Fiona Apple - "Anything We Want"
Second Chance Week

Can you believe that I was completely unaffected by this album when I first heard it? Unbelievable. I know. I’m not sure what was wrong with me either. But! I have since seen the error of my ways and fallen madly in love with it and all of its imperfections. All of it - the clunky piano, Fiona’s sandpapery voice - was so opposite of what I had been taught was “good” music that the nontraditional-ness completely threw me off and kept me from seeing how beautiful it really was.

This song in particular was actually my least favorite at the time, but now I think I’d even go so far as to regard it as one of the best songs Fiona Apple has ever written. The music and the namely the lyrics are so unequivocally GOOD right from the opening “My cheeks were reflecting the longest wavelength” and it just really makes me want her and Ben Gibbard to get together (Professionally, not romantically. Although yes.) and write the Greatest Lyrical Masterpiece of All Time. Of all the artists and albums I went back to and tried a second time, I think The Idler Wheel… has to be the one I’m most grateful for.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Goldfinger - "Superman"

What is the deal with, like… everything right now? Right? The whole world? I know it can’t be just me that feels it, it’s like the whole world is getting scrambled up in slow motion; on an international level, on a personal level, things just kind of seem all over the place, don’t they? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately, at least. It’s a little frightening, waking up and realizing you’re neck-deep in a world, in a life, a time you didn’t really see yourself being a part of, not necessarily because it’s bad, but because it’s just so… unexpected. You know? But you do your best to assimilate, to pick yourself and keep the ground on your feet through the new and the strange, because what else can you do?

When the going gets weird, sometimes you just have to strap on a helmet and skate until the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater heat timer won’t let you skate no more.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Hervé & Zebra Katz - "Tear The House Up"

When you run into a downtempo beat this heavy, this fire, for lack of a better word, you know Zebra Katz’s Ojay Morgan has gotta be around somewhere. Still going strong since 2013’s DRKLNG, if he’s not busy putting out his own work you can bet he’s on his usual collab grind, working with the likes of Diplo, Azealia Banks, Icona Pop, & Grimes, to name only a few. With Morgan’s signature dark edge and UK DJ Hervé’s affinity for “bass-oriented" electronica, it was only natural that the two pair up and create one year’s smoothest bangers. Zebra f*cking Katz, indeed.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - "Harold’s"

As our beloved Andrew noted in his last post, the end of August draws nigh, and that means end of the year favorites lists are becoming a very real threat. Er, thing. That being said, were it not for Kool A.D.’s Word O.K., Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Piñata would surely be in the number one spot for top hip hop album of 2014. For now they both sit tied for first place; Gibbs’ signature hard as concrete flow and Madlib’s superb production holding their own against Victor V.’s silly yet ingenious rhymes. I guess we’ll have to wait until the end of the year to see who edges who out of the top spot.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

The Very Best - "Mfumu"

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter M for “Mfumu”, Malawi, and… uh, music, of course! Naturally. Comprised of British DJ Radioclit and singer Esau Mwamwaya (another M!) of Lilongwe, The Very Best does an amazing job of producing some of the most warm and colorful music I’ve heard in years. Sometimes I kind of forget how nice it is to listen to songs in other languages, but then I’ll hear some Edith Piaf or find a song like this that just radiates pure joy and I’m instantly reminded that music is really more about feeling than understanding, you know? It really is the very best.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Kazumi Totaka - "Nintendo Wii Main Menu"

Nothing beats a videogame with an impeccable score (The Sims, anyone? Right?), but there’s something special about the music we associate with the consoles themselves, even if it’s just a tiny, sublime soundbite. Japanese composer and voice actor Kazumi Totaka did a superb job writing the music for the default Wii channels in 2006, and judging by some of his other composing credits (Animal Crossing and Luigi’s Mansion, to name two of dozens) I really expected no less. When I close my eyes and listen to this it’s like I can physically feel the stress evaporating from my body. Great for maintaining a somewhat-neutral emotional equilibrium while trying to keep your cool as you write that final paper. 

- Callie

Miami Horror - "Holidays"

Well it’s my last week studying here in Jolly Olde England, something I have wildly mixed feelings about (Having my own apartment again! Seeing my cat!) (Leaving Europe until who knows when! Parting with all my new friends!), and whether by coincidence or not I’ve been listening to a lot of dark songs that sound happy and vice versa. This song has been my favorite find — though Len’s “Steal My Sunshine” almost stole its spot — so I thought I’d share it with you guys on this lovely Wednesday evening.

Apart from being an altogether awesome song, the cheery music mixed with the rather somber lyrics really captures the bittersweetness I’ve been feeling about heading home after two months abroad. But hey, y’know, I’m about to embark on the great journey that is my senior year of college, so really the adventure’s just beginning, isn’t it? As one quest ends, another other begins, et cetera; even though these good times are coming to a close, there’s still so much to look forward to.

Callie

FKA Twigs - Two Weeks

What the h*ck? FKA Twigs (née Tahliah Barnett) has been making music since 2012 and I haven’t heard any of it prior to a week ago? I’m grounding myself, no dessert for a month, because this is unacceptable; no one should be deprived of Tahliah’s celestial songs, regardless of whether it’s due to their own unintended ignorance or not.

What really grips me about FKA Twigs as an artist is her want to create astounding visual accompaniments for each of her tracks, a tendency that brought her into the spotlight with her evocative video for “Hide”. When asked about her propensity for striking graphics by Dazed, she stated, “I hope to do a visual for every single thing, even if it’s as small as a gif or as big as a whole dance music film.” Now that’s a trend I would love to see take root. Here’s hoping.

- Callie