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pumped up kicks.

7 Oct

i’ve mentioned many times before, i’ve an affinity for poppy upbeat songs with a subliminally dark lyrical undertone. interesting, i know.

take Craft Spell’s “For the Ages” or the Antlers’ “Bear“; they present a sunshine-y beat, one fit for skipping and foot tapping. but listen closer and there’s a sad and unsettling message. the auditory & emotional sensation resembles the visual experience of the opening of scene of David Lynch’s classic, Blue Velvet.

Foster the People‘s new jam, “pumped up kids”, is of the same vein. the blissfully catchy chorus masks the dark lyrics which echo the columbine high massacre of 1997. the realization of what the lyrics mean is disconcerting at the least. it’s rare that the issue of teen violence is brought to light through a song, especially in this genre. most indie pop & rock songs are of found and lost love. this band takes a controversial stance by addressing more serious and cerebral content. i appreciate that. in addition to dreamy escapism, music should also reflect on the culture and society that we live in.

here’s the song, for your listening. it really is a catchy tune; the bright, simple, and purposefully bold hooks pull you right in. before you know it, you’re humming the tune in the middle of your 3pm meeting (whoops!).

memoryhouse, the years.

23 Sep

memoryhouse serves up the perfect soundtrack for this transitional seasonry.

just like september, which doesn’t completely belong to summer or fall, so does this album. it’s full of the warmth of summer and undertones of winter’s cold distance. nostalgia seeps into every note. we’re carried along on a beautiful soundscape of pop melodies that resonate the past & our dreams.

listen to the full EP below, from Sub-Pop’s re-release of the band’s EP, The Years. my favorite track, Sleep Patterns,

i need not mention that the photography and videography that compliment this album are TO DIE FOR. gorgeous & a perfect accessory for the dreamy sounds.

songs for sweet london

1 Sep

oh man have i been getting my music on over here. nothing calls for some tunes like strolling around a new city. i’ve enjoyed having music as a backdrop for london’s beautiful summery meets autumn scenery.

below is my soundtrack to london. you’ll notice quite quickly that a majority of these songs are of dreamy, hazy, vintage-y love & well stocked with sweet sounding female vocals that echo a more carefree time. there’s also a good mingling of fun poppy beats (aka felix da housecat!).

i must confess, that this girl is subject to little homesickness at times. i’ve found a perfect remedy is listening to music that reminds me of the one i’m missing. these songs do just that.

to the boy back home, pay special attention to track 3.

enjoy, readers!

listen to the playlist in it’s entirety here, via grooveshark.

  1. feist – feel it all
  2. feist – my moon my man
  3. feist – 1234
  4. she & him – don’t look back
  5. she & him – i was made for you
  6. she & him – sweet darlin’
  7. camera obscura – the sweetest thing
  8. magnetic fields – i don’t believe you
  9. john mayer – city love
  10. memoryhouse – sleep patterns
  11. twin sister – all around and away we go
  12. deerhunter – basement scene
  13. beach fossils – daydream
  14. phoenix – if i ever feel better
  15. craft spells – after the moment
  16. felix da housecat – she’s so damn cool
  17. felix da housecat – ready 2 wear

craft spells.

25 Aug

i came across an adorable little band, Craft Spells.

their ablum, Idle Labor, is a blissfully sweet collection of sunsoaked poppy synth and soft dreamy 80s nostalgia. the somber lyrics are far from positive, yet there is a sense of romanticism roaming about the entire album. for example, take For Ages, the opening track which enters with:

“Despite of all our conflict
I still sit and adore you
A tragedy for the ages
Now at least I can say this

Even though our love has died,
You’re still mine…”

completely tragic lyrics? you betcha. infinitely listenable and replayable? absolutely.

listen to Idle Labor in its entirety here via grooveshark.

as you probably know by now, album artwork and music are a package deal for me. my appreciation for a band and the album is immensely heightened when i’m captivated by the art and aesthetic. the Craft Spells’ single release art below is seriously beautiful, no? i want to be THERE.


i’m cursing myself for JUST missing these guys come through chicago. but something tells me they’ll be back soon enough…

the supremes.

11 Aug

my friends, i cannot stop listening to The Supremes.

i can’t control it; i’m helpless to their motown sounds, effortless coolness, emotional impact of ross’s voice, and intricate arrangements. i’ve been mixing their music into all my playlists this summer. nothing picks me up like a little mid-afternoon throw back.

my all time Supreme favorites, for your listening pleasure. (via grooveshark)

oh, and i don’t need to tell you how much i ADORE their style. can i please be that glamourous when i grow up?!

ps. anyone remember the 1996 film That Thing You Do?

well i still love the soundtrack to that film, specifically Hold My Hand, Hold My Heart. i’ve had that tune in my head all week. very supreme-esque. listen here.

the month in music.

29 Jul

it is ALMOST the weekend and even better, ALMOST the start of my week long vacation.

a little friday music always gets me excited for the upcoming weekend. today i’m taking advantage of NPR’s free Month in Music sampler. you can download the sampler for free, via eMusic.

Summer music takes on almost as many forms as summer itself: There’s music for the beach, music for sticky nights at home, music to blare through boom boxes on city streets, and on and on.

Consequently, a July-themed playlist can spread out in virtually every direction: We simulate a hazy night at the beach with the shimmering electronic sounds of Washed Out, while the boom box gets a workout with a vintage track from A Tribe Called Quest (subject of a new documentary), Brazil’s psych-rock scene spawns a summer-friendly gem from the late Lula Cortes, and dust-caked rural America gets a timeless reboot with the help of Pokey LaFarge. Naturally, July events inspired some of our choices — this year’s Latin American Music Conference featured the sweet style of Guatemalan-born Gaby Moreno, for example — and a few of our selections just happened to have new records out in the worlds of dance-pop (Little Dragon), worldly party jams (Watcha Clan), electronica (Brian Eno, Amon Tobin) and roots music (Amy LaVere).

i’m pleased to see the variety of the mix. it doesn’t hurt that Brian Eno and Washed Out are two of my favorites.

enjoy the music, and happy friday!

meet me in the basement.

21 Jul

weekend, where are you?

i’m needing a little pep to get me through this sluggishly hot thursday.

my friends, Broken Social Scene’s track Meet Me in the Basement, from the their latest album Forgiveness Rock Record, is JUST the fix. this upbeat instrumental jam gets me excited for just about anything.

check out the song via grooveshark.

i’m also drawn to the music video, which was created by an anonymous fan in response to the G20 summit riots in toronto. featuring news footage (mostly of violence) the BSS uses the mash-up video to send a message on the current state of our world.  somber at it’s best.

i’m intrigued by the juxtaposition of an uplifting song, which creates an adrenaline rush–one we typically attribute to positivity–against the visual negativity of violence and unrest.