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.

Spooky Things: Creature Feature

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You know, when it comes to music to listen to on Halloween, my searches haven’t proven to be particularly fruitful. For the most part, my options are limited to cheap compilation CD’s full of second-rate cover songs. That and, of course, “Thriller”. But I have found one band providing unique and clever alternative music formed around the spirit of the holiday. Enter the world of Creature Feature, if you dare!

A collaboration between L.A. composers Curtis RX and Erik X, Creature Feature takes it’s influences from all things creepy. Classic horror movies, terrifying tales of the macabre and even the oddly unnerving music of the carnival. It’s all fair game. A combination of rock and electronic elements help to set the music apart and give it it’s own identity.

It all comes together to paint a very Tim Burton-esque picture of the dark and the paranormal, with a heaping dose of fun tossed in for good measure. The band has released two full-length albums and a couple of singles since their debut in 2007. And people are taking notice. The band has built up a loyal cult following, one that eagerly anticipates each new release.

What more is there to say? Creature Feature is a cool band offering something unique to the music landscape: a supernatural romp that simultaneously sounds pleasantly retro, yet thoroughly modern.  A perfect fit for any Halloween party.

You can check out Creature Feature at their official site, where you can listen to, and purchase, each of their songs. Their music is also available for download on iTunes and Bandcamp.

Something to Listen To: “Worlds” Review

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When you’re a fan of a particular genre of music, you’ll sometimes find yourself bored of what you’ve been listening to as of late. And then, just as you’re about to start listening to something else, you come across an album that hits your musical tastes just right, and rekindles your fascination for that genre and where it’s heading. For me, that genre is electronic music (an umbrella term, mind you), and that album is Worlds, the debut album from producer Porter Robinson.

Taking it’s inspiration from both the dance and synthpop sub-genres, Worlds provides a wonderful tour through the bold, other-worldy atmosphere, heavy on the bass and skinned with synths. I’d describe it as an emotional dance album. The amount of heart put into this shows in both the music and it’s vocals.

A few of my favorites:

  • “Sad Machine”-  Far and away my favorite track from the album. “Sad Machine” is a moving duet between Robinson and a computerized singer, portraying the loneliness of an artificial intelligence. All laid against a memorable beat that fills me with joy, while the lyrics break my heart. The thought that this is what computers truly feel makes me want to hug my laptop and tell it that everything is going to be okay… I probably shouldn’t be saying things like this on the internet.
  • “Natural Light”- Anytime an album chooses to change tone and pace will obviously gain anyone’s attention. In this case, “Natural Light” provides one of the album’s most soothing moments, bring to mind a moment sitting outside in the middle of the night taking in the sights and sounds around you. Well, that’s my take, anyway.
  • “Fellow Feeling”- A track with some variety. “Fellow Feeling” starts of with a brilliant combination of synths and violins, only to break into a trip to the intense, glitchy landscape in the albums only real foray into dubstep territory. At the end both are combined for a finale worthy of the dance floor.

Grand, passionate and inspiring, Worlds reminds me why I fell in love with the various forms of electronic music to begin with, and makes me interested to see where Porter Robinson goes from here.

Something to Listen To: “High Life” Review

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For today’s Something to Listen To, I recommend High Life. The second collaborative album by Brian Eno and Underworld frontman Karl Hyde, High Life finds it’s style in it’s minimalistic nature, with each track focusing on a single repetitive melody from beginning to end, relying on various smaller elements (vocals, extra strings and the like) to keep the songs from overstaying their welcome.

They’re lengthy, too. Some stretching on for close to ten minutes. For me, it works. I never felt like any of the songs wearing thin, though your mileage may vary.

These are all fantastic tracks, melodic and filled with great sounds, with an impressive amount of variety to the sounds, to boot. From the bouncy, up-beat strings of “Lilac”, to the jazzy lounge style of “Time To Waste It”, to the ambient and serene sounds of the album closer “Cells & Bells”. If you can get through the lengthier portions of the tracks themselves, you’ll find plenty to love about this album.