In effort to keep up with the times, but not having the time to keep up, I’ve created a playlist backlogging some song I’ve neglected to share with you. Several albums including the new Dirty Projector & Björk, Real Estate and Tycho, have caught my ear, in addition to singles from Major Lazer, The Moor, and Saint Motel. It’s easy to say, there has been no shortage of good music. Before I proceed, if you could riddle me this, in the future would you prefer a playlist compiled on Spotify or 8tracks?
1. The Dirty Projectors & Björk: “On And Ever Onward”
I’ll start with this track because for many I suspect this song will be challenging. The minimal “On And Ever Onward” focus on the vocal loop of Angel Deradoorian and Björk which supplement a conventional drum sequence. While challenging, the song structure adheres to a pop song with verses, choruses and bridges. In this light, Mount Wittenberg Orca is both welcoming and jarring, with subtle nuances like the fluctuating tones, but non confronting like early Animal Collective projects.
2. Major Lazer: “Original Don” feat. The Partysquad (Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross Remix)
What an amazing build. Like many Major Lazer tracks, the pulsating beat has a subdued dub tone that elevate as the track progresses.
3. THEESatisfcation: “EEN SAH EWE”
Take the funk of Madlib, add the poetic command of Bahamadia, and dress the mix with soulful seduction of Badu, and you have THEESatisfaction. The hip hop duo of Stasia Irons & Catherine Harris-White create an uncanny hip hop that draws from the old school beat poetry of Digable Planets and blends that with the futuristic styles of the aforementioned Erykah Badu (think New Ameryka) and Madlib.
4. Tycho: “Hours’ (Teen Daze Remix)
Tycho’s album, Dive (image above), is soft spoken with subtle nuances. For some, it may (honestly) sound like “elevator” music, but this judgement overlooks the fuzzy distortion of “Epigram” offsetting the bright piano notes, or the vocal waves undulating on “Dive.” For fans of Bonobo, Tycho is surely up your alley.
The up tempo Teen Daze’s remix of “Hours” adds the percussive element that one might argue is missing on the album.
5. The Moor: “You’ll See”
Bare arrangements at times are stronger than full. On The Moor’s “You’ll See,” the verses focus on the vocals and drums, ascending with the guitar and piano at the bridge, orchestrating an emphasized and catchy pop song. The polished lo-fi (is that an oxymoron?) track reminds me of the Raveonettes.
6. Real Estate: “It’s Real”
As “It’s Real” begins, frontman Martin Courtney sings, “I don’t know who’s behind the wheel, sometimes I feel like I don’t know the deal.” It’s a simple statement that feels like a personal secret with the listener. Finishing the verse, he sings “believe me when I say it’s real” and you have to believe. This is one of the most beautiful albums for fall (and this year) as you reflect. For a more eloquent description, read this great review by Rawkblog.
7. G-Eazy: “Mercedes Benz”
Flipping old school jams is too G-Eazy. We were first turned on to the Bay Area rapper with his remix of “Run Around Sue,” and now he samples Janis Joplin–and we’re not complaining. Any rapper who rhymes Joplin with John Stockton has a special place in my heart.
Gerald: take the Mailman plan, throw bows and take it the hole, come back bigger than “Stan.” (yeah I just tried to rap..)
8. Saint Motel: “Puzzle Pieces” (Junk Remix)
The gruff “Junk Remix” of Saint Motel “Puzzle Pieces” gives the glam pop song an edginess like a Justice track.
Did you like some of these tracks? Awesome. Here are a few of them so you don’t have to be limited by 8tracks playlist functionality.
The Moor: “You’ll See”
G-Eazy: “Mercedes Benz”
THEESatisfcation: “EEN SAH EWE”