Something clicked for Crystal Fighters on this album. I mean, you know a band is confident in their album when the four lead singles are the first four songs of the project. The bottom six tracks continue the jam streak for the band from London (via Spain).
Pre-order Cave Rave a week before its release here.
Also, thanks to DIY, you can follow along with the band’s track-by-track review of the album. Continue reading “Crystal Fighters – Cave Rave [Album Stream]” »
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros has always been one of those bands. They would fit right into Andy Samberg’s Independent Spirit Awards monologue (watch here), where he compares The Lumineers to Mumford & Sons. It’s all kind of fun and kind of true that there is a growing affection for cookie cutter bands with beards and hoedowns and dustbowl era clothing. But Edward Sharpe has always been sort of ahead of the curb with fresh takes on old timey folk music. “Better Days” is from their self-titled album which will be out July 23rd. And gosh darn it, they are more hippies anyway.
Hit the jump to follow along with the lyrics of “Better Days”… Continue reading “Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Better Days” »
Bel Air is a side project of Michael Belsar, an independent artist based out of Australia. He chose a really difficult name to Google without seeing Will Smith’s face. Luckily, the two songs that he has released so far are really good and also very different from each other. “Song A” is a subdued tune with forlorn lyrics and a mesmerizing, airy backdrop. “Taste” is a dense and stadium-ready jam with crunchy guitar and more forward vocals. Let’s just hope these songs get big enough for a “Bel Air” Google search to be feasible.*
*Google is not paying me to name drop them in blog posts (yet).
[via Crack in the Road]
This new Doley Bernays song sounds a bit like the new Kanye West material, which is amazing because he had to have written it well before he heard that. Maybe that speaks to where Doley Bernays head is these days. Both the songs below work to push the envelope–I mean, “Raise Your Weapon” samples Deadmau5. This sort of beat selection and apparent mindset is refreshing in a growing industry of clichéd, robotic rappers. Also, Doley was part of one of my fav moments on Twitter.
— King doley reelife™ (@doley_bernays) May 21, 2013
In the eight years since we last listened to a Daft Punk LP, electronic dance music has gone from a casual, foot tapping interest to a full-blown, fist pumping darling in American culture and mass appeal.
Think about it. Human After All came out in 2005. Let me take you back to that time. Dubstep (and not even how we Americans define it) was still just beginning to bud in the UK. There was no trap, no brostep, no Skrillex and no Avicii. George W. Bush was still POTUS. Candy Shop, Hollerback Girl and Gold Digger were some of the year’s Billboard chart toppers (not to mention that Mariah Carey was super radio relevant). And, YouTube JUST became a thing (seriously, look it up).
Now, let’s come back to 2013. The world is quite a different place. EDM isn’t just some marginal genre that only Europeans or your weird-ass cousin listen to anymore. It’s on the radio. It’s in commercials. Your mom loves loves it. Your little brother loves it. EDM has become (dare I say?) mainstream.
And why? The simple answer is that dance music is easy to make. No, I’m not saying that you’re not talented, Bedroom Producer (you can sit back down). I’m saying that what it takes to make EDM has become extremely accessible. If you have a laptop, some software and the rare ability to hear sounds, you’re pretty much a fully-equipped, fours-to-the-floor, hit-making machine as far as dance musicians go.
And that’s an incredible thing for music. I mean, a person who can’t even read traditional sheet music can go out there and produce something that touches millions of people, inspiring them to dance, love and forget.
But it can also be a super fucking terrible thing, too. The EDM market is becoming horribly saturated. You ever get the feeling that every dance song, remix, and mashup you stumble across sounds identical to the last? You’re not alone. Even Diplo has ragged on how huff the state of dance music currently is.
Enter Random Access Memories, the latest love child of electronic duo Daft Punk (which officially came out today, by the way). Listen to it. Now, listen to it again. What did you hear? That’s the sound of something different. That’s the sound of innovation (even if retro-ly inspired). That’s the sound of two artists not trying to tap into a fad or appeal to anything remotely mainstream. That’s Daft Punk.
You see, we’ve become desensitized. Every wobble, every drop, every synth, every anthem-shaking, face-melting record that roars through our bass-heavy speakers has hardened our faces to become not so meltable anymore.
It’s funny. American dubstep’s sounds are often compared to the noises that a dial-up modem makes. It’s mechanical. It’s heartless. But, of course it’s the French robots that have given us a dance album that sounds strangely real. It’s alive. It’s human.
Daft Punk just threw everything we’ve become accustomed to about them (and the genre they’ve influenced for the past 20 years) out the window. There’s less samples, synths, and drum triggers on the album than there are orchestra, human vocals and live instrumentation. Some of it might not even make you want to get out your seat and jump around, but it makes you listen. I mean, really listen to everything that’s happening in the music. And that’s a beautiful thang.
I’m not really here to review RAM. I’m not even really here to tell you that Daft Punk did all those things intentionally because, they too, were frustrated at dance music. I’m here to say that the world needs more artists like Daft Punk right now.
The world needs more musicians that don’t buy into trends, that don’t try to make “hits”, that don’t make the same album twice or thrice over just because “it’s their style”. In the hyperactive, Internet-laced virtual reality we live in right now, there’s a new artist, a new song, a new “genre” that surfaces every cot damn day. And, guess what? Lately, today sounds like yesterday and the day before it and so on.
Fuck that. Innovate. Shake things up. Try things that don’t sound right. Make real, authentic music, no matter the genre. Inspire wonder and amazement and always push the boundaries, even simply for the sake of not doing the same thing twice.
Channel your inner Daft Punk and breath life back into your music. Because at the end of the day, even electronic music can be human (after all).
I’m sitting here on a bus texting a friend about potentially making a visit to Santa Barbara this summer and asking myself why I don’t take advantage of living in California more often. And just then, “LA” Beach by Radiation City came on in my SoundCloud stream. Irony aint dead. This is one of those truly summer tunes–with its incredible harmonies and change-ups in instrumentals–that makes me itch for the beach and the warm weather. I might have just been convinced to bite the bullet on that Santa Barbara trip!
I’m not better now