Sometimes when a song comes on the air that I haven’t heard in a while I feel like I’ve entered some surreal time and space warp as my body gets thrown back into a time and place where I last heard it, or where/when in my life where this song is associated. It’s even more jarring when an effective cover does it.
I listened to a fair bit of 80s rock along the veins of Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears in my early 20s, and I was surprised by not only this drop by Japanese Breakfast but their ability to capture some essences of the original song in a very non-80s xx-like cover. Fuck, that’s a brutal way to describe it but that’s the best I’ve got. Obviously the original song has 80s written all over it, but the essence of the original “Head Over Heels” is largely a product of Roland Orzabal’s vocals but Michelle Zauner does an amazing rendition of adopting it yet also paying homage.
Sometimes I’ll like/favourite on Soundcloud and totally forget about it… then find it years later. I have no idea or concept when, where, how or why I stumbled upon this track, but it fits quite well with this unfortunate-but-typical snowy May morning.
I mean, I’m not going to pretend that somebody singing about them being twenty two years old is — how should I say — particularly profound, but the heartbreak, melancholy and tragedy of the song is palpable and well produced. We’ve all been there in a catch 22, a rock and a hard place, *insert idiom here*, or a situation where we just can’t win or there isn’t a clear direction on where we should go from here.
Sometimes it’s important to let things slow down in one’s mind. Time is the ultimate unstoppable force, an adversary for which there is no match, and an entity to which we are all slaves.
A subjective state of mindfulness allows us to perceive what may seem like time forgiving us, or at least giving us a break. Alternatively, it can be seen as a reverence for time as we appreciate a moment that we normally wouldn’t while scrolling through Instagram, driving or reading the gossip column.
Everyone gets to these states differently; some through prayer, meditation, or silence. Today I’m using the above song, a cup of coffee and the early morning to allow myself a pause.
Give yourself that moment.
It’s still the dead of winter where I am but as the daylight hours increase, the sun starts to actually feel warm again, visually it is starting to resemble better days ahead. It’s funny that the shape of shadows and the tones of daylight alone can conjure up memories on what it’s like to be outside in the grass, cycling through a crisp breeze, or when that cold drink just hits the spot perfectly.
Everyone knows James Blake’s abilities (esp after seeing him live – wow). Enter Rosalia. She’s massive in Spain and US Latin charts, but not for the standard infectious pop reasons. She’s got this incredible old Flamenco style to her songwriting that stays true in her mixing and of course this hauntingly beautiful voice. It’s no wonder she and James’ duet in this track blends so well together.
I’m sure a lot of you, HM folks especially, have already heard from park hye jin. Fantastic Korean DJ making waves the last couple months. She’s attached to the Melbourne-based label clipp.art, and I’m loving the EP she released.
Don’t sleep on her DJ set she also has posted on her Soundcloud account. It sways between dance floor beats to a tempo that you can just play at home while reading, cooking, entertaining guests, etc.
She’s talented, and I can’t wait to see where she goes.
It’s not easy hearing refreshing yet tasteful new Christmas music these days but Khruangbin brings it with this smooth but familiar take on Vince Guaraldi’s 1965 classic from A Charlie Brown Christmas (aside: I could listen to that album on repeat for hours). Definitely less choral, a bit more haunting, and I would argue it has an even jazzier beat than the original. It would serve well in the background of your Christmas party, or when home alone making or drinking eggnog.
There’s a Version Mary version on their 7″ EP which is a bit more ghostly, if that’s a thing, but otherwise quite similar.
I love it. Give it a listen.
Yes, I read submissions! This artist and her song grabbed my attention so I felt it necessary to reach out to her and see what he had to say about herself and her song.
I grew up in Santa Monica/Los Angeles (still live here) which I think definitely influenced the sound. It has a sort of lazy, summer, beach feel; but I also feel it isn’t necessarily all positive in the way we normally perceive the beach to be (clearly). I imagine when you’re looking at a beautiful sunset, but then notice the grit of sand between your hands and in your teeth…or something polluting the water. While it is aesthetically beautiful from afar, when you think about it, something feels “off.” You’ve sat in the sun too long, and you feel heat stroke; you got too close to the painting and now see the strokes rather than the scene.. etc. I feel it has that kind of dichotomy which represents the outward beauty in LA, while simultaneously being somewhat shallow or unfulfilling underneath. Of course, your interpretation is just as good as mine. I hate to pigeon hole peoples’ interpretations from a song! But that’s where the idea for the song came from.
Huge soul and jazz from this band. Brings me back to the live jazz bands I’ve seen in the French Quarter in New Orleans or in Soho in London. The sparing background electronic guitar, vocals and saxophone help complement but also highlight the talented singer’s smooth, staccato and sultry voice front and centre. I want to know more about them but the only thing I can find is they are *not* an atmospheric black metal band from Denmark (even though that would have been quite the awesome musical change in direction).
Here’s a song to get you set for the upcoming hot, muggy summer nights. I know some people dread them and can’t close enough to the air conditioning but the fleeting nature of summer, especially growing up in a place with such long winters, that makes me try to hold to every single moment of that at times uncomfortable, thick summer air.
Layered percussion takes centre stage in this track as shakers, xylophones and some sort of wooden flute(???) combine to form a jungle-like, tropical mood. Polo & Pan are an electronic duo, but I appreciate their attention to sounds with which we’re familiar to keep it fully immersed in what we associate with summer.
Fresh out of the oven, Parcels is back with a new single. Um, how about an album soon guys please and thanks.
I actually had to do a quick search to make sure Nils Rodgers wasn’t strumming his Stratocaster because that’s what it sure sounds like as Parcels are no strangers to the funk. It’s not as intensely danceable as their previous singles but it’s a great one to sway your hips, swing your shoulders or just nod to the rhythm.