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.
Think of your favourite smooth drink. Or maybe even a context involving said beverage, such as the calming and refreshing sensation of cold (soda?) water after a hot summer’s day of exercise, moving or garage work. Perhaps it’s that simple cold beer in your fridge you crack after an exhausting day at work as you collapse on your favourite couch with your shoes off.
Smooth, and its contexts, is the best way I can describe Tom Misch’s first LP Geography. I’ve been following him for some time with his solo stuff, starting with Beat Tape 2. And while I think he has adjusted ever so slightly for a more mainstream-friendly sound, I have no qualms about it, especially with his collaborations who complement his sound impeccably including De La Soul and Loyle Carner.
His tracks range from low tempo, jazzy beats to more upbeat disco tracks while remaining heavy on his electric guitar and strong bassline.
Indulge yourself in the album below.
I’m not sure how much A$AP Rocky and Moby actually collaborated on this single, versus say A$AP Rocky just sampling it heavily, but it feels like a great fresh homage to the classic unmistakable ‘Porcelain’. Both artists are well-known for their collaborations so it’s not surprising it turned out well, but it exceeded by expectations.
I dare not say the dreaded mash-up term to describe it, but the way it the song shifts from one tone to the next, definitely resembles one. Just give it a listen and trust me that it’s good.