I was going to make a post last week, but as I hope you have, I took some time off for friends and family. I hope everyone’s Christmas has been good, and I wish you an early Happy New Year!
Now, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
My good friend who goes under the pseudonym Sulley had dropped a new album, titled “Observer”. A collective of 13 songs instrumental songs sequenced to make up his now sophomore album. The album ventures across many branches of the electronic genre, countering it’s predecessor which was much more contained within the hip-hop genre. Chris, the mastermind behind all this, has clearly done some growing, both as an artist and a composer. This album feature more interesting key-based layers, which take the tracks in much more captivating directions. I’ve noticed that phasing drum beats and percussion seem to be a reoccurring motif in his productions. In a world of countless Soundcloud beta makers, Sulley is bringing something new to the table. A fresh, nuanced sound that bridges electronic, lo-fi, and hip-hop fields into a cohesive package. My personal favorites include: “Observer”, “Her”, “Trophy”, “Psycho” and “You Need to Slow Down”. If you are in need of relaxing music in your living room, you’re going on a drive, or perhaps you’ve got your earbuds in during your daily bike ride. In either case, give this one a shot!
Next up, we’ve got Snail Mail with their album “Lush”. Clean electric guitars, a driving bass, rocking, thuddy drum beats and a melodramatic female vocal. If this doesn’t scream “throwback to the 90’s” to you, I’m not sure what will. Someone compared them to Helium and the work of Mary Timony. I won’t argue with that, but I will say Helium was much heavier. Snail Mail takes that very same nostalgic sonic attitude and refines it into a much more contemporary sound. I really appreciate the sense of consistency that comes across with this album. It’s as if the band challenged themselves to use a handful of the same instruments while in studio. This is, after all, their first studio album. Up until now, the band’s releases were all DIY by the lead singer: Lindsey Jordan. Being only 19 years old, it’s quite astonishing that her music has reached platforms such as Pitchfork and Rolling Stone Magazine. If you’re a fan of The Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, The Cranberries, or you’ve been waiting for some music that could easily make it onto the Juno soundtrack, this band is for you. “Speaking Terms”, “Anytime”, “Let’s Find Out”, “Golden Dream” and “Heat Wave” would make my top 5 songs of the album. Make sure to let us know hat are yours!
This last one is a bit of a curveball. It’s called “Tuyo” by Rodrigo Amarante and it just so happens that it is the theme song for the show “Narcos”. There was this strange magic that pulled me toward this song. At first I told myself that it’s because it sounds absolutely stunning. It’s fantastic mix that sounds natural, dynamic and not overhyped, much like most of today’s productions. I kept going in circles in my head thinking “There’s something else, there’s something else…”
Sure enough after doing some more digging, it all came clear. Outside of the song being down right beautiful, I recognized the vocalist. I had completely forgotten that I have come across Rodrigo before, some years ago as he is a vital part of a band called Little Joy. Now, those guys I have known since about 2010. In any case, I was happy to see that he’s been making his rounds into other venues and yet again, coming out successful. I’ll be honest, generally I’m not super drawn to Latin based music, but it’s artists like this that have been reeling me in lately. Whether or not you have heard the show’s theme song, it should be come across equally as pleasing.
In the end, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays! I truly hope that you get to spend some time with your loved ones, and gift others as much as you’ve been gifted. Let us know what you’re listening to? Until then,
“Stay cool, stay Collective.”
- Collective Heartbeat Team