La nuit mene une existence obscure
Nicolas Repac - La Nuit Méne Une Existence Obscure
This track is sizzling with French sensuality. I first came across La Nuit Méne Une Existence Obscurefrom the So Frenchy, So Chic albums seven years ago. I hold this compilation series responsible for introducing me to a plethora of French talents including Emilié Simon, Spleen, Camille and We Were Evergreen to name a few.
Wrapped in Piano Strings
Radical Face - Wrapped In Piano Strings
One song I know I will never tire of hearing is this one. Ben Cooper uses accordion, strings, guitar and yes, piano strings to pull at your heartstrings. Gothic subject matter is in its abundance on Radical Face’s debut concept album where narratives are told from the perspective of a ghost.
The 2006 album Ghost is not short of its fair share of classic songs. Welcome Home and Glory are just two other highlights worthy of a listen if this type of chill is up your alley.
Aceyalone - Grand Imperial
Freestyle Fellowship broke new ground in 90s west coast hip hop and since then, I truly can’t name another group that have blended the fludity of scat jazz in hip hop as successfully as them. Perhaps one of the more famous rappers in the crew would be Aceyalone.
He is not your average lyricist and listening to a few verses from Aceyalone will allow you to catch a glimpse of his unconventional style.
But style and wordplay aside, the beat on the title track of Aceyalone’s eighth solo album Grand Imperial is the true standout in this instance. I could easily listen to the laid back sample on repeat for hours.
Download - Grand Imperial
A Beautiful Mine (With RJD2)
Aceyalone with RJD2 - A Beautiful Mine
Picture this - the crisp silhouette of a gentleman in his 30’s, dressed in a sharp business suit, falling gracefully into oblivion between the towering high-rises of Madison Avenue.
Fans of AMC’s Mad Men should have little trouble conjuring up such imagery, which goes hand-in-hand with this string-sampling composition by Eddie Hayes and Ramble John Krohn (Aceyalone and RJD2 to you and I).
Hailing from opposite sides of the States (California and Ohio, respectively), the artists collaborated and released Magnificent City in 2006, of which this is the closing track.
The piece is built on a bed of drums and crashing cymbals, but who can forget that hook? For those of you who enjoy following a tune down the rabbit-hole, Enoch Light’s rendition of Autumn Leaves is responsible for those delightful strings. Light himself was also born in Ohio, which nicely brings A Beautiful Mine’s tale full-circle.
This is a wonderful track to wrap yourself in. Do as Don Draper would, and fix yourself a Manhattan while you’re at it.
Greg Laswell - Sing, Theresa Says
Sing, Theresa Says won Song of the Year at the San Diego Music Awards back in 2007. Laswell definitely deserved that win as he wrote the song and most of the Through Toledo LP while he was going through a divorce. Nevertheless the song is not burdened with sorrow, nor is it too upbeat.The chords are warm and inviting while the lyrics and singing style evoke a sense of surrealism - “go to sleep while I gather all my things, and I will call you in a couple of days, I can hear the June bugs approaching, a God damn army of them in my brain.”
B Fleischmann - Composure
Composure is one of my all time favourite instrumental tracks. I have no idea why.
I remember hearing it on the radio in 2006 as a passenger on the way to a University Open Day. My ears were immediately gratifying and thankfully I was able to download and enjoy the song since.
Six years since then, the song hasn’t lost its appeal for me. Perhaps Austrian DJ Bernhard Fleischmann achieved Composure’s longevity by mastering a hypnotic bassline, minor-keyed guitar chords, or by including relative fast paced drums that hasten the impact of the emotion. Either way, Fleischmann is a hero in my books for this song alone. I don’t even need to check out his back catalogue to worship his musical talent based on Composure alone.
If you end up enjoying this track a tenth as much as me, I’ll be satisfied.
Enjoy (with headphones).
Dustin O’Halloran - Opus 23
I don’t know of any blogs dedicated to classical music and we don’t specialise in it but today I’m going to blog about Opus 23.
The instrumental piano piece is elegant and sweet. O’Halloran composed it for the film score to Marie Antoinette in 2006.I was underwhelmed by the movie when I saw it a few years ago but the music score for the album is beautiful.
The Most Serene Republic
The Most Serene Republic - Stay Ups
The Most Serene Republic are definitely in a class of their own. Their unique, highly experimental approach to music is evident in every song.
Stay Ups would be one of my favourite tracks from the Canadian band. It starts gently and builds to a pretty epic crescendo. In particular, Emma Ditchbum’s vocals accompany the piano so beautifully. I was sad to find out (a few years late) that she no longer plays in The Most Serene Republic. What a bummer!
I’d recommend fans of this to check out the group’s second album Population which is full of fun, chilled, experimental indie rock.
Download - Stay Ups (control-click & save)