I have been avoiding the RS150 the past two weeks – I have an album I don’t really want to listen to, AND I’ve been busy, so instead, I’ve been posting lots of hot Summer tracks. Hope you don’t mind!
Empire of the Sun is yet ANOTHER Australian electronic duo. What’s with me and Australian music? And electronic duos? Anyway, these guys were previously working on solo projects when they got together and played in some jam sessions, which ended up being the beginning of Empire of the Sun. The track is off the 2008 album of the same name, Empire of the Sun, which didn’t receive critical acclaim at the time of release. Still, it has been certified platinum in Australia since its release.
I like this song because its got energy and a driving beat, combined with Summery synths that fill in the mid section and give it a really breezy feel. I also have this thing for songs with a driving bass drum. It gets me everytime (“Viva La Vida”, and “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” are two biggies that do it – along with some Jonsi…and others, clearly). Anyway, this track doesn’t have the same intense dance sound as so many others I’ve posted, but it has enough energy to make you want to move a bit. And I like that.
Also, I don’t know about you, but the album art reminds me of a mix between David Bowie in Labyrinth and the original Harry Potter movie soundtrack. Ha!
Let’s get back to more Summer dance tunes! It’s the best listening to tracks that make you move, and this is definitely another tune that does that.
Boss In Drama is a DJ from Péricles Martins, São Paulo, Brazil and he spins some smooth dance beats that are perfect for sipping some drinks on a beach or patio…that is, until you hear his music and you want to get up and move! He’s got some radical electro-pop-dance tunes on his myspace page that remind me of Chromeo – they are fun, slightly nostalgic, and mix the classic disco sound with new-age electro-dance music, which makes the tracks current and unique. And I think the album cover (above) is a good indication that there’s a bit of disco in his tracks!
Check out this track called “Pure Gold” from SoundCloud. It’ll get you moving! Oh, and here’s a hint. If you click the little down arrow on the right side of the player, you can download the track for free! Enjoy!
Stephen Wilkinson, aka Bibio, is a music producer and self-taught musician from Central England. His music has been featured in numerous TV commercials, including a commercial for L.L. Bean in the U.S.
On “Lovers’ Carvings”, Wilkinson vamps a sweet and serene guitar intro that beautifully sets the scene for what seems like a beautiful Summer day. I can picture two lovers walking around in a park, and then carving their names into the bark of a tree in the Summer sun. Right? And then just before 1 minute and 30 seconds into the song, the pace changes (cue: cow bell) and we get a more upbeat, playful, and exciting tune that highlights the thrill of the moment. The song is all about people carving their names in different places. Its fun, its unique, and it captures the spirit of that exciting playful moment where you and your mate are being just a bit rebellious and permanently marking your love in the world around you.
This is a cool tune and its light and easy (after a few tunes that were a bit more dance-y). Bibio has a new album out, but “Lovers’ Carvings” is from an older album, Ambivalence Avenue. Check out some of his music here and enjoy!
I wonder how they came up with this band-name? Trial and error? Some experimentation? Regardless, ‘Kisses’ is not the kind of name that just anybody could go by. But, since the two members of the band are dating, it makes way more sense! And wait for it – they’re L.A.-based! Are you surprised? It seems like most of the tracks I’m digging right now are coming out of L.A. or Australia!
This boyfriend-girlfriend duo has a light and whispy feeling to their track, “Bermuda”. Its got a fun and breezy sound mixed with a pseudo-disco sound. That makes it perfect for a day of sunshine in the Summer, perhaps sipping a delicious beverage on a patio or beach somewhere?
They’ve got some other fun tracks on their myspace as well, which you can check out. Otherwise, have a listen to the track below, and if you like it, head over to stereogum.com for a free donwload of the track!
Another radical Indie-pop hit from L.A.-based Foster The People. These guys have a knack for creating fun, upbeat, indie beats, and this song in particular has a super catchy chorus that makes it that much cooler. Their music has dance influences too which means you can move to it! The best.
Foster The People first played together in 2009 and has recently become in the public eye even more, after playing at South by Southwest and getting played frequently on The Hype Machine. You might know their track, “Pumped Up Kids”, which is part of their album, Torches, along with “Call It What You Want”.
This is another fun Summer tune for something a little more upbeat with a sly sound to it, and a little more funk to it, too.
Also cool, they have a remix competition happening on their website right now. You can download separate tracks (vocals, fx, synths, bass, guitar, percussion, etc.) and then make your own remix and submit it. I love it when bands provide you tracks to mix music – very cool to see that they want people to play with their music and create even more great music. I respect that.
Cover art for Moby Grape’s self-titled debut album, released in June 1967.
I’m pretty sure that I had never heard of Moby Grape before I read this album list, but I’ve gotta say that this album has a really fresh sound to it. Its upbeat and has a diverse sound from track to track. Moby Grape is another band to come out of San Francisco in the late 60s. And I just read that they’re closed associated with Jefferson Airplane because two of the band members were formerly with Jefferson. I can totally hear some of their Jefferson Airplane sound on this album, but that might just be because they both have some psychedelic rock elements to them, so there are naturally similarities.
Moby Grape is an easy album to listen to. Its easy on the ears with some great guitar and some typical harmonies from the late 60s – makes me think a bit of “Mrs. Robinson” (thanks, Simon and Garfunkel) actually. Its so cool because this album definitely has psych-rock roots but then it ventures into some songs that are more folk-inspired (like “Mr. Blues”).
Fall On Your
Come In The Morning
Naked, If I Want To
Ain’t No Use
Sitting By The Window
As a band, Moby Grape is known for the fact that all members contributed to songwriting and vocals. And as a result, there are a lot of different influences in this album, like some jazz and blues elements to the guitar. You go from tracks like “Omaha”, which is a roaring, loud, full sound with some space-like noises mixed in, to the slow and folky “Naked, If I Want To”. But this is the kind of thing that makes an album exciting. I love the diversity of sound in albums. To me, that’s what makes an entire album so unique to listen to – the progression from track to track, how they fit together, how they compliment and contrast each other.
So what I love about Moby Grape is that it touches on so many genres and has a sound that encapsulates so much music that I love (from Simon and Garfunkel, to Jefferson Airplane, to the Beatles, and even Van Morrison on Moby Grape’s “Someday”, to the generic late 60s, early 70s psychedelic sound).
I really love this album and although none of it sounds familiar to me or is immediately “catchy”, the music on this album is diverse and fun to listen to.
Man, does this song ever start with a catchy riff! The Brow Horn Orchestra is another Australian band, and although I had never heard of them before, I really dig their style! “Goliath” has got this really laid back, reggae-beat mixed into the triumphant and celebratory horns that make that catchy beginning riff stand out beautifully for the rest of the song, whenever it plays.
I checked out the myspace page for The Brow Horn Orchestra, and it doesn’t look like they officially have an album out yet, but they do have a few songs up there that you can listen to. I think “Goliath” is the most upbeat and catchy, but other tunes are solid too! I like it. Who knows, maybe we’ll be hearing more about this band in the future?
But for now, check out “Goliath” on their myspace, or watch the video below! If the strange video is distracting, just minimize your screen. I’m sure you’ll love the tune! Happy Friday!
This fresh track is a release from the Australia-based Atlas Genius. “Trojans” is an upbeat, light and fresh sound although the song is really about having someone stuck in your head, even after your relationship with them is over. I dig this song because of the light, breezy sound that is a perfect listen for that Summer day when you might feel just a bit emotional and want some music to match it. “Trojans” seems to beautifully connect with your emotions as you listen to its upbeat, indie guitar riffs and light piano added in over top.
I think you’ll like it. An again, you can check out the song here for a free download! Did somebody say rad? Oh yeah, that was me.
On that note, I also want to mention that I’ve been searching myself in circles here (literally). Today I was cruising from link to link on the web, trying to find some new tunes, and that’s when I found this track by Atlas Genius. So I Googled them to find out more about them, and guess where I ended up? A website from Triple J radio in Australia (which is where I love to search for new music) – triplejunearthed.com. Its a venue for Australian artists to get their music out there, and so this could be a great place to find some new tunes! Good luck, music explorers!!
Janis Joplin's album art for 'Pearl' (released January 11, 1971)
Janis Joplin’s posthumous album, entitled ‘Pearl’ was actually not completed because of her unexpected death, which is supposedly from heroin overdose when she was only 27 years old. In fact one track, “Buried Alive in the Blues” is instrumental because Joplin passed away before she could record the vocals.
In all honesty, I appreciate the significance of Janis Joplin in music history, but I’m not really drawn to her music overall. There are songs here and there that I like, but its not the kind of music that I can consistently listen to and say “Yep, I like that…and that track too, and also that…and that…and that…” et cetera, et cetera. That said, Joplin has an incredibly unique, raspy, vulnerable voice and she has this fantastic mix of Texan-country twang with a beautifully deep and soulful sound. It’s interesting to listen to her sing because she has such conviction – you can feel how passionate she is about her music as she sings…and as many of you probably know, she really wails!
A Woman Left Lonely
Buried Alive in the Blues
Me and Bobby McGee
Get It While You Can
Joplin rose to success in just 5 years, between 1965 and 1970 and was in her 20s for the height of her career. She managed to break into the blues-jazz-psychedelic-rock scene when it was mostly dominated by male vocalists. Tracks like “My Baby” demonstrate her blues-rock talents and secure her in the list of top rock acts of her time.
Like I said before, I dig the album because of Joplin’s unique voice which is a major hybrid of so many genres. Ultimately though, the honesty and soul in Joplin’s music is what makes her interesting to listen to. In particular, “Pearl” was a huge success, and I’m sure part of that is due to her death before its completion. Even though it was so popular, most of the tracks on this album I didn’t recognize before, although I do know “Me and Bobby McGee”. Then there’s this great social commentary on the track “Mercedes Benz”. At the beginning of the track, Janis says she’s going to do a song of “great social and political import”, which speaks well to Joplin’s involvement in the “hippie movement”, as her sister and parents called it.
I’m glad to have listened to “Pearl”. Again, I knew nothing about Janis Joplin or what music she sang, so itwas a great album to listen to on the Rolling Stone Top 150.
Many of you may know the super-radical Passion Pit. As such, many of you may know the super-radical song “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit.
So, now here’s a pretty cool remix of “Sleepyhead” by Starsmith featuring the lovely Ellie Goulding. Check it out. And then let me know what you think!