My favourite Music of 2014

23 Dec

So, year’s almost over. Time to look back and reminisce, right? Well, musically it was quite a sweet year. I started out with an internship at Google in California, working on music recommendations actually. Which was pretty fun, got me to work with an awesome group of guys who’ve shown me a bunch of pretty cool music. Some of it stuck actually. Hundred Waters for example:

Weird, chilly sounds with a lot of feeling and a great vibe. Their album The moon rang like a bell hit me pretty hard and it’s been on repeat pretty often. Also, I’ve resisted for a long time, but eventually around July I caved in and accepted the awesomeness of Mac DeMarco. Guy is putting out some seriously killer music.

The dude is just an all around awesome guy, weird as fuck and just seems to weird up everything he walks by. He put out a 30 minute documentary about himself, and DAMN, it’s just so funny. I’ve gone back to listen to all his old stuff too, and it really holds up, though not all of it is as good as his last album “Salad Days”.

And then there was Parquet Courts. There was a strong hype about them going on for a couple of years. James Murphy from LCD soundsystem tweeted about them extensively, but I never really got their sound. And then eventually I did. And it’s 100% A-grade awesome. Think The Strokes, but grungier, caring less and funnier. Their first album from 2012 is packed with Garage Rock gems, such as “Borrowed Time” (below). Apart from that they also released two impressive albums this year. Sunbathing animal is pretty much in the same vein as their first one, but Content Nausea is more experimental, noisy and has some electronic stuff mixed in as well.

And as it has to be, they also released a documentary following their tour through mexico austin and london. Apparently that’s what the cool kids do nowadays.

2014 was also the year I found out about St. Vincent. One of those artists no one tells you about. She used to be a support guitarist for Sufjan Stevens, and is now doing her own thing for four albums I guess. She put out a solid record this year, but to be honest, I’m still not fully over her older stuff. Specially the Strange Mercy album, with songs like Surgeon or Northern Lights.

Plus, she’s also a damn badass guitarist, with some awesomely weird sounds and some crazy riffs here and there.

I’m pretty sure these were the highlights for me. Though I could go on. Disclosure rocked me pretty hard for some time there. I had a hardcore Caribou phase, and his new album is pretty sweet. Junip, TOPS, and what not. I’ll try to put some more stuff here soon.

Long Time Coming

23 Dec

So it’s been almost a year since I posted anything here. It’s been a long year. It’s been a hard year. It’s been a good year. I’ve heard so much great music I can barely start summarizing it. I’m now in the process of becoming a Parisian, or a parisian suburbanite more precisely, which is a steep climb as well. Also, at YouTube now, which is fun. In the best style of the blog, I’ll just start randomly posting weird music here again. Funnily enough, my first post here was about Girl Talk, the awesome Mashup artist who crams a bajillion songs into song-length mashups in a genius fashion. Incidentally, the needle drop mentioned a mashup artist as one of the fifty best albums of 2014. I’d never heard of him. He’s Neil Cicierega and his style is quite different from Girl Talk, less trying to make you dance and more trying to make you bend your head around weird song combinations. He’s also hilariously funny. Well, I thought his videos were pretty hilarious at least. He mashed up Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away” with itself to be a song where Lenny Kravitz is craving a milky way and talking about being a dragonfly.

It’s the sort of thing that could only happen in this day and age, and only on youtube. Then you think that’s cool, you look further and you find out he’s mashed up Crocodile Rock with System of a Down’s Chopy Suey. And the shocker: it sounds pretty damn good.

And also, in the same vein of his Lenny Kravitz thing he remixed Wonderwall, and dude, it’s just wonderfull.

Well, what could I tell you more. I could tell you a lot, but I’d just tell you to go listen to the whole thing here. And as a true 21st century internet person the entire album is available for download. It’s not all great, but the guy mashed up Santana’s “Smooth” with Enya’s “Sail Away”. WOOOT?? you say. Yes, that’s right. Frigging ENYA! Nuff said.

Mo Kolours – Mike Black

24 Jan

Also from Bandcamp’s weekly. Pretty cool song.

Blood Cultures – Mercury Child

23 Jan

One song a day, huh? More like one song a year…

Anyhow, here I am again. Now in California, fleeing the deadly european winter. And following Bandcamp’s weekly podcast very avidly. Great music coming in from there. This is from this week’s edition, don’t know much about the band, Soundcloud tells me they (he) are (is) from New Jersey, and the album art tells me they are hardcore hipsters ;). So does the music, for that. Anyhow, great song, check it out.

Grimes – Be a Body

5 Sep

Took me a year or so to wrap my head around this album. But damn, did I wrap my head around it tight! Been listening to it for two days straight, very nice songs all around. I have said to many people Grimes was overhyped, and maybe she was, but that doesn’t change the fact that she makes damn awesome music.

And you just *need* to love this live performance with two guys standing around doing weird dances while she leads the show. Preety awesome, I say, pretty awesome indeed.

Four Tet – Sun Drums and Soil

24 Jul

Somedays I think to myself: “You should stop listening to so much Four Tet, and get in some other songs, maybe something non-electronic, maybe some classical music or jazz, who knows…” Today is definitely not one of those days. Perfect obsessive work soundtrack.

Foxygen – A Take-Away Show

2 Jul

OMG! I’m so 60’s, I live in San Francisco and I even moved to Paris for this video. I wear fur coats and walk around Europe playing cool hippie songs. O! M! G! Songs are freaking awesome though, and the kids got some serious talent.

Godisdead and One-Hit Wonders

27 Jun

Often you hear people talk about one-hit wonders, usually used with a depreciating connotation, implying that the band got lucky this one time, and doesn’t really know how to write good songs. I think it can hardly be a matter of a hit, or of a wonder for that matter, but it got me thinking. This song is so evocative and layered, it says so much, that listening to other songs by the band actually took away from the first song, and their other songs aren’t half bad either. But this one, it just sound like grief for something long lost, or that was never there in the first place. The verse “it’s a shame, but god is dead” puts it perfectly, as if they were celebrating the end of innocence, a jubilee for the disenchantment of the universe. I guess I read so much into it, and the sound is so subtle, that anything demistifying this would just lessen it. So here’s hoping these guys stay a “one-hit wonder” or blow my hat further off in the future.

Purity Ring – Crawlersout

27 Jun

Holy Hipster, Batman! But it’s a nice song.

Junip – Your Life Your Call

11 Jun

Apparently a swedish band, which I stole from my London cousin’s Spotify playlist. You know Londoners, right, they know all the cool bands.