By now you have probably read 5-10 “Best Albums” lists compiled by your favorite music conglomerates. This list is different for several reasons. First, this is a list of my (Arjun’s) personal favorite projects from the year. I did not have to dilute my taste through a group dynamic. This is my unfiltered opinion, which I think makes for a more honest list. Secondly, I did not include any artists for political reasons, which larger sites are prone to do. Lastly, this list is a bit unusual in that it combines albums, mixtapes, and EPs under the blanket term “project,” which in the age of long EPs, free albums, and high quality mixtapes is a necessity.
I am not going to write about every album on the list. Nobody has time for that. Instead, let’s hit the highlights and the lesser known projects.
Daylight Saving time always sneaks up on me. Every year, twice a year, it sits there on my calendar, but it seems as though my eyes have trained themselves not to notice it. So I thank god every time it comes around that my mom still knows me well enough to know she needs to remind me. Sure, I have devices that automatically update themselves (though now I sometimes wonder why the heck my wall clock, microwave and stove wouldn’t know to update themselves…like come on, it’s 2014!…what?), but it’s still worth knowing that there’s going to be a significant change in your days.
Everybody always says the one in the spring time is better. Spring forward. The sun stays out longer. The warm weather is on its way. Yeah yeah, you lose an hour of sleep, BUT IT’S WORTH IT.
This year, I’m ready to spring forward. I’m ready for longer days, new beginnings, and refreshed motivation. I’m starting a new job and am excited about it.
This latest Listen While You Work playlist stands for finding your new beginnings. Seek motivation. Chase your passions. Work for a reason. Let this be your soundtrack.
Sometimes I want to be devastated, and I don’t think that’s fucked up. I look at devastation as a good thing. It means that someone has created something so meaningful that it has the power to devastate you. Oh man. That’s a strong emotion and exactly what Conner Youngblood incites every time he steps up to the mic. He pushes each instrumental to this limit of emptiness and transfixes you within this otherworldly quest for understanding. He makes you hang on to his every word–and sometimes makes you focus more intently so you don’t miss a crucial syllable behind the silhouette of the hidden intricacies of the beat.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear.
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t really fuzzy, was he?
Hit the jump for the mix tracklist… Continue reading “SITR Presents: GRIZZLY ADAMS (4/20 Mix)” »
The story of Phases began two years ago when we first heard of Skizzy Mars. On “Douchebag” he was a confident, raw talent, and over the years since its release, Skizzy has worked at growing as an artist and reaching his potential. The story of Phases is one only Skizzy could tell. He has an original point-of-view and attacks music in a way unlike anyone in hip-hop. The highlights from the project are fitted with EDM stylings and pure pop hooks. He assigns fellow young talents like Conner Youngblood and Mikey Fresh to assist these tracks and make a cohesive mixtape. Download #PHASES in exchange for your email below.
You know that feeling when you’re lifted and the first song you listen to is fucking fantastic and makes you feel like you’re drifting off into another world, as the guitars and echoing vocals guide you to the right direction, and the journey seems like a never ending journey, but a good one like you’re running through the night dressed as Iron Man, or running through the night with long hair, until eventually the song ends and you realize you’re back in the real world, you have to go to class, and you’re like “fuck, I’m hungry.”
Yeah, you know that feeling? The feeling of Vegas.
I have always been fascinated with music that sounds happy but contains sad lyrics, so I wanted that to be a theme of this mixtape. I also wanted this to be a good hangover tape after NYE, so enjoy.
P.S. Andrew Joslyn from track 14 is Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s violin player.
P.P.S. “Stay Close” by Flume is the official Tape Tuesday theme song.
I made a mixtape with all the songs that you hate
- San Cisco – Beach
- Urban Cone – Kings & Queens
- The Airplanes – A Summer Daydream, Part I
- Boy Kid Cloud – I Would Die for You (Prince Cover)
- Ray Bradbury – The Last Night of the World Interlude (Read by RM)
- Jack Magma – Cat Gotcha Tongue?!?
- Loon Lake – Cherry Lips
- Set Sail – Kids
- Kwes. – Rollerblades
- Leapling – Seventeen
- Carousel – Stay Awake
- Thief Urban – Closer
- Sebastian Lind – Never Let Go
- Kris Orlowski & Andrew Joslyn – All My People
- Khushi – Seven Years Old
- Freelance Whales – Aeolus
- Brolin – Another Year
- Conner Youngblood – I Gotta Feeling
- Flume – Stay Close
- Bondax – Gold
‘Cause gold is not enough, she’s a diamond, I’m the rough
I once said Skizzy Mars was “a lyricist with the musical approach of your favorite indie band.” Those words rings truer than ever in “The Come Down,” the first single from the NY rapper’s debut mixtape Phases. This song features another young talent in Conner Youngblood who handles the production and hook on it. Take some time with this joint. This is Skizzy trying to reach his potential.
Tell me what that stuff we did was, she kissed me on the cheek and said, “You only live once…”
This past week was exam week for me. It involved a lot of studying and a lot of Children’s Hospital (I seriously love Children’s Hospital now. You can start the series here.). It also involved a lot of downloading mixtapes but not being able to listen to them, which was really frustrating. Anyway, here are some mixtapes I wasn’t able to post during exam week.
1. Heems – Nehru Jackets
I like Heems. Not because I’m Indian and can relate or whatever. Most of the time I can’t relate to what Heems is saying because what Heems is saying is outrageous. But I like Heems because he seems to be infinitely creative. Mike Finito and he teamed up to create this self-aware, politically-driven hip-hop tape that features beats and rhymes that are both frustrating and intriguing at the same time.
Heems likes to think that he’s lazy, but this mixtape clearly proves otherwise.
Download Nehru Jackets here.
2. Rockie Fresh – Driving 88
I know this might sound bad, but part of me despises discovering a new rapper that I like. I mean, I love rap, but the rap game and rappers in general are really volatile. You could say I have trust issues with rappers because when I find a rapper I really like I want to commit to them, but I also don’t want to be disappointed. With Driving 88, Rockie Fresh has converted me into a full-time fan. And he samples SBTRKT and Sunset favorite (really though) Oliver Tank on the way, so that’s cool.
Download Driving 88 here.
3. Conner Youngblood – Sketches Pt. 1
This one I learned about thanks to Pigeons & Planes. I like it for two reasons: 1) because it is a non-hip-hop mixtape and 2) because it features some really really pure singer-songwriter type songs. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s refreshing that this can exist behind the convoluted nature of today’s “indie rock” scene. With Conner’s music, you’re not going to get an onslaught of synthesizers and whiny voices; you’re going to get some raw acoustic tracks, Bon Iver-type build-ups, and maybe the occasional tasteful auto-tune. Also, it should be noted that “Will You Be There?” is a well-executed Michael Jackson cover, “Monsters” features some weird wobble, and I have been trying to fit “Australia” on a Tape Tuesday for a very long time. #FreeWilly #FreeWillieNelson
Download Sketches Pt. 1 here.