Is your playlist as tired as mine? In aid of end-of-summer music fatigue, my good friend Dotty McFly (who makes it her business to know music), sent me links to songs by some of her favorite artists.
1) This is “Fangela” by Here We Go Magic, a breakout band at this years SXSW. Admired for the simple style, The Fader explains their appeal:
Not to be mean or anything but shouldn’t this not be as good as it is? It’s basically just a muffled recording of a guy and a guitar and a couple of percussion things— sounds like woodblocks or handclaps. Oh, there’s the keyboard, too. But isn’t that, like, every band? Hmm. But maybe that is why America’s Next Top Model is cool and that Bravo version just is not going to cut it. Not everything needs to succeed. Thankfully, Here We Go Magic has figured out how to go hard at being soft. Never has anything been more woozily pretty. Did anyone tell NPR about this song? This is every All Things Considered bumper. In a good way.
2) Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream” is most likely to make it onto my iPod for morning commute, and Sophie Bruce at the BBC had the same, “ooooh, Labyrinth!” reaction I did:
This is the sound of the Noughties – electro enough without being harsh, interesting without being over-cool, quirky without being weird. Empire Of The Sun have cracked the perfect blend of fond reflection and sexy new frontier frisson. If this is what the future sounds like, then it’s going to be beautiful.
Luke Steele’s unique vocals alone could risk becoming annoying, but Nick Littlemore’s fabulous, eerie synths, breathy BVs and stunning production ensure the end product is something utterly ethereal. If you jammed VHS copies of Labyrinth and The Neverending Story into a blender and then poured them into your stereo, this is what should come out.
3) I really like Fol Chen’s “Wedding Cake,” and so does RCRD LBL:
Fol Chen’s Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made could be a modern soundtrack to Something Wicked This Way Comes. Ostensibly a children’s movie with the conventions of a carnival mystery, everything seems pretty a-ok and then you realize that just under surface is a dark undercurrent that threatens to sweep you away. Fol Chen’s “No Wedding Cake” skips along with dueling male/female vocals, peppy synths and even a cheerleader chant kicking in at the end, but through all the gauzy layers there is something a little mysterious, a little off. How many bands can you say sound gorgeous, dancey and slightly creepy? Enter Fol Chen.
4) Finally, I am delightedly creeped out by Grizzly Bear’s cherubic-schoolboys-outside-the-headmaster’s-office video for “Two Weeks,’ which is, alright, kind of mind-blowing.