Coming off of his stellar Samantha mixtape, Toro Y Moi is clearly in complete heat check mode. He enlists Astronauts Etc., who doubles as Toro’s keyboardist, for a funky, yet melancholy, rendition of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”
The track is a whirl of warm, soulful synths and restrained falsetto. It doesn’t have the go-for-broke emotion of the original, but it does a terrific job conveying loneliness in its own right.
The cover has an unmistakable nostalgia too thanks to its lush live instrumentation, and it even breaks out into a full-on jam towards the end.
There are few artists nowadays who could pull off a quirky, space odyssey jam like this, but Astronauts and Toro fall into that camp.
Also, check out Toro y Moi’s fall tour dates:
9/26 – Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA
9/27 – Pyramid Scheme – Grand Rapids, MI
9/28 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
9/29 – Waiting Room – Buffalo, NY
9/30 – Higher Ground – Burlington, VT
10/1 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
10/2 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY – SOLD OUT
10/3 – The National – Richmond, VA
10/4 – Rams Head – Baltimore, MD
10/6 – Music Farm – Charleston, SC
10/7 – Georgia Theatre – Athens, GA
10/8 – Free Bird Live – Jacksonville, FL
10/9 – State Theatre – St. Petersburg, FL
10/10-10/11 – Ill Points Festival – Miami, FL
10/12 – Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL
10/13 – Republic – New Orleans, LA
10/14 – Saturn – Birmingham, AL
10/15 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis, TN
10/16 – The Ready Room – St. Louis, MO
10/17 – The Blue Note – Columbia, MO
10/18 – Granada Theatre – Lawrence, KS
10/19 – Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
10/21 – Gothic Theatre – Denver, CO
10/22 – Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
10/23 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
11/6-11/8 – Fun Fun Fun Fest – Austin, TX
Covers are an interesting thing. A lot of times, they leave me feeling stupid and worthless as I tell myself I’ve discovered this great new band who instantly put out a classic, only to find it’s a cover. But the silver lining to that feeling is that usually it means the cover was done right. The artist covering the material needs to bring an element of uniqueness to the original song in order to make it a bit of their own, but not a complete ripoff of the maker’s creation. And when done right, it’s a magical moment. Here are ten covers done exceptionally well.
It’s fall, which means the leaves are starting to change color. That probably means it’s time for you to update your iTunes library with some new alt-swag jams. The following are three indie projects that you will love… hopefully.
1. The Sweet Serenades – Help Me!
This band from Sweden has been around for awhile now, but I only heard of them recently after the release of their sophomore album Help Me!. The band calls themselves “the woodsmen of indie pop,” which is the perfect descriptor. I mean, this is the type of music that can be described as “good old-fashioned” something, and I think it’s “good old-fashioned indie pop.” They are like the Swedish version of The Strokes (tired reference I KNOW). Below are two highlights from Help Me!.
2. Lightning Love – Blonde Album
As I listen to Blonde Album, I’m trying to figure out when you’ll fall in love with this Michigan-based trio. I may have cheated. My introduction to them was “Bobby Thompson” (track 8), which is still my favorite song on the album. That being said, these 10 songs each have something unique and special about them. I mean, really, Lightning Love is everything you want from a folksy indie band: cute but honest lyrics, catchy melodies, and a faithful consistency through it all. Also, I’m a sucker for alternating boy-girl vocals.
3. Astronauts, etc. – Supermelodic Pulp
Astronauts, etc. is one guy named Anthony Ferraro. Which is amazing because I’m one guy, and I can’t put together an EP like this if my life depended on it. In five sweet tracks Anthony takes us deep into his very own warped, retro fantasy. Oh and as a side note, Chaz Bundwick a.k.a. Toro y Moi designed the kick-ass artwork for the project.
College took some time to get used to. There was a point when I was like, “oh no, when am I going to be able to find new music and write for Sunset?” But then yesterday, a friend of my brother came up to me and said he was a huge fan of the site, which is awesome, and when he was explaining how he realized that I was the Arjun that wrote for this blog, I tried to play it cool. But inside I was ecstatic, and really that put some stuff in perspective for me. I can make time, and I will make time. Finding and sharing new music are two of my favorite things to do, and over the last few hours I’ve downloaded so much great music that October’s Tape Tuesday is already taking shape*. This wasn’t supposed to sound like a humble brag, but I guess it did. Ahh fuck it, just listen to the music.
*September’s tape is called Summer’s Gone and will be a compilation of songs that I listened to (for the most part) between that awkward summer between middle school and high school. The idea came from all the One Tree Hill I’ve been watching lately. Is that embarrassing? Nooooo.
1. MP3: YesYou – Frivolous Life
2. MP3: Lovelife – No More You
3. “Teardrop Windows” – Benjamin Gibbard
4. “Mystery Colors” – Astronauts, Etc.
5. “By Surprise” – Gemini Club
FREE download here.
6. “Black Magic” – Magic Wands
FREE download here.
7. “Ghosts” – Young Cairo
FREE download here.