James Blake + Rosalia – Barefoot in the Park

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.

 

park hye jin – i-DJ

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.

Khruangbin – Christmas Time is Here

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.

 

 

Submission: Hannah Kost – Tired of the Sunshine

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. 

 

Sunken – Over The Days

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).

 

Pipin’ hot! Parcels – Tieduprightnow

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.

 

 

Album review: Tom Misch – Geography

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.