Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You)

You know that voice in your head? It’s the one that doesn’t actually sound like what comes out of your mouth; you’re probably using it right now to read this. Well, I’m still waiting on confirmation but I’m fairly certain that David Bowie has invented a device that is able to record said voice. Yes, I believe that Future Islands is the first evidence of the inner voice of David Bowie. Bowie will be trying to pick an outfit and Samuel T. Herring is just crooning away inside his skull, “No, the one with the sequins, it makes you shimmer like the moon”. Now before you start speculating that I’m hearing more than one voice in my head you should probably hit play and hear it for yourself.

Future Islands is another band that I can add to my Baltimore pride list as they are now official residents. With constant themes of love, vulnerability and celestial attractions, the snyth-pop band’s latest release and fourth LP, Singles, is not only stronger but more sonorous than previous iterations. This album will be the one that thrusts them into a well deserved spotlight.

-Zach

Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains - La Vérité

Hope you’ve been brushing up on your French because it’s time for your weekly French lesson. Considering I dropped French 102 in the first week, it’s fair to assume that lesson will not be from me. The only vocabulary word I remember is ‘poster’ and that’s mainly because ‘une affiche’ sounds like tuna fish. I guess answering all of the online quizzes wrong, copying the right answers and doing it again to get a 100 wasn’t the best way to learn a language. I did, however, get an A in French 101 so I’m glad to know our school systems are ***flawless.

You’ll be getting a better teacher than I had if you watch this video from Frànçois (with some help from The Atlas Mountains) where he explains a bit about the French language and how to understand some of the phrases in this song that until this point had just been coming out of my mouth like drunken slurs. Now they sound like sober slurs! I’d also been throwing a couple Voldemorts into the mix which in my defense are at least the same language. Whether or not you understand French, Piano Ombre (created with the help of Metronomy's producer Ash Workman) is a fantastic collection of artfully arranged tracks well worth your temps.

-Zach

Lazlo Bane - Superman
Theme Song Week

Fun fact: Scrubs is the only hospital television series that I’ve ever watched all the way through. Forget your monochrome anatomies, your General Hospital (“General Hospital” *salute*) or your one syllable family residences. I want my kooky janitor, a spineless lawyer, a rant from Dr. Cox and a surreal daydream from J.D. I’m sure most will remember the lyrics: “I can’t do this all on my own, I’m no Superman” but if you’ve never listened to the full song, there’s a whole other 3 and half minutes you’re missing out on. 

By capitalizing on each person’s ticks, the writers were able to create characters that not only had a heart and soul but were known for the ridiculousness that was their driving force and motivation throughout every season. I really do believe J.D and Turk’s bromance will go down in history as an old cliche; by that I mean they were still a better love story than Twilight.

It’s Beardfacè dammit!

Beardface Zach

Janelle Monáe - What An Experience

Andrew and Callie had their chance to talk about Janelle Monáe but now it’s my turn. Although her hair isn’t insured for $10,000, she is flawless. As far as artists go, this woman/android really is super human. Her style is on the same lunar plane as her out of this world songwriting. If you haven’t immersed yourself in the Metropolis created by Janelle Monáe, you’re not only making a huge mistake, you are missing out an album of perfect genre-spanning hits. 

After reading several reviews, I noticed that no one had anything to say about “What An Experience” so I decided to give it some love. The Electric Lady finishes with this sweet sweet (wine) reggae jam session that isn’t deep by song standards but is deeply enjoyable by human (and robot?) standards. I love the whole android persona she uses as a tactic to allow anyone to identify with her work. The focus is kept on her music and her craft continues to be the incredible legacy she’s already leaving.

Let’s hope the Electric Lady continues to defy every label.

-Zach

Glass Animals - Gooey

Imagine Animal Collective without the disjointedness; wait, you don’t have to. It’s right in front of you. Honestly the title is the most apt adjective that could be used to describe this song that gives off “peanut butter vibes”. Glass Animals’ songs are so smooth, with their words like fluid flowing from syllable to syllable. They’re wet. They drip. They ebb and flow and you’re carried right along with their tribal music from the future.

There’s a point at 2:18 where I get this mini-high and a smile I can’t contain because everything is just right. That kind of connection to art is what I’m always intent to find because I believe it’s one of the best ways to keep life meaningful.

-Zach

Rubblebucket - Came Out of a Lady

Let’s just get out of the way that I first loved this song because I thought she said, “you came out of a lady hole”. The real lyrics are “you came out of a lady, ohhh” which still falls into the same semantic sentiment, cementing this (say that 5 times fast) in my collection.

I’ve been fancying a bit of Rubblebucket lately, more specifically their 2011 album, Omega La La, where this track comes from. The best way I’ve come to describe them is psychedelic ska that doesn’t make you feel like a teenager again. Their songs tread on an interesting line of genre mixing with their more recent stuff manifesting some great Gloria Estefan vibes. Two other favorites on Omega La La are ‘Triangular Daisies' and 'Silly Fathers’. Get your groove on.

-Zach

James Vincent McMorrow- We Don’t Eat

I remember hearing the distinct style of James Vincent McMorrow on his intimate cover of “Higher Love”. At first I thought it was Bon Iver but realized only if you combine Justin Vernon with James Blake will you be able to find the middle ground that describes this Irish musician. I’ve really been enjoying his latest release, Post Tropical, which has one of the best album openers I’ve heard in a long time with Cavalier. The album is much more experimental than his previous work as he drew inspiration from sources such as N.E.R.D. Folk is still at the root but the tracks build into so much more.

My choice tonight goes back to the beginning and illustrates how McMorrow has a beautiful grasp as to how to build a song without changing the tempo. When it does change, the moment is always chosen at the perfect time. His discography is necessary for those weekends when you just want to stay in your house, have a glass of wine and take your mind to a better place. This post might be just in time for some of you.

-Zach

John Legend - P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care)

There’s something romantic about getting dressed up for a nice dinner, splurging for dessert and then going back to your place to finish the night off with a movie. When you’re single, dressing up becomes not showering, splurging for dessert means a tub of mint chocolate chip and a movie turns into an all-day marathon of House of Cards.

One of the last things I want on Valentine’s Day is to be surrounded by couples hanging all over each other. I’m not even a big fan of public displays of affection when I’m on the receiving end, however, this song embodies perfectly those enamored stages of a relationship. It’s a feeling that what you have is your happiness and no one in the world currently revolving around you matters. This kind of infatuation can link people together for lifetimes or just mere moments. 

Whether you’re spending your day getting giddy whenever Frank Underwood addresses you or because your significant other made sure you knew you were loved, it seems like there’s no better day for a little P.D.A.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

-Zach