Jingle Things: “Home for the Holidays, Vol. 2”

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So, remember when I said that song “Holiday” led me to a whole compilation album? Well, today I’d like to talk about that. Om Records is a record label that focuses on electronic, dance and hip-hop music. In the years of 2010 and 2011, the label collected a number of their more winter-centric releases into a compilation album, titled Home for the Holidays. Of the two volumes, I’ve gotten a chance to listen to the second one and I highly recommend it.

As I said before, the high-energy romp “Holiday” by Body Language (which I talked about last week,) is included on the album. Joining it is a collection of lounge-ready electronic and jazz fusion tracks all fitted with elements of the holiday season. From Montesco’s mesmerizing rendition of a classic in “O Holy Night”, to the beautifully relaxing “Dreaming of Santa” by The Electronic Tabernacle Symphony, the feels of Christmas are pretty well explored.

It’s all makes for some wonderful music to throw on as you’re chilling during these winter nights, and the number of styles on display here adds some nice variety. Above all, it’s just nice to hear Christmas music that sounds a little different than what you may be used to hearing. If that sounds like what you’re looking for, then I recommend you seek out Home for the Holidays, Vol 2.

You can find and download Home for the Holidays, Vol 2 on iTunes and Amazon.

Something to Listen To: “Now There is We”

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I’ve noticed lately that my musical tastes are starting to drift towards jazz sensibilities, so I’ve been looking around for cool indie music in that genre. It’s a pleasure, then, that one of the first things I’ve come across is this wonderful single from the Berlin-based group Jazzanova. “Now There Is We” is an uplifting piece with some wonderful vocals from Paul Randolph and a solid groove stringing it all together.

But instead of just sitting here telling you about it, why don’t I show you? The official music video is embedded below. Take a listen!

You can download “Now There Is We” on iTunes and Bleep. To learn more about Jazzanova, you can visit their official site.

Something to Listen To: “You’re Dead!” by Flying Lotus

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One of the more prominent names in the indie music landscape at the moment is Steven Ellison, better known by his stage name: Flying Lotus. His experimental, genre-blending style has attracted a large number of fans since he first hit the scene back in 2006. So, of course, I had to check out his most recent studio album: You’re Dead!.

(Note: I’ve embedded the trailer below, but be aware that it contains some very violent, NSFW, imagery.)

As you can probably deduce from the title, You’re Dead! explores a number of dark ideas. Chief among them, the concept of death and the discovery of what comes next. These ideas are most apparent in songs such as “Decent Into Madness” or “The Boys Who Died in Their Sleep”. And while the album ventures into a broad range of emotions, feelings of confusion, uncertainty, or dread can be sensed throughout.

You’re Dead! collects and mixes together the sounds of electronic, industrial hip-hop and jazz, among others. But the focus shifts from track to track. One moment, you’re listening to a multi-layered rap, the next, an intricately executed jazz session. But the shift between styles is so seamless and subtle, you might not notice the change until after it happens.

In fact, one of the best things about this album is FlyLo’s sense of continuance. While each of the 19 tracks are distinctive and stand on their own quite nicely, they all flow in and out of each other in such a way that the album works as one engaging 40-mintue ride. This is one album you’ll want to listen to from begging to end in one go.

All in all, this is an incredible album. It’s the work of a master of his craft, at the top of his game. And by year’s end, it will probably remain my favorite album of 2014.

You’re Dead! by Flying Lotus is available at Bleep, iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.

 

You know, I thought about talking about talking about this as part of my “Spooky Things” series. But I think I’ve got planned for this Friday is a bit more appropriate for Halloween… Stay tuned!