Spit Syndicate have become an exciting addition to the continually burgeoning Australian hip hop scene (or as I like to call it - Skip Hop). The lads are around 23/24 years old and already released two full length albums through independent Australian label Obese Records and have literally just finished the touches on their second mixtape ‘Best Intentions Part 1.’ They are apart of the One Day Crew with Horrorshow and Joyride. The free mixtape can be downloaded here.
This song is a live acoustic rendition of a track from their ‘Exile’ LP. It is an intimate performance with a jazzy piano, some acoustic guitars and plenty of maracas action. Not to mention, there’s an extra verse that didn’t feature on the original. You don’t need me to testify of the strength of their live performance, but they are damn good. Enjoy this small slice of their live show.
Intro Give in to lust, Give up to lust, The lord knows we’ll soon be dust.. (x2)
NL Verse 1 Right there was where I spotted her, Wherever she walked, eyes followed her, Drunk off her majesty, What could I could offer her?, But my undivided attention, As she glided past, And so she took it right off at her stop with her, The undoing of all, she wore a headband, Walk of life, and the kiss of death, man I’m the first to admit I got some habits to kick, But she was looking like she could gladly add to the list, So I obliged in accordance, Walked towards her, Her unmistakable draw, was striking So unattainable yet so inviting, Her smile was lawless, eyes were like lightning, And When she told me her name, was like angels singing. Two soul piercing eyes with danger in ‘em, And she’d be happy to rearrange your day with ‘em, Dig graves with ‘em, Yours truly was today’s victim..
Hook 1 Said as she walks, in and out like just like those sliding doors, When she talks, said any line could redefine my course, In my thoughts you still haunt me from the night before, When you tease me girl don’t leave me, And we can spend some time together shine that little light of yours, That you burnt me with a million different times before, Like I’m surprised that you pay me no mind at all..
Verse 2 – Jimmy Said I was like, how you doing, I’m alright, I’ve been to Thailand twice and I ain’t seen nothing like you to be fair, And I done studied your contour lines and I’d die to be flying blind, Am I gonna need to call security here?, to all my queen pins, That kill without a second look, rebel minus the cause, Devil minus the horns, heaven minus the doors, A dime like a sierra diamond minus the flaws, If death’s coming in three, she’s 7 minus the 4.
Hook 2 Sweet mistress, I seek forgiveness, Aware of the peril but can’t keep my distance, Tombstone reads to he who’s persistent, She’ll keep you at the top of her hit list, Sweet mistress I seek forgiveness, Aware of the peril but can’t keep my distance, Spellbound, there is no resistance, She had me at the top of her hit list, Go on and make yourself at home in my head.. Go on and make yourself at home in my head.. Go on and make yourself at home in my head..
I only recently discovered El Ten Eleven and they are musicians to be reckoned with. They play music with a typically American mid-western sound. Their guitar-work is instantly memorable and original with undertones of sincerity. When I listen to this song, I imagine I’m driving on a sprawling, expansive highway on a road trip in Summer. But enough about me, listen to the music and enjoy. Here's a link to the mp3 and be sure to keep an ear out for this band.
Meet Bonobo. I came across the artist in 2007 and have been a fan ever since. Like Four Tet, Bonobo fuses exotic instruments in to create melodic pieces of art. His work is largely instrumental and makes for the perfect kind of music to relax to.
This song is one of my personal favourites, but then again there are plenty to choose from if you check out his back catalogue.
Download the song here if you enjoy and let the music do what it does.
Bombay Bicycle Club - How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep?
Lately I’ve been enjoying Bombay Bicycle Club's third album, but this song in particular is a standout track for me. It starts off in a sleepy way before sharpens up at about the one minute mark when the bassline and drums kick in.
The beat is catchy and the song continues to build as an album opener should. The repetition won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but if you fancy indie rock then this should appeal to you. Here's a link to the mp3
You are in a jungle. (If not, imagine you are for the purposes of this song) Join Thes One, Double K and Murs as they adventure their way back to the real world. They get paranoid, fight, beat up a gang of monkeys and… damn, I don’t want to spoil the whole thing. Just listen as I profess my love for this group.
People Under The Stairs are the most underrated hip hop group of all time. They are amazing. Thes One produces with minimal help from software. That means MPC beats and sampling. Double K handles the scratches in the group and both members can rap. A feat that few hip hop duos can boost. They continue making amazing music and there is so much of their music I’d consider classics so don’t be surprised if they appear on the blog in future.
Lucky for us, the lads from Delphic don’t just hang out in rooms with trippy blue lighting and stare into the distance with determinated looks all day long. Believe it or not, they also make music. I like to imagine that after a few hours of staring, they get down to making their unique brand of Manchaster electronica. The 8 minute track oozes with an electro goodness that is hard to resist. I haven’t the faintest idea of how they managed to tear their eyes away from the blue lights and throw together this magnum opus cacophony of splendour, but they did it. Good job fellas.
Here is the first single from the forthcoming album “ONE” by Pete Philly. It showcases how Mr Philly’s singing keeps getting better with every release. The man emboddies all elements of greatness in music. True presence, an ability to perform a range of styles, willingness to experiment and take music in a new direction and above all, the ability to make and give shape to fantastic music. Keep an eye out for his debut solo album because it is bound to astound. This track is fairly sombre but it packs a soulful punch in the 2 short minutes. Kick back and enjoy.
Horrorshow ft. Jane Tyrell - Cigarettes Will Kill You
Ahh, this is a beautiful cover of Ben Lee’s original version. The Sydney duo teamed up with labelmate Jane Tyrell to serve up this stunning rendition. I think its hard not to be drawn into the sweetness of Jane’s voice, or be left unmoved by Solo’s singing. They are just as amazing live. I’d gladly see Horrorshow or Jane perform another 2 times in a heartbeat. Just listen to those harmonies! Anyway, if you enjoy this as much as me, their label Elefant Traks have made this track available for free download here. So do your ears a favour and click the link. I’ll let people decide which version they prefer…
Ben Lee is an iconic Australian musician whose music has changed in the past few years to mixed reviews. His last three albums were decisively uber-positive, but this song I’m featuring is over ten years old and still sounds so relevant. Ben is a talented musician and this song proves his songwriting skills. This song featured on the first Ill Chill Pill mix I made back in 2005, or was it 2004? Either way, I like it. You can decide for yourself after you take a listen.
Here is a brand new summertime song from a great new band. And now for a bit of information about the group…
"Oregon Bike Trails’ humble beginnings can be traced back to the bedroom of Santa Monica singer-songwriter Zach Yudin, who now, along with a full band, crafts some of the sweetest, sunny indiepop this side of the Mississippi. OBTs’ High School Lover’ 7" will have you begging for summer to stick around for one more month."
OK, I haven’t spent this long tracking down music in a long time. I came across this song from a video on Youtube where people suggested 3 of the wrong names - and I still don’t know the name of this remix but at least I managed to track down the track itself. I do know that Malian musician Vieux Farka Toure is responsible for the original song, named ‘Ana.’ Back in 2008 there was a remix competition after Toure completed his debut album to critical acclaim. However, after listening to about two dozen snippets from http://ccmixter.org/vieux and exhausting my Shazam monthly trials on iPhone, I realised that the song I had heard was nowhere to be found. Long story short, here is the track with a link to the mp3 if you don’t want to reenact my hunt! (Control click, download saved file as)
This band is excellent. They’ve released two albums and are working on a third as we speak. This song is the opener to 2009’s Creaturesque album. Waving at The Shore starts off pretty cool, but then after the lyrics, ‘take me apart’ around the 1:30 mark, there is the best trumpet/xylophone solo reminiscent of The Cure’s ‘Close to Me’ track. A very happy, sunny day song that sets the tone for fun. Here's a link to the download.
I didn’t expect to be back talking about Hermitude so soon, but that was until I discovered they’d released a brand new song! It’s upbeat and more dance than I’d expected but straight killer from start to finish. They’re touring Australia from Nov-December to promote the single and Elefant Traks have announced that Hermitude will be releasing a new album in Feb 2012. Enjoy
Four Tet pioneered a brand new genre coined folktronica when he famously merged traditional instrumentation with electronic sensibilities in the 90s. He continues making music, though his style is ever-changing as his latest single ‘Locked’ demonstrates. Don’t expect your life to be changed in the first minute of this song - hell don’t even expect that by the end of the song. This song, like the rest of Four Tet’s catalogue, is not about a few moments of musical climax. It is a progressive listen that will slowly reveal itself to you like a refined wine or an exotic cuisine. The bassline warbles and the drum loop is slowly mesmerizing, transfixing the listener like a spider luring an insect into its web. There is no need to distress however, as Four Tet is an experienced DJ and knows exactly what to do with you after you have succumb to his music.
I’m not really sure if this group is still making music together, but they haven’t released anything since 2005.
Regardless, this song is my personal favourite of the group. The song just rambles and sprawls on and on. There is no competing for attention by the instruments, you can tell that this band works as a cohesive unit and their music really reflects that.
Let the song relax you and here's a link to the mp3
Ben Cooper is set to release his follow up album to 2006’s ‘Ghost’ next month and in anticipation he has released a free EP with some tracks that didn’t make the cut. The EP is aptly titled ‘Bastards Vol. 1.’ and all 3 tracks are great in my opinion. This song has everything you would have come to expect of Cooper, bittersweet melody, unpredictable song structure, clapping, guitar, piano and also some surprise vocal layering to create some sweet harmonies. Ben is working on releasing 3 concept albums in the ‘Family Tree’ series with ‘Roots’ to be released in October and ‘Branches’ and ‘Leaves’ making up the 2nd and 3rd instalments.
On another note, I have just created a Facebook page for the blog, so if you want to be notified of updates that way, be sure to click ‘Like’ to get these posts delivered to your news feed :)
One of my favourite producers, DJ Sabzi (Blue Scholars, Common Market) and Kelsey Bulkin form the eclectic, genre-defying group Made In Heights. Recorded “in a matter of days” they managed to put together a terrific little EP.
They released it for free on Boxing Day 2010. The EP is great but it leaves you wanting more and I am yet to learn if they will put out any more material together. Sabzi laces the track with fast snares, heartfelt synth loops and haunting echos and distortions on Kelsey’s vocals.
Even if you’re not clear on the meaning of the song, I think that most people can relate to the overall sentiments being expressed. You can still hunt down a free copy of the EP, but just for the lazy ones out there, here's a link to the mp3
Jay Electronica is somewhat an enigma in hip hop. He releases music in fairly unconventional ways and has an aura about him that is difficult to pin down. In 2007 he released a mixtape with backing music from Jon Brion’s Soundtrack to Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. Some of the lyrics on the album read more like a riddle than anything else, but this song would have to be my favourite. It has a mellow orchestration accompanied with Jay’s fast rhymes that cover some pretty deep subjects. Check the lyrics below.
She said she never fell in love with a superman Christian, Muslim, Protestant, Lutheran, I told her that being a mortal is the portal to the true nature of growth; The Christ like Buddha man That’s why I never spit the traditional garbage of a night fight, bright lights, white ice to the fans The radio is just a stereo, like the house ain;t a home, And a chair is just a chair, ask Luther Van Go to work; go to church let your dreams die Bowtie, final call, and a bean pie Yarmulke for Hanukkah, wish list for Christmas This is the gist of the life that we lead, why? So you can fit in, with the close minded in the sit-ins, and get clotheslined in the ed-end I could care less about a plaque and Bidd-enz or get Punk’d on TV by my frid-ends Don’t get a nigga wrong, I get tempted by the rewards that all come along with making nigga songs But what does it mean if I’m a Muslim and you a Jew and because of that alone we don’t get along And when you talk like this, and try to walk like this the radio stations’ll never put a nigga on Just Mims, just Fifty, just Wayne, just Jeezy, Dem Franchize Boyz, and Jimmy Jones Fuck that, fuck rap this God-Hop, King-dom mu-sic for the hard rocks I’ma spit it till T-R-L get it and Hot ninety-seven hit the nigga with a bomb drop Ask Flex, ask Slay, ask Who Kidd Just Blaze said Jay is the new kid I took Eternal Sunshine and I looped it No drums no hook just new shit
Continuing on in the spirit of my elation from the onset of Spring comes a post about the Freelance Whales, another band I discovered last year who are also signed to Frenchkiss Records (along with Local Natives and Passion Pit to name a few). Like Local Natives, this group was one of my prized discoveries from 2010 and I think their debut album Weathervanes was pretty top notch. This song is catchy, upbeat and fun. There is a 10 second banjo and xylophone combo at the 1:57 mark that nails it. It’s reminiscent of The Postal Service (a cliché comparison but valid nevertheless) and if you dig it like I do, here’s a download link.
Sam Beam is the man with the fearsome facial hair and man oh man can he play guitar. Not only can he play well, he has a beautiful whisper-like voice that accompanies his astute fingerpicking. The harmonies in the chorus of the song are heartwarming and get used to his music as I will definitely be back to talk about it. Here’s a download link and some lyrics
Here is a song for everyone living in the Southern Hemisphere, as today marks our glorious ascent out of the crappest season of the year and into some warmer weather. So for another 273 days, good riddance!