Tag Archives: Junip

Playlist: March 2013

Jeez, another month blew by.  ONE FISCAL QUARTER.  And now we’re a few days into April and I haven’t even updated you on my March listenings yet…  You — all one or two of you, bless your hearts — must have been so anxious to see what I’ve been feeding into my ear tubes.  Fear not, for I have risen.  Let’s go!

[Remember: we’re going for play count here….  No cheating!]

 

1. how to destroy angels – “Strings and Attractors
This song sounds like something off The Fragile (by way of Year Zero), which is alright in my book because The Fragile is secretly my favorite NIN album (sorry, Downward Spiral, you’re still technically the “best”).  I cannot wait to hear this in concert.  House of Blues, 4/27!  Gah!

2. Phoenix – “Entertainment
Argh, conflicted!  Why?  This is the chinkiest-sounding shit I’ve ever heard, and yet…. YET…. it’s so goddamned catchy!  Like, earworm-cannot-be-dislodged-from-brain catchy.  Bound to be in the Top 10 Songs of 2013.  And the video is a ridonkulous, high art homage (yes, I’m calling it an homage) to Korean dramas.  A+, you French bastards.

3. Rihanna – “Lost In Paradise
I know, I’m supposed to be punishing her for going back to Breezy, but no.  I love this song (thank you H&M in-store music, as always). Her “darker” tracks are always my favorites and I’m assuming this is the dark horse of Unapologetic.  Sounds like it’d fit nicely on Rated R (my favorite RiRi album).  Hum along.

4. Bruno Mars – “Moonshine
My favorite track off his latest album (if you remember, my album of February).  As my sister said, “This would be your favorite.”  Totally.  Funky beat, driving rhythm… reminds me of my favorite Alan Parsons Project shit (sorry for this obscure, embarrassing and problematically incorrect point of reference).  It’s cool, it’s catchy.

5. Fall Out Boy – “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)
They’re back!!!!  I didn’t realize how much I missed them (I’m really serious, sue me) or their pretentiously laughable song titles (are we still LiveJournaling, bros?).  This stadium-banger is wielding a killer chorus and it’s just…agh, I miss 2005!  I’m so surprised by my love for this song that I’ll just stop here.  I’m on fiiii-yaaaaaaaah!

6. Usher & Diplo – “Go Missin‘”
I’ve been sitting on this since February.  It’s a slow burner.  So smooth, so hypnotic.  He’s so into the electronic thing these days that it’s no surprise to hear this style song, but without him worrying about filling a dance floor with insane high energy shit, he can utilize that smooth-ass voice of his.  Mmmm mmm, smoove.

7. Alt-J – “Estocada” (aka “Something Good”)
Sorry, Alt-J.  They’re at the butt-end of my 2012 Albums list and, you know what, they should be in the Top 3 or 5, at least.  I saw them in March for the first show of their current US tour.  It was amazing.  This song in particular — already one of my faves off the album — was infused with so much ass-kickery in a live setting that I can’t stop listening to it.  They’re so good and so few people know about them… there’s still time to get into them before you’re accused of bandwagoning.  Get with it!

8. Junip – “Your Life, Your Call
In a year packed full with highly anticipated albums (Strokes, JT, NIN, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, YYYs), I am so surprised that Junip just popped out of nowhere and into my life.  I cannot wait to hear the rest of this album.  Jose Gonzalez singing without his usual acoustic accompaniment + 2 guys who play instruments = this.  I’ll be damned, but I think I might be more into it that both the new Strokes and JT combined.  Great job, Junip boys.

9. Youngblood Hawke – “We Come Running
This song has been out forever, right?  I’ve heard it on the radio for months, but have just finally let it into my heart.  It’s happy, it’s catchy.  It’s like a lamer version of a fun. anthem mixed with some old pop-punk-emo aesthetic.  It makes me happy.

10. Demi Lovato – “Heart Attack
Damn, girl.  When I first heard it, I was like, “Ugh this is so generic and boring.”  And then I couldn’t get it out of my head (especially that “chorus”!)  So there you have it, I will just embrace this.  The lyrics are dumb, most of the song really is quite generic, but damn… that “ataaaAAAAAaaaAAAAAAK” is money.  Pure money.

And finarry, the latest from Stephen Frost.  This one’s a rocker and *might* be my favorite off his current album project.

Damn.  Looking back on this list — I’m listening to some pretty poppy shit these days!  And you know what?  It’s only going to get worse as the weather gets better.  Every year — without fail — my winters are filled with quiet, profound, introspective, and sometimes dark stuff.  But once the windows can roll down and my limbs can be freed from their fabric-layer prisons, it’s on.  But what about album of the month!?  Wrote about it already.  Yeah, it grew on me.  how to destroy angels.  Go tell your mom about it.

 

 

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Playlist: January 2013

Well that month went by fast, hunh?  2013’s first is already in the bag; 11 to go before this year’s edition of the Year-End music writer/critic/blogger self-love orgy.  To keep tabs on my diet, I’m going to be doing a monthly “Playlist” of songs that are on constant repeat on iTunes.  And since nobody reads this, then surely it’s just for my own record-keeping.  I am so clever.

Let’s kick this off, then.  For honest disclosure’s sake, I chose to arrange songs in order of my iTunes play count.  That way, I won’t be able to weasel all the “cool” stuff on the top of the list and hope that you didn’t make it to the bottom of the rankings to see that I’ve listened to Josh Groban’s new single an insane amount of times.  Tsk, tsk.

[Editor’s Note: these songs aren’t necessarily January 2013 releases; they’re just the ones that Neil’s been listening to non-stop.]

1. The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio

A lush, bittersweet tune, reflecting some of my recent (but not exact) woes of late:  “I still owe money to the money to the money I owe/I never thought about love when I thought about home.”

2. Josh Groban – “Brave

Haha, sue me, I fucking love Josh Groban.  His songs swell with power and allow me to pretend I can sing.  Raising me up since 2003.

3. Churchill – “Change

This track is a fucking banger.  Lil’ bit of Fleetwood Mac, lil’ bit of Lady Antebellum.  Predicted to be a frontrunner in my year-end Top 20.

4. The Strokes – “One Way Trigger

Comeback singles are a bitch when a band tries to switch things up.  Like other songs that threatened to be crushed underneath nutso levels of hype (“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”, “Madness”, for example), this song turned out to be a grower.  I gave it many spins to prove itself and I’m glad I did.  Can’t stop listening to that falsetto.

5. How To Destroy Angels – “How Long?

The catchiest thing Trent has written since the last NIN album.  The groove is reminiscent of Year Zero, but there’s a distinct air of positivity to it all, likely injected by his wife’s vocals.  So pretty, so hypnotic.

6. Ellie Goulding – “My Blood

It’s hard to pick just one track off this perfect album, but I listen to this (and “Hanging On”) most.  I finally read the lyrics and see it’s about a breakup (damn you, Skrillex!): “And God knows I’m not dying but I bleed now/And God knows it’s the only way to heal now/With all the blood I lost with you/It drowns the love I thought I knew.”  Gaddamn!  Ellie makes injecting heart and soul (and blood) into seemingly cold electronic music.

7. Junip – “Line of Fire

Listen to this NOW.  It’s Jose Gonzalez and his band.  If you don’t know who he is, get into that back catalog (start with In Our Naturethere’s a cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” that is a stunner).  The band bolsters his sound in ways that make me squeal.  It’s positioned at #7 only because I downloaded it today, but I can’t stop listening to it.  Gah!

8. Tegan and Sara – “I Was A Fool

Seriously, thank God they went along with their pop sensibilities and made this fuckitall album of gems.  It’s my January Album of the Month.  This is one of my favorite tracks.  It starts off like an old J-Pop song (Ayu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but it’s all 80s synth-slow-jam.  They’ll be on the Top Albums of 2013 all over the place.

9. Noisettes – “Let The Music Play

One of my favorite bands.  One of my Top 3 albums from 2009.  This is their latest, Contact, released last year in the UK, yet to have a release date in the US.  Gone is the gritty punk-rock snarl from their debut; they’ve ramped up the pop and R&B throwbacks from Wild Young Hearts into some smart pop perfection.  This song is a good place to begin.

10. Chuckie and Promise Land feat. Amanda Wilson – “Breaking Up” (Bartosz Brenes & Tony Romera Remix)

Kids, I’ve been listening to this so-called “EDM” since before you were born.  That being said, there is no bandwagon to jump on.  If it makes me want to dance, I’m in.  If it fools me into believing that I can handle dancing from dusk til dawn without destroying my knees and back (old!), then it has to be good.  This song is HUUUUUUUUUUGE and makes me miss the good old dancing days in Shanghai.  Likely locked-in to be my favorite dance song of 2013.  We shall see; it’s a bit early.

Other tracks making the rounds that may rise or fall in the February rankings:
Santigold, “Disparate Youth” – the most pop-accessible track off her list-toppling 2012 album
Frank Ocean, “Wise Man” – achingly beautiful track that was dumped from the Django Unchained soundtrack.
Neon Trees, “Hooray for Hollywood” – driving, high-energy pop-infused rock with a huge oh-ooh-whoa chorus.
Jewel and Kelly Clarkson, “Foolish Games” – update of the ’90s classic into a crushing duet that we didn’t know we needed so badly… just wait until Kelly Clarkson hops in.  It’s like that moment I always talk about in “Lady Marmalade”: when Xtina swoops in and steals the entire show with a killer run.
Metisse, “Boom Boom Ba” – unofficial theme to an old canceled show (Dead Like Me), Buddha Lounge-y trip hop preciousness.
The Knife, “Full of Fire” – fuck a duck, this song is brutal.  More industrial-NIN than they’ve ever been, it’s 9+ (!!!) minutes of head banging dance music.

 
And last but definitely not least, my good pal, Stephen Frost, with his new single, “Age of Gold.”  There’s a little Sean Lennon in there, some classic old-fashioned-y pop.  I’m just waiting for some Phil Spector Wall of Sound production to make it a classic.

 

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