Lana Del Rey - Once Upon A Dream
Andrew’s got his hands full tonight so you guys are getting 2 Sundays this week. Aren’t you lucky. Here at Soundboard, Lana Del Rey is kind of a controversial figure. At least 2 of us have had the experience of, despite our surface-level distaste for her as an artist, getting hooked on one of her songs. This week we got a new teaser trailer for Maleficent, Disney’s upcoming dark re-imagining of the classic movie Sleeping Beauty**, in which debuted Lana’s sultry cover of the sweet retro ditty.
As a Disney fan (and who isn’t), and as a fan of covers, I kind of love this. I’ve been whistling it all day, even drawing attention from a few passersby as I headed out from work this afternoon. I’m pretty sure that means it’s worth posting.
Anyway, have a good night, guys. And be careful around spindles. Unless you want Angelina Jolie to curse you… in which case, at least make sure the needle is sterilized.
**EDIT: Looks like I got my Disney vault classics mixed up there and said Cinderella instead of Sleeping Beauty. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Oops!
Top Ten Albums of All Time
Since I was young, the types of music that I’ve had particular inclinations toward have always shifted. It’s something that I’ve addressed a few times on this site and it made the task of attempting to compile my top ten albums all the more daunting. As usual with my lists, these are not the ones that I critically deem to be the “best” in an objective sense. Rather, they’re the ones that have had the biggest impact on me and/or are my favorites to listen to.
In no particular order, enjoy!
The Electric Sons - Carry On
When we last checked in with The Electric Sons, they had just finished playing Boston’s College Fest in the fall. They’ve been busy. Shortly after we spoke, they released a new single, Breathing Electricity, and got to work on a video which is currently up for voting in Creative Loafing’s ATL Short Cuts 2013 contest.
On top of all of that, they released another new single yesterday, and it’s as catchy as the rest of what we’ve heard from these guys. Listeners will be happy to hear that as they push towards their next big project, their musical ethos hasn’t changed a bit. Andrew Miller continues to impress lyrically while Ben Richards captivates with dazzling synth. While their sound remains steady, the band sounds tighter and tighter in the past few releases. I can’t wait to hear what’s next, and if you still haven’t checked these guys out yet, it’s time to fix that. Peep them over on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud, and check out their video for Breathing Electricity below. If you like it, check out the link to the aforementioned contest and go vote. They deserve it. Oh, and if you find yourself in Austin during SXSW, make sure to check them out over at the Wreckroom Records stage. You won’t be disappointed.
James Blake - Retrograde
If it wasn’t for our theme week, I would’ve posted this one last Tuesday. At first, I wasn’t a huge James Blake fan. Then I found out that the earbuds I had tried to listen to him with weren’t adequate for the bass-heavy sound that he displayed on his eponymous debut LP. I had heard rumblings that he was taking more of a singer-songwriter approach to his new material. While the dubstep-inspired bass thumps that he’s known for aren’t quite apparent on Retrograde, his musicianship is. The tone in this one is as important as the lyrics and beat, and he allows his refrain to breathe against a backdrop that gets tenser and tenser as he sings. The style is a perfect fit for Blake’s sensibilities. I absolutely love the tweaked approach, and his video for this wonderful song is both ominous and beautiful. I have a feeling that his upcoming album, Overgrown (out April 8th via Republic Records), is going to be something special.
Chairlift - I Belong In Your Arms
Love In The Key Of SB Week
I wanted to be a little less ridiculous today than I was with my selection last year for a Valentine’s Day tune (it was Barry White). I’m pretty sure I managed it. I Belong In Your Arms was one of my favorite tracks from last year, even making an appearance on my official 2012 playlist for our retrospective week last month. It deals with the sensation of the rest of the world fading into the background during those certain moments with a significant other. You know which ones I’m talking about. Not only does that show up in the lyrics, but Chairlift is able to convey it with the music and pacing as well.
AraabMuzik - The Prince Is Coming
Most AraabMuzik tracks don’t start quite like this one. Until the ten second mark, the marching band drumbeat could be the introduction to just about anything imaginable, but that’s when the signature “You are now listening to AraabMuzik” drops. As usual, he’s an absolute monster. He goes hard for the next couple of minutes on a beat with so much tension that you can practically cut it with a knife. While he has a follow-up to 2011’s Electronic Dream (one of my favorites of the year) slated for later on in ‘13, this one is a cut off of his newest mixtape, For Professional Use Only, which drops on February 15th. Also, if you’re a little late and haven’t seen footage of AraabMuzik actually performing, do yourself a favor and peep that. It’s simply unbelievable. I’m still not convinced that he’s not some sort of robot sent from the future to conquer the world by making the sickest beats possible. No human can actually move his or her hands that fast with any semblance of coordination.
I, for one, welcome our new beat overlord,
Bon Iver - Lump Sum
Last night I decided to start fresh on a personal blog. I listen to something whenever I sit down to write anything, so when I was typing up my post about making the switch, I had a listen through this album. I hadn’t for a while, and whenever I’m coming back to his music, it strikes me like the first time I heard it. This is one of those songs of his that flies under the radar for me, but I’ve had it on repeat since last night. It’s just beautiful.
Gabe Goodman - Drown
I’m a sucker for the local stuff. Despite my hometown’s tendency to be a bit on the boring side (like every other suburb), it’s quite rich in the arts. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite appreciate it while I was growing up. I realize now, though, just how lucky I am to have been surrounded by the creative talent that was around at the time. Both The Novel Ideas and two-thirds of Camper are from the immediate area. That isn’t all, though.
I first met Gabe Goodman through a program at the local music school that grouped budding musicians together to form bands and ensembles which would then perform around the area. I was a sophomore in high school, and he was a few years younger. We both played the guitar, but the kid could also flat-out sing. He had the charisma and poise that my self-conscious sixteen-year-old self could only dream of. Talent-wise, he blew me out of the water, and despite the age difference, I looked up to him as a musician and performer. I’m not playing much these days, but over the past couple of years, Gabe has been quite busy. He’s released two full albums, an EP, and a smattering of tracks that showcase his unbelievable songwriting finesse. Now a student at Brandeis, he shows no signs of stopping. His eclectic sound draws influences from contemporary pop, R&B, indie, and electropop music. This track popped up on his Bandcamp page last month and I’ve been dying to share it. Make sure to peep the Bandcamp for other sharp tunes.
Oh, and keep your eye on him, and expect great things. He’s the real deal.