So I've hopped aboard the muxtape bandwagon. I will still post mp3s on here though. I often come across some songs that I really like, but they're only the first or second song that an artist has done. I don't want to contribute to the way a new act gets overhyped on the Internet based on a few recordings, but I still want to share good music. Doing a monthly muxtape allows me to put the spotlight on those up-and-comers without having to do an entire entry of me salivating over someone who has yet to even release an EP. And there are also a ton of individual tracks that I come across that I may not have the time to post about as well. It's all win-win.
1. Ebony Bones - "We Know All About You"
I don't think I've anticipated an artist's full-length this much after two songs since M.I.A. first came on the scene. This apocalyptic post-punk track would sound right at home in a DJ set mixed in between Siouxsie and The Banshees and ESG, but there isn't a sense of revival just for the sake of revival. This is a track whose influences are obvious and doesn't use them to coast.
2. Annie - "I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me"
About once or twice a year, we get a great track that apes 80's era Prince. In 2008, that track is "I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me". This song actually brings to mind more of the stuff Prince produced for Vanity 6, with its bad girl lyrics and bouncy synths, but no mistaking that it's a Prince sound. If you like Prince, this should make you smile.
3. The Game F/ Travis Barker - "Dope Boys"
I'm thinking this is the next single for the upcoming LAX. It's much too massive of a sound to not have a video accompanied with it. And Lord knows we need more actual MC's on the charts to balance out all the lyrical lightweights (i.e. ringtone rap). The Game is still sharp as always, but what I'm really digging is the decision to have live drums on what would otherwise be a mostly programmed track. Seriously, you'd think that it would sound corny, but it gives it a lot of bulk.
4. Al Green F/ Corinne Bailey Rae - "Take Your Time"
Now this is how you set a mood. Al and Corinne lay down some undeniably classy vocals while the music drips slowly like the thickest of honey. I'm really wanting to get friendly with a lady right about now.
5. El Perro Del Mar - "Glory To The World"
It's hard to believe that the sound on her last album was even more minimal, but a voice such as this has to be handled with delicacy. This is a great song to fall asleep to, not because it's boring or anything of the like, but the best way that I can describe it is that it's like having pillows made specifically for your ears.
6. White Shoes & Couples Company - "Windu & Defrina"
This album by the world's greatest Indonesian indie pop band was released last fall, but now that it's summer, we can finally enjoy it in the season that it was meant for. There's a certain AM radio charm to "Windu & Defrina" and the rest of the album.
7. Hercules and Love Affair - "Hercules' Theme"
Nope, this wasn't recorded in Philly during the mid 70's. It's very much a product of this decade, though it's hard to tell. If this doesn't make you dance, I'm sorry to hear that life has given up on you.
8. Van Hunt - "The Lowest 1 of My Desires"
I talked about Van Hunt's Popular a few months ago, and there's still no word on when the album is coming out, but he's heading out on the road this summer. It goes without saying that it would be a great opportunity to listen to some of the new stuff live, seeing as he gave one of the best performances I've ever seen. "The Lowest 1 Of My Desires" is the sound of a bed being converted into a private dancefloor, topped off with a little subdued funk.
9. N.E.R.D. - "Yeah You"
So my love-hate relationship with N.E.R.D. intensifies even more with their latest album, Seeing Sounds. While I consider their last two efforts big misses, there are enough good songs sprinkled throughout that prevents me from totally giving them the gas face. "Yeah You" is one of the few highlights from the latest album and reminds me of a not so distant time when the Neptunes slyly brought some 80's R&B flavor to radio and created tracks full of melody and groove at a breakneck pace.