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
Today’s Untz: Shooting Stars / Bag Raiders
‘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
This week and the month of August flew by. Summer should be arriving in San Francisco shortly.
Today’s Emo: What the Water Gave Me / Florence + the Machine
What the Water Gave Me / Florence + the Machine
‘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.
Today’s Emo: More Than Life / Whitley
More Than Life / Whitley
‘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
Today’s Untz: Everything / Lips (Christian Strobe remix)
‘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
Today’s Untz: Baptism / Crystal Castles (Germany Germany remix)
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