Tension X Release

Courtesy of DGP Photography. 2014.

It’s nearly Christmas… And… When the flip did that happen?!

I have one more final on Thursday, and then I’m ready for my LAST SEMESTER OF UNDERGRAD! Could not be more stoked. I don’t know how many of you little lambs out there are in school, but if you know, YOU KNOW. Finals can suck it!

I’ve had the life drained out of me three times over, replenished, and… here’s hoping the last one won’t just send me over the edge. You know you’d miss me. (Like you do in between, like, every post. Perfection takes time.)

So this playlist will ACTUALLY have some sort of structure, for once! We’re gonna start off a little somber, a little heavy… and we’re gonna end it WITH A PARTY! You ready???

Father John Misty – “Bored in the USA”
Joshua Tillman compiled all of your conspiracy theorist, subversive thoughts and set them to lyrics. There’s a satirical laugh track. Important listen. Class is now in session. (Forthcoming album due out 9 Feb 2015.)

Foxygen – “Cosmic Vibrations”
I pondered placing this as the hangover track, and then I realized… what did people do back in the 60s and 70s? Mellow out with one drug, and pop another to take that mellow to a massive high. So this is the mellow before the high. Foxygen is sounding mighty Morrison. Makes it hard to believe these dudes are 24… but, then again… Jim wasn’t much older before joining the ranks of the then-burgeoning 27 Club. Careful out there, kids. Just say no.

Parkay Quartz – “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth”
This is, indeed, the same Parquet Courts that I featured on In The Now, Pt. 2! While I get annoyed with consistent outfits that change their name… →I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ARCADE FIRE THE REFLEKTORS ARCADE FIRE← I can see why these guys did it. Their usual, boisterous sound simply is too much of a disconnect from this to keep that moniker. Here’s hoping to hear this side more, SOON … I dig!

The War on Drugs – “Under the Pressure”
Could this title be any more perfect? No… no, it couldn’t. But ok, for the purposes of this playlist, I don’t recommend listening to the full 8+ minutes at this very moment, but definitely make sure to do so SUPER soon. Amazing track. I love their artistry, and it reminds me so much of the 80s soft rock sound. Classic. ♥

Ariel Pink – “Put Your Number in My Phone”
Here’s where we can start to unwind. I mean, asking for anyone’s number is mega-scary, can’t deny that… but this track kinda makes me wanna go out and do it! RIGHTNOW! (It’s too bad the dudes in this city aren’t worth the effort…) And how about that little lady spoken word break? Ariel’s strangely wonderful new album pom pom was released 17 Nov 2014, and he — who, by the way, has been known to sport pink hair — even shows in interviews that he has a fantastic sense of humor.

Springtime Carnivore – “Name On A Matchbook”
Aaaaaaaand here’s that girl’s response. Clever, no? Incredible track, instant classic. Greta Morgan (of The Hush Sound) has reinvented herself and released the Springtime Carnivore self-titled debut 20 Aug 2014. Pick it up, and appreciate the lady rock!

Interpol – “My Desire”
So we close our love story… I mean, this couldn’t have worked out more perfect. Know what my desire is? To hear more Interpol. Their latest, El Pintor, dropped 8 Sept 2014 to rave reviews… and their first album in 4 years! Everything you’ve come to expect from this amazing group. They should never disband.

Perfume Genius – “Queen”
GENIUS is right, y’all. If it’s not broken the Indie/Alt-Pop barrier yet, it will, and fairly soon. Looking at the lyrics one could liken it to the caliber of bad middle school poetry (or: basically anything Taylor Swift has written… ever.) BUT their redemption is in the treatment of those lyrics. “No family is safe when I sashay” is also… a pretty rad one-liner. I’m gonna go sashay now, bishes. But first, where are my rhinestone platforms and feather boa?!

Moon Bounce – “Body”
This combo of bass, soul, and badassery should be enough to get ANYONE out of a funk. I mean, ANYONE. Found this little gem on Ryan Hemsworth’s not-so-secret-secret Soundcloud page. It’s amaze. I’m determined to learn me some more Moon Bounce.

Ryan Hemsworth – “Surrounded (ft. Kotomi & Doss)”
SPEAKING OF RYAN HEMSWORTH. Well, here is a track off of his latest, Alone For the First Time (SIK!)… and I’ve got to say, it is particularly brilliant when mashed up with our next track…

Chet Faker – “Gold (Flume Re-Work)”
If only I had turntables! And a working knowledge of how to USE them! Srsly. Anyone out there who can do this with “Surrounded” and “Gold” (THIS one), please do call it “Surrounded by Gold” and credit me. Because that shit’ll draw some attention. BUT, this track… I mean, Flume X Chet Faker are a friggin’ MATCH MADE IN ELECTRO-INDIE HEAVEN. That’s all you need to know.

Young Ejecta – “Your Planet”
TWOOOO bands with reworked names on this playlist! WHAAA?! So, this is the band formerly known as simply Ejecta; the same Ejecta I reviewed a year ago last month. A little more synth-heavy this time around, but who’s complaining?! Pretty fantastic stuff. Time to get happy.

Anna of the North – “Sway (et aliae Remix)”
BOOM. Mellow, but driving, this is the track to get your blood moving to parts of your brain that have been neglected for the past semester. Let that bass just massage out all of that idiocracy. Get back to what matters. And that’s the music. ∇

Denitia and Sene – “side fx (Ellie Herring Remix)”
His and Hers will be a Christmas present to myself this year, even if it did release March 2013! (Produced by powerhouse J57, if you’ll recall Homeboy Sandman’s “Activity” on this playlist…) This duo is new to me, and let me just say: I AM IN LOVE. And you will be, too. This is gold.

Duke Dumont – “Won’t Look Back”
I will be the first to admit that I seriously LOOOOAAAAATTTTTHHHEEEE that whole use of a diva vocal over a club remix or whatever. NOT the business. Overdone. 90s. LAME. HOWEVER, this particular track caught my attention in the best of ways. This was not some tired soundbyte. Lady’s got some pipes! But the incorporation of this vocal into a cohesive mix that flows and has a logic to it, I’m listening, Monsieur Dumont! You have my attention. Thank you.

Robert DeLong – “Long Way Down”
The titular EP dropped 10 Nov 2014. I mean, what better way to follow up soul with a bit o’ nu-indie-funk-pop? (I did just make that up, yes.) All four tracks are available for $3.99, and it’s totally worth it, so go throw your money at the machine. You know, dancing all the way. (See what I did there? Bad joke, bad!)

The Sunshine Spectacular – “Family Fires (Safariari Remix)”
I had to really kind of bang my head against a wall when choosing to feature this remix versus the original. Both spectacular in their own right. SAY HELLO TO THE SUNSHINE SPECTACULAR! (For some inexplicable reason the name reminds me of The Polyphonic Spree, which is NOT Kosher) These guys hail from Tasmania (like Rebel Wilson! because I’m basic like that) and are represented by one of my recent faves, Christoffer Schou from Cafe Superstar Recordings out of Norway. Remember Musique le Pop? (My review of their EP here) I ended up HAVING to go with this remix because Jon of Musique le Pop IS Safariari, and his bandmate, Elisabeth, provided backing vocals. It’s a label love-fest! And it’s bitchin’ to dance around in your underwear to. (TRY IT!) Check out their Soundcloud for the original mix.

CHVRCHES – “Get Away”
Oh, CHVRCHES. Forever will their album be the first I’d ever reviewed. Since then they’ve just BLOWN UP in popularity, as evidenced by some crazy dude from the BBC handpicking this track for the (completely unnecessary, but entirely brilliant) rework of the Drive soundtrack. (Ever heard that soundtrack? AMAZE! Do it.) Read all about that project here.
Aaaaaand then take into consideration Exhibit B: CHVRCHES amazing new song on the FREAKING Hunger Games: Mockingjay(!) soundtrack. (Got to admit… I squealed a bit when I heard they got involved… I’m a bona fide Katniss fan.)

Shamir – “On the Regular”
HERE is your track to bump to downtown, people! I just had to include this video, for real. CHEEKY! This skinny little dreadlocked 19-year-old debuted his Northtown EP back in June of this year with XL Recordings, LTD, and HE. IS. FRESH! He owns that effeminate voice, too, bish. His flow is pretty damn clever, too, for being so young. Listen close. But jam to it first. ♥

St. Vincent – “Pieta”
OH. MAH. GAH. I actually kind of love that this track didn’t make it onto her most recent album (definitely on the short list for my Album of the Year), because I get to hear things anew. This ended up as an A-side. (HA! Get it?! An “aside” I crack myself up!) I’ve not seen her on tour for this album, though, where she’s apparently been playing this one on the regular. *le sigh*

St. Vincent – “Sparrow”
To close out this EPIC playlist, for when you’re dragging yourself home at 6 A.M., St. Vincent’s B-side on her limited release 10″ vinyl on Record Store Day/Black Friday. If you’ve got the soundsystem, DAT BASS will soothe your tired brain. Hangover cure for the century.

ENJOY! And see you again when I’m ready to release my Albums of the Year List 2014… STAY TUNED! Δ

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