Today’s theme, in two acts: songs best played behind closed doors.
Today’s Emo: Bloodstream / Stateless
‘I think I might’ve inhaled you / I can feel you behind my eyes’
An emo from the vault that I have found on repeat as of late… this song has me sighing within the first few key strokes. Bloodstream echos that feeling when love (or lust) washes over you like a drug, leaving you all fuzzy and heavy headed with dazed eyes, at its mercy until you come down.
Stateless is a five piece British electronic rock group that has been around since the early 2000′s. They released a new album out last winter, but I just keep tracing my way back here to curl up. Addicted. #emo
Today’s Untz: The Sound of Violence / Cassius (Aeroplane remix)
‘another night, another day / it’s better this way, let the music play’
A misleading title, because there is nothing but peace and love wrapped up into this remix of a Cassius classic. The lyrics are a little, er, direct, but luckily my mom tends to just read the little blurbs at the top of my posts to keep tabs on what I am up to, instead of delving into the tracks themselves. I suppose today’s blurb doesn’t help my case. So it goes. Tropical and smooth in sound, I would love to settle into this song with a beer on a beach… dare I say, when the sun goes down? #untz
Sun drenched, music drenched weekend. The best kind.
Today’s Emo: Lucky Now / Ryan Adams
‘and if the lights will draw you in / and the dark will take you down / but love will mend your heart / but only if you’re lucky now’
My feelings about Ryan Adams can be pretty hit or miss (and not just because he sold out in marrying Mandy Moore), but a couple of his songs– Come Pick Me Up and La Cienega Just Smiled– land on my top twenty list. He debuted this new track off his upcoming album, Ashes and Fire, due out October 11th, and it has landed in my hit bucket.
Lucky Now treads back to Ryan’s core strengths – stellar songwriting, beautiful vocals, and signature alt-rock with a tinge of twang rolled in. Basic, simple and fresh, the song relays those moments when you look back to who you were, and trace forward to where you are now, and marvel (perhaps uncomfortably) that you are the same person throughout it all. #emo
‘gave my love to a shooting star / but she moves so fast / that I can’t keep up’
I had the privilege of seeing this Australian duo shoot stars live on Friday night at the Mezzanine, and they left nothing to be desired. I have already shared my favorite track, Sunlight, but this comes in as a close second. A jingling keys intro shimmies into that elevator jazz rift, made complete with the catchiest of choruses. Catching myself still smiling over it all now. #untz
‘so lay me down / let the only sound / be the overflow’
Oh great expectations! My hot anticipation for Florence + the Machine’s follow up to Lungs simmered a bit with this week’s release of her first single, What the Water Gave Me. Things start slow and sprawling, to the point where on first listen I felt I had stumbled upon a miscategorized Sarah McLachlan song, and never fully build into something whole. I keep waiting for a kick to stir me up like Dog Days, or something hauntingly/awakening like Cosmic Love. And waiting. And waiting.
Instead, just left with Florence’s beautiful signature vocals and harp, and an interesting, almost tribal sound. Still worth a share, a listen, and another. And quieter anticipation and hope for more umph with November 7′s release. #emo
Today’s Untz: Turn Me On / David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj
‘come on and turn me on / I’m too young to die’
I got my hands on the new Guetta album and I have to say a lot of it is pretty emo-y for dance. I know he likes to take it Nice and Slow, but who knew Usher was such a softie? Nicki’s steamy Turn Me On is one of the few tracks that is really getting me going the way I expect Guetta to get me going.
With all the auto-tuning you can barely trace this the vocals back to Ms. Minaj (is that you, Gaga?) except for her little signature rap break, and as my friend Derek who tossed me the album put it, Guetta probably could have done better with the likes of a Kelly Rowland who can actually carry a natural tune. I still am loving the sound… turned on for the weekend. #untz
It is a great fall to love music in San Francisco. Bag Raiders, Givers, Bon Iver, James Vincent McMorrow, Little Dragon, Treasure Island, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and Bridge School Benefit Concert all on deck. Sorry wallet. But not really.
‘and we are homeward bound / and I / I want this more than life’
A soft and silvery Pandora find off of my The National radio station the other day, Australian singer Whitley instantly won me over with this hazy lullaby. A crisp voice with a hint of accent, simple words that make me think of home and slow guitar keep the song moving along. Peaceful, sleepy Wednesday morning acoustic to roll up in. #emo
‘it would be everything to me if we could take a holiday / cause you and I bone tired every night isn’t my idea of play’
Lips (aka Stephanie Brown), a whipsy New Zealand turned Brooklynite songbird, and Christian Strobe, a German dj who has worked magic with M83, collide in dreamy untz bliss. The original version of this track left something to be desired, and Strobe leaves that desire fulfilled here, wrapping Everything up in celestial beats that come in waves and leave me wanting to take a holiday. #untz
I realized my emo has been a little extra emo the past month or so, with lots of tracks about breakups and nostalgia and fourteen year olds addicted to crack. Blog imitates life? While I love to get lost in the complicated side of music, it’s good to remind myself to also get lost in the clap-a-along goofy grin type songs as well. Time to cheer up a bit.
Today’s Emo: Noche Nada / Givers
Insert: Noche Nada by Givers. With an infectious chorus, jamboree beats, and an encouraging tone, I picture this being played in a movie scene, following someone down the street as they have decided to take on some epic life change. Whenever I picture scenes like this they now always star Joseph Gordon Levitt (thanks 500 Days of Summer).
I am seeing this Louisiana indie rock quartet play the Rickshaw Stop in September. When I listen Noche Nada and its building rounds, I picture the singers smiling throughout, and I can’t wait to see it live. Happy #emo
Today’s Untz: Help I’m Alive / Metric (The Twelves remix)
‘hard to be soft / tough to be tender’
One of my favorite Metric songs gets amped up disco style by Brazilian dj duo João Miguel and Luciano Oliveira, so named The Twelves because they were both born on June 12, 1980. A big crew saw them lay out Mighty after Friday of Outside Lands, but I regretably (but probably fortunately) retired to rest up for day two. I heard they nailed it. #untz
Friday. Yes please. This is rare for me, but I am ever so ready to settle into a restful weekend.
Today’s Emo: The Suburbs / Mr. Little Jeans (Arcade Fire cover)
‘kids wanna be so hard / but in my dreams we’re still screamin’ and runnin’ through the yard’
The original Suburbs is a kind of song that manages to cause shivers despite warm, upbeat tones, making you pine for home and sprinklers and simpler times, while simultaneously making you realize you can’t go back. Norwegian born songstress Mr. Little Jean slows it down here, smooths it out and adds some weight, making the sound match the scene it paints. Chills.
With silvery vocals and rolling bass, she practically sighs her way through the chorus, letting the words speak for themselves without trying to overly emote anything. The result, as with most things that make me feel nostalgic, is that kind of quiet comfort found in allowing yourself to really miss something. SO #emo
One of my favorite Canadian untz crafters, Germany Germany has produced a sprawling take on Crystal Castles’ gem, Baptism. It’s not a new track, but there is nothing like a good Nintendo-esque indie pop remix to smooth out the end of a long work week, and I am tracing these sounds in zigzags around my head, dreaming of dance beats in a dark place far far away from powerpoints. I love musically inclined geeky bros, so am delighted Drew is producing these tracks while studying engineering at the University of Victoria. Hope he keeps them coming steady between studies.
Since it is Friday, a bonus untz with this hot mess of a Hood Internet mash up of Baptism and RihRih’s Rude Boy. #untz
I love that I can put “I need an untz” as my gchat status on a Tuesday afternoon and get three solid responses within an hour. Music definitely seems to be running in everyone’s veins since Outside Lands exploded over San Francisco this weekend. I haven’t been able to pull myself away from speakers/headphones all week, slipping into happy memories between emails and meetings and lots of coffee.
Today’s Emo: Trojans / Atlas Genius
‘change the locks, change the scene / change it all but can’t change what we’ve been’
I love coming across a group’s first legit release – not the debut of a new album, but the debut of a new musical entity – and having it blow me away. So much potential in the air. I have been stuck on the debut single from Australian foursome, Atlas Genius to the point where they have to be shared. There is something early Death Cab in this beat, and excitingly unique in these vocals, and the image of trojan horse relics from past lovers in your head is too good to pass up. These newbies have recently signed with Cosine records and I can’t wait to hear the rest of their sound. Enjoy. #emo
Today’s Untz: Long Time (Takin My Time) / Static Revenger & Angger Dimas (electro remix)
All three of yesterday’s untz recs are going into my vault, but this made today’s cut… some steady Wednesday ‘tro. Breezy summer beats, sexy samples, and hurricane untz builds combine to craft the perfectly shaped SoundCloud. Done. #untz
Outside Lands: amazing music, backdrop, and company. Completely tuckered out in the best kind of way. Two tropical sounding tracks to ease back into regular life, slowly, carefully…
Today’s Emo: Harvest Moon / Poolside (Neil Young cover)
‘when we were strangers I watched you from afar / when we were lovers I loved you with all my heart’
A couple months ago I posted Teen Daze’s take of Neil’s Harvest Moon. This cover takes a similar angle, with playful, trickling synth, a clap along feel, and hazy, soft vocals. Still, totally digging this jazzed up spin of the classic. LA electro duo Poolside self identifies as daytime disco, and this feels like the perfect track to accompany my feel good summer feelings of this weekend and three days outside in the sun and fog. #emo
Today’s Untz: It Feels Good to Be Around You / Air France
Going to continue to ride the chillwave right into my untz today with this breezy gem from another electro duo, Air France. Layers upon layers of whispy, echoed vocals, soft beats, and a hint of the theme from Koopa Beach intertwine in the Swedes’ new release. It Feels Good to be Around You is the cutest song name I have come across in a while, perfectly embodying that first little sigh when you realize you might be smitten, and it feels good. More please. #untz
Outside Lands has arrived and I am taking today off to not miss a beat. Time to bundle up, brace myself against the wrath of San Francisco summer in Golden Gate Park, and dance my face off (and chill) for three days. Most excited to start the weekend with Foster the People, dance through the middle with the boys of Starfucker, and close things out with Arcade Fire. Sleeping is giving in… so lift those heavy eyelids.
Two Outside Lands oriented tracks to start things off right.
Today’s Emo: Ritual Union / Little Dragon
‘I was wonderin’ / how the white dress / and the mistress / and his spirit / are holdin’ my hand’
Sassy and sultry, just how I like my lady driven music. Our protagonist sounds to have fidelity troubles, but makes them sound so good… strong vocals, trickling echos, little pockets of trambone-like synth, and a beat that makes you want to sway your hips and/or grab someone’s hand.
Japanese-Swede Yukimi Nagano fronts this Swedish electro-soul group, and this is the title track off their third LP. Lucky I found LD before they slay Sunday afternoon at OSL. #emo
Today’s Untz: Titanium / David Guetta ft. Sia
New Guetta with a side of Sia… a surprisingly delightful combination of guilty pleasure untz: Sia’s signature beautiful vocals, fierce lyrics, and oh yeah, some serious beats. The track has leaked off of Guetta’s upcoming LP, Nothing But the Beat, due out August 30th. The album will be dripping with collaborations (surprise) with the likes of Flo Rida, Jennifer Hudson, Timbaland and Dev throwing down in tracks. I will be riding this first taste of it all into my weekend, where I will hopefully be seeing Sia at the Twin Peaks stage tomorrow. #untz
A guest post from my best friend Nicole, who happens to been the queen of untz, with a closet full of emo. We have enjoyed dancing our faces together throughout the city and beyond – Deadmau5, Benny B, Axwell, Boys Noize, Tiesto – but Nicole has also spiritedly tagged along with me to see me cry to The Head and the Heart not one but two times, and is not so secretly obsessed with Our Lady Peace and Incubus. She is also known to come home late from a night of raging only to continue dancing in her room by herself into the morning. My musical life and adventures would not be complete without my better half, and I cannot wait to take Outside Lands on with her on this weekend. In the meantime enjoy her impeccable taste and musings below. – Tor
‘I’ve waited all my life / if not now, when will I? / stand up and face the bright light / don’t hide your eyes it’s time’
My taste in the emo skews towards alternative rock, so I’m gonna highlight a brand new song from one of my favorite alt bands, Incubus. I’m really liking this title track from their latest CD, released a few weeks ago. Funny enough, I was introduced to Incubus on an incredibly emo day – sitting in the doctor’s office, homesick at sleep-away math camp (math camp…who does this to their child?). Anyway, the TV in the doctor’s office was playing their video for ‘Stellar.’ I looked it up when I finally went home, found more of their music, and the rest is history.
The melody of ‘If Not Now, When?’ definitely contains elements of the band’s signature sound from their last three CDs, including the necessary showcase of lead singer Brandon Boyd’s vocal ability. In my opinion, his voice is one of the most notable in rock music ever, and it’s flawless here. With regard to lyrics, they are posing a question that I often need to hear. (Tor also asked me the same question about writing this post for months.) This is a pleasant addition to the emo playlist, especially for those days where you hesitate to act on what you truly want to get in life. Ugh… so #emo.
Today’s Untz: Largo Al Factotum / The Barber of Seville (Mustard Pimp remix)
The untz is what I live for, and I try to indulge in many of the shows that come through this city. I also make it to the opera house a few times each season to enjoy my fair share of arias. (Gotta balance the #rage with some #culture from time to time, you know.) You can thus imagine my delight in stumbling upon this fun electro remix of ‘Largo Al Factotum’ early Monday morning before the dreaded work day. And yes, I did find out that this is actually the Jersey Shore Season 4 anthem, but I have no shame; I’m loving the epic cascades and escalations, the famous chorus interspersed throughout the song, and that Jersey club beat on the 1s and 2s. Even with Mike or Ronnie equivalents in my personal space at the club (oh, Ruby Skye), I would dance happily and emphatically to this on any night out. Might even break out the fist pump myself. I am short, brown person named Nicole after all…
Mustard Pimp is on Steve Aoki’s label, Dim Mak. I like what he has to offer with this tune, so off to his SoundCloud page I go in hopes of a work day full of solid #untz.