It’s definitely chilled-out study music, but its ominous sound effects damn near reference Pink Floyd. It also showcases Brandon Boyd’s incredible melodic phrasing abilities as a singer, and I have no idea why this circa-2000 gem never quite caught on as one of Incubus’ top hits. Also, if anyone ever serenades me with a song as alluring as this one, I will fucking swoon.
Last Saturday I explored the second annual LitCrawl in Wellington, New Zealand. LitCrawl is a celebration of art, literature, and spoken word, and hosts performances and readings in some of the city’s most hidden and most beloved venues. At around 9 pm I found myself in Alistair’s Music Shop at an event simplistically called ‘Writing Tunes & Playing Poetry’. The shop was small, and because my friends and I were the last to arrive we were ushered into a corner at the front of the room next to where the artists would perform, the only space left in the shop. As I sat cross legged, trying to make myself small amongst the acoustic guitars hanging above my head and the audience staring awkwardly at me, the first artist appeared from a little back room at the front of the store.
He introduced himself as Fraser Ross, a New Zealand native. He was tall, skinny, and (don’t make fun of me for using this term), trendy. He wore green skinny pants, a tweed jacket, round glasses, and an oddly stylish bowler hat that I truly believe only he could pull off. He was soft spoken, and in the short time that I saw him I understood that he was humble. This song was one of the three that he performed, and it has stuck with me since that night. He said that it’s about an old girlfriend of his that moved back to her hometown in Scotland. He sang this to her the night before she left. He didn’t tell us how the relationship went after that.
The song is beautiful. The lyrics are vulnerable, modest, and above all, loving. When he performed in Alistair’s he was only equipped with a guitar. On the track he is backed by a band, the Felt Tips, allowing the song to take on a fuller form. I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. Maybe because of the gut wrenching honesty in it, maybe because I saw him live on a night that has stuck in my mind, or maybe because it’s simply a good song – I don’t know but you should really give it a listen.
Med, Blu & Madlib stand out in a homogenous rap game as unique talents. Knock Knock features a catchy beat and some deft wordplay. Start off your Sunday evening on the right foot and get this song on in your headphones.
If this song sounds vaguely familiar, that’s probably because you were enraptured by the dance routine that accompanied it at Dance Workshop last weekend. I, too, found myself captivated not only by the jerky, saran-wrapped dancers, but also by the the hypnotism of the bass and simply by how weird the song sounded. This isn’t your usual electronic concoction. Traditional ambient electronic sounds brew together with nearly-wartime-era woodwind riffs and the kind of incessant bass beat you’d usually just hear in hip hop. This song’s a slightly avant-garde treat, probably weird enough to ward off the Friday the 13th demons.
All sorts of variety in this week’s DJ playlist. DJs chose tracks from big names (Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey) but also gave us some less well-known artists (oshi, coyote kisses, shlum). This week’s playlist is full of new music to get you through the last day of fourth week. Throw on some headphones, share it with a friend, be happy.
Fourth week is rough. A lot of folks seem to get jittery and listen to that new-age hippity-hoppity stuff that’ll be sure to just add to the anxiety of the end of the block. I say no more. “Easy” is a soothing, gentle tune by Son Lux, a multitalented producer who is really starting to step into the limelight. Peep this track, and chill a little bit- that paper isn’t going anywhere. For more Son Lux, I leave you his Spotify.
Is almost exactly half a year before Blues & Shoes too damn early to post what is unequivocally the festival’s anthem? In case you’re not already in the know, Blues & Shoes is what CC kids call the annual, one-day springtime bluegrass festival that annihilates the grass of Tutt quad. This addictive banjo-and-fiddle tune sums up everything that day stands for: highly do-si-do-able bluegrass, the occasional yell of affirmation (“OH BOY!”), a bit of dissonance, and several mentions of the potential (and inevitable) consumption of illicit beverages. It’s a riveting song all the time, of course, so be sure to check it out and start on your stoke six months early.
The world of electronic music has its share of well-known, burnt-out DJs. The EDM scene is littered with their legacies. For every decaying EDM star, there are thousands of undiscovered artists waiting to be found in the depths of Soundcloud. Most of these DJs make garbage music. Contra is not one of these DJs. Real name Conner Lund is an up-and-coming producer at UCLA; and has some serious potential in the electronic music world. His latest release “Diamonds In My Mouth” is a total departure from his previous Thomas Jack-esque tropical house vibe. “Diamonds in My Mouth” features some skillful vocal chops and an overall fuller sound from the Louisville, CO based artist. Follow Contra on (twitter: mynameiscontra) or on (soundcloud: Contra303). If a recent tweet from Contra is any indication, we’ll be hearing more lots more from Contra in the coming months and years.
I’m gonna do music for the rest of my life. Just decided and thought y’all should know
— Conner Lund (@mynameiscontra) October 16, 2015
All Hail Contra
This track off Florence & The Machine’s new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, is a powerful and passionate. The whole album is awesome, but this one really speaks to me. Check it out and see what you get out of it. The rest of the album can be found at the band’s Spotify.
I have a Spotify playlist containing over 1,200 songs by artists I’ve been meaning to give a try, and I have no idea how a chillstep artist called Coyote Kisses ended up among my mishmash of bluegrass and indie/alternative bands. Even so, I happened to shuffle to this song and instantly began obsessing over it for a week. The airy ambient instrumentation, gradual buildup, and chills-down-your-spine bass drop allow it to exhilaratingly stand out from whatever EDM you typically listen to–which for me is usually very little, so kudos to these producers.