The upcoming movie Divergent is built on an interesting concept. Everybody in this world is given a role in the community, and those who don’t fit anywhere have to pretend to or risk death. It looks thrilling. But at the heart of it – and you only get a glimpse of this aspect of the story in the trailers – the divergent community still needs unity. They still need each other. They still need somebody. M83 captured this perfectly in Track 8 of the Divergent soundtrack, “I Need You.”
M83′s soundtracks capture emotion. They always have. Consider the entire Oblivion soundtrack.
They have made themselves a name by using amazing sounds in their tracks (think Midnight City’s opening), and hearing M83 live is just stunningly captivating. Being surrounded by their music just makes you love absolutely everything in the world.
“I Need You” is a beautiful exhale. It makes you let everything go when you hear it and sink deeper and deeper into its warmth.
It starts slow, relaxing, and builds up in anticipation. It gives you a space to breathe, only to reel you back in with a crescendo of trumpeting that makes you feel like you are in the presence of something truly majestic.
Sit back with surround sound high quality headphones and just let M83 wash over you.
And their track that blew me away during their concert in Central Park in 2011:
We Are Twin is fantastic! We went to Oakland last week to see specifically them, an opener for the band Foxes. We Are Twin is so new they weren’t even listed on the event description, but they blew us out of the water. Everything we wanted and more. I am not afraid to declare that I think they will make it – though whatever “make it” means, I’m not quite sure… Coachella 2014!?!? Dream big.
The past few weeks I feel like I’ve been caught up in a mechanical routine that I usually try very hard to avoid. I’ve been “productive,” but I haven’t been doing too much of what I love. I’ve been working hard, but my brain is more anxious and weary than pleased and fulfilled. Steve Jobs once said something along the lines of, “Every day I wake up, and look in the mirror, and ask myself if I am excited to do what I’m planning to do that day. When the answer is ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” I never forget that. You’ll always have stretches where you’re doing things you don’t want to do, because you simply HAVE to, but you can’t let those stretches last forever. Every day, move up and to the right. Towards whatever is your biggest, baddest dream.
Sometimes a song wakes me up from the dazed monotony that a dreaded Monday can bring. Today a song did that, and holy cow did it make me want to dance. Check it out. In fact, check it out THRICE. I’ll start with the original, and then a mashup with Kanye, and then a mashup with Jay Z. Yes, it’s THAT good. I’m in love.
Los Angeles musician Gallant channels his best How to Dress Well, or the Weeknd, or maybe Autre Ne Veut, in this brooding, beautiful ethereal R&B track. It’s 2:00am where I’m at, the perfect time for a track like this. I bet that goes for you, too. Check it out.
“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” That’s how Yinyues introduces himself, with a Lao Tzu quote. You know we’re going to like this guy.
Everyone wants enlightenment. But it seems there’s no surefire way to get it. Live in the moment, but also understand the oneness of yourself with everything around you. Those seem to me opposed. To expand your view to infinity, by focusing on an instant. The current moment is only the most infinitesimal fraction of everything that is. The secret can’t be right NOW.
And that movie, “Gravity,” didn’t help. Damn good movie. But holy crap, I already didn’t know what to do with myself on Earth, and now I just want to go to space. Come on now.
But if I can’t know the universe, at least let it hear me sing!
Slow Magic has an amazing name. He certainly can’t be faulted for effort in image marketing, either, as he wears a colorful zebra mask to every show. It seems pretty unwieldy, but if an awesome helmet/mask has worked for some of the greatest electronic musicians ever (Daft Punk), it might be a branding tactic worth exploring. You know what? I have a pretty outstanding trademark for work, too. I always roll up my sleeves, like Barack Obama.
It’s late. Let’s cut the blathering and get to the music. Slow Magic’s songs all truly do seem slowly, magical. A beautiful term, as perhaps all magic is slow magic. Developments that seem like they come out of the blue have often been brewing for a very long time. It’s your job to stay ready, so you never have to get ready. The wheels may already be turning.
Ok, now hit play.
It makes sense to think of new artists in terms of artists you’ve already heard. As soon as I heard Wet, I thought of Autre Ne Veut. If you’ve been following us from the very beginning, you know we absolutely love Autre Ne Veut. That’s about the highest compliment we can give.
What’s interesting is that ANV’s music is rich, layered, and complex while Wet’s tracks are much more bare, sonically. Yet the comparison stands, because of the emotive, dreamy, R&B voice of Wet’s female lead singer. We’ll just go ahead and call her a female Autre Ne Veut. I’m sure she won’t appreciate that, but hey, she can snipe the entire female demographic.
Wet is signed with Haim’s label, and Haim is blowing up. Can we expect to see Wet following in Haim’s tracks soon? From the sound of these three tracks, I wouldn’t doubt it.
The Kite String Tangle seriously epitomizes all that is currently right with music in the world. I suspect, though I’m not certain to what extent, that artists are not getting paid fairly nowadays due to the proliferation of the Internet. It’s just too easy to listen to and download music nowadays – no one has any incentive to pay for it. And part of that sucks (really just for the biggest artists). But disregard that one major issue, and the Internet – plus its prerequisite, computers – has been the best thing for music since musical instruments were invented.
You can make music in your living room in your boxers on a laptop, and if it’s great music, you have a pretty damn good shot of having a lot of people hear it. Now I don’t know what kind of underwear The Kite String Tangle prefers, but I know that his music is GREAT.
And we’re so glad to share it! A true hidden talent here, folks. Look for much bigger things to come.
Let’s start with an original. A fantastic track!
Next up, a cover of Lorde. Can he do it justice? I think he does it more than justice.
Finally, an awesome remix of Flume. Original, then cover, then remix. The Kite String Tangle has no boundaries.
I wanted to leave you with one beautiful track tonight. Finding tracks like this is always special, because it’s by a band that is just out of nowhere, that doesn’t have any other particularly good songs, and which has since been disbanded. A one-hit wonder, but a WONDER. Who knows where Portland is? The band, not the city.
They’re clearly not very adept at SEO, either. Try googling “Portland music” and tell me if you find this band’s website.
Regardless. Make yourself happy. Check it out.
I’m not sure there’s such a thing as “too loud” for this ASTR cover of Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home.” It’s the kind of track that should reverberate through your body, and for that, decibels are not enough. It reminds me why I bought nice headphones. The headphones don’t make the songs, the songs make the headphones. Turn it up, hit play, close your eyes, and vibe out.
So Drake’s new album was pretty good. And “Hold On We’re Going Home” was probably the hottest track off the album, and a very good one. But man, this guy is nowhere close to the artistic visionary that is Kanye West. Let me just say that if you haven’t seen Kanye’s very recent interview with Zane Lowe on BBC, Google it, and watch it. Jimmy Kimmel made fun of it on his show and got a lot of laughs, catering to those people who love to viscerally respond to any mention of Kanye with “I hate that guy!”
Well, if you care what I think, I think everyone great is a little bit of crazy. Kanye is a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of great. I’ll stay cheering for that guy. He makes a lot of mistakes, but his mistakes are all human. His triumphs go way beyond human. That’s limited downside, unlimited upside. Not a bad bet. Can’t wait to see him on his Yeezus tour.
Anyway, didn’t mean to sidetrack ASTR. They’re on the up-and-up, and someday soon they’ll be big enough to warrant taking over someone else’s blog post.
Let me make it up you with one more sick ASTR track, “R U With Me.” Well? Are you?