get the deets HERE)This song really illustrates the innovation that James Blake exudes and I sincerely hope that he continues to create new sounds and produce music of the high quality that he has in the past.
If you have never heard James Blake, please check him out. He’s creating extremely intelligent music with a flavor that he’s made all his own, and not surprisingly he’s the best at what he does.
Wilhem’s Scream[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake/02JamesBlake-WilhelmsScream.mp3]
Fall Creek Boys Choir[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake/fall-creek-boys-choir.mp3
Give a Man a Rod (Second Version)
A Millie (Harmonimix Remix) *Harmonimix is James Blake’s remix/Dj moniker*[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake/13AMillieharmonimix.mp3]
1. Once We All Agree[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake_295/01OnceWeAllAgree.mp3]
2. We Might Feel Unsound[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake_295/02WeMightFeelUnsound.mp3]
3. Fall Creek Boys Choir[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake_295/03FallCreekBoysChoir.mp3]
4. A Case of You[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake_295/04ACaseOfYou.mp3]
5. Not Long Now[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake_295/05NotLongNow.mp3]
6. Enough Thunder[audio http://www.archive.org/download/JamesBlake_295/06EnoughThunder.mp3]