Tag Archives: pop

Listen Both Ways

This one’s for Kelsey (and probably any other fans of Florence & The Machine, Of Monsters & Men, The Hush Sound, anything indie/folk/soul/big band/pop really).

Click To Download Full Album “Running From A Gamble”

 

The Chicago based quartet is really growing on me, and it hasn’t taken long. Their energy and life pops without coming across as overbearing or annoying, as many female-fronted electrifolk acts have the tendency to do. Fronted by vocalist/founding member Genevieve Schatz, she is urgent and powerful in her message; all the while, maintaining an attractively creepy tone with eccentric syllable pronunciation. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that for 4 minutes in a coffee shop, my life turns into a musical episode of a sitcom and this will be what everyone is belting. Put this on to help discover the wonders of caffeine.

W

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Candadian Folk-Pop goes Minimal goes Glitchstep

Some backstory: the soulful British singer/producer James Blake released an 11 track self-titled album in February of last year. He has a distinct style that fuses the icy chill of minimalist with the groove and feeling of R&B. Categorized as Dubstep/Post-Dubstep, this a silly misnomer made by silly people. This label doesn’t do his uniqueness justice, and would turn off many a listener who are looking for more depth in their electronic music.

30 seconds into track one and I was already sold. It’s a brilliant album that magnificently ebbs and flows with expertise; one that you’ll leave on repeat because the songs provide something fresh each listen.  Contained in this album is his rendition of a Feist track, “Limit To Your Love.” He slows down the already melancholy tone to a creeping pace, giving the listener time for contemplation and tension to squirm. The bass submerges into something primal at points in the song; it feels tasteful and creative.

Here is James Blake’s version:

For fans of Inception, below is a remix of the cover, sampling Blake’s vocals but redefining the structure of the song. The beat is different, the flow is different. There are at least a half dozen remixes of this song on youtube and this was only one that seemed to do it justice. To create a successful cover, the artist must take only the best aspects of the original and turn the rest into their own work. This gets more complicated as the song delineates from its origins. Put this on while reanimating.

W

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Take “Nocturne” to help experience dreams

Artist: Wild Nothing

Album: Nocturne

Genre: Dream-Pop/Boy Toy

Photo couresty of wildnothing.bigcartel.com

Imagine falling asleep under a tree in a secluded park. Half-resting, your mind begins to drift into dreams of your past. Important childhood memories softly hover just below you. They are blurred and out of focus, but emotionally resonant. You gradually return through important moments of your life, to your comfortable body. Rested and positive, you rise and life goes on.

Nocturne by Wild Nothing is the soundtrack to that dream journey. Artfully arranged, everything floats into one movement; one gentle, blushed sigh. The entire album was written and recorded by Jack Tatum, the founder of Wild Nothing, who only uses other members for live performance. Influence of “Gemini,” Jack’s first album, is unmistakably present. This is still the same artist with the same approach to songwriting, but everything shines to a clearer resolve. Jack’s vocals maintain a constant flux from coherent to unintelligible, resulting in a sensual ambiguity akin to other shoegazers.

There is a gentle innocence here, as he chants “you can have me” during the albums title track. I find myself giving into the notion that I might want to, if only to comfort him. It is not until “Through The Grass” that Jack’s delineation from previous work is clear. He sacrifices melodic definition for something more ethereal. The build is slow and wonderful and I don’t really want it to end. Transitioning triumphantly, “Only Heather” resounds with a gentle grip labeled hope.

“Paradise” is where Jack’s musical maturity becomes apparent as the album-long movement shows focus and direction. Tonal choices bring to mind a ferry ride at night, driving through the city in summer, and washed out camera lenses. By track ten, “The Blue Dress,” the movement has somehow evolved, subtly. “Rheya,” the album’s final track is a festival of lights, lifting my spirits and bringing me back to consciousness.

Darkness has been resolved, unrest has ended and progress has been made. At the album’s completion, just like waking, it’s suddenly over and I’m left a bit fuzzy on all the details.

-W

Free stream of the album below:

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