Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bloc Party – Day Four

Bloc Party have kind of flown off my radar in recent years. I just couldn’t get into their third record Intimacy which was released three years ago. Their new single “Day Four” though has restored my appreciation for the band. It is a beautiful and intamate pop song that reminds me of the strong pop ballads on A Weekend In The City and Silent Alarm. “Kreuzberg”, “Blue Light”, and “So Here We Are” to name a few. It also brings to mind The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”. Lead singer Kele Okereke’s vocals are top knotch on this track. It’s exciting to see a band back at the top of their game.

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Animal Collective – Today’s Supernatural

Animal Collective have delivered again. They’re always pushing boundaries with their music. I’m loving the punk, hardcore, and latin sound in “Today’s Supernatural”. Avey Tare is basically screaming the vocals throughout most of the track. Sure this isn’t pretty pop music, it’s not the next “My Girls” but it does stand as an experimental, quirky first single that is a lot of fun to listen to. It’s getting me pumped for their upcoming record.

Centipede Hz is out September 3rd on Domino.

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Bat For Lashes – Laura

As I watched the music video for Bat For Lashes’ new single “Laura” and listened to the song I couldn’t help but think of Darren Aronofsky’s beautiful film the “Black Swan”. Dancing is a central part of both the song and the film, and Laura reminds me of a broken character like Nina (the white swan in the film) who is looking for validation and has lost her sense of self worth. Like Nina, Laura is a tortured soul. She is depressed, lonely, famous, and men love her for her body, but it appears that she does not experience true intimacy. Laura feels like she’s been forgotten by her friends but the narrator is offering her words of comfort and love, “Laura, you’re more than a superstar”. Who is this narrator? Is she a good friend? A lover? Or maybe an admirer? We don’t know. Whoever she/he is, she/he is trying to get through to Laura, to save her, but the song leaves us with no clear answers or ending. Of course this is only my thought process and opinion. The beautiful thing about this rich song is that it can be interpreted in so many different ways.

Now let’s talk about the music. “Laura” is a piano driven song. Beautiful horns come in to the mix, adding power and emotion to the song. Everything is executed to perfection. Natasha Khan’s aka Bat For Lashes’ vocals are powerful and beautiful as always. You can feel the pain, heartache, and love of the characters in the song because of Khan’s emotive vocals. Her vocals, along with the lyrics create a vivid story that is hard to forget.

Bat For Lashes’ new record The Haunted Man is out 10/15/12.

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The xx – Angels

“Angels” is a bare bones love song that is beautifully sung by Romy Croft. It’s tender and extremely approachable. The instrumentation is quiet and sparse making the focus on Croft’s stellar vocals and captivating words. This single is a sign of good things to come.

xx’s new album Coexist is out 9/11/12.

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Fang Island – Make Me

Fang Island are a math rock band from Brooklyn, New York and more importantly are a band that make some of the happiest rock music that’ll ever hit your ears. They have great guitar riffs and they’re choruses will have you singing along in no time. Their music is so sweet because it helps you feel good about life and brings you up when you’re feeling down. I feel like “Make Me” is a good song to introduce new listeners to their music but their whole new album Major is pretty awesome. It comes out July 24. Like Fang Island let’s each be joyful and rock on.

Listen to “Make Me” here.

Listen to Major in it’s entirety here.

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Santigold – Lights Out

I’ve been really enjoying Santigold’s music lately. I hadn’t checked her music out until this year. Santigold makes catchy feel good music. She also has lyrics that reward repeated listening. Santigold has great energy and spirit in her songs. I like that she has a unique, vibrant approach to dance and pop music. I’m especially loving her song “Lights Out”. It has such a sweet chorus and I like its punk-pop sound. The song has also received comparisons to the Pixies. I’d recommend adding it to your summer playlist.

Here’s also a music video of her recent single “Disparate Youth”.

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The Killers – Runaways

I’m a fan of The Killers’ music. I mean who can forget “Mr. Brightside”? I’m still waiting though for one of their records to knock it out of the park. My favorite record by them is Sam’s Town. I like Springsteen’s influence on that album and on their new single “Runaways”. This new song also reminds me of Brandon Flowers’s solo album Flamingo. I like the piano and guitars on this track, they reminds me of classic 80’s rock music. I’m hoping that their upcoming record Battle Born will be a great record. We’ll see, Fall 2012.

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Passion Pit – Hideaway

Passion Pit’s new album Gossamer really is something to get excited about. It’s an album filled with youthful, beautiful, upbeat, fun, and sweet pop songs. It’s easily one of the best pop albums I’ve heard this year. A great thing about the album is that it has happy, positive songs but Passion Pit are careful not to ignore life’s challenges. They’re honest about reality and love with their lyrics. “Hideaway” is a clear standout song on the record. The piano and synths in this song make it glisten brightly, and the beautiful harmonies in the chorus kill me every time I listen to it. The chorus reads, “Hideaway, Hideaway, where they’ll never say you cannot stay, come and play, my hideaway, someday everything will be OK.”. We all need a pop song like this, one full of optimism and love.

Listen to “Hideaway” here via Spotify or here via youtube.

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Taken By Trees – Dreams

Victoria Bergsman aka Taken By Trees says she was inspired by her recent travel to Hawaii while writing her new record Other Worlds. It’s clear this is true when you listen to her new single “Dreams” which is a breezy song befitting time at the beach.

Download here: Taken by Trees: “Dreams”

 

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Frank Ocean – Thinking About You

Frank Ocean is an extremely talented up and coming R&B singer. His vocals are very impressive, and his voice brings to mind the great R&B singers like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. His recently released debut record Channel Orange is pretty solid. One of the best songs off the record,”Thinking About You”, is a beautiful ballad about caring about someone and wondering if they feel the same way about you. Ocean travels through emotional landscapes with his music and his stories about love and heartbreak can be quite moving. Frank Ocean is a thoughtful artist and has one of the most refreshing and exciting new voices around today.

Listen to “Thinking About You” here.

Listen to Channel Orange here.

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