Ah, 2014–a new year, a new month, a new playlist. Let’s kick it off with Santoré and their track, “8 A.M.” This is a good intro to this month’s playlist which is heavy on the electronic stuff, and is a beautiful winter-sounding instrumental. Sit back and relax to the groove as it continues to build on itself. The next track is by Plusminus and it picks up the beat a bit and drops the electronic business (for now). What I love about this track is the ambient backing track, the delicious drums, and longing vocals. The first half or so of “Young Once” is instrumental, and you can tell these folks are really talented musicians. Nice work, guys.
For some reason I felt compelled to go back to the electronic work next with Phil Beaudreau. There’s just something delightful about the switching back and forth between mediums. “Won’t Get Away” is a great, catchy track that should make some part of you start moving. If it doesn’t, check for a pulse. Hozier slows it down with “Take Me To Church,” and I really must say, this is my favorite song of the whole playlist. Every time I hear this song I get goosebumps–the vocals are unparalleled and the chorus gets all fists going within a half-mile radius. Wow. Incredible. You can just feel the inspiration dripping off this song.
Bombay Bicycle Club keeps this sort of fast/slow digital/analog peak/valley trend going with “It’s Alright Now.” There’s something charming about this song, and it has the same sort of Civil War snare drum work that Plusminus had going earlier. Phantogram‘s song “Fall in Love” gets heavy on you in the best possible way. Whoa, Nelly this track is awesome. There is just so much going on, with so much hitting in the right places that it was an instant favorite. I can’t stop listening.
Bahamas is next with the obligatory garage twang that makes its way into all of these playlists. I just love this song, even thought it’s a bit summery for a January playlist. Still–it rules. ALVVAYS is net with “Adult Diversion,” and it has the same sort of summery twang going on, but it’s just so good. I love these melodic vocals going on–an all-round great track. Ether Teeth‘s track “Autumn Sky” plays off the last two songs’ summer vibes but makes it a little more wintery. Not sure how or why, but that’s just how I hear it. No matter how you hear it, the song rules, and that’s good enough to make it in the playlist.
Wake Owl is next with “Candy” and this song just rules. I don’t know what else to say–vocals, instrumentation, everything. Favela. is next with “Easy Yoke,” and I love these vocals so much. The backing track is a bit ’80s, but that’s not always a bad thing. Quilt is next, and they get it going with a Beatles-esque thumping track that is all-round awesome. Rock on. S c h o o l is next with a garage indie track, “SoLong” with fantastic vocals that works with pretty much any setting.
It’s been a while since we went electronic, so how about some PSYMON SPINE, in a really weird/awesome track, “Shocked.” I’m not sure what just happened to my brain, but I’ll allow it. I’m loving these beautiful layers one on top of the other. But just as before, with all electronic tracks follows a more traditional track. Irish singer James Vincent McMorrow makes all of us cry with “Red Dust.” Pass the tissues and just enjoy this track–there’s nothing I can say to make it any better than it already it.
GEMS is next with “Medusa,” a heavy electronic track that has the cold, modern, echoing vocals that hit all the right places for a winter song. “I used to feel so free, the way we used to be.” I know, GEMS, I used to feel free outside, too. Sigh. Closing us out is Liam Black with “Immature Dreams.” This song is great for so many reasons: awesome samples, an addictive beat, panning, and just a beautiful composition. Listen to the vocal samplings. This song might not appeal to everyone, but it’s definitely one of my favorites on this playlist.