Category #musicmonday

#MusicMonday – September 4

#MusicMonday - September 4

1. Hercules & Love Affair – “Omnion”
Andy Butler is back with a brand new album titled Omnion, an electronic music adventure that’s a bit more straight forward pop than his previous albums. The first track, also titled “Omnion,” features stunning vocals from Sharon Van Etten, backed by a lush horn section and twinkling synths. The combination is breathtaking.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify


2. Frank Ocean – “Provider”
Frank Ocean keeps bringing the singles one after another (this is the 5th post-Blonde if you count “Slide”) and I love it. His latest is “Provider,” a track that sounds like he’s trying to figure out his relationship with a close friend, which rumor has it maybe Memo Guzman. I listen to Frank Ocean constantly and this track brings more of the chill R&B energy that he’s perfected.

Listen on: Apple Music – Spotify


3. Wiki – “Made For This” feat. Ghostface Killah
Heard this track on Beats One the other day and it immediately took me back. Wiki brings legit New York rap into the spotlight with this track, which is only made better by Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. The combination creates a timeless rap track that you have to nod to.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify


4. Adrian Underhill – “Cruel”
Tornoto based musician Adrian Underhill released his new sone “Cruel” and it’s so damn catchy, I can’t get it out of my head. It’s a sexy little pop track about two lovers trying to understand one another in a cruel world. Lots of 70’s inflected guitars paired with Underhill’s sweet as sugar vocals make this a true hit.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify


5. Matthew Dear – “Bad Ones” feat. Tegan and Sarah
I’m a big fan of Matthew Dear’s and was surprised and elated to hear did a collaboration with Tegan and Sarah. The track sounds like it should be the end scene music for a John Hughes movie, and I mean that in the best way possible. With adorable lyrics like “I’m one of the bad ones, And that’s why you feel lucky” you can’t help but bop along to this track.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify


6. King Krule – “Czech One”
Archy Marshall is back performing as King Krule (a moniker he had seemingly abandoned) with a track called “Czech One”, the single coming out on the 4-year anniversary of Krule’s debut studio album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. It’s a beautifully haunting track, a dark jazz adventure with Marshall’s voice floating over the whole thing like a dream.

Listen on: Apple MusicSpotify

“Love’s a Spanish Word to be Sung” – Son Volt’s newest album, ‘Honky Tonk’

'Honky Tonk' by Son Volt

son volt

The words “honky tonk” will always feel hokey to me. A ragtime style originated from dive bars of the early 20th century, it evolved into “Okie” or “hillbilly music” through it’s simplicity and straight rhythms. It didn’t really have a place in country or popular music until the legendary Ernest Tubb brought it to Nashville. Much of the Nashville sound in the 50’s and 60’s steeped itself in the minimalist style, eschewing strings and large bands for simple instruments and solid stories. Since then, the style, moreso than the word itself, became ingrained in American culture. Buck Owens gave it a pair of telecasters and global appeal, Gram Parsons asked us to “close down the honky-tonks” in 1969, the Byrds lost themselves in a honky tonk, the country bad boy Waylon Jennings put out a record called Honky Tonk Heroes, and even the Eagles gave the Bakersfield style a try. The legend sealed itself into American consciousness.

Son Volt’s latest release, Honky Tonk is more than just a throw back. It is a uniquely American record, each song loaded by Jay Farrar’s expert song writing in a way few records have offered in years.

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The Night and Day of TOKiMONSTA’s ‘Half Shadows’

TOKiMONSTA

The beautiful thing with music is, that while getting what you expect is pretty great, when you get something you never expected it’s the best. That seems to be the case with Jennifer Lee aka TOKiMONSTA, the LA-based beatsmith, producer, and songwriter. The versatility of her style seems as random and spasmodic as her home city. One minute you’re in a chopped up hip hop song, the next a slow R&B crooner, then a beat-heavy banger, and finally some electronic bliss pop. It’s almost a trademark of the whole Low End Theory/Brainfeeder crew. If you think you understand what’s happening, you might have missed the whole point.

So we’re more than amped to see what is happening on her new album, Half Shadows.

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RL Grime & Salva Remix Jamie Liddell’s “What A Shame”

RL Grime & Salva

Maybe it’s the Boiler Room effect. Or the whirlwind success that seems to accompany the D-I-Y-in-mommas-bedroom-when-you’re-under-25 beatmaking crew. But the world of pop production and “indie” production consistently overlaps. One minute you’re slaving in the basement and the next moment you’re sending beats to the A$AP Mob and Yeezy wants to sample you. Ok that doesn’t happen to everybody – it just appears that way.

So the pairing of RL Grime and Salva makes all the sense in the world. Two of LA’s more sought after producers, they earlier struck gold on their collaboration on the GOOD Music hit ‘Mercy’. As RL Grimes ascends through some Mad Decency and Salva takes sets from Low End Theory and Power 106, any further collaborations are just icing on the cake. Somehow combining a bit of trap, UK Garage and Liddell’s songwriting chops, the remix of “What a Shame” is a mover and a shaker. The original comes from the Liddell’s self titled record from this year. A banger in its own right. Liddell, for all his neo-soul crooniness, remains a purveyor of the underground beat scene. With these dudes at the helm, I just have to say: they know just when to drop the beat. Headphones users and people with subwoofers be warned.

‘All Nite’ by Rustie

Glass Swords by Rustie

'All Nite' by Rustie

Warp Records has a knack for pulling out great UK beatmakers. By slowly introducing them into the scene, they end up becoming another part of the sonic collage that the record label releases. Rustie, a recent addition to Warp and a Glasgow native, is about to drop his first full length on the label in the next month called Glass Swords. His style of UK bass melds the mechanism of Detroit techno with the boogie funk of the 80’s. Synths are abused and drum machines hammered into a precision, creating this sort of bombastic funky drum beat.

His first single All Nite is a perfect example of his craft. You can hear the dub plates, an 80’s booty bass line, a gratuitous synthesizer and Kanye’s chimpmunk-esque samples. This is an awesome blend of pop styles. It’s a track that should be turned way up as it builds into melding melodies. A bass line with a sick, flat low end flows against a pulsing synth melody that is just so sweet and gratifying. Add a techno break down and a sick melodic turn at the end and it is a real banger. To me, it’s something you wish a recently departed king of pop could really cut loose over. It’s so smooth and easy to enjoy that I feel guilty of loving something too fast. Don’t you love when that happens?

If this is any indicator, Rustie’s debut, Glass Swords, might be one of the most anticipated records of the year. I can’t wait.

Alec

Fun With Transparency

Still from "Time is of the Essence" by Cold Mailman

Still from "Time is of the Essence" by Cold Mailman

Rarely do we get to talk about the buildings in music videos, and while these chatty facades may not be celebrated works of architecture, it is exciting to see these sturdy buildings up to the role of playing an urban-scaled lite brite. The buildings animated in this music video are all in Oslo, their synchronized patterns of light and dark achieved through computer trickery. Directed by Andre Chocron for the band Cold Mailman, the video pushes the transparency of modern structures into a kind of a performance. If you speak norsk, you will understand this interview with Andre, or you can just listen to it like I did, trying to glean what’s going on from facial expressions, gestures and the random english words.

Alex

50 Great Voices

Growing up away from the West Coast, I always associated public radio with classical music, Car Talk and Saturday mornings in the wood-clad mini-van with my family. Even today, the public radio station in my hometown broadcasts music programming composed completely of classical music. So it was a surprise to me and my ears when I first heard KCRW while living in L.A.  “This is… public radio?” It was! Listening to Mornings Become Eclectic meant hearing new music and consistently discovering various artists and songs, all the while re-discovering public radio.

This year, NPR is producing 50 Great Voices: a series featuring well-known and niche-known artists with one thing in common: a panel of experts agreed they should be included in the series 50 Great Voices.  There are some familiar-sounding pipes in the shows aired thus far, as well as folks I’m not familiar with at all. Last week, the series featured one of my favorite voices: Bjork. And not only did I learn how to pronounce her name correctly, but also how Thom Yorke reacted the first time he heard her sing. (I haven’t cried listening to any of the voices unfamiliar to me  just yet, but the series is barely half-way over.)

Hear something you haven’t before.

Alex.

#musicmonday

I haven’t done a #musicmonday in a while because I haven’t been listening to a whole lot of new stuff, but I thought I’d throw out a new one cuz’ I’ve got a couple things to speak about.

First up is the new album from The Books titled The Way Out which continues on their alleatoric journey, combining found sound samples and combining them with guitar and cello to make amazing music. I’ve listened to the album a few times so far and though they may not be striking brand new ground it’s still an amazing album.

After that I wanted to point out how amazing Fischerspooner’s first album #1 was. I hadn’t listened to it in a while, like 5 years, so I thought I’d put it on and sure enough it was quite the gem. I used to drive around my hometown of Roseville listening to it non-stop and I will always think of that, but honestly the album still stands up as a classic. If you haven’t heard it recently give it another listen for old times sake.

As usual feel free to suggest new music and links are extra appreciated.

Bobby