Last day of April and we’ve been teased with Spring, but then Winter came back for a short reprieve. I made this mix throughout April and it contains 17 tracks released throughout 2013 that have found their way into my mind. Enjoy it at your leisure from the link below or on 8tracks here.
The Cover of the mix is brought to you by the beloved Corpse Flower, lovingly named ‘Putrella’, from Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory. She bloomed just over a week ago, the first to do so in Western Canada. More info about the Corpse flower, latin: Amorphophallus titanum, can be found here.
Thanks for listening. -Kris
1. The Knife – Tooth For an Eye
The lead-off track of the Knife’s new 90 minute plus opus Shaking the Habitual combines the more experimental parts of Silent Shout with a lot of influence from their experimental score to the opera Tomorrow, in a Year. It’s likely the most accessible of all the tracks on the new album, which shows how willing they are to change their sound at their own discretion. A video accompanied the release of this track following the strange, yet humorous, videos that The Knife like to release.
2. James Blake – I am Sold
James Blake’s newest release, Overgrown, sees a slightly more straight-forward release from the young talent. ‘I am Sold’ is the second track on the album and was the one that caught me immediately. Influence from Burial is noted in the The repeated lyrics harken back to ‘The Wilhelm Scream‘ and ‘I Never Learned to Share’ from his self-titled debut, though musically it has a lot more going on it than those songs. A song that shows he is becoming more confident in his vocal ability, I sense even more from him over the next few years.
3. Phoenix – The Real Thing
Phoenix’s newest album, Bankrupt!, doesn’t live up to Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but it does provide a safe opportunity to hear some of the best produced music out there, and good music at that. First single ‘Entertainment’ was catchy as hell, but lost some luster on repeated listening. ‘The Real Thing’ gets better and better with each listen, in a way I find quite similar to ‘Fences’ on their previous album.
4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Under the Earth
Aptly titled, since I imagine this of the sound of the band digging and digging further into the ground, but not in any relation to their career. It’s almost a march with that extremely catchy drum beat that sounds amazing when the vocals and keyboards come in to accompany it.
5. Junip – So Clear
Jose Gonzales and company return with the same sound that made their album Fields one of favourites back in 2010. I could have put any track from their new self-titled album on here, but this one really stands out on first listen. Junip makes music that reminds me of the Autumn and Winter so it will be interesting listening to it on those hot Summer days, laying in the Sun, dreaming away.
6. Local Natives – Mt. Washington
Never was impressed by this band, but their new album has changed that. Some great tunes on Hummingbird, with this one being the most depressing and Death Cab for Cutie-like. Short, concise, but hits you right where you want it.
7. Caveman – Shut You Down
I don’t know much about this band, but I believe I was introduced to them on Stereogum. They remind me of Wild Nothing with the dreamy guitar highlighting many of the songs on the album. A great album that shows musicianship well beyond their years. Check out their website for more info.
8. Jessie Ware – Imagine it Was Us
Jessie Ware’s debut album Devotion was beautiful late-night fare harkening back to the smooth soul of the 1980′s. ‘Imagine it Was Us’ is the missing 80′s dance single that would have made the dance floor explode. It’s already been released as a single and as part of the deluxe re-release Gold Edition of Devotion available here or on iTunes.
9. Solar Bears – Cosmic Runner
The Solar Bears provide a nice jaunt through the last 15 years of laid-back electronic music on their sophomore album Supermigration. It’s a mix of everything for this Irish duo who try to put in all together and succeed on this sleeper of an album.
10. Major Lazer – You’re no Good
Less dancehall and more R&B permeate the lead-off track of the new Major Lazer album Free the Universe. Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Danielle Haim and Yasmin provide some stellar vocal work over a great beat from Diplo. I think the closest you’ll get to a slow jam from Major Lazer.
11. The Cave Singers – It’s A Crime
If a band could sound Canadian, but not be Canadian, these Seattle rockers would surely fit the bill. I’m disappointed I’ve never listened to them before as I’ve missed them live a bunch of times before. Check them out in May and June as they tour throughout Canada and the States.
12. Kurt Vile – Never Run Away
The short standard rock song comes from Vile’s newest release Walking on a Pretty Daze, an album that really cements his great songwriting and guitar abilities. He still sounds sleepy in every song, but this is what you’re going to want to put on when you just need to sit on a sunny day after work and relax.
13. Phosphorescent – The Quotidian Beasts
Throw some Springsteen, a little country and maybe even some Kurt Vile in there and you get this 8 minute journey from the newest release from Phosphorescent, Muchacho. The lyrics and the title make this almost definitely a song about drug abuse, the beauty of those swells are euphoric.
14. Pickwick – Brother Roland
Seeing these guys live a few weeks ago was really a treat and to everyone who missed them, make it a mission in your life to catch them live. Shaun defined their music as garage-soul. I think this is the best song to exemplify this. Also buy their album.
15. How to Destroy Angels – We Fade Away
Combine Nine Inch Nails with the soundtracks of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and add some female vocals and you get How to Destroy Angels. Sure it sounds a lot like NIN, but in my opinion, better than anything Reznor’s released since Year Zero in 2007. I also thought Reznor wouldn’t be singing, but he’s on a few of the songs, including this one, that really just makes me want him to make a new Nine Inch Nails album. See them both live at the Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in October in Asheville, North Carolina!
16. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Higgs Boson Blues
Push the Sky Away is quickly becoming my favourite Nick Cave album and this track is one of the highlights. I’ve never thought I’d hear Cave sing about Miley Cyrus or her alter-ego Hannah Montana, but he paints a morbid picture of life with this 8 minute bluesy dirge. It’s all about the atmosphere he creates.
17. Bombino – Tamiditine
Bombino was basically exploited by the Black Keys with his new album. It just sounds like they decided to play their music over his own stuff and make it sound like them. Sad really, but his amazing guitar playing is still in there. Check out Guitars From Agadez Volume 2 if you want to hear what he sounded like shortly after he escaped the tyranny in Niger.