Foster the People’s debut album “Torches” is all that you could ask for in a summer, indie pop album. It’s undeniably catchy, fun, and easy to listen to. They remind me of an accessible and less eccentric Empire of the Sun (read they probably won’t have dancing swordfish ladies on stage). RAC, otherwise known as Remix Artist Collective, do just that, make really awesome remixes. They’ve taken “Houdini” from a straight up pop song and given it a bit of edge and drama. The track starts out with a rapid keys line that’s quickly joined by the fluttering bass. We’re joined by the largely untouched vocals and slightly groovy clap. The sample picks up where the tension starts to build in the synth. The track erupts into the hyped-up chorus for a full on party. A small break in the bridge and gospel-like vocals further add to the tension and take the track out.
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I just discovered Twin Shadow this past week and immediately fell in love. Twin Shadow is the stage name of George Lewis Jr. who released his debut “Forget” in late 2010. In particular, I think the album is perfect for the summer. It’s got a little of that relaxed, beachy feel, and some peppy synths to keep it light, airy, and fun. The track I chose starts out with a nice hand-drum beat and lone, deep, brassy synth. George’s soft, poetic lyrics layer in, questioning the subject on whether they have any emotion. In particular, “Do you sigh yourself awake?” I find to be quite visual and interesting. The track starts to pick up at this point, adding in a woozy synth, dripping in 80’s luster. This is a fantastic debut that I would highly recommend giving a listen to.
Check out the full track here!
It’s fitting that my last post in my early 20’s is called “As a Child.” This song is all about reminiscing childhood and teenage years. If you haven’t heard of Yelle yet, you really should. They’re a French electro-pop trio that are making waves in the states. I saw them in concert last week and was completely blown away. Not only can namesake Yelle (Julie Budet) sing, but she can dance and have FUN. We’re talking leopard jumper costume changes fun. Today’s track opens quite softly with about a 30 second lead, leaping into heavy synths and bird-like squawks. Once the bar is raised on energy, there’s another small break. This is where we come in, a little wind up and the high energy chorus. The energy of this song is infectious…I never want the dance party to stop!
Pictures from the show!
Today’s post is a birthday dedication for Camila S. who requested I review Adele. Of course, if I’m doing Adele, I’m doing it with a remix. The first time I heard this song it got my attention, Adele’s voice has certainly matured. But then I heard this remix and I was floored. The bass is amped up, giving it a more funky feel compared to the original. It was the intro to the chorus that got me- with a sudden drop, Adele comes storming in along with a heavy, pulsating beat. The sample I’ve chosen is the second time we hear the chorus. The kick drum is accentuated with the slightly vocoded “music” and “soul” again reinforcing the power behind Adele’s voice. Just after the sample we’re given a soulful, boot-stomping solo only to jump right back into it. Villa does a great job of preserving the original song, keeping it still very much within Adele’s realm. Overall a great song, but a better remix.
Check out the full streaming song here!
Today’s track is the first single off of Little Dragon’s upcoming “Ritual Union.” These guys and gal are one of my favorite bands at the moment – I really love their mix of electronic and pop with jazzy overtones. “NightLight” is a great song to groove to with upbeat percussion and quick lyrics. It also features really unusual, organ-like synths. I don’t really know how else to describe this sound, thoughts? Yukimi Nagano’s unique, high-pitched yet ethereal voice is highlighted quite nicely as well. The sample I’ve chosen jumps in about half way through and features a nice combination of these elements. We hear the tail-end of the darker bridge, and jump into the high-strung chorus. Looking forward to the new album in July – you’ll be hearing more from it I’m sure!
Check out the full single streaming here.
The Submarines were a pleasant discovery for me this past week. Today’s song comes from a remix album of 2009’s “Honeysuckle.” What I really love about the AmpLive remix is that much of The Submarine’s style, especially Blake Hazard’s vocals, are preserved. The original song has a slow, stroll like tempo with drawn out, honeyed vocals accented with bits of whimsical noises. AmpLive has sped up the tempo giving it a more hip-hop/jazzy feel. In the sample I selected, the vocals start out to be more in line with the original and are quickly punched up with the fuzzy bass. The beat really complements Blake’s voice giving the piece a new fresh step.
Thanks to David B. and Whitney S. for separately and simultaneously tuning me into The Submarines! Check out the full remix here, or venture to see them live at Slim’s on Saturday, April 9 (I’ll be there).
I saw Röyksopp in concert again this week past week – what an incredible show! Their performance reminded me of my love for today’s track and was my inspiration for the post. Bonus: it features Robyn (yes I’m obsessed). She portrays a lonely girl in love with a workaholic. Röyksopp’s signature rolling synth is ever-present and provides an excellent backdrop to Robyn’s pained vocals. The sample I’ve chosen picks up at a very interesting point in the song. On one side you have Robyn voicing her concerns overlayed with the Robot being dismissive. The Robot fades away and we’re left with Robyn, alone. The song soon winds down with another one of Röyksopp’s strong suits, integrating strings into the electronics. This is easily one of my favorite dance songs and was an inevitable feature here. Thanks for the fantastic show guys!
Dance your heartache away and get the full song here!